The Law Society of B.C. says that during a hearing, Douglas Dent admitted to using $2,000 he was holding in trust to recover legal fees and disbursements from his client.
The money was supposed to be forwarded to the client's spouse but Dent withdrew it from the trust account without consent to be compensated for his work.
In addition to transferring the money from the account, Dent asked for another $2,000 from his client to settle what he owed to the spouse in equalization payments.
The society says Dent claimed he acted on the mistaken but honest belief that he had received oral consent, but admitted his actions constituted professional misconduct.
Dent's 45-day suspension will begin on Feb. 10, and he is required to pay $4,720 in costs.