Lawyer known only as ‘Mr. Y’ had a previously ‘unblemished’ career.
A recovering alcoholic, his client (Ms. T) was also his pyshotherapist. He acted for Ms. T for only a short period against her ex, until the ex objected to one of her patient’s acting for her.
When the ex also found out later the lawyer and Ms. T had a sexual relationship, he made a complaint to the Law Society.
Mr. Y at first denied the allegation he’d had a relationship with Ms. T but later accepted he did and it had amounted to misconuct.
The lawyer was found guilty on 2 charges of misconduct – one for misleading the Law Society in denying the relationship, and second, for entering into a sexual relationship with a client.
In a decision published on 24 March 2022, the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal suspended the lawyer for 4 months, ordered him to apologise to the complainant and pay costs.