26 May 2013

Legal fee system won't be reinstated overnight - law society

6:17 pm on 26 May 2013

The Auckland District Law Society says it might take some time before the old fee system for legal aid lawyers is reinstated, despite a Court of Appeal ruling.

The court has found some of the Government's contentious legal aid changes are illegal.

Under the new scheme, lawyers are paid a set fee based on the seriousness of their client's charges, rather than for the amount of work they do on the case.

Auckland District Law Society vice president Brian Keene QC says it will take time for the former system, which was in place until March last year, to be reinstated.

He says the principal issue is going to be whether the Crown appeals the decision to the Supreme Court.

The Criminal Bar Association says the Ministry of Justice must find a way to comply with the law immediately as the current system is now unlawful.

The ministry says it is considering the court's decision and will provide advice to the minister.