6 Oct 2011

Lawyer named over conflict of interest charges

6:55 am on 6 October 2011

Prominent Maori lawyer Donna Hall has lost her bid to stop her being named over charges laid by the Law Society.

Ms Hall is accused of a conflict of interest by acting on behalf of the vendor and buyer of land without telling either party of her position.

The Lower Hutt solicitor is charged with negligence or incompetence which has brought her profession into disrepute and reflects on her fitness to practise.

The Law Society alleges she acted for Hikuwai Hapu Lands Trust on the one hand and for the purchaser, Tuatara Middle 15 Trust.

The Society's Wellington Standards Committee alleges the conflict occurred some time between November 2006 and July 2007.

Donna Hall fought for name suppression, but lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal have ruled the process should be open.

She argued her name shouldn't be made public because she intends to vigourously defend the charges.

Ms Hall also says as a high profile lawyer, she will suffer unfair prejudice, and publicity will interfere with elections to be held within Maori Incorporations.

Ms Hall declined to comment to Radio New Zealand about the charges.