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Gerald McKay struck off

Gerald McKay struck off

The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that Gerald George McKay be struck from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors.

The Tribunal found Mr McKay guilty of one charge of professional misconduct by acting for a number of parties in a series of transactions where there were strongly conflicting interests.

The Tribunal found that Mr McKay had breached a number of rules of professional conduct to the extent that his conduct amounted to an abuse of his position as a lawyer and a serious breach of his fiduciary duties to his client.

Mr McKay failed to provide independent advice to his client, who subsequently lost her home to a purchaser for whom Mr McKay was acting.

New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore says the consequences to the client – due to Mr McKay’s failures – meant her home was purchased by another client at gross undervalue and constituted a total abandonment of professionalism.

“This particular lawyer strayed so far from the path of professionalism that he can justifiably be said to have ceased to function meaningfully as a lawyer at all. It is rightly expected that lawyers act for their clients without conflict of interest or any form of bias,” he says.

“The vast majority of New Zealand lawyers act independently and in the best interests of their clients by providing exceptional service which is totally focused on their clients’ interests.”

Mr McKay was ordered to contribute $70,000 to the Standards Committee costs and reimburse the Law Society $14,812 for hearing costs.

Mr McKay is appealing the misconduct decision finding that was made against him.


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