A Wellington lawyer has been struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors for what has been described as "outrageous, disgraceful and dishonourable" conduct.
Ian David Hay, a lawyer of more than three decades, was found guilty of one charge pertaining to a reckless breach of Rule 5.10 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008.
The charge, which went before the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal, came about after Hay's guarantee of a $200,000 loan from a client to a company he was associated with.
He failed to repay the client the money.
"Hay used the funds largely to pay off his own debts, rather than putting them into the Queenstown development which had been discussed with the client", a statement from the New Zealand Law Society read.
Hay's defence counsel told the tribunal that a censure and imposing restrictions on his practice would be a more appropriate penalty.
But the tribunal disagreed.
Hay was ordered to pay $25,000 to the complainant, which is the maximum amount of compensation the tribunal can award.
He was also ordered to pay costs to the Law Society's prosecuting standards committee of $33,095.74.
The Law Society is to pay the tribunal costs of $14,922.
New Zealand Law Society president Kathryn Beck said the tribunal's descriptions of Hay's behaviour were very apt.
"Terms such as 'outrageous', 'disgraceful', 'dishonourable' and 'blatant obfuscation' leave no doubt as to the impact of his actions on his client and also on the reputation of the legal profession," she said.
Hay had three previous disciplinary findings against him and was also declared bankrupt in 2014.
Hay has since come out of bankruptcy
"The consequences of his actions to the complainant have been extremely grave. She obtained a judgment against Mr Hay for $227, 293.15. However, none of this money was repaid to her because Mr Hay was bankrupted," Beck said.
Hay had been a lawyer for 32 years and was struck off the roll yesterday.