Press Release – New Zealand Law Society
MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 30 April 2013
John Milne struck off roll of barristers and solicitors
The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that John Milne be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors.
Mr Milne had admitted charges of professional misconduct brought by the New Zealand Law Society’s Otago Standards Committee. The charges involved the borrowing of almost $2.9 million from clients over a long period of time and his failure to invest it for the benefit of those clients.
The Serious Fraud Office is still investigating his actions.
New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore said striking off was the only appropriate penalty for Mr Milne, who had grossly abused the trust his clients gave him.
“Misuse of clients’ money on this scale by anyone is reprehensible. This offending is compounded by the fact that as a lawyer he has totally failed in his duties to his clients, to the justice system and to the rest of the legal profession.”
Mr Moore said the Law Society was keenly aware that the actions of John Milne could harm the image of lawyers.
“I can assure all New Zealanders that they have a competent and diligent profession which takes its duties and responsibilities very seriously.
“As the organisation responsible for regulating the practice of law, the Law Society will not hesitate to take action against any lawyer who does not meet the obligations they have.”