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August 21 is the date when a special meeting of the Auckland District Law Society decides whether or not it will become part of the “One Society” concept envisaged under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act, which came into force last week.
Current thoughts are that the Auckland vote will almost certainly go the ‘Two Society’ way, due mainly to an apparently intractable position taken by the New Zealand Law Society which has repeatedly refused to meet or mediate the position, according to ADLS president Keith Berman.
Mr Berman says he has requested to meet and discuss the position, which follows a detailed business plan prepared by the ADLS earlier this year, saying the two societies are “like Venus and Mars”.
Auckland voted against the adoption of a new, ‘One Society’ constitution when the NZLS Council met on July 18. In part at least, Auckland members said that their belief that most (if not all) representative services would derive from Auckland had been effectively removed and they did not intend having their assets passing to the NZLS on 1 February 2009 until they received clarity over exactly what and how they were expected to deliver the services.
The ADLS has taken what Mr Berman calls the “precautionary step” of recommending incorporation to its members, to protect substantial ADLS assets, as a result of its inability to reach agreement over the ‘representative services’ the ADLS has been requested to provide to the legal profession.
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