The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has suspended three lawyers from legal practice for misconduct.

The suspensions follow three separate sets of proceedings.

Dunedin barrister Simon Nicholas Claver received the longest suspension – 12 months – after admitting one charge of misconduct relating to failings including misleading the court, failing to follow instructions and making false declarations to the Law Society.

Those failings occurred over a 2-3 year period in respect of 14 different clients.


Andrew MacLean Morrison was suspended from practice as a barrister and solicitor for six months after being found guilty of misconduct by the tribunal for tampering with a legal document.

And Auckland lawyer Ronald Bruce Johnson was censured and suspended from practice for three months after was found guilty of negligence in his professional capacity in relation to his involvement in providing independent legal advice to the trustees of a trust.

Johnson was also found guilty of two counts of misconduct relating to breaches of the Trust Account Regulations by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

Law Society President Kathryn Beck said the suspensions all result from lawyers transgressing the rules which are in place to protect consumers

"Very high standards of conduct and practice are set for the legal profession. Protection of the interests of clients is at the heart of the regulatory system which the New Zealand Law Society oversees.

"Maintaining public confidence in the provision of legal services is also a very important consideration. When a lawyer is suspended or disciplined, the reputation of all members of the profession is threatened. This is unfortunate as the vast majority of New Zealand's lawyers provide services to their clients honestly and effectively."