“Thank you” evening for 2017 Committee members

Recently, ADLS held its annual “Thank you” evening for Committees – a chance for ADLS to show its appreciation for the work done by Committee members throughout the year.

Committee Evening 1

ADLS President Joanna Pidgeon thanked Committee members for their contributions, particularly as this is in addition to day jobs and family commitments and, for some, may involve travel or remote attendance at Committee meetings.

Committee Evening 2

“Our Committees are the powerhouse of ADLS and your work is extremely important to ADLS and to the profession. You are the experts in your practice areas and know what the issues are and bring relevancy to all of our work,” said Ms Pidgeon.

Committee Evening 3

From drafting submissions and providing feedback, to LawNews articles, CPD, and engagement with a diverse number of organisations, the amount of work achieved by our Committees “really is staggering”. This is especially so given that all this is done by volunteers – “That is something to be proud of,” said Ms Pidgeon.

Committee Evening 4

Ms Pidgeon drew particular attention to those Committees new to ADLS over the past year – the Newly Suited Committee and the Trust Law Committee, along with a new Special Committee set up to consider AML/CFT issues.

The Newly Suited Committee had a number of successful events this year, including “Meet the Judiciary” and “Meet the QCs” events, as well as a series of “Happy Hour” evenings. The Newly Suited have also contributed a regular “agony aunt” column to LawNews, highlighting issues encountered by new practitioners.

Committee Evening 5

The ADLS Trust Law Committee hit the ground running – making substantial submissions on the Trusts Bill within two months of its first meeting. Ms Pidgeon thanked Convenor Bill Patterson for pulling everything together in such a short period of time.

The AML/CFT Committee represented ADLS in making submissions to the Select Committee, and Ms Pidgeon thanked Fiona Hall and Gary Hughes for their efforts in this regard.

Committee Evening 6

Ms Pidgeon also took time to acknowledge the wisdom, expertise and steady hand of Documents and Precedents Committee Convenor, Tim Jones, as he steps down from the role.

A selection of other Committee highlights for the year featured on a “Roll of Honour” that scrolled across screens during the evening, including:

  • delivery by the Technology & Law Committee of its annual special edition of LawNews;
  • the Environment & Resource Management Law Committee providing feedback on the Low-Emissions Economy Issues Paper, Urban Development Authorities discussion document and Draft Report: Better Urban Planning;
  • the ADLS Mental Health Roster Advisory Group assisting with the transition of the Roster from ADLS to MoJ Legal Services;
  • the Criminal Law Committee and Technology & Law Committee making submissions on the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 Issues Paper;
  • the Immigration & Refugee Law Committee and Family Law Committee working together on the draft Children in Asylum guidelines;
  • the Immigration & Refugee Law Committee commenting on the Draft Confidentiality Guidelines and the Skilled Migrant Category Policy Review;
  • the Employment Law Committee engaging with the Employment Court, the Employment Relations Authority, WorkSafe and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner;
  • submissions by the Property Law Committee on the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 and Regulatory Systems (Building and Housing) Amendment Bill;
  • the Trust Law Committee submitting on the Draft Interpretation Statement regarding Income Tax – Taxation of Trusts and the Exposure Draft of the Trusts Bill;
  • the Civil Litigation Committee and Family Law Committee engaging with MoJ managers to improve the delivery of services at the Auckland District Court;
  • the Immigration & Refugee Law Committee engaging with the Immigration & Protection Tribunal and the Refugee Status Branch;
  • the Property Law Committee providing comment on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), and submitting on proposed amendments to the Unit Titles Act 2010 and methamphetamine-contaminated properties;
  • the Health & Safety Committee engaging with the Chief Judge of the District Court regarding the creation of a sentencing memorandum;
  • submissions by the Employment Law Committee on the Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill;
  • new forms including Enduring Power of Attorney and Agreement for Sale and Purchase of a Business, and an update to the forms affected by the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 being released by the Document & Precedents Committee;
  • the Criminal Law Committee engaging with MoJ - Legal Services and the Department of Corrections, participating in the Manukau Steering Committee, and organising free seminars for practitioners regarding the Sexual Violence Pilot project;
  • a full update of the Legal Practice Manual - Family Law Volume (about to be released) by the Family Law Committee;
  • and the determination of a number of disputes by the Property Disputes Committee.

Ms Pidgeon also reflected on the strong engagement we have with a range of influential organisations who actively seek ADLS’ opinion, including the Ministry of Justice, the Courts, Law Commission, Auckland Council, LINZ, Refugee Status Branch, and the University of Auckland. She also noted ADLS’ ongoing collaboration with the Equal Justice Project (EJP) and the participation of its students on our Committees, as well as the increasing media interest in ADLS’ work.

Committee Evening 7

“We can be proud of the work we produce, and the fact that it underscores our relevancy as an organisation.”

Membership has continued to grow in recent times, with total membership now standing at over 4,500. Encouragingly, over one third of those are from outside Auckland. “The work of the Committees has greatly contributed to the success of this significant result,” said Ms Pidgeon.

For further information on any of the ADLS Committees, please contact the Committee Secretary at committee.secretary@adls.org.nz.

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