– Wellington – A number of law firms in the Christchur… – Wellington – A number of law firms in the Christchurch 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 FS Legal with legal aid earnings of $352,000 for the 12 months until June 2006. They were followed by Linwood Law with $275,000.

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:

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

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 Christchurch were:


1. FS Legal 352,000
2. Linwood Law 275,000
3. A.N. Garrett 271,000
4. Layburn Hodgins 270,000
5. David Ruth 263,000
6. James Rapley, Barrister 224,000
7. P.H.B. Hall, Barrister 194,000
8. Rupert Glover, Barrister 193,000
9. L.P. Iosefa, Barrister 176,000
10. Cameron & Co 176,000

© 2007

The full list is available for free download from the website: log in to

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