26 Sep 2009

Lawyer suspended over '$1m' legal aid bill

8:10 pm on 26 September 2009

An Auckland lawyer has been suspended from providing legal aid because of questions about how much she billed the Legal Services Agency for her services.

The New Zealand Herald has reported that, according to publicly listed figures, barrister Robyn Fendall received more than $1 million in legal aid in the past three years, including $572,000 in the 2006-07 financial year.

Ms Fendall, a rostered duty solicitor at Waitakere District Court, has asked for the decision to be reviewed but will not comment further, other than to say that the suspension is unfair.

Ms Fendall supervised the introduction of a pilot scheme introduced at Waitakere in 2006 for managing other duty solicitors.

Lawyer Maria Dew says an internal review of the decision is likely to be completed by the end of the month.

The Government is conducting a review of legal aid services because of the rising bill.