Legal Profession Act 1987 No 109
152 Powers of Council or Commissioner when investigating complaint
(1) For the purpose of investigating a complaint, a Council or the Commissioner may, by notice in writing served on any legal practitioner, require the legal practitioner to do any one or more of the following:
(a) to provide written information, by a date specified in the notice, and to verify the information by statutory declaration,
(b) to produce, at a time and place specified in the notice, any document (or a copy of any document) specified in the notice,
(c) to otherwise assist in, or cooperate with, the investigation of the complaint in a specified manner.
(1A) A Council or the Commissioner may inspect any document produced before the Council or Commissioner under this section and may retain it for such period as the Council or Commissioner thinks necessary for the purposes of an investigation in relation to which it was produced. A Council or the Commissioner may make copies of the document or any part of the document.
(2) If a legal practitioner against whom a complaint is made claims a lien over documents relating to the matter the subject of the complaint, the Council or the Commissioner may, by notice in writing served on the legal practitioner, require the legal practitioner to waive the lien if satisfied it is necessary for the orderly transaction of the client’s business.
(3) A notice is served under this section on a legal practitioner if:
(a) it is served personally on the practitioner, or
(b) it is sent by post to the practitioner’s place of practice, business or residence last notified by the practitioner to a Council.
(3A) A notice under this section is to specify a reasonable time for compliance with the requirement.
(4) A legal practitioner who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with such a requirement is guilty of professional misconduct.
(5) A legal practitioner must not mislead or obstruct a Council or the Commissioner in the exercise of any function under this Division. The wilful contravention of this subsection is capable of being professional misconduct.
Note. Documents has a wide meaning. The term is defined in the Interpretation Act 1987 to mean any record of information. The term would include any file that was itself a record of information.