Lawyer Barry Hart loses appeal

FALL FROM GRACE: Auckland lawyer Barry Hart.
FALL FROM GRACE: Auckland lawyer Barry Hart.

Disgraced former barrister Barry Hart has lost an appeal against his striking-off, meaning he can no longer practise law.

The veteran defence lawyer was struck off in September after a tribunal found him guilty of misconduct which included overcharging, obstructing the Auckland District Law Society's investigations and not fully paying a private investigator he had hired.

He appealed but a decision released today by Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann and Justice Graham Lang has upheld the tribunal's decision.

Hart's Lawyer Anthony Trenwith had argued that the tribunal was wrong to proceed because Hart was ill and could not defend himself, that some of the charges were wrong and that their response was disproportionate.

The appeal judges found the tribunal was entitled to conclude that Hart had deliberately chosen not to participate in the hearing as a delay tactic.

It dismissed the other points of law and asked for a memorandum on costs.

Hart also faces bankruptcy proceedings being brought by ANZ Bank after it sold Hart's West Auckland properties to meet more than $30 million in debt.

Auckland Now