Former Auckland barrister Oscar Hintze has been suspended by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal for 18 months commencing on 29 May 2017.
Mr Hintze admitted five charges of misconduct.
The first four charges arose from complaints by former clients. Mr Hintze failed to provide them in advance with written information on client service and he did not comply with rules relating to accepting direct instructions. He performed initial but limited work for them and then became very difficult to contact. All four clients had to instruct other lawyers.
The fifth charge concerned ten complaints made by former legal aid clients. Mr Hintze failed to appear in court at scheduled appearances for them. Some of them also found Mr Hintze difficult to contact.
As well as the suspension the Tribunal ordered Mr Hintze to pay the New Zealand Law Society costs of $15,000 and to reimburse hearing costs in an amount to be fixed.