A legal recruiter who swindled $105,000 from his employer has been struck off as a lawyer by the Court of Appeal.

A High Court decision said Shane Peter Burton was a registered lawyer who was employed as a senior recruitment consultant and specialised in placing legal candidates with law firms.

But in 2012 he was arrested at Auckland International Airport while trying to leave the country. Later that year, he pleaded guilty to four charges of obtaining by deception.

Each charge was tied to a placement Burton made to a law firm for which he made false invoices and received over $105,000 that was meant to go to his employer.


He was ordered in 2012 to pay $105,000 in reparations and to serve six months' home detention.

The sentencing judge described Burton's offending as "major, calculated and reasonably cunning".

In late October in the High Court, Justice Simon Moore considered whether Burton should be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors after an application from the Law Society.

"As an employee he owed a duty to his employer to act in their best interests. Not only did he breach that duty of good faith but, through his actions, he caused considerable embarrassment to his employers and, no doubt, damage to their reputation within the legal community," the judge said.

Justice Moore felt Burton should be struck off, but the law required him to refer the matter to the Court of Appeal.

There, Justices Tony Randerson, Rhys Harrison and Lynton Stevens made an order striking Burton off.