New Zealand Law Society - Struck-off lawyer's Honour forfeited

Struck-off lawyer's Honour forfeited

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The New Zealand Order of Merit awarded to Hugh Edward Staples Hamilton on 2 June 1997 has been cancelled and annulled, a New Zealand Gazette notice states.

Mr Hamilton was struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal on 28 May 2013 after he admitted charges of misconduct brought by the New Zealand Law Society.

Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1974, he practised in Hawke's Bay and was elected Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay from 1989 to 1995. He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for services to the community.

The Tribunal found that Mr Hamilton breached the fundamental relationships of trust between himself and clients. After his striking off he was found guilty in May 2014 of 14 Crimes Act charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, and jailed for four years and nine months.

The government's Honours Unit has been reported as stating that it only recently became aware of Mr Hamilton's conviction and sentence.