Assistant Crown Counsel

Assistant Crown Counsel (sometimes referred to as ACCs) are an integral part of the team at Te Tari Ture o te Karauna Crown Law.

About the role

Although there is a strong focus on providing legal assistance and support to senior legal counsel in the provision of legal services to clients, including as junior counsel in Court, there are also great opportunities to be responsible for day-to-day conduct of files under supervision. 

Crown Law has 40-50 ACCs spread across our three Legal Groups: the Attorney-General’s Group, comprising Constitutional and Human Rights and Te Tiriti/Treaty teams; the Criminal Group made up of three Criminal teams and the Public Prosecutions Unit; and the Crown Legal Risk Group, whose teams work across Public Law and Revenue matters.

Find our organisational overview and more detail about the Groups

ACCs are appointed as a permanent member of one of our Legal Groups, but there can be opportunities to work with other teams across Crown Law and often with other agencies.  There are also opportunities to come together as a cohort for professional development and peer support and to take part in the many different people networks that Crown Law has available. In addition, ACCs can access all that the Government Legal Network (GLN) offers its members.

Read about the experiences of some of Crown Law's current ACCs

About the mahi

We are part of the Public Service of New Zealand. We give assurance to New Zealanders that government operations and responsibilities are conducted lawfully.

The Crown Law Office provides legal advice and representation services to the government in matters affecting the executive government, particularly in the areas of criminal, public and administrative law. The services provided include matters covering judicial review of government actions, constitutional questions including Treaty of Waitangi issues, the enforcement of criminal law, and protection of the revenue. 

Crown Law counsel appear at all levels of the courts in Aotearoa, from the Supreme Court through to the District Court and various tribunals. The Office also administers the prosecution process in the criminal justice system, in particular, Crown prosecutions.

The Office has two primary purposes in providing these services:

  • to ensure that the operations and responsibilities of the executive government are conducted lawfully, and

  • to ensure that the government is not prevented, through legal process, from lawfully implementing its chosen policies and discharging its governmental responsibilities.

Learn more about Crown Law

Read more about some of our recent high-profile work 

Law Officers of the Crown

By long tradition the Crown has appointed two Law Officers to represent its interest in the courts. The offices of Attorney-General and Solicitor-General retain the responsibility of being the principal legal advisers to the government and representatives in court.

The Solicitor-General holds office as an official of government and is also the Chief Executive of the Crown Law Office. Subject only to the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General is the government's chief legal adviser and advocate in the courts. 

Learn more about the Law Officers

About the people

New ACCs are most – but not exclusively – lawyers who have recently been admitted to the Bar and who are early on in their legal career, or just starting out their legal career having graduated from university.  They may have been part of the GLN Graduate Programme, worked as clerks to members of the Judiciary, or have other legal experience, which they bring to Crown Law.

Our continued commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce culture is demonstrated in our ongoing efforts to address bias during recruitment processes, build overall cultural competence, and foster an inclusive leadership culture. Our continued commitment to Public Service programmes such as Papa Pounamu and Whāinga Amorangi, helps us achieve progress in these important areas.

Learn more about the working environment at Crown Law