High-profile criminal lawyer Barry Hart has been struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors, according to the New Zealand Law Society.
Hart was found guilty of professional misconduct at a Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal last month despite not being able to attend the hearings through ill health.
He faced three charges of misconduct and one charge of conduct unbecoming of a barrister, including that he overcharged fees, obstructed the Auckland District Law Society's investigations and did not pay the full amount to a private investigator he had hired.
Law Society President Jonathan Temm said that after 46 years in law, Hart was likely to appeal.
But the decision was the logical consequence for impeding the legal industry's regulator from doing its job.
"Striking off is a severe penalty. It obviously has serious consequences for the lawyer who is struck off," Temm said.
"However, as the legislation, the tribunal and our courts have stressed, the main purpose of striking off is to protect the community and maintain the standards of the legal profession."
- © Fairfax NZ News