King cleared

February 24th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

High-profile lawyer , who died last year, has been cleared by the Ministry of Justice of wrong-doing after a prisoner accused him of over-billing for .

King, who defended Scott Guy-murder accused Ewen Macdonald in the most high-profile trial of 2012, died in November. His death was reported to the coroner.

A Rimutaka prisoner convicted of sexual offences had complained King had over-charged for his services by inaccurately putting in for hours worked by his wife, fellow lawyer Catherine Milnes-King.

But the ministry’s deputy secretary of legal and operational services, Nigel Fyfe, told the Herald on Sunday an investigation found nothing untoward on King’s part.

The allegations were the subject of newspaper inquiries by Fairfax staff to King just prior to his death. It is good he has been officially cleared.

Experts on always stress there is never any one cause. But it will be interesting to read what the Coroner determines to have been the factors that contributed to the tragic decision King made to end his life.

8 Responses to “King cleared”

  1. jims_whare (498 comments) says:

    No doubt the coroner will state that all lawyers should be required to wear high vis jackets and hard hats to prevent their untimely deaths.

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  2. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    Jim: That Sir, is in very poor taste.

    It was not particularly well known, but Greg had been involved more and more with the Sensible Sentencing Trust in recent years. This inevitably meant he met personally the victims of many of the scumbags he had defended – often successfully. I am aware that he had become somewhat conflicted by his professional role, defending such people, and seeing at first hand the havoc they wreak.

    This is pure conjecture on my part, but perhaps an unmeritorious complaint about fees by a piece of shit he had defended (for the full story see this mornings HoS) became the final straw. I don’t know; what I do know is he was a very fine man, and a great loss to both the legal profession and the country. Not to mention of course his family, particularly his young girls, who are now fatherless.

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  3. GPT1 (2,161 comments) says:

    Complaints about pretty much anything from legal aid clients are, unfortunately, routine. Basically the less meritorious their defence, the more they believe it is someone else’s fault and the more time they spend in prison thinking of ways to waste other people’s time.

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  4. Nick K (2,078 comments) says:

    Don’t know how you do it, GPT. I thought about it long and hard many years ago when I graduated, and decided two things counted against me being a defence lawyer: The clientele (I was not keen on spending a large amount of my time visiting clients in prison); and I was completely against relying on the State for an income.

    Considering what’s happened to legal aid in the last five years, or so, I was spot on with point 2.

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  5. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    For me it was more fundamental than that Nick…At the risk of sounding pompous and egotistical, I am an above average advocate…I could not in good conscience use my skills to get scumbags off on technicalities, or because the cops didn’t do their job(s) properly, which as you know is at the heart of most successful defences…While I understand the “everyone deserves a good defence” mantra, I figure they don’t need to get it from me…I rather fear Greg came to the same conclusion, by which time he was so deep in the sordid mire he couldnt see a way out of it…

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  6. Nick K (2,078 comments) says:

    David, after six years in the police I was conditioned (hardened?) enough to put those thoughts out of my head. I am pretty confident it would have just been a job that needing doing; and if I managed to obtain acquittals because of what you mentioned, it was not my problem. Rather, it was the State that needed to sharpen its game. I could have slept at night, but some Detective Inspectors might have needed a sleeping pill or two.

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  7. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Complaints by prisoners, routine, had oodles.

    Having a news paper run with a rumour made by a freak in custody, fucking poor.

    Never met Greg King but I’ve had a bit to do with suicide and this wont have been the sole reason (if it was a reason at all) but if the paper ran with this story on a complaint alone, arses need to be kicked- of course the paper won’t have known Greg King was mentally fragile around this time but its still shit journalism . On the most base level running a story( rumour) like this could do untold damage to a career, if not a career ender.

    Lucky me had the opportunity to read the Sunday Star times and the herald today, absolutely fucking dreadful, the quicker the dailies go out of business the better for all concerned

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  8. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:


    .…… the sordid mire ………..

    I can see the lapels grasped now as the closing speech to the jury is under way, giving a hellava speech in mitigation …the sordid mire…

    a great great phrase

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