New Zealand Law Society - Crown Law attractions more than the money, says Solicitor-General

Crown Law attractions more than the money, says Solicitor-General

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Lawyers come to work for the Crown Law Office for a number of reasons, and money is not usually one of them, Solicitor-General Una Jagose QC has told Parliament's Justice Committee.

In its 2017/18 Annual review of the Crown Law Office, the committee reports that it noted that Crown Law appears to pay its lawyers less than they would earn in comparable roles in the private sector.

"We acknowledged that Crown Law is a prestigious organisation but wanted to know whether it has trouble retaining staff over sustained periods of time due to a lack of salary competitiveness," the report says.

It says the Solicitor-General said that Crown Law does not "have a particular problem with retention for income reasons".

Ms Jagose told the committee that while Crown Law does see a fair amount of turnover among intermediate-level lawyers, there is no discernible pattern of lawyers moving to the private sector.

"However, she added that Crown Law has been saying for the past four years that it is carrying cost pressures, and that these pressures limit its ability to pay higher salaries. It is keeping a close eye on the situation."