Most complaints made versus NZ lawyers abandoned

by Sol Dolor11 Jan 2017
Most complaints made versus lawyers in New Zealand are abandoned, data released by the New Zealand Law Society reveals.
The information concerning the year until June 2015, first reported by Stuff, show that of the 1,611 complaints made in 2015, no further action was taken in 1,137 complaints.
Meanwhile, 9% were negotiated or mediated while 4% of the cases were settled or withdrawn. Data for in the year to June 2016 is still not available.
The figures show that clients are still where most of complaints against lawyers originate from, with 47.7% of the complaints made to the Lawyers Complaints Service initiated by clients or former clients of lawyers named in the complaints.
Nonetheless, Stuff notes that this figure has slowly decreased over the years, with the six-year-high recorded in 2010 at 57.8%.
Among practices, trusts and estates generated the most complaints in the period accounting for 21%, followed by family law at nearly 18% and property law.
The data show that 366 orders were made against lawyers from 186 complaints in the year to June 2015. The top three sanctions given were paying costs, paying fines and facing censure or reprimand.
In the five years to 2015, most complaints were made because of allegations of negligence or incompetence, inadequate reporting or communication and overcharging.

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