Legal Services Act 2011

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice

Version as at 1 July 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Legal Services Act 2011

Public Act
2011 No 4
Date of assent
11 April 2011
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


3Purpose of Act
4ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
5Act binds the Crown
6Proceedings for which legal aid may be granted: criminal matters
7Proceedings for which legal aid may be granted: civil matters
8When legal aid may be granted: criminal matters
9Prescribed offences [Repealed]
10When legal aid may be granted: civil matters
11When legal aid may be granted: civil matters continued
12Other situations where legal aid refused or limited: civil matters
13Legal aid not available to insured or indemnified persons
14Application for grant of legal aid
15Special provisions relating to minors and mentally disordered persons
16Decision on application for legal aid
16AUse of automated electronic systems for certain grants of legal aid
17Commissioner must notify applicant when legal aid declined
18Conditions on grant of legal aid
18AUser charge payable by aided person
19Special provisions about conditions on grants to persons involved in proceedings under Family Violence Act 2018
20Interim repayments payable
21Amount of repayment payable
22Lead providers
23Maximum grant
24Provider in civil proceedings to notify other parties
25Commissioner to be notified of change in circumstances
26Commissioner to keep aided person informed
27Private mediation
28Application for amendment to grant of legal aid
29Withdrawal of, or amendment to, grant of legal aid: criminal matters
30Withdrawal of, or amendment to, grant of legal aid: civil matters
31Withdrawal of grant
32Consequences of withdrawing legal aid
33Amount payable by aided person to Commissioner
34Amounts payable in respect of grant are debts due to Commissioner
35Commissioner may adjust rate of payment of debt, etc
36Charges on proceeds of proceedings
37Commissioner may exempt property from charge
38Transfer of charge
39Enforcement of charge
40Interest on unpaid legal aid debt
41Aided person to enforce judgment or out-of-court settlement
41BDeduction of overdue amounts
41CIssue of deduction notice to State sector employer
41DDischarge of obligation
41EDeduction notices issued to banks
41FMaking of deductions
41GOffences in relation to deduction notices
41HProtected earnings
41IPenalty for late deductions
41JNotices given to third parties
42Commissioner may decide not to recover debt in certain circumstances
43Commissioner may write off amounts payable
44Commissioner to refund excess payments
45Liability of aided person for costs
46Costs of successful opponent of aided person
47Applications in respect of proceedings before Waitangi Tribunal
48Assessment of financial resources
49Commissioner to refer application to Waitangi Tribunal
50Repayment under grant of legal aid
52Grounds for review
53Application for review
54Powers and duties of chairperson of Tribunal on receipt of application for review
55Review of decision by Tribunal
55BTribunal may strike out application for review
56Determination of review
57Tribunal may direct Commissioner to reconsider
57ASuppression orders
57BOnline publication of information about procedures, time frames, and progress of decisions
58Chairperson may direct publication of Tribunal decisions
59Appeal on question of law
60Appeals to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court
61References on questions of law to High Court
62Legal Aid Tribunal established
63Functions of Tribunal
64Appointment of members of Tribunal
65Chairperson of Tribunal
66Delegation by chairperson of Tribunal
66AAppointment of temporary acting chairperson or member
67Further provisions that apply to Tribunal in Schedule 3
68Functions of Secretary for Justice
69Methods of delivery of legal services
70Legal Services Commissioner
71Functions of Commissioner
72Commissioner may delegate powers, functions, or duties
73Powers of delegate
74Application of this subpart
75No person may provide legal aid service or specified legal service unless approved
76Application for approval to provide legal aid services or specified legal services
78Selection committees
79Performance review committee
80Further provisions relating to committees in Schedule 3
81Obligations relating to professional conduct
82Review of decisions of Secretary regarding approvals
83Judicial review
84Review Authority established
85Function of Review Authority
85AReview Authority may strike out review
86Decisions of Review Authority
86ASuppression orders
87Further provisions in Schedule 3
87ADeputy Review Authority
87BScope of functions of Deputy Review Authority
87CAppointment of temporary acting Review Authority or Deputy Review Authority
87DPractice notes
87EOnline publication of information about procedures, time frames, and progress of decisions
87FOnline publication of final written decisions
88Ministry may carry out quality assurance checks
89Commissioner may examine claims
90Aided person may request examination of cost of services
91Secretary may audit providers
92Compliance with audits
93Definition of community law centres
94Secretary may enter into contracts with community law centres
95Reporting on funding of community law centres
96Secretary may audit community law centres
97Lead provider to claim for payment
98Time frame for claiming for payment
99Secretary to refer claim to Commissioner for decision
100Secretary must pay approved claims
101Interim restrictions that may be imposed by Secretary
102Sanctions that may be imposed by Secretary
104Providers must comply with requirements of Act in prescribed manner
105Providers not to take unauthorised payments
106Providers to pay legal aid disbursements
107Providers to protect Commissioner’s interests in relation to charges and proceeds of proceedings
108Disclosure of information
109Disclosure of privileged communications under section 92 or 96
110Commissioner may require financial information
111Misrepresentation, etc
112Offence in relation to applications for approval
112AOffence of breaching suppression order
113Offences in relation to examination and audit
115Service of notices, etc
116Effect of rights conferred by this Act
117Legal Services Agency disestablished
118Public Advisory Committee disestablished
119Transfer of assets and liabilities of Legal Services Agency to Ministry
120Employees of Legal Services Agency
121Terms and conditions of transferred employees
122Continuity of employment
123Restriction of compensation for technical redundancy
124Charges vested in Commissioner
125References to Legal Services Board and Legal Services Agency in enactments, instruments, and registers
127Review Panel continues until close of final transition day
128Review Panel disestablished
129Tribunal must deal with remaining applications
130Applications under section 54(3) of former Act may be made to Tribunal after final transition day
131Application of this Act and former Act to determination of remaining applications for review, and applications under section 54(3) of former Act
132Legal aid granted and repayments made under former Act
133Legal aid for certain types of legal assistance in respect of Waitangi Tribunal proceedings
134Community law centres
135Listed providers under former Act
136Legal aid granted under Legal Services Act 1991
137Repayments in respect of certain legal aid granted under Legal Services Act 1991
138Amendments to Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006
139Reference of complaint or matter to Disciplinary Tribunal
140Notice of determination
141Laying of charge with Disciplinary Tribunal
142Obligation to report outcomes and recommendations
143Order for striking off, cancellation of registration, restoration, or suspension to be filed in High Court
144Consequential amendments to other enactments
145Repeal of Legal Services Act 2000
146Revocation of Legal Services Regulations 2006

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: