Auckland lawyer struck off for practicing while suspended

An Auckland barrister has been struck off after being charged with serious misconduct.
An Auckland barrister has been struck off after being charged with serious misconduct. Photo credit: Getty

An Auckland barrister has been struck off the roll after being charged with serious misconduct.

Anthony David Banbrook was charged with providing legal services while suspended from practising as a lawyer, which the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal found to be proved.

He was also found to have placed improper pressure on a client to withdraw a complaint, as well as not advising them to seek independent legal advice.

Mr Banbrook had been suspended from practicing law for seven months from July 2014 to February 2015. He was also ordered to pay reparations of $75,000.

The suspension came after he was found guilty of misleading investors through false statements published in a prospectus for National Finance Ltd, a failed finance firm.

The Tribunal said Mr Banbrook acted in clear disregard of his suspension, and that he attempted to conceal the nature of the legal work he was undertaking. 

New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck said Mr Banbrook's behaviour showed a "serious neglect" of professional conduct.

"Practising law while under a suspension order shows he made a conscious decision not to comply with it," she said. 

"He showed a reckless disregard for the disciplinary process and the only available conclusion is a strike off to uphold the reputation and standards of the legal profession."

The Tribunal remarked that Mr Banbrook had a history of previous disciplinary action, and that from 2010 to 2016 there had been four findings of unsatisfactory conduct. He had also been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment.

Mr Banbrook was ordered to pay $10,000 in compensation to the complainant. He was also ordered to pay $56,349.20 in costs to the New Zealand Law Society, as well as to refund $3516 in Tribunal costs to the Law Society.

Mr Banbrook did not appear at the November 2 hearing and did not file a response to the charges.

Newshub.