Struck off for false documents

by Hannah Norton04 Mar 2015
An Auckland solicitor who tried to use false documents to obtain a mortgage has been struck off.

Rohineet Sharma was struck off from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary last Friday, after he admitted a charge of misconduct brought by the New Zealand Law Society.

To finance the Panmure-based lawyer’s purchase of commercial property, a lender required a first mortgage be registered against another property owned by Mr Sharma.

To facilitate this - and without authority - Mr Sharma discharged the mortgage to another lender on that other property, submitted a false solicitor’s certificate to the new lending institution and filed a false discharge of mortgage certificate with Landonline to effect the discharge of the mortgage.

A lawyer must not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct, New Zealand Law Society president Chris Moore said.

“This is obviously one of those awful occasions where a lawyer is put in a privileged position – to enter the LINZ online registration system – and he has broken the most essential cardinal rule.’’

“Honesty and integrity are underpinning virtues of the legal profession which must be upheld. Lawyers have freedoms afforded to them for the effective provision of legal services. It is obviously critical that lawyers do not abuse these privileges.”

“He clearly misused the system for his own benefit.”

Mr Moore’s message was clear to lawyers considering acts which could be deemed misconduct.

“You need to take your responsibilities very seriously. These are special privileges we enjoy, and if they are abused then these sorts of privileges may be taken away from us.”

According to the Sharma Legal website, Sharma is Fiji-born and gained his LLB and MA at the University of Auckland. It also states the company was established in 2005.