Solicitor Boon Gunn Hong was ordered to pay the Auckland Standards Committee $35,850 at a late December hearing of the Tribunal.
That followed an earlier hearing where he was found guilty of wilful misconduct.
His actions consisted of a wilful contravention of trust accounting regulations by obstructing a trust account inspector from completing a review, the tribunal found.
He refused repeated requests for access to trust accounting records and access to client files and would not let the inspector visit his offices to review the complete files.
“The result of those refusals was that the review of Mr Hong’s trust account was compromised and frustrated,” the tribunal’s decision said.
The Standards Committee sought costs, to suspend Hong for three months, and for him to be prohibited from resuming practice on his own account until approved by the tribunal.
Counsel for the committee Paul Collins submitted the penalties were warranted because of the seriousness of his conduct and complete lack of remorse. Hong had displayed an “obdurate attitude”, Collins said.
Hong went as far as to say he would do the same again in a future trust account inspection, Collins said.
“He has no credit available for insight and is a peril to his clients and the public with a high possibility of recurrence.”