Wednesday, May 30, 2018

'Unlikely indeed' that anyone would trust jailed lawyer with money again

Former Napier lawyer Gerald McKay was struck off in 2014 after the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal found him 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.
A disgraced lawyer who treated prison staff like receptionists will be getting out of jail next month, partly because the parole board is confident no-one would trust him with money again.

Napier lawyer Gerald McKay, 76, was jailed in 2016 for four years and six months after a jury found him guilty of five charges of theft, five charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage, and one representative charge of criminal breach of trust.

Between 2005 and 2010 money from clients' trusts was shifted into McKay's own business accounts for day-to-day expenses for his firm McKay Hill Lawyers.

The firm's clients lost between $650,000 to $700,000.

McKay was declined parole by the parole board last year, with the board saying he lacked genuine remorse and he "exhibits some sense of entitlement" and "sometimes treats the staff like receptionists".

When the board saw him again earlier this month it said he had demonstrated insight into the triggers of his offending and a psychologist said there was a very low risk of him re-offending.

The psychologist said McKay's offending occurred as a result of the position he held as a practicing lawyer.

The board said: "That is no longer available to him. The case itself attracted significant media attention, and the report writer opined that people would be unlikely indeed to trust Mr McKay with money in future. The board accepts that view likewise".

McKay would be released from prison next month. He would be subject to several conditions until his sentence ended in in August 2020. These included a condition that prohibited him from "handling money, provision of advice or management of the financial accounts or transactions, of any person or entity, unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer".

McKay practised law in Napier from 1967 until his practising certificate was suspended following a Law Society investigation of his firm's trust account in 2010. He was president of the NZ Trustees Association from 2004 until 2010. He was struck off as a lawyer in 2014.

The NZ Law Society Fidelity Fund, which is funded by law practitioners, paid $448,000 toward the victims of his offending.
Full Article & Source:
'Unlikely indeed' that anyone would trust jailed lawyer with money again

1 comment:

StandUp said...

I hope he's learned his lesson and he probably has. But what he's done will never be forgotten and that's the price that's paid when lawyers steal.