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1162 items matching your search terms

  1. LCRO 139/2020 MX v RJ and DJ (30 September 2021) [PDF, 252 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / estate administration / complaint lawyers, as executors of the estate, failed to promptly invest proceeds from sale of property at appropriate interest rate, lawyers’ fees were excessive, lawyers failed to communicate with trustees over placement of sale funds and sale of property, and lawyers contributed to delay in settling sale of property / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, section 132 / section 111(1) / section 114 / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 3 / HELD / lawyers’ decision not to invest sale proceeds in higher-interest account reasonably made and within their discretion / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  2. LCRO 43/2020 SL v DN (29 September 2021) [PDF, 231 KB]

    Review / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / property dispute / complaint lawyer acted for two clients in conflict of interest / also, did not respond in timely manner / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 6.1 / rule 6.1.1 / rule 6.1.3 / HELD / lawyer did not obtain prior informed consent / lawyer continued acting for one client while advising the other they needed independent legal advice / did not formally consent to lawyer continuing to act for other client / no disciplinary finding required / lawyer did not act for complainant / lawyer required complainant to seek independent legal advice / lawyer did not advance one party’s position against the other’s interests / complainant’s new lawyer had not complained about lawyer’s delay / Committee breached natural justice principles by denying lawyer opportunity to make submissions prior to determination / Committee’s decision reversed / section 211(1)(a)

  3. LCRO 215/2020 YY v RN (27 September 2021) [PDF, 207 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / residential property sale and purchase / complaint lawyer failed to ensure assignment of earthquake claim from vendor to purchaser completed / HELD / Complaints Service did not correctly identify subject of complaint / Standards Committee should have considered the role of other lawyer initially contacted by complainant / insufficient evidence to establish either respondent or other lawyer breached duties to complainant / time between subject matter of complaint arising and date of complaint makes it difficult to investigate complaint / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  4. LCRO 189/2020 ZK v XM (30 August 2021) [PDF, 168 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / criminal proceedings / complaint lawyer did not follow instructions to claim legal aid and did not competently represent client at trial / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 3 / rule 3.4A / rule 9.5 / HELD / retainer initiated on basis client privately instructed lawyer / at first meeting, lawyer provided partially completed legal aid application form / client returned form via email but lawyer overlooked email and lost track of legal aid discussions / both parties had some responsibility to follow up / client paid invoices without objection / allegation by client that lawyer said legal aid was declined only supported by inconsistent account / no other supporting evidence / in context, error not sufficient to necessitate disciplinary finding / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  5. LCRO 42/2021 JKL Limited v HC and GD (30 August 2021) [PDF, 277 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / commercial transaction / complaint lawyer had close relationship with other party to transaction and disclosed confidential information in attempting to establish a business relationship / also, improperly served a statutory demand for lawyers’ fees / fee complaint / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 2.3 / rule 5 / rule 8 / HELD / hearsay evidence submitted to support conflict of interest and disclosure of confidential information complaints / hearsay insufficient to substantiate complaint / complainant’s concern law firm victimised lawyer unsubstantiated and speculative, not a basis to avoid contractual fees / statutory demand issued for proper purpose and complainant accepted, then defaulted on debt and payment plan / no evidence fee complaint demonstrates lawyers duplicated invoiced work / fees fair and reasonable / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  6. LCRO 27/2021 BK v RQ (27 August 2021) [PDF, 223 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / estate matter / complaint lawyer did not maintain proper standards of professionalism, did not act competently or in a timely manner, and did not respond to requests for information in a timely manner / fee complaint / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 9 / rule 9.1 / HELD / complaint by estate beneficiary / a lawyer instructed by an executor owes the executor client-duties / executor is responsible to court and beneficiaries for proper implementation of will / lawyer’s obligations more limited than executors / executor sought indemnity prior to distribution and lawyer was obliged to follow instructions / matter progressed in a timely manner / fee fair and reasonable / no evidence of instructions to delegate work to legal executive to lower fees / section 211(1)(a)

  7. LCRO 114/2021 DY v WJ (20 August 2021) [PDF, 152 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / inquiries made by counsel to judge / complaint lawyer asked inappropriate question about witness’s gender / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 10 / HELD / professional disciplinary bodies have important role in regulating conduct demonstrating prejudice / not persuaded lawyer’s question to judge was, in context, unprofessional, discourteous or disrespectful / no reasonable cause of action / application for review struck out / section 205(1)(a)

