Dutch celebrity lawyer Bram Moszkowicz was fighting for his professional life on Thursday in a last-ditch effort not to be banned from practising.
Last October Moszkowicz had his right to practise law removed for bringing the profession into disrepute.
The legal profession’s disciplinary council said the lawyer had not taken complaints about his performance seriously and had regularly accepted large amounts of cash from clients without informing the authorities.
Moszkowicz told the disciplinary appeal court in Den Bosch on Thursday morning he was deeply sorry for the way he had scrimped on his administration and other matters. He said he would no longer accept cash payments for work and is also prepared to take on pro-deo cases.
Moszkowicz is a celebrity in the Netherlands. As well as taking on high-profile legal cases, he appears regularly on television chat shows and has appeared in a humorous television advert for an insurance company.
He also defended anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders last year on discrimination charges.
One of the complaints against Moszkowicz comes from a convicted drugs smuggler, serving eight years in jail, the NRC said.
The man claims to have paid the lawyer €60,000 in cash without getting a receipt. When he pressed for a break-down of the costs, the claim totalled €40,000. The man is suing Moszkowicz privately to recover the extra cash.
The court will rule on whether Moszkowicz should be barred for life on April 22. According to the NRC, he has to be able to prove he has learned from his mistakes and that he has dealt with the complaints against him.