Disgraced lawyer Barry Hart back in court

Disgraced lawyer Barry Hart is back at the High Court today in a bid to save his 46-year career.

The embattled 71-year-old criminal defence lawyer struck off after the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal found him guilty of three charges of misconduct in September.

Today he is back at the High Court at Auckland to appeal against the decision.

Mr Hart was found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct for overcharging on two occasions in 2010 and again a year later.

In its disciplinary decision, the tribunal said Mr Hart's case was aggravated by his "poor disciplinary history", which included seven previous findings against him.

One for "gross overcharging" was 30 years old, but identical in nature to the latest case.

The pattern of behaviour meant the tribunal had "no confidence in either his rehabilitation or protection of the public by ensuring there is no risk of reoffending".

"We accept that striking off, particularly in a practitioner of such seniority, is a last resort response," said chairwoman Judge Dale Clarkson.

Mr Hart has also lost his multimillion-dollar properties northwest of Auckland after owing $30 million to the ANZ National Bank.

The bank has sold all but one of the properties.

Associate Judge David Abbott last month ordered Hart to vacate the last property so it could be sold by the bank.

In his decision released last month, Associate Judge Abbott also ruled that Hart was liable for the $20,543,951.92 which remained outstanding on his bank loan, and he must pay it back at a rate of 5 per cent per annum.

His companies Woodhill Stud and Woodhill Holdings were also liable for loans worth $16,170,727.11, which must also be paid back at a rate of 5 per cent per annum.

It has also been revealed that his fleet of luxury cars - including an Aston Martin and a 2011 Ferrari California - have been put up for auction.

- Edward Gay, APNZ court reporter

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