Items of Interest

Consumer behaviour

The Law Society of England and Wales commissioned London Economics and YouGov to conduct independent research into consumer behaviour. The research sought to better understand important information for consumers looking for legal services.

Key findings include:

  • Consumers tend not to trust marketing materials/adverts or social media, and often rely on the recommendations of friends and family.
  • Clients are typically interested in the price and the time needed to complete work. In particular, cost of legal services is a determining factor, although skill and expertise becomes more significant when unforeseen events are introduced.
  • Consumers have difficulty distinguishing between types of service providers, i.e. the difference between a lawyer, a solicitor, and a barrister.

In light of these findings, the Competition and Market Authority (UK) recommended minimum standards for disclosures of price, service, regulatory protections and regulatory status of legal providers.

Access the Consumer Behaviour Report here:

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/policy-campaigns/consultation-responses/sra-consultation-looking-to-the-future-better-information-more-choice-law-society-response/

For a summary:

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/news/research-captures-insights-into-how-consumers-choose-a-lawyer

 Trusts Bill

The Trusts Bill was introduced on 1 August 2017, and recently received its first reading in Parliament on 5 December 2017. The Bill will replace the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964.

The Law Commission comprehensively reviewed trust law in 2009 and 2013, and recommended an Act to modernise and improve trust law. The Bill implements these recommendations, and aims to ensure that core trust principles are clear and accessible. The inclusion of common law principles, such as the basic concept that a trust requires ownership of property to be transferred to the trustee, is one way the Bill achieves this objective.

The Bill also clarifies the common law. For example, sections 45–51 relate to information that a trustee must provide a beneficiary. Interestingly, the current drafting of the Bill does not require the trustee to inform the beneficiary about his or her entitlements under the trust.

Submissions on the Trusts Bill are now being accepted.

Read the Trusts Bill here:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0290/latest/DLM7382815.html

Watch the first reading of the Trusts Bill here:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74746/tab/video?page=1&mode=form

 The New Zealand Women’s Law Journal — Te Aho Kawe Kaupapa Ture a ngā Wāhine

The first edition of the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal – Te Aho Kawe Kaupapa Ture a ngā Wāhine was published on 27 November 2017. The journal was conceived by co-editors Ana Lenard and Allanah Colley, and is New Zealand’s first female-oriented legal publication.

The second issue will be published in 2018. The journal is available for purchase in hardcopy, or can be read online here:

http://www.womenslawjournal.co.nz/

By Natalie Koch