A Canberra lawyer has been banned from practising law after a court found he had misused money he held in trust for clients.
The ACT Supreme Court earlier this month ordered Mark Andrew Slater's name be removed from the roll of people admitted to the legal profession due to professional misconduct.
Slater had been the principal solicitor of the law practice, Mark Slater Family Law, between November 2009 and June 2014.
The legal practice had a trust account to hold monies on behalf of clients and Slater was the authorised person to sign cheques and withdraw funds from the account.
In April 2014, Slater voluntarily disclosed to the ACT Law Society that he had improperly used the trust funds.
An investigation revealed Slater had paid himself about $63,286.50 in advance of any work undertaken for the client, or in excess of work completed.
The matter was referred to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which found him guilty of professional misconduct and recommended his name be removed from the roll of legal practitioners.
Slater did not contest the hearings and ACAT also ordered he pay the Law Society's costs.
The law required the matter then be referred to the Supreme Court, which made the order to remove Slater's name from the roll, with his consent.
The court, in a judgment published Monday, said removal would act as a warning to other practitioners, and provide guidance to professional bodies and the ACAT in regulating the legal profession.