Previously struck-off NZ lawyer removes himself from roll

by John Maguire13 May 2015
An infamous New Zealand lawyer who attracted a raft of complaints – including one from a judge – has removed himself from the roll of barristers and solicitors.

The New Zealand Law Society has confirmed to NZLawyer that Evgeny Orlov has voluntarily agreed to be removed from the roll, stating that he has no intention to practise in New Zealand as a lawyer, as reported in The New Zealand Herald.

“The New Zealand Law Society can confirm that Mr Orlov’s name has been removed from the roll pursuant to section 60 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006," Law Society president Chris Moore said.

"It has consented to this as set out in the Tribunal’s decision.”

Orlov faced numerous charges brought by the New Zealand Law Society’s standards committee under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, including charges dating back to 2007 that he made allegations about High Court judge, allegations he failed to follow client instructions, incompetence in a habeas corpus application and a number of other complaints around misconduct.

He was struck from the roll by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal in 2013, after he was found of guilty of making allegations about a High Court Judge that were either false or made without sufficient foundation.

He appealed to the High Court, where the strike-off was quashed.

In their judgement, Justices Ronald Young and Simon France partially agreed with Orlov’s challenge to the decision that he was entitled to the right of freedom of expression.

“He considered his various allegations were well-founded, but if they were not, then he submitted that they should be protected speech as long as they were genuinely held opinions. He also contended that objectively much of what he said was not of a sufficient seriousness to merit being struck off.

“We partially agree. We are of the view that some of the allegations, such as bias, are not properly the subject of charges at this level. However, other allegations which were extreme in their nature or which alleged improper motives on the part of the Judge, have potential to significantly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.”

According to the Herald, in the tribunal’s latest decision, a stay of proceedings was granted when Orlov said he would voluntarily agree to being removed from the roll.

Orlov said there was no public protective purpose for his case to go ahead as he had no intention to practise as a lawyer in New Zealand.

Orlov and the Law Society agreed to have him removed from the roll and proceedings were abandoned.