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Lawyers In Practice Statistics: Criminal Law

Information obtained from holders of current practising certificates shows that at mid-January 2011, 598 practitioners spent over 50% of their time practising criminal law.

This was 9.3% of all lawyers who indicated an area of practice where they spent over half of their time. Criminal law is the fifth-most important area of practice in New Zealand by number of lawyers specialising in it (ie, spending over half their time).

The proportion of lawyers specialising in criminal law varied by location, with the smaller population centres tending to have the highest proportion. In the Whanganui branch area, 13.4% of all practising certificate holders spent over half their time on criminal law, followed by Hawke’s Bay (9.8%) and Waikato Bay of Plenty (8.7%). The lowest proportion of criminal law specialists was found in Southland (2.9%) and Wellington (3.2%).

There were 1,957 lawyers (17.2% of all practising certificate holders) who spent some of their time working in criminal law.

In Whanganui, 40.3% of all branch lawyers spent some time working in criminal law. Other branches with a relatively high proportion of lawyers spending some time on criminal law were Gisborne (28.6%) and Otago (24.7%).

Branches where the lowest proportion of lawyers spent at least some time on criminal law were Wellington (13.2%) and Auckland (15.5%).

Time spent working on criminal law, mid-January 2011

Branch 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-100% Total % Branch
Auckland

352

146

64

205

767

15.5%

Canterbury-Westland

134

62

28

37

261

22.6%

Gisborne

7

5

4

0

16

28.6%

Hawke’s Bay

18

8

10

12

48

21.3%

Manawatu

14

8

5

7

34

23.4%

Marlborough

2

3

1

3

9

17.3%

Nelson

14

8

1

5

28

19.4%

Otago

56

22

9

14

101

24.7%

Overseas

6

0

0

1

7

2.2%

Southland

18

11

1

3

33

23.9%

Taranaki

16

12

5

3

36

24.3%

Waikato BOP

103

56

33

54

246

24.6%

Wellington

189

71

37

47

344

13.2%

Whanganui

11

7

5

4

27

40.3%

TOTAL

940

419

203

395

1957

17.2%

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Last updated on the 11th May 2012