  8. LCRO 211/2020 BU - Application for review of a prosecutorial decision (30 July 2021) [PDF, 233 KB]

    Committee referred conduct complaint to Disciplinary Tribunal / allegation of misconduct regarding content of apology ordered by LCRO / Orlov v New Zealand Law Society [2013] NZCA 230 / Zhao v Legal Complaints Review Officer [2016] NZHC 2622 / EB: Application for Review of a Prosecutorial Decision LCRO 110/2017 / HELD / Committee not required to provide reasons for prosecutorial decision / no basis to claim apology was to be reviewed by LCRO for acceptability before being sent to complainant / apology provocative / Committee reasonable to determine apology raised legitimate disciplinary issues / no reason to interfere with referral / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  9. LCRO 68/2021 BU - Application for review of a prosecutorial decision (30 July 2021) [PDF, 190 KB]

    Committee referred conduct complaint to Disciplinary Tribunal / allegation of misconduct regarding undisbursed estate funds and delay / Orlov v New Zealand Law Society [2013] NZCA 230 / Zhao v Legal Complaints Review Officer [2016] NZHC 2622 / EB: Application for Review of a Prosecutorial Decision LCRO 110/2017 / HELD / lawyer’s argument conduct referred to Tribunal has already been determined in prior disciplinary proceedings not substantiated / matters not sufficiently similar / continuing delay in finalising estate not explained by continuing issues in resolving previous adverse conduct findings relating to trust account management / no prejudice / steps to finalise estate simple / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  10. LCRO 76/2020 FV v GT (23 July 2021) [PDF, 269 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / tax liability and liquidation proceedings / complaint lawyer did not competently communicate or negotiate with IRD, or advise about liquidation proceedings, and failed to appear in court when instructed / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 4.2 / HELD / jurisdiction / application accepted outside of prescribed time limit under COVID-19 relief legislative discretion in earlier Minute / challenge to earlier Minute must proceed by way of judicial review / negotiation with IRD required complainant to secure funds / IRD not persuaded to further defer liquidation proceedings / no substantive defence / not satisfied lawyer’s retainer limited to negotiations / complainant had reasonable expectation lawyer would attend court / technical and inconsequential breach of rule 4.2 / lawyer did not contribute to inevitable outcome / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)

  11. LCRO 92/2021 AZ v BY (19 July 2021) [PDF, 134 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / estate matter / complaint about estate lawyer’s implementation of Deed of Family Arrangement / HELD / extent of Committee’s inquiry into a complaint is a matter of discretion for the Committee / not a function of professional disciplinary process to resolve dispute over interpretation of Deed or closely supervise lawyer undertaking work related to the Deed / complainant’s questions can be tested and resolved in an adversarial process / abuse of process / application for review struck out / section 205(1)(d)

  12. LCRO 1/2020 NR v YB (28 June 2021) [PDF, 150 KB]

    Review / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / civil proceedings / review of penalty determination / complaint lawyer did not advise client of hourly rate increase, cost of phone calls, and added 2015 work to a 2018 invoice, and did not return deposit after client terminated retainer / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 3.6 / rule 9.6 / HELD / lawyer cannot demonstrate client advised of hourly rate increase / delay in issuing invoice caused no harm / no evidence fees relate to work not done / shortcomings relatively minor in context / $4,000 fine and censure orders accepted as disproportionate, even in context of prior disciplinary history / Committee’s decision modified by reversing censure order, and reducing fine to $1,000 / section 211(1)(a)

  13. LCRO 239/2020 DP v FJ obo RK (25 June 2021) [PDF, 356 KB]

    Review / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / immigration applications / complaint lawyer failed to provide clear, not misleading information about fees and services / charged fees that were not fair and reasonable / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 1.6 / rule 3.4 / rule 9 / rule 9.1 / HELD / Committee only provided reasons for one of four tranches of fees in fee complaint / first tranche fair and reasonable but fees agreement conflated disbursements into fee component, charging GST on disbursements exempt from GST / whether second tranche properly chargeable / fee agreement inconsistent with lawyer’s understanding, client not liable / authority to charge fourth tranche not provided in writing as required by rule 3.4, but fair and reasonable / Committee’s findings reversed in part regarding fee complaint, and modified to reduce fine to $3,500 / Committee’s decision otherwise confirmed / section 211(1)(a) 

  14. LCRO 122/2020 G & P LN v Todd Whitcombe and RC findings & publication decisions (4 May 2021 & 22 June 2021) [PDF, 397 KB]

    Decision as to publication of two lawyers’ names / lawyers in same firm represented both sides in property transaction / S v Wellington District Law Society [2001] NZAR 465 (HC) / Director of Proceedings v Nursing Council of New Zealand [1999] 3 NZLR 360 (HC) / Dean v Wellington District Law Society HC Wellington CIV-2006-485-2961, 26 July 2007 / Gill v Wellington District Law Society HC Wellington AP120/93, 7 December 1993 / HELD / in relation to senior lawyer, public need to know that lawyer allowed conflict of interest to develop / future clients will be able to recognise a similar situation and raise the matter / present or future employees can be guarded against being placed in same position as junior lawyer / publication of name ordered / in relation to junior lawyer, they are now aware to be on high alert against being placed in same situation / no publication order

