The Canadian Press
KENTVILLE - A Nova Scotia lawyer with a history of misappropriating cash has been disbarred for wrongly pocketing thousands of dollars in trust money from his clients.
The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has also ordered Peter van Feggelen to pay $10,000 and ruled he cannot apply for readmission to the bar for at least five years.
In a decision released Monday, the society said the Kentville man deposited $15,000 from a client that was supposed to be held in trust into his personal account in November 2011 and then spent the money.
In another case, the society said van Feggelen deposited $50,000 from two other clients that was also supposed to be held in trust into his personal account last August.
The deposits breached conditions imposed on van Feggelen in June 2010 by a hearing panel after he was charged with professional misconduct for improperly taking about $30,000 from client trust funds in 2009.
At the time, the panel ruled that van Feggelen could continue practising under the supervision of another lawyer for two years, who would be responsible for accepting and managing any trust moneys from clients.
The society said in 2010 that van Feggelen was seeking medical treatment for what it described as “severe mental health problems” — issues that it said continue to be mitigating circumstances in his behaviour.
Van Feggelen graduated from law school at Dalhousie University in 1988 and was called to the bar the following year.
The society said van Feggelen was working as a lawyer handling personal injury, criminal defence and family law cases at the time of the most recent complaints.