Hart's secrecy bid costs him $4000

Auckland lawyer Barry Hart must pay the costs of a failed name suppression bid as he faces professional misconduct charges.

Well-known Auckland crime barrister Barry Hart has been ordered to pay costs to the Law Society after a spirited but futile bid to keep his name secret.

Mr Hart applied for name suppression because he faces professional misconduct charges laid against him by the New Zealand Law Society's standards committee.

He fought for name suppression through the High Court, Court of Appeal and finally in the Supreme Court, which rejected his argument and this week ordered him to pay $4170 costs to the Law Society.

Mr Hart did not oppose the costs order.

He is due to face a lawyers' disciplinary hearing in July on a series of charges.

He is accused of grossly overcharging a person he defended by $35,000, and not informing a private investigator that his account was subject to the approval by the Legal Service Agency.

He is also charged with not disclosing a file to the Auckland District Law Society and theLaw Society complaints committee.

A disciplinary hearing was due in February but was postponed because one of the witnesses had been appointed a district court judge.

Mr Hart formerly represented criminal lawyer Davina Murray, who is charged with smuggling an iPhone and cigarettes to convicted rapist and murderer Liam Reid while he was in Mt Eden Prison last October. [Ms Murray subsequently told NBR ONLINE she was represented by Howard Lawry from August 2.]

Murray lost a name suppression bid this week.

It was revealed last month Mr Hart's 1000ha farm near Waimauku, northwest of Auckland, is under mortgagee sale.

ANZ National is believed to be the mortgagor of the property, which includes five lifestyle blocks and the 460ha Renall's Farm.