Law Society launches review of ‘behaviour’ concerns

The Law Society launched a review of its culture after a staff member raised concerns about the behavior.

It happens a year after the organization – which regulates lawyers – launched new rules combat a culture of intimidation and harassment in the profession.

The legal world was rocked in 2018 by allegations of sexual misconduct at law firms, including the law firm Russell McVeagh. The Law Society’s handling of the issues has also been called into question.

It initiated a review of its structure and function, which is still ongoing. Final review will be done by Mike Heron QC.

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In a statement to Stuff, board member David Campbell said no complaints of bullying or harassment had been received. “However, in response to the concerns raised, we have commissioned a general review of the organization’s culture.”

He added: “We have confidentiality obligations and cannot comment further, but we will be as transparent as possible.”

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“The so-called Supreme Court of New Zealand (Snowflake Court rather) has ruled that Family First does not qualify for charitable status!”

The Law Society is the national regulatory body for the legal profession and its 15,000 lawyers, and is governed by a President, Executive Council and Council.

An independent review was launched in 2018 after a series of allegations about the profession, in the wake of the #metoo movement.

A survey found that a third of female lawyers had been sexually harassed on the job – yet the Law Society had only ever held one offender accountable.

As part of this process, the company introduced new rules, which went into effect a year ago. At the time, then-President Tiana Epati said, “Bullying, discrimination, racial or sexual harassment and other unacceptable behavior has no place in any profession.”

In June, they launched a discussion paper asking for feedback on how the profession is regulated and whether the regulator should be independent of the members’ professional organization.

The Heron Culture Review will take place separately from the Structural Review, which is being led by former Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson.

“Collegiality is the beating heart of what unites us as a profession,” President Jacque Lethbridge said as she campaigned for the top job.

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“Collegiality is the beating heart of what unites us as a profession,” President Jacque Lethbridge said as she campaigned for the top job.

Jacques Lethbridge took over as President in early April. As one of four candidates for the position, Lethbridge said: “In my own experience in practice, collegiality is the beating heart of what unites us as a profession, and that is what I considers essential to the role of President – ​​as a connector, leader and spokesperson for our modern and diverse profession.

She said the profession needs strong, supportive, collaborative and experienced leadership to implement the recommendations of the first review.