New Zealand Law Society - Practising fee to rise by $100 for 2021/22 year

Practising fee to rise by $100 for 2021/22 year

The amount paid by lawyers to practise in New Zealand is increasing by $100 for the 2021/22 year to $1140.

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While the practising fee is increasing, all other fees and levies will remain the same. The proposal to increase the fee was approved by the New Zealand Law Society Council and the Minister of Justice.

Last year a planned increase of $50 did not go ahead due to COVID-19. The $100 increase this year recognises that and is needed to fund increasing regulatory activities, including the introduction of new conduct rules, as well as important work to modernise the regulatory functions of the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa.

This is the first increase in the practising fee since 2014/15. The practising fee has been reduced twice in the past six years despite growing regulatory costs. Even with the increase, as the graph below illustrates, the new fee will still be $192 less than it would have been if the Law Society had lifted fees in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases from 2009. 

What your practising fee is spent on 

Regulatory fees and levies are compulsory for all lawyers and enable the Law Society to meet its legal obligations to protect the consumers of legal services and uphold professional standards.

The practising fee is not a membership fee. It provides the funding for the Law Society to oversee complaints, administer the Registry, provide input into law reform, and resources required to investigate cases as well as a share of operational costs to support these functions. 

What happens next

Practising fees will soon be due for the upcoming practising year and must be paid in full by 30 June 2021. The Law Society will be emailing all lawyers with instructions for how to renew their practising certificate.