Dunedin lawyer John Milne, who is to face Law Society charges
and is being separately investigated by the Serious Fraud
Office, has been adjudged bankrupt, in the High Court at
The Otago branch of the Law Society's Otago branch is still
processing three complaints against Mr Milne, over his
allegedly having taken loans from clients in past years,
which have been estimated, but not confirmed, to total
between $2 million and $3.8 million.
The Otago branch intends to bring the charges before the New
Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal, and
also to prosecute the case.
Details of Mr Milne's insolvency are held by the Ministry of
Economic Development Insolvency and Trustee Service, which
says he was made insolvent by a debtor petition to the High
Court on October 11.
The convener of the standards committee of the Otago branch
of the Law Society, David More, was contacted and said Mr
Milne's legal counsel had informed him of the bankruptcy.
Proceedings by the Otago branch would continue, with the only
possible change being Mr Milne's ability to meet any legal
costs, should costs be ordered against him by the
Mr Milne, who no longer has a practising certificate, had his
legal practice in Dunedin for several decades before it was
bought by Dunedin law firm Craig Paddon Law five years ago.
He later worked for that firm in Christchurch, beginning in
July 2008, but ceased employment in about June this year.
The law firm had been unaware of Mr Milne borrowing money
• A two-month old register of affected persons, started by
Dunedin solicitor Alistair Paterson, has in the past week
grown from five to seven former clients; from a possible pool
of up to 38 clients.
The register could collectively look at numerous issues
around the clients' legal rights and possibility of