National Party MP Chris Bishop is introducing bill to make it easier for lawyers to take legal action outside of their existing employment, which is currently considered misconduct under current Bar Association rules.
“My Lawyers and Lawyers (employed lawyers who provide free legal services) amending law makes a small change to allow a lawyer who is either employed by a law firm or in-house (e.g. an energy company) to do legal work that isn’t are required for the lawyer’s employer on terms set by the New Zealand Law Society, ”he said.
Chris Bishop’s mother worked as an in-house attorney.
“Any house lawyer who advises a friend on a rent dispute or a housing contract, for example, or changes the rules of the local hiking club, is considered misconduct,” he says.
He said that many lawyers do work outside of their jobs, often on a pro bono basis, and many are unaware that doing so may violate bar association rules.
“The bill allows lawyers to work outside of their employment on terms established by the New Zealand Law Society. I assume that these terms and conditions imply that the work is carried out with the consent of the employer and on a pro bono basis. “
“The current law is far too strict in its application and prevents lawyers from providing legal assistance to those who need them.”
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