New Zealand Law Society - New Zealand Law Society Welcomes Independent Review Discussion Document 

New Zealand Law Society Welcomes Independent Review Discussion Document 

New Zealand Law Society Welcomes Independent Review Discussion Document 

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa welcomes the release of the Independent Review Panel’s (the Panel) Discussion Document which outlines the headline issues for the Review, and is strongly urging all parts of the law profession to engage in the upcoming consultation.

“The Discussion Document is a critical step in the legal profession’s work towards ensuring it examines itself root and branch to ensure the Law Society is a fit-for-future body, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead,” says Law Society President Jacque Lethbridge. 

“The Panel – Professor Ron Paterson (Chair), Jane Meares and Professor Jacinta Ruru – have worked swiftly to capture the issues. They have professionally conducted this process, independent of the Law Society, and ensured the Discussion Document is comprehensive. 

“Critical to the future of our industry is ensuring the law profession and the Law Society maintains the trust and confidence of all New Zealanders. They rightly expect the legal profession to provide high quality legal services, act with the highest integrity and to be an inclusive and welcoming place to work.” 

Areas which the Discussion Document are asking for feedback on include: 

  • The current state of legal regulation and representation;
  • The focus and scope of regulation, including how the statutory framework might appropriately reflect the role of Te Tiriti o Waitangi;
  • The role of the regulatory framework in promoting a positive and diverse legal profession;
  • Whether the current model for regulating conduct and handling complaints is fit for purpose;
  • Whether there should be a regulator of the legal profession that is independent of the professional membership organisation;
  • Suitability of the current the Law Society governance structure and the optimal institutional arrangements for a modern regulator and/or representative body.

“The issues for feedback are wide-ranging and provide both practitioners and the public the chance to give meaningful responses to pressing challenges,” says Ms Lethbridge.

“Feedback the Panel receives will help guide decision-making on the future of the legal profession and the Law Society itself to ensure that its structures, processes, powers and obligations are those that best serve Aotearoa New Zealand. 

“I encourage everyone in the profession to engage with the Review and consultation by attending meetings and making submissions – every voice has a place in this review. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a meaningful and substantive change to the legal profession in Aotearoa New Zealand which is fundamental to upholding the rule of law in our society.” 

For more information contact:

Liam Kernaghan, Public Relations and Communications Business Partner

Email:, Mobile: +64 (0)21 715 108