New Zealand Law Society - Interim suspension of Richard Henry Hill

Interim suspension of Richard Henry Hill

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has suspended Richard Henry Hill from practising as a barrister and solicitor until disciplinary charges brought against him by a New Zealand Law Society standards committee are decided.

Mr Hill was found guilty on 11 July 2016 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.

On 26 July he was sentenced to eight months home detention and 100 hours community work.

The tribunal said Mr Hill faces seven disciplinary charges laid by the Hawke's Bay Standard Committee. These were filed in the tribunal six years ago, with their hearing stayed awaiting the outcome of his trial.

The tribunal said it had no doubt that the interests of the public demanded that an interim suspension order be made forthwith.

"The offending is particularly serious and goes to the heart of the obligation of the practitioner to protect his client and any funds placed by the clients in his care. The practitioner has been found to have failed abysmally in this regard and thus other members of the public must be protected from him," it said.

The interim suspension took effect from 8 August 2016.