New Zealand Law Society - Ashburton lawyer numbers soar

Ashburton lawyer numbers soar

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The number of lawyers practising in Ashburton has risen by 61% over the last five years - well above the 8% growth shown for all lawyers in New Zealand over the period.

The New Zealand Law Society's annual Snapshot of the Profession 2016 says other Canterbury centres such as Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Rolleston have also seen big percentage increases in their lawyer numbers.

Ashburton had 37 practising lawyers at 1 February 2016, compared with 23 in April 2011.

Other centres with over 10 lawyers where there has been a big percentage increase in lawyer numbers are Otaki, Orewa, Waiheke Island, Wanaka, Cambridge, Oamaru and Levin.

The Law Society says the biggest numerical increase has been in Auckland, where lawyer numbers have grown by 737 to 5245 over the five years - accounting for 82% of the national growth.

The number of lawyers in over 30 centres has decreased since 2011, with the biggest decline in Papakura where there was a 43% drop in lawyer numbers from 53 to 30. 

Other centres with falling lawyer numbers are Gore, Upper Hutt, Porirua, Kaikohe, Alexandra, Pukekohe, Carterton and Lower Hutt.

Looking at the most lawyers per head of population, the Snapshot says Wellington is well out in front, with one lawyer for every 83 citizens. This compares to the New Zealand figure of one lawyer for every 384 people and is well ahead of the next most-lawyered centre, Queenstown (one lawyer for every 188 citizens).