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Civil legal aid in 2009/10

Civil legal aid payments made up just 3.0% of all applications for legal aid in the year to 30 June 2010, according to the Legal Services Agency’s annual report for 2009/10 (tabled on 20 December 2010).

Overall total gross payments to private lawyers through the Legal Aid Scheme totalled $157.230 million in the 2009/10 year. This was up $25.856 million (19.7%) on the previous year.

Gross payments for civil legal aid totalled $7.664 million. This was up 15.9% on 2008/09, and civil legal aid gross payments made up 4.9% of all gross payments in 2009/10.

The report notes that the number of new grants for civil legal aid cases was below forecasts, with 2,026 new civil cases granted. This was up 2.9% from 1,968 new grants in the previous year.

Civil legal aid gross payments in 2009/10

Measure Civil All Legal Aid % Civil
Total applications

2,961

100,013

3.0%

- Increase from 2008/09

6.7%

4.9%

3.9%

New grants made

2,026

89,042

2.3%

- Increase from 2008/09

2.9%

4.6%

1.5%

People applying*

2,775

88,756

3.1%

Male:Female applicant ratio

64:36

N/A

N/A

Applicants give European ethnicity

52%

41%

N/A

Applicants give Maori ethnicity

20%

37%

N/A

Applicants give Pacific ethnicity

4%

8%

N/A

Total debts established

737

17,563

4.2%

Proportion grants with debts established

36.4%

19.7%

19.0%

Repayments by legally aided persons*

$1.674m

$8.978m

18.6%

Average cost for cases finalised

$3,474

N/A

N/A

Gross payments to private lawyers

$7.664m

$157.23m

4.9%

- Increase from 2008/09

$1.053m

$25.856m

25.6%

- Increase over 2008/09

15.9%

19.7%

-

*Does not include Waitangi

Average case costs

The average case cost for closed criminal legal aid cases in the year ended 30 June 2010 was $3,474. This was up 1.7% on the average case cost in 2008/09 ($3,416).

Listed Providers

The report shows a small decline in the number of providers listed with the Legal Services Agency to provide civil legal aid services. At 30 June 2010, the total was down by 3.8% on 30 June 2009.

Providers listed with LSA at 30 June

Category Lead 2010 Secondary 2010 Total 2010 Lead 2009 Secondary 2009 Total 2009
Civil

1,605

581

2,186

1,730

542

2,272

Total Providers

2,232

532

2,764

2,256

524

2,780

Note that as lead and secondary providers may be accredited for multiple law types, the “Total Providers” column does not equate to the separate law type components.

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Last updated on the 11th May 2012