17 May 2013

Tribunal rejects defence by lawyer who took $2.9m

11:27 am on 17 May 2013

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has thoroughly rejected the defence of a former Dunedin lawyer who misappropriated almost $3 million from his clients.

John Milne admitted professional misconduct charges brought by the Otago Standards Committee and appeared before the Disciplinary Tribunal in Christchurch last month.

He has already been struck off.

In findings issued on Friday, the tribunal rejected Milne's defence that he was acting on behalf of clients as a friend, rather than as a solicitor, when he asked them for money for investment purposes.

Otago Standards Committee lawyer Gerald Nation, said that given Milne is bankrupt, it's unlikely the clients will see any of their $2.9 million.