A lawyer who earned interest from his client's money rather than depositing it into a trust account has been suspended for four months.
Auckland lawyer Richard Zhao was found guilty of misconduct and has now been sentenced by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.
It found he kept $50,000 of his client's money in his personal accounts, some of which were interest-bearing, for six-and-a-half weeks.
He recklessly disregarded the rules surrounding trust accounts and put his client's funds at risk, the tribunal said.
Mr Zhao has repaid the woman $42,000 and has been ordered to pay almost $48,000 in costs to a standards committee.
He was appealing the decision to the High Court.