Introduction to the Independent Review
The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa (the Law Society) has commissioned an Independent Review of the statutory framework for legal services in Aotearoa New Zealand (the Review) to examine the regulation and representation of legal services in Aotearoa New Zealand, including the structure and functions of the Law Society.
The Law Society’s decision to commission an Independent Review has been driven by:
The Review will identify what changes are needed for modern and well-functioning regulation and representation of the legal profession in Aotearoa New Zealand, to promote:
The Review will examine areas to achieve these objectives, and recommend regulatory, organisational and governance frameworks appropriate for an Aotearoa New Zealand context.
This will encompass a targeted review of the following aspects of the regulatory framework which have been identified as potential barriers to a modern and well-functioning regulatory framework:
The Review will also consider optimal organisational and governance arrangements for the Law Society and potentially recommend changes to the New Zealand Law Society Constitution, the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, and associated rules and regulations, as appropriate.
The full terms of reference for the Review are available here on the Law Society’s website.
The Law Society notes not all options raised through an Independent Review will fall within its control. For example, recommendations for legislative change will need to be accepted by the Minister of Justice.
The Law Society is now establishing a Panel to undertake the Independent Review and has charged an Independent Steering Group to undertake a transparent selection process and recommend appointments to the Board.
The Panel will be supported and advised by a Secretariat which will be appointed through a closed tender process that will conclude following the appointment of the Review Panel.
The composition, role and responsibilities of the Panel and supporting Secretariat are set out below.
The Panel will comprise three members, one of whom will act as Chair. Membership will include:
We anticipate the Review will begin in February 2022. The Panel will undertake the Review over nine to 12 months. The estimated time commitment will be three days/week for the Chair and two days/week for each Panel member, on average.
It is likely there will be periods during the Review when there are more intensive time commitments required (for example, during engagement phases) and the overall time commitment will be worked flexibly according to the requirements of the Review methodology.
Panel member fees will be determined by applying the principles from the Cabinet Fees Framework [CO (19) 1].
The Panel will undertake a process of inquiry as set out in the Review terms of reference and deliver a comprehensive report incorporating recommendations that will be made publicly available. In undertaking the Review, the Panel will be expected to:
All Panel members are expected to:
In addition, the Chair is expected to:
The Panel will also be expected to operate in accordance with the guiding principles underpinning the methodology of the review include:
The Secretariat will include a Principal Advisor who will act as the key contact point for the Chair and Panel, and oversee the Secretariat.
The role of Secretariat is to:
All candidates need to support the purpose of the Review and have an appreciation of the role and value of a modern and well-functioning legal profession to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
Specifically, we are looking for candidates who demonstrate and can show evidence of the following:
An understanding of the responsibilities of an independent reviewer
Collectively, the Panel should bring diversity in terms of demographics, cognitive capabilities, geography and experience.
The Independent Steering Group may consider that some collective competencies may be provided or strengthened by the supporting Secretariat.
For an informal discussion, contact Robyn Ward on 021 751 960.