55 Fit and proper person

(1)

For the purpose of determining whether or not a person is a fit and proper person to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court, the High Court or the New Zealand Law Society may take into account any matters it considers relevant and, in particular, may take into account any of the following matters:

(a)

whether the person is of good character:

(b)

whether the person has, at any time, been declared bankrupt or been a director of a company that has been put into receivership or liquidation:

(c)

whether the person has been convicted of an offence in New Zealand or a foreign country; and, if so,—

(i)

the nature of the offence; and

(ii)

the time that has elapsed since the offence was committed; and

(iii)

the person’s age when the offence was committed:

(d)

whether the person has engaged in legal practice in New Zealand when not admitted under this Act or a corresponding law, or not holding an appropriate New Zealand practising certificate, as required by law:

(e)

whether the person has practised law in a foreign country—

(i)

when not permitted by or under the law of that country to do so; or

(ii)

if permitted to do so, in contravention of a condition of the permission:

(f)

whether the person is subject to—

(i)

an unresolved complaint under a corresponding foreign law; or

(ii)

a current investigation, charge, or order by a regulatory or disciplinary body for persons engaging in legal practice under a corresponding foreign law:

(g)

whether the person—

(i)

is a subject of current disciplinary action in another profession or occupation in New Zealand or a foreign country; or

(ii)

has been the subject of disciplinary action of that kind that has involved a finding of guilty, however expressed:

(h)

whether the person’s name has been removed from a foreign roll, and that person’s name has not been restored:

(i)

whether the person’s right of practice as a lawyer has been cancelled or suspended in a foreign country:

(j)

whether the person has contravened, in New Zealand or a foreign country, a law about trust money or a trust account:

(k)

whether the person is subject to an order under this Act or a corresponding law disqualifying the person from being employed by, or a partner of, a lawyer or an incorporated law firm:

(l)

whether, because of a mental or physical condition, the person is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of the law.

(2)

The High Court or the New Zealand Law Society may determine that a person is a fit and proper person to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor even though the person—

(a)

is within any of the categories mentioned in any of the paragraphs of subsection (1); or

(b)

does not satisfy all of the criteria prescribed by rules made under section 54.

(3)

Subsection (1) does not limit—

(a)

the grounds on which it may be determined that a candidate is not a fit and proper person for admission as a barrister and solicitor; or

(b)

the criteria that may be prescribed by rules made under section 54.