New Zealand Law Society - Felicity Blackman not to be employed by lawyers

Felicity Blackman not to be employed by lawyers

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The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that no practitioner or incorporated law firm employ Felicity Blackman in connection with the practitioner's or incorporated firm's practice.

The order, pursuant to section 242(1)(h)(ii) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 was made by the tribunal on 6 June 2017. The prohibition on employment is as long as the order remains in force.

The order follows a finding by the tribunal that Ms Blackman was guilty of conduct that would, if it were conduct of a practitioner, render the practitioner liable to have his or her name struck off the roll pursuant to section 11(a) of the Act.

She was employed as an office manager by a law firm between September 2015 and March 2016 and in two transactions she transferred a total of $2,900 from the firm's trust account to her personal account during that time. The payments were not authorised by the principal of the firm.

Ms Blackman refunded the amounts to the firm in September 2016 after confessing her misappropriation to the firm's principal.

The tribunal has also required Ms Blackman to pay the New Zealand Law Society's costs of $3,132.53 and to refund to the Law Society the tribunal's hearing costs of $783.