The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has made an order that no lawyer or law firm is to employ Terry Ann Shanks.
A former employee of a law firm, Ms Shanks admitted misappropriation from her firm's trust account. She fraudulently obtained $10,671 through 16 transactions and used a variety of means to take the money. These included manipulating third party invoices and emails purporting to be from clients.
Ms Shanks did not appear at the hearing. The Tribunal made an order that no legal practitioner or incorporated law firm employ her in connection with the practitioner's or incorporated firm's practice so long as the order remains in force.
The Tribunal also made a compensation order, requiring Ms Shanks to reimburse her former firm $5,280. In making this order, the Tribunal took into account that the firm had repaid all the clients and Ms Shanks had repaid the firm some of the money she had fraudulently obtained.
Ms Shanks was also ordered to pay the New Zealand Law Society $5,413 in costs and to reimburse the costs of the hearing.
Publication of the name of the law firm was suppressed.