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Former Law Society President Suspended, Along With Two Others

Senior Wellington lawyer Andrew MacLean Morrison is one of three lawyers suspended from practice, the Law Society announced today.

Morrison, a former Commodore of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and
formerly a principal at his Wellington-based firm Morrison Mallett he was suspended for six months for tampering with a legal document.

He had been a partner at Sainsbury Logan and is a past president of the Hawkes Bay Law Society in 1992-1993.

His suspension was confirmed by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal on 28 March following his decision to discontinue his appeal to the High Court against the tribunal’s penalty decision on 27 November 2018.

Also suspended was Dunedin solicitor Simon Nicholas Claver. He has been suspended for 12 months.

In a reserved penalty decision released on 29 March, the tribunal said Claver had admitted one charge of misconduct related to a range of failures over a two- to three-year period in respect of 14 different clients. The failures included misleading the Court, failing to follow instructions and making false declarations to the Law Society.

The tribunal has also ordered that Claver is not to practise on his own account until further order of the tribunal.

In a reserved penalty decision released on 29 March, the tribunal said Mr Claver had admitted one charge of misconduct related to a range of failures over a two- to three-year period in respect of 14 different clients. The failures included misleading the Court, failing to follow instructions and making false declarations to the Law Society.

Auckland lawyer Ronald Bruce Johnson has been censured and suspended from practice for three months from 1 May 2019.

He was found guilty of negligence in his professional capacity in relation to his involvement in providing independent legal advice to the trustees of a trust. He was also found guilty of two counts of misconduct relating to breaches of the Trust Account Regulations by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

He appealed against the decision and penalty but the High Court has dismissed his appeal.

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