– Wellington – A number of law firms in the Bay of… – Wellington – A number of law firms in the Bay of Plenty have landed significant payments from the legal aid system, notwithstanding claims that funding of legal aid is insufficient and people are being left unrepresented in Court.

The top earner in the region was Rotorua’s Rangitauira & Co with legal aid earnings of $880,000 for the 12 months until June 2006, placing them fourth in a list of over 1400 law firm and barrister legal aid recipients in the country. They were followed by Gowing & Co with $266,000.

Top of the heap in terms of legal aid earnings was Kensington Swan, Wellington, which took $2.268,000 for the 12 months.

The figures were obtained by legal news website, under the Offical Information Act, which show payments made to over 1400 New Zealand lawyers and law firms. The top 50 claimants together shared over $20 million in legal aid payments for the year. (See full list:

Among the top group was Solicitor General, David Collins QC, at Number 18 on the list of lawyers who shared most from the largesse of the Country’s legal aid payments where he took home almost $400,000 for the 12 months’ period.

Two lawyers, one in sole practitioner in Wellington and one barrister in Auckland earned almost $1 million each in legal aid takings. Wellington’s Sonja Cooper took home over $950,000 beating Auckland barrister Charles Hirschfeld by $14,000. Hirschfeld handles Maori and fisheries work.

The top 10 firms, and their legal aid earnings, from Bay of Plenty were:

Bay of Plenty

1. Rangitauira & Co 880,000
2. Gowing & Co 366,000
3. East Brewster 346,000
4. Te Nahu Law 334,000
5. Lance Lawson 332,000
6. Adams & Horsley 315,000
7. H.S. Edwards 307,000
8. Davys Burton 291,000
9. Craig Tuck 257,000
10. Holland Beckett 232,000

© 2007

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