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Failed finance company director Anthony Banbrook struck off as a lawyer

Failed finance company director Anthony David Banbrook has been struck off as a lawyer for performing legal work while suspended.

The former National Finance director was convicted of making an untrue statement in a prospectus and was sentenced to eight and a half months' home detention and ordered to pay $75,000 in reparations by the High Court in 2013.

The senior litigation lawyer appeared before New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal in the following year and was suspended from practice for seven months.

The same tribunal last month found that Banbrook had provided legal services while suspended.

It also found that Banbrook had placed improper pressure on a client who complained about him to withdraw it and didn't advise this person to seek independent legal advice.

The Law Society said that the tribunal found that Banbrook, who did not appear at a hearing held last month "acted in clear disregard of the order suspending him from practice as a barrister and attempted to conceal the true nature of the legal work he was undertaking".

New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck said Banbrook's behaviour illustrated a serious neglect of the standards of professionalism required from a lawyer.

"Practising law while under a suspension order shows he made a conscious decision not to comply with it. He showed a reckless disregard for the disciplinary process and the only available conclusion is a strike off to uphold the reputation and standards of the legal profession," she said.

Banbrook was ordered to pay $10,000 to the complainant and $56,349 in costs to the Law Society and to refund $3516 in costs to the society.

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