Evgeny Orlov v The National Standards Committee

JurisdictionNew Zealand
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeWilliam Young,Arnold,O'Regan JJ
Judgment Date26 September 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] NZSC 133
Docket NumberSC 65/2014
Date26 September 2014

[2014] NZSC 133

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND

Court:

William Young, Arnold and O'Regan JJ

SC 65/2014

BETWEEN
Evgeny Orlov
Applicant
and
The National Standards Committee 1
Respondent
Counsel:

Applicant in person

W C Pyke for Respondent

Application for leave to appeal against the upholding of a decision that applicant's counsel was debarred from appearing on his behalf — counsel faced similar charges to those faced by applicant in respect of the same Judge, and he had also given evidence (by way of affidavit) in the applicant's disciplinary proceedings — Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal had debarred him from acting in the proceedings before it — High Court judge had ruled counsel could not appear and had appointed amicus curiae — judge had later recused himself from hearing the appeal — whether the appeal was barred by s254(4) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (LCA) (Court of Appeal decision final on any appeal under LCA) — whether the subsequent recusal provided grounds for appealing the earlier order debarring counsel — whether there were issues of general or public importance suitable for adjudication by the Supreme Court.

The issue was whether there was jurisdiction to hear the appeal; whether the subsequent recusal provided grounds for appealing the earlier order debarring counsel; and whether there were issues of general or public importance suitable for adjudication by the SC.

Held: O's proceedings did not involve simply an appeal against the Tribunal's decision but also an application for judicial review. It was unlikely that the latter would be caught by s254(1).

In any event, on the assumption that there was jurisdiction, it was not necessary in the interests of justice that to hear and determine this appeal as there were no issues of general or public importance suitable for adjudication by the SC for the following reasons:

  • 1. the principles concerning the removal of counsel were not in dispute; what was at issue was the way that they were to be applied in the present case;

  • 2. the refusal to allow O to make his own recording of the appeal was a matter of case management for the CA, especially in light of the fact that its hearings were recorded as a matter of course

  • 3. the test for recusal had been settled by Saxmere Co Ltd v Wool Board Disestablishment Co Ltd. The fact the judge later recused himself did not mean he could not deal with the earlier application by the Committee that D be debarred.

  • 4. the refusal to quash the HC's decision debarring D following the Judge's recusal was also a matter of case management.

There was no risk of a substantial miscarriage of justice. O's appeal had been determined. Although the Tribunal's findings against O were upheld, its order that he be struck off was quashed.

Application for leave to appeal dismissed.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
  • A The application for leave to appeal is dismissed.

  • B The applicant must pay costs of $2,500 to the respondent, plus reasonable disbursements.

REASONS
1

The applicant, Mr Orlov, is a litigation lawyer. As a result of disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the National Standards Committee of the New Zealand Law Society (the Committee), he was struck off by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal). The five charges on which Mr Orlov was found guilty related principally to statements he made about a High Court Judge in various contexts, which the Tribunal found to be false or made without sufficient justification and of a nature that meant Mr Orlov was not a fit and proper person to be a lawyer. 1

2

Mr Orlov appealed to the High Court against the Tribunal's decision and also issued judicial review proceedings (we will refer to these together as “the appeal”). For the purpose of the appeal, Mr Orlov retained a close associate, Mr Deliu, to represent him as counsel. The Committee applied for an order that Mr Deliu be debarred...

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1 cases
  • Boon Gunn Hong v Auckland Standards Committee No.3
    • New Zealand
    • High Court
    • 2 Abril 2015
    ...... the expansive interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court of its judicial review powers in Orlov v National Standards Committee [2014] NZSC 133 at [5]. . 14 Graham Taylor and RM ......

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