An Auckland lawyer who used client funds his pay his business debts has been struck off.
Frederick William Baker pleaded guilty to charges before the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and said he took full responsibility for his actions.
He was struck off by the tribunal, meaning he can no longer practise law.
The Law Society said that Baker - who ran his own small firm - misused client funds and failed to keep trust account records. His offending took place over four years, the society said.
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"A law firm's trust account must be a completely safe repository for the money of its clients. It must never be overdrawn or even be at the risk of being overdrawn," New Zealand Law Society president Kathryn Beck said.
"No client lost money as a result of Mr Baker's actions. However, the Law Society has strict rules for operation of trust accounts and all lawyers and law firms who operate one must submit monthly reports and keep relevant records," she said.
"A lawyer who intentionally falsifies reports or receipts or does not comply with any of the trust accounting rules is committing a gross breach of trust. There is absolutely no room for that in the New Zealand legal profession."
Baker could not be reached for comment.