Timaru barrister and solicitor Kenneth Selwyn Grave has been censured by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.
Mr Grave admitted a charge of negligence in his professional capacity, that negligence being of such as degree as to bring his profession into disrepute.
His negligence arose when he acted for the son of a married couple. The son was an executor of his parents' respective estates after they had both passed away within a year and a half of each other. He was also the sole beneficiary of the estate of his mother.
The Tribunal found that Mr Grave breached the conflict of interest rules by acting when a mistake that had been made in the way the father had obtained title to a property meant one or both estates might have had a claim against him. The conflict was such that he might have been unable to discharge his obligations to the son as executor in each estate.
The Tribunal censured Mr Graves and fined him $10,000. He was ordered to contribute $20,000 to the costs of the New Zealand Law Society and to reimburse hearing costs of $8,690.