17 Feb 2014

Lawyer struck off for overcharging

4:13 pm on 17 February 2014

An Auckland lawyer who charged more than $1 million for legal work valued at less than half that amount has been struck off.

Eion Castles was last year found guilty of five charges including misconduct and incompetence.

He charged a couple involved in a leaky building case more than $1 million in fees for work estimated to be worth about $436,000. The couple was forced to sell their house to pay the bills.

At his penalty hearing on Monday, the tribunal was told that even if he was ordered to pay back the money, the couple would never see it.

The Law Society brought the charges and its counsel John Katz said Castles had indicated he had filed for bankrupcy.

In asking where all the money had gone, Mr Katz pointed out that Castles recently spent a month travelling, and said the only appropriate penalty would be to strike him off.