Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Three lawyers found guilty of misconduct

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Two lawyers have been suspended from legal practice and another fined after all three were found guilty of misconduct, saw the Law Society.

The trio appeared before the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal in separate hearings.

Hamilton lawyer Kit Clews has been suspended from legal practice for four months, beginning this October.

Clews was found guilty of breaching solicitor/client privilege and for "reckless breach of the conflict of interest rules", the Law Society said today.

As well as the suspension, Clews was also censured and ordered to ordered to pay costs and undergo training.

Auckland lawyer Stephen Charles Potter also went before the tribunal and was suspended from legal practice for three months and is banned from practising on his own account until authorised.

Potter admitted a charge of misconduct after failing to meet requests from a law society inspector and orders over trust account records, the Law Society said.

Wellington lawyer Christopher Verrier Jones admitted a charge of misconduct for breaching trust account regulations, the society said.

"The breaches included using his trust account for his own private transactions, allowing his own interest in the trust account to become overdrawn on three brief occasions, and failing to keep necessary records disclosing the position of money held on trust," the Law Society said.

Jones was fined $7500, ordered to pay costs and censured. He was also required to complete further training in trust account management.

- APNZ

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