Monday, May 23, 2022



Will these new lawyers be honest, or will they steal like their brethren ?

In the countries that have an English Common Law heritage, stealing money from your clients generally warrants disbarment for attorneys, and possibly criminal prosecution for such a criminal act. This is especially egregious when it comes to real estate matters, where the client is expecting to receive funds from a closed transaction. 

During our ongoing investigation into financial crime and corruption in Barbados we have encountered victim after victim, all with similar horror stories. They all engaged a local attorney to handle the sale of real estate they owned, but after the closing off the transaction, the sale proceeds were not disbursed to them. A number of flimsy excuses were repeatedly given, and they could never get their lawyer to pay over to them their money. Years go by, and many are now aged and in deplorable financial condition. 

All their efforts with the Barbados Bar Association proved fruitless, as were any attempts at legal action. The failure to timely disburse client funds is grounds for disbarment, but the bar association reportedly has a history of failing to discipline any of its members for breaching their ethical and legal obligation to clients, regarding payment of funds the lawyers are holding in escrow, or in trust for the clients.

If you look at the website of the bar association, you can easily see that its efforts are a joke. The Code of Ethics page is blank, there is no listing of disciplinary actions taken to protect clients, and all of the hyperlinks are dead. This is a pathetic attempt to appear to be a gatekeeper, but it is obvious that it is not discharging it's duty to the public at large.

Therefore, when institutions that are supposed to protect fail to do so, more radical steps are necessary to achieve results. It is humbly suggested that all Bajans now boycott the attorneys who practice law in their country. This is directed to all civil lawyers; criminal defense attorneys, who do not hold client funds,  should be exempt, as their mission is different.

Bajan who are in the process of selling their real estate are encouraged to engage the services  of a competent attorney from outside the country, since you simply cannot trust lawyers in a society who steal from their clients, and are not disciplined for their sins ands transgressions. Prominent attorneys from elsewhere in the East Caribbean are often called in for major matters, so why not use a lawyer who comes from another Caribbean state ? You should, of course, vet them first, but BLACKLIST ALL THE CIVIL ATTORNEYS FROM BARBADOS if you want to reform the local profession, to make them honest.

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