New Zealand Law Society - Consultation on changes to improve transparency and efficiency of the Lawyers Complaints Service

Consultation on changes to improve transparency and efficiency of the Lawyers Complaints Service

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa consulted on proposed amendments to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (the Act) to improve the transparency and efficiency of the lawyers complaints process. The Law Society also wants to resolve the longstanding issue of undertakings by a conveyancing practitioner.

This consultation closed on 13 February 2022.

Read the results below.

These are limited changes while the Independent Review gets underway, and if these legislative changes do proceed, there will be further opportunity for consultation during that process.

The potential changes relate to four key amendments to the Act, which would:

  • Maintain public confidence in the complaints process – Allow for some flexibility to the disclosure of information about our complaints process. Particularly in relation to parties who are personally affected, and in cases of high public interest, where we need to provide assurances that complaints have been received and are being dealt with appropriately.
  • Free up resources to focus on the right complaints – Enable the Law Society to administratively triage certain types of complaints where no further action is required.

  • Ensure that technical complaints with no merit do not impact resources – Remove the ability to lodge frivolous technical complaints about the employees and officers of the Lawyers Complaints Service, and Standards Committee members, when they are carrying out duties relating to the Complaints Service.

  • Ensure that conveyancer undertakings are enforceable – Provide that an undertaking given by a conveyancing practitioner (or incorporated conveyancing firm) can be enforced summarily by a Court in the same manner as an undertaking given by a lawyer.

This consultation is now closed. Thank you for your interest.