Formal complaint against anti-vax lawyer lodged with the Law Society

Formal complaint against anti-vax lawyer lodged with the Law Society

Lawyer Sue Grey interviewed at the Wellington Family Freedom Picnic on 30th October 2021

 

Stuff,

29 October, 2021

 

A formal complaint against lawyer and anti-vaccine campaigner Sue Grey​ says she is using her status in the legal profession to further her “flawed, inaccurate and dangerous” claims about Covid-19.

FACT Aotearoa​, a group formed to counter misinformation and conspiracy theories in New Zealand, lodged a formal complaint with the New Zealand Law Society​ against the Nelson-based lawyer on Monday.

They say Grey has breached the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, which state “a lawyer must not engage in conduct that tends to bring the profession into disrepute”.

“Grey has utilised promotion of misinformation as a tool for the self-promotion of her firm and political party. This has overtaken her first duty to serve the integrity of the legal profession, clients and justice at large.”

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Grey, who is co-leader of the NZ Outdoors Party​, has a large following on social media and regularly posts anti-vaccine content, including false claims of Covid-19 deaths and promotion of alternative and unproven treatments.

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In September, she claimed an Auckland year 13 student who died from an unrelated cause was the first “teen death” from the Covid-19 vaccine in a social media post seen by Stuff and later removed by the platform.

In a statement the NZ Outdoors Party​ claimed deaths from the Covid-19 vaccine were “government mandated genocide”.

To date, only one death in New Zealand has been linked to the Pfizer Covid vaccination.

Outdoors Party co-leader Sue Grey speaking at a rally in Auckland in June.
YOUTUBE
Outdoors Party co-leader Sue Grey speaking at a rally in Auckland in June.

The woman in her 50s had other medical issues, and died from myocarditis, which is known to be a rare side effect of the Pfizer vaccine, the Ministry of Health said.

In its complaint FACT Aotearoa said the claim “falls below the high ethical standard of the legal profession and brings the profession into disrepute”.

The New Zealand Law Society – Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa​ said it was prevented by law from disclosing receipt of complaints or making any comment about concerns raised.

“This is due to legal requirements placed on us by the Lawyers and Conveyancing Act 2006 which means that we would be breaking the law if we release information about specific complaints or concerns.”

This week Grey attended an anti-vaccine hīkoi at Waitangi and is representing four security workers in a case against the Government’s mandatory vaccine order.

Kerry Newton gets the Covid-19 vaccination at the Hanmer Fete in Hanmer Springs on Friday.
DAVE RISDON/STUFF
Kerry Newton gets the Covid-19 vaccination at the Hanmer Fete in Hanmer Springs on Friday.

The group said Grey’s activities breached another section of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, that “lawyers must not engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive anyone on any aspect of the lawyer’s practice.”

Grey said she was aware of multiple complaints against her.

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“I’m the co-leader of the NZ Freedom and Outdoors Party and any comments on my Facebook page are on my political page and not on my Sue Grey lawyer page.”

She defended her views about the Covid-19 vaccine “as a mother, as a scientist and as a political leader”, which she said were supported by scientists and doctors around the world.

FACT Aotearoa member and Middlemore Hospital infectious diseases’ physician Chris Hopkins said several people from the group had made complaints to the Law Society about Grey over the past year, but these had not been acted on.

Complaints received by the society are referred to an independent standards committee for investigation. Complaints deemed serious enough can be referred to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Tribunal can suspend a lawyer or strike them from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors which would prevent them from practising law.

Hopkins said as a doctor on the front line of the Covid-19 epidemic he found the activities of Grey “gutting”.

“It’s disgusting to me and my colleagues to see that kind of misinformation, on so many levels.”

Fact Aotearoa member Chris Hopkins said the lack of action by social media companies to counter misinformation was “despicable”. The group has laid a complaint against lawyer and anti-vaccine proponent Sue Grey with the Law Society.
JENNY KANE/AP
Fact Aotearoa member Chris Hopkins said the lack of action by social media companies to counter misinformation was “despicable”. The group has laid a complaint against lawyer and anti-vaccine proponent Sue Grey with the Law Society.

He said it was extremely frustrating to see misinformation by Grey holding back the best chance against the disease – vaccination – among a minority of people who took her seriously.

“We know we’ve got an extremely busy six months or so ahead of us, and we know that that will be substantially mitigated by rapidly vaccinating as many people as possible.

“So it is gutting knowing that our lives and our patients’ lives, more importantly, are going to be massively impacted.”

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Hopkins said online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter had failed to counter the avalanche of misinformation shared by Grey and others.

While Grey’s post about the Auckland teenager’s death was removed, there were dozens of other similar posts that were not, Hopkins said.

“I think those platforms really need to up their game urgently and dramatically, and I think it’s despicable how little action they take.”

One thought on “Formal complaint against anti-vax lawyer lodged with the Law Society

  1. Just your say-so because you are a Doctor proves nothing : Only Facts prove something. So far, from your rhetoric, you are a short-sighted health practitioner spreading lies and misinformation, not Sue Grey Esq. who has backed up everything she said with pertinent facts any reasonable person would agree with.
    Since you, Dr. Hopkins are recommending the jabs, the onus is on you to PROVE that these “experimentals” (needles) are both SAFE and that they actually WORK and save lives, (something that even Dr. Fauci, who even conceded funding the Wuhan lab) hasn’t been able to show himself, finally admitting that these “experimentals” may indeed not even prevent covid. Which is true. He says that having a vaccine will lead to a less virulent episode of the disease. Another fact yet to be proven!

    In fact the real-life study of Israelis 2,500,000 population (with over 84% of population reportedly vaccinated) convincingly proved that the Pfizer covid vaccine caused the delta variant, not prevented it.
    However political authority figures, I assume many with political guns to their heads, will try to have us believe that the increased covid cases are from lack of vaccination (“herd immunity” myth = let’s blame the pro-safe vaccines crowd and call them all anti-vaxxer demons), or when that is impractical, let’s blame it on another dangerous mutant “variant” strain.

    Look at how ex- NSW premier Gladys Berejeklian, was called out for her unknown involvements with vaccine lobbyists, a fact ignorant to most people in NSW if it weren’t for United Australia Party’s leader Clive Palmer .

    Yet you, Dr. Hopkins act like you are privy to inside information that these “experimentals” are safe, even though the proper studies won’t be complete till 2023. Well I offer you the opportunity to correct my point of view and present the evidence for your claims. Is that fair enough?

    Ad hominem attacks (without corroborating evidence) on honourable patriotic people such as Sue Grey is defamatory, despicable and an act of cowardice.
    If you don’t or cannot provide the evidence for these vaccines’ safety and efficacy, maybe someone ought to make a formal complaint against you sir since your professional focus should be on medicine not politics.

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