The Law Society says a tribunal has suspended a Tauranga lawyer for three years after he had a secret sexual relationship with a young client and lied about it.
Craig Horsley admitted misleading a legal Standards Committee about the relationship.
He was also found guilty of misconduct by acting for a client when he was having a sexual relationship with her.
The Law Society's prosecution manager, Mark Treleaven, says the Lawyers and Conveyances Disciplinary Tribunal found that the acceptance of responsibility by Mr Horsley was just sufficient to pull the penalty back from being struck off to the maximum period of suspension.
Mr Treleaven said it is totally unacceptable for lawyers to enter into intimate personal relationships with clients when that could compromise the independence of the lawyer.