A lawyer who had been suspended from practising for the past year has been struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors.
Last year Richard Henry Hill was found guilty in the Hastings District Court of a charge of criminal breach of trust. This related to offending in his capacity as a lawyer and trust account partner in his previous law firm McKay Hill.
He was sentenced to eight months’ home detention and 100 hours of community work.
Mr Hill also faced disciplinary charges laid by the Hawke's Bay Standards Committee of the New Zealand Law Society.
He had been suspended by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal from practising since August 2016.
The Tribunal ordered that Mr Hill be struck off on 13 December, with its written reasons still to be released.
The Tribunal has ordered Mr Hill to pay costs to the New Zealand Law Society of $57,050.00.
Mr Hill’s strike off concludes a disciplinary process that began seven years ago when the charges were originally filed. They were adjourned pending the criminal charges being concluded, along with an appeal.
New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck says this situation has been a long time coming.
“Although it has taken some time to conclude this matter the Law Society has again ensured that lawyers live up to the ethical standards required of the legal profession,” she says.
Richard Hill’s offending occurred while he was a partner at the law firm McKay Hill in Napier.
Last year his former partner Gerald George McKay was given a four and a half year prison sentence after being found guilty of an array of charges including theft, dishonesty and using document for pecuniary advantage.