The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered two lawyers to be struck off the roll.
They are Shaan Winiata Stevens, Wellington, and Catherine Marjorie Clarkson, formerly of Hastings and now of Wellington.
Stevens was convicted in the Wellington District Court of fraud offences and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 10 months’ home detention and community work.
The Tribunal struck him off the roll as a result of his convictions for dishonestly using documents when he was a registered tax agent and operating an accounting business.
Stevens abided the decision of the Tribunal and did not appear as he now lives overseas. He was also ordered to pay costs of $5,346 to the New Zealand Law Society
and to reimburse it for the costs of the hearing.
Clarkson was found guilty by the Tribunal of two charges of misconduct. One was for failing to account for money she had received as grazing fees. The other charge was for misconducting herself during hearings in the Māori Land Court.
In striking Clarkson off the roll, the Tribunal noted the seriousness of the charges, her disciplinary history and that rehabilitative measures in the past had been unsuccessful.
She was ordered to pay costs of $35,000 to the Law Society and to reimburse it for the costs of the hearing.
New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore said it was a great disappointment to New Zealand’s legal profession when a lawyer was struck off.