The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that Minkai Huang be struck from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors.
The former Auckland barrister admitted a charge that he had been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment, which reflected on his fitness to practise and tended to bring the legal profession into disrepute.
Huang, who was not entitled to practise on his own account, had been convicted of theft and sentenced to community work for taking $9,500 of fees from a client and failing to account for them to the barristers’ chambers he was contracted to.
New Zealand Law Society president Chris Moore says the honesty and integrity of all lawyers is of paramount importance to the legal profession and it is essential that clients can trust their lawyers.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for lawyers not approved to practise on their own account to take fees from clients without accounting for them in the proper way to their principal.”
The Tribunal ordered him to pay $7,461 in costs to the Law Society and reimburse hearing costs.