The stayers in the legal aid stakes are taken from figures 12 years ago where we compared the ‘veteran’ earners, headed by all-star legal aid lawyer Sonja Cooper, who received $1.5 million in the 2006/07 year and $1.7 million in the last year reported.
Ironically perhaps, Sonja Cooper’s firm makes its principal income from suing the Government funding them, handling psychiatric claims against the government on behalf of those abused under the previous mental health system.
Three other Wellington recipients who featured 10 years ago include Rainey Collins, Thomas Dewar and John Miller Law.
The major legal aid earners from 2010 and today (being as at the last reported ‘earnings season’ are below.
The 2010 Top 10 . . And Today
|Charl Hirschfeld* – 2.8m||n/a|
|Rainey Collins – 2.4m||565,000|
|Tamaki Legal – 1.8m||1.955m|
|Kensington Swan – 1.4m||138,000|
|Sonja Cooper – 1.2m||1.7m|
|Rangitauira & Co** – 1.08m||n/a|
|Thomas Dewar – 880,000||930,000|
|Te Nahu Lovell – 900,000||390,000|
|Shane Tait – 807,000||433,000|
|John Miller Law – 806,000||972,000|
*Charl Hirschfeld faced disciplinary proceedings in 2013 regarding his legal aid work, quitting handling the work, principally for Treaty of Waitangi claims, in 2011. He was paid around $8 million from legal aid work over a four year period. (NBR).
** John Rangitauira was jailed for fraud after being duped in an email scam involving an alleged inheritance of $27 million.
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