Law Society seeks feedback on proposed changes to Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006

The amendments aim to bolster the transparency and efficiency of the Lawyers Complaints Service

Law Society seeks feedback on proposed changes to Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has launched a consultation process to obtain feedback on proposed amendments to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

The changes focus on the Lawyers Complaints Service, and are also intended to help resolve the “longstanding issue of undertakings by a conveyancing practitioner,” the Law Society said. The organization added that the proposed changes are in line with the new Rules of Conduct and Client Care, which seeks to address bullying, harassment and discrimination in the legal profession. 

“Improving the transparency and efficiency of the Lawyers Complaints Service is essential to maintaining the integrity of the complaints process and, therefore, the legal profession,” Law Society president Tiana Epati said. “We want to make changes to the Act to allow us to be more open about our complaints process, when it is in the public interest.”

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The proposed changes will allow the Law Society to disclose some information about its complaints process and administratively assess certain types of complaints where no further action is required. Moreover, the amendments will strip complainants of the ability to lodge frivolous technical complaints against employees and officers of the Lawyers Complaints Service.  

The changes will also ensure that conveyancer undertakings can be enforced summarily by courts in the same manner as undertaking provided by a lawyer.

 “These amendments would enable the Law Society to operate in a more transparent and efficient manner for both consumers and the legal profession, until broader legislative change can be considered,” Epati said.

Feedback on the proposal can be provided via an online survey on the Law Society website. The survey will be open until 13 February.

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