Court of Appeal hears arguments on what constitutes legal services

The NZBA provided submissions on the case of Legal Services Commissioner v Fawcett

Court of Appeal hears arguments on what constitutes legal services

The Court of Appeal has heard arguments on what constitutes legal services as laid out in the case of Legal Services Commissioner v Fawcett.

The case examined whether time spent in correspondence with the Legal Services Commissioner qualified as a legal service that was funded under the Act. The High Court previously determined that it did, noting that the interaction involved "significant, complex, and time-consuming" work.

The court stated that the definition of legal services covered actions that were “preliminary or incidental to a proceeding”. As per a Law Society survey, about half of the work conducted on Legal Aid files is not compensated.

The New Zealand Bar Association | Ngā Ahorangi Motuhake o te Ture had served as an intervenor during the High Court proceedings, and also participated in the Court of Appeal hearings. According to the organisation, the matter represented “a significant issue for members who work in this area”.

Felix Geiringer presented submissions on behalf of the NZBA.

 

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