Lawyer struck off for misleading client

By Ben Chapman-Smith

The Law Society said it viewed Clarke's transgressions "very seriously".
The Law Society said it viewed Clarke's transgressions "very seriously".

A lawyer from Dargaville has been has been struck off and rebuked by the Law Society for failing to respond to his client's instructions and then lying about it.

Gregory Bryden Clarke was asked by one of his clients to file a claim in the Disputes Tribunal.

Clarke did not file the claim but told his client on a number of occasions that he had and that a hearing date had been set.

Chris Moore, president of the New Zealand Law Society, said the client discovered that no claim had been filed when he contacted the Disputes Tribunal personally.

Lawyers were obligated to respond to their clients' requests unless there was good cause not to, Moore said.

"That was not the case with Mr Clarke and the Law Society will always view such transgressions very seriously."

Clarke had previous disciplinary findings against him for misconduct in 2001 and had been suspended for three months in 2007.

Moore said it was fundamental that a lawyer must always act competently and in a timely manner.

Clarke's case was brought before the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal yesterday and he has now been struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors.

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