Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Two lawyers suspended from practice

National Finance former director Anthony Banbrook in the dock, during his sentencing at the Auckland High Court, in March 2013. Photo/ Brett Phibbs
National Finance former director Anthony Banbrook in the dock, during his sentencing at the Auckland High Court, in March 2013. Photo/ Brett Phibbs

Two lawyers have been suspended from practice this week - including a Tauranga woman now living across the Tasman who never turned up court to answer her own charges of dangerous driving and driving under the influence.

Michaela Greaney is believed to have moved Australia last July and both Tauranga and Rotorua District Courts issued warrants for her arrest after she failed turn up to answer driving-related charges last year, the Law Society said today.

In May last year, Greaney was arrested and charged with refusing an officer's request for a blood specimen and driving in a dangerous manner, the Law Society said.

She was suspended from driving for 28 days and was also charged with driving under the influence, it said.

Less than a month later she was arrested and charged with driving while her licence was suspended, the Law Society said.

A Law Society spokesman told the Herald that Greaney never turned up to court to answer either set of charges.

The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal upheld a charge of misconduct brought by the Law Society.

The Law Society today said the tribunal found Greaney had engaged in conduct unconnected with legal services but which would justify that she was not a fit and proper person or otherwise unsuited to practice as a lawyer.

The tribunal - which disciplines lawyers - on Monday in an oral decision suspended Greaney from practice for two years.

Greaney's previous law firm surrendered her practising certificate to the Law Society on 9 July last year and the tribunal ordered the suspension should apply from that date.

Greaney, who did not turn up to her hearing at the tribunal, was also ordered to pay the Law Society's full legal costs of $8,805.

Failed finance company director Anthony Banbrook was also suspended from practising law this week by the tribunal.

The former National Finance director was convicted of making an untrue statement in a prospectus and was sentenced to eight and a half months' home detention and ordered to pay $75,000 in reparations by the High Court last year.

The senior litigation lawyer appeared before the tribunal in May, which in a decision yesterday said that a Law Society standards committee had proven Banbrook's conviction tends to bring the legal profession into disrepute.

The tribunal censured Banbrook, and suspended him from practice as a barrister and solicitor for seven months.

- APNZ

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