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External legal services

Part of: Professional services All-of-Government

​An All-of-Government panel of 30 providers who provide legal services in nine areas of law, including banking and finance, employment, and property law.

Key details


Current View dates Expires 22/06/2024



Lead agency

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Contract updates

To join this contract, agencies need to sign a Letter of Accession (LoA) to confirm agreement to the terms set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This includes agencies who were participating in the previous contract.

Join this contract

Guidance has been prepared to assist with writing the business case required by many agencies to gain approval to enter into the LoA to the MoU for this contract. This can be found in contract resources. An agency login is required to access this document.

Contract resources

What's covered

This contract covers all external legal services provided by New Zealand lawyers in the areas of:

  • banking and finance
  • corporate and commercial
  • employment
  • environmental and resource management
  • health and safety
  • litigation
  • property
  • public
  • other (eg medical, immigration, and any area not contained in another area of law).

Areas of Law

What’s not covered

The contract does not cover:

  • any non-core Crown legal matters the Solicitor-General directs to be conducted by Crown Law
  • any public prosecution as defined in Section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011
  • services provided by international law firms, King’s Counsels and Barristers Sole
  • services provided by solicitors engaged by participating agencies as locums.

The contract does not cover core Crown legal matters, including:

  • advice in relation to litigation to which the government is a party
  • legal services involving questions on the lawfulness of the exercise of government power
  • constitutional questions, including Treaty of Waitangi issues, New Zealand’s international obligations, and New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990
  • issues relating to the enforcement of criminal law
  • legal issues relating to protection of government revenue.

Core crown legal matters are described in full in the cabinet directions. The cabinet directions do not apply to:

  • the Parliamentary Counsel Office
  • the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
  • the Parliamentary Service
  • Crown entities
  • State-owned enterprises
  • offices of Parliament, bodies listed in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Public Finance Act 1989, local authorities, and other bodies corporate that exist to perform public functions or that are owned by the Crown or a public entity.

Cabinet directions for the conduct of Crown Legal Business 2016

If you're not sure if your requirement is a core Crown legal matter, contact the Crown Law Office for advice.

Contact the Crown Law office

Features and benefits

This contract improves the value for money delivered in external legal services by:

  • making it easier for participating agencies and panel providers to engage with each other
  • reducing costs for both participating agencies and panel providers.


  • Competitive rates and hourly rate comparisons.
  • Access to a comprehensive range of New Zealand providers.
  • Ability to directly source providers.
  • Reduced time and expense involved in procurement processes.
  • We manage the contracts with providers and the reporting.
  • We provide consolidated reporting on external legal services spend.
  • Providers offer a range of value-added services.
  • We ensure the panel providers meet the minimum requirements of the New Zealand Law Society code of conduct.
  • Crown Law remains a provider of legal services and sits alongside the panel.

Value-added services and unique provider offerings

Value-added services are the free or low-cost services offered by the providers that supplement a participating agency’s engagement with that provider.

Unique provider offerings are offerings themselves or amendments to offers that may have a cost associated with them and are usually more substantial in value and unique to the provider than those offered as value-added services.

All providers offer various value-added services and unique provider offerings. Participating agencies have the flexibility to engage these features as and when appropriate. Examples include:

Value-added services

  • Access to internal seminars and trainings for agency staff
  • Access to provider’s templates
  • Extranet access to databases
  • Brief telephone/email hotline
  • Strategic planning meetings
  • Use of provider premises

Unique provider offerings

  • Fixed/capped fees
  • Retainers
  • Secondments
  • Formal training and development opportunities
  • Intellectual property management services
  • Additional discounts on hourly rates
  • Initiatives to support broader outcomes

Professional services broader outcomes

Savings and costs


Agencies who participate in the external legal services contract don't need to go through a full procurement process of their own, which saves time, effort and cost.


Most AoG contracts include an administration fee. This fee is a simple, effective and transparent way of recovering the cost of developing, sourcing, implementing and managing AoG contracts.

Rates in this contract include an administration fee of 1.5%.

Providers collect the administration fee and pass it on to MBIE - agencies don't need to make any payments to MBIE.

Dates and renewal details

Start date:
Current term end date:
Contract Terms:
Four years + one right of renewal of two years
Renewals left: none

​​Roles and responsibilities

Each participant in this contract has responsibilities that they must meet as part of that contract.

Roles and responsibilities

Joining AoG contracts

To be able to purchase from this contract agencies and schools first need to join.

Joining AoG contracts