Over the 2018/19 financial year, the Government Legal Network will remain focused on leveraging the Crown's collective legal resources and expertise to better meet the needs of the Government, the Crown Law Office says.
In its annual report for the year to 30 June 2018, Crown Law says the Government Legal Network (GLN) is a well-established collaboration between Chief Legal Advisors and the Principal Law Officers in the management of Crown legal risk and in the leadership of the government legal profession.
"The GLN operates to an annual budget of $1.0 million and is supported by a small resource (the GLN Team) within Crown Law. The GLN Team administers a variety of activities to strengthen across-government legal capability, risk management and knowledge sharing. Led by a GLN Director, the GLN Team is operationally accountable to the Solicitor-General with governance and advisory input from the GLN Advisory Board and the Chief Legal Advisors’ Forum."
The report says the GLN Team has established a government-wide approach to legal training activities, facilitating 17 legal practice groups centred around sector, subject matter and functional areas.
"These groups convene a variety of seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions in which colleagues can share expertise, identify trends and strengthen professional leadership. Over the last financial year, the GLN Team has supported the Network to deliver over 4,100 individual continuing professional development hours."
The report says the GLN Team’s focus on professional stewardship is reflected in a key achievement of the 2017/18 year: the development of the Government Legal Network People Plan.
The People Plan contains 16 projects targeted at five priority areas: developing a workforce for the future; understanding our network; Crown-Māori relationship and capability; developing legal leadership and technology; and practice management. Threaded through all the work streams will be a focus on enhancing diversity and inclusion across the network.
Looking ahead, the report says a Legal Leaders Group, comprising legal team managers across the Crown, will work with the GLN Advisory Board and the Solicitor-General to prioritise and start at least four of the People Plan projects. Project delivery for the remaining projects will be phased across four years and will draw upon existing resources, including the GLN Team and practice groups, for support.
"We will continue to take advantage of joint purchasing opportunities to streamline legal research and practice management tools. We will prioritise increased engagement with lawyers in Crown entities and with lawyers in regions outside Wellington, recognising the significant expertise the GLN has nationwide in commercial, regulatory and public law practice."