New Zealand Law Society - Former lawyer suspended for 15 months

Former lawyer suspended for 15 months

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The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Tribunal suspended Nigel Mason, a former lawyer, from practice for 15 months commencing on 8 March 2019.

Details of the suspension are now available following the lapse of name suppression.

Mr Mason pleaded guilty to two charges of misconduct brought by a lawyers standards committee. The first charge arose from a conflict of interest when he acted for a client who sold her residential property to Mr Mason’s wife. The second charge related to his failure to pay costs and fines ordered by other standards committees following six prior findings of unsatisfactory conduct.

As well as the 15-month suspension, the Tribunal ordered Mr Mason to pay $15,879 towards the costs of the Tribunal and the standards committee. A High Court decision has since found that the cost award was made in error as it failed to have regard to his financial situation and was effectively and substantially punitive.

Mr Mason ceased legal practice in mid-2018 after his application to the New Zealand Law Society for renewal of his practising certificate was declined.