New Zealand Law Society - Measures and successes

Measures and successes

The Law Society is focused on ensuring we embrace the opportunities we have ahead of us to shape and build a modern, inclusive and world-class profession.

We aren’t waiting to act. We are moving forward to improve how we operate within our current legal framework and we’ve made a number of improvements already over the past 12 months.   

Improvements over the last 12 months 

1. Acting earlier – Early Resolutions Service programme review

We’ve reviewed our Early Resolutions Service and made some changes, putting more resources into ensuring complaints are resolved earlier. 

How results are measured:

Early Resolution Service:

  • 40 per cent of complaints closed within 90 days (already being achieved)
  • 90 per cent of complaints closed within 180 days (already being achieved)

Standard Track:

  • 40 per cent of complaints closed within 180 days
  • 60 per cent of complaints closed within 270 days
  • 80 per cent of complaints closed within 365 days

When you’ll start to see results: 2023 

2. Working faster – Internal Investigations team established 

 We’ve established an internal investigations team, who can undertake investigations independently, who can work faster to get outcomes that will see work progressing in a more responsive way.  

How results are measured: Timeliness of investigations has reduced

When you’ll see results:  2023 

3. Improving consistency of decisions – Guidelines and training provided to Standards Committees 

 Our independent Standards Committees who make decisions on complaints are skilled lawyers and lay people who volunteer their time and expertise to upholding professional standards. We have invested in training for Standards Committee members and provided penalty guidelines to help ensure nationwide consistency in decisions and penalties.  

 How results are measured: Currently under development

 When you’ll see results: Underway 

4. Investing in people, systems and technology 

As part of our overall programme of modernisation, we are investing in our people, systems and technology. It is a multi-year plan and will improve the ‘customer experience’ for the 16,000 lawyers registered with us as practising lawyers. The first cab off the rank is to implement a modern Case Management System (CMS) for complaints with phase one of this project underway. The Registry database has undergone a major software upgrade this year to ensure the system is supportable, stable and secure, and is now set for the next phase to upgrade the platform on which it resides. Our goal is to have a modern registry that provides the necessary functionality a lawyer working in 2022 requires.  

How results are measured: Improved customer experience, profession and staff engagement, resilience training. 

When you’ll see results: 2023