  15. LCRO 186/2019 ZU v FD (15 June 2021) [PDF, 246 KB]

    Review / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / will matter / lawyer acted as co-executor / complaint lawyer did not disclose information, did not act in a timely manner, and provided incompetent advice / HELD / jurisdiction / Committee’s advice on its initial determinations did not constitute a notice of determination / lawyer provided regulated services when passing on legal advice to co-executor / advice to co-executor not incompetent / lawyer’s co-executor refused to consent to distribution of estate / executor not entitled to act unilaterally / Committee’s decision reversed / section 211(1)(a) 

  16. LCRO 66/2021 OW v HP (11 June 2021) [PDF, 116 KB]

    Complaint / Committee found it lacked jurisdiction / complaint lawyer’s fees not fair and reasonable / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Complaints Service and Standards Committees) Regulations 2008, reg 29 / HELD / jurisdiction to assess fee complaint requires “special circumstances” as fee does not exceed $2,000 / no special circumstances found on review / terms of engagement permitted the involvement of more than one lawyer / no evidence hourly rate abnormally or uncommonly high / fee indicative of work completed / application for review discloses no reasonable course of action / application for review struck out / section 205(1)(a) 

  17. LCRO 220/2020 UOY - Application for review of a prosecutorial decision (3 June 2021) [PDF, 225 KB]

    Committee referred conduct complaint to Disciplinary Tribunal / allegation of misconduct regarding trust funds / Orlov v New Zealand Law Society [2013] NZCA 230 / Zhao v Legal Complaints Review Officer [2016] NZHC 2622 / HELD / Committees not required to provide reasons for prosecutorial decisions / no threshold test for prosecutorial decisions / lawyer has not yet been served with charges / as a matter of fairness, providing a copy of charges should occur within a short space of time of issuing notice of determination / notice of hearing adequately notified lawyer of Committee’s misconduct concern / lawyer’s request to have matter referred back to Committee so they can obtain relevant documents declined / time to obtain documents was upon receiving Committee’s notice of hearing / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a) 

  18. LCRO 125/2019 AB v CD and EF (3 June 2021) [PDF, 238 KB]

    Complaint / Committee declined to take further action / will matter / complaint lawyer represented two clients and did not verify affidavit / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 6.1 / rule 8.1 / rule 8.7 / rule 10.2 / Black v Taylor [1993] 3 NZLR 403 (CA) / HELD / conflict of interest / lawyers acted for two clients when their interests coincided / when interests diverged, clients instructed separate lawyers / lawyers could not contact complainant directly for consent / complainant’s lawyers did not raise objection / no breach of rule 6.1 / confidential information / personal characteristics / not clear “insights” into personal characteristics are confidential / no characteristic identified that would provide advantage / other client would have been able to impart knowledge about characteristics / no breach of rules 8.7 or 8.7.1 / lawyer held corroborating evidence regarding affidavit / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a) 

  19. LCRO 147/2020 KQ v [Area] Standards Committee [X] (1 June 2021) [PDF, 144 KB]

    Complaint / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / domestic violence proceedings / own-motion complaint against partner following complaint by police prosecutor that lawyer acted for victim and defendant in conflict of interest / Judge also referred conflict concerns to Law Society / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 6.1 / rule 6.1.2 / rule 6.1.3 / HELD / unable to act where there is a more than negligible risk lawyer may be unable to discharge obligations to one or more clients / acting for victim against production order of medical records, intertwined with defendant’s interests / perceived compatibility of interests not demonstrated by facts / if Committee did not conclude partner was also representing clients, it would have been open to consider partner’s obligations under rule 11.3 to ensure competent supervision / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a) 

  20. LCRO 148/2020 PV v GY (31 May 2021) [PDF, 269 KB]

    Complaint / Committee found unsatisfactory conduct / domestic violence proceedings / complaint by police prosecutor that lawyer acted for victim and defendant in conflict of interest / judge also referred conflict concerns to Law Society / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 6.1 / rule 6.1.2 / rule 6.1.3 / HELD / unable to act where there is a more than negligible risk lawyer may be unable to discharge obligations to one or more clients / acting for victim against production order of medical records, intertwined with defendant’s interests / caution to clients that if conflict arose lawyer would cease acting, impermissibly shifts responsibility for identifying and notifying conflict, to clients / lawyer initially identified she could not represent victim / perceived compatibility of interests not demonstrated by facts / supervising partner approved lawyer acting / Committee’s decision confirmed / section 211(1)(a)