Sunday, November 19, 2023



Barbados' proposed Revised Legal Profession Bill, basic details of which have been released to the media, and have been the subject of comments by Bar Association President Kaye Williams. Whilst some of the changes, such as not making Annual Practising Certificates a foregone conclusion in the future, and compelling accurate accounting rules, are welcome, the new rules do  not appear to have any enforcement teeth.  Currently, when unethical, and often either insolvent or greedy, lawyers steal the proceeds of real estate sales from their clients, the Bar Association has traditionally failed abysmally at forcing their members to disburse clients funds. It also has a long history of ignoring blatant instances of probate theft and fraud. 

Most importantly, the stated position of the Bar Association, as stated by its president, to the effect that it is up to the courts to see that funds taken by its members be remitted to the victims. Apparently, other than disbarment, no other remedy is being included n these revised rules. This is totally unacceptable, for literally dozens of lawyers in barbados have stolen money from clients, been disbarred or suspended, and never paid their clients anything; This has to change, for Barbados to institute effective attorney reform.

Let us suggest that the Bar Association's President, Ms. Williams, find a way to enforce attorney professional ethics in a meaningful manner. In plain English, should a member of the bar fail to pay a client, and end up suspended or disbarred, but still in possession of client funds, the Association should file a civil suit, in the name of the victim, and fast-track the case through the court system, to a final judgment, and levy (execute) upon that judgment, which will be at that time be a lien upon the former lawyer's assets, including real estate. Imagine how swiftly a disbarred lawyer will come up with the money, when his or her home is in jeopardy. The lawyer may also have additional real estate that can be sold to pay the judgment.

We call upon President Williams to put some real teeth in the Legal Profession Bill. Clean up that den of vipers that is the Barbados legal profession, before publicity over public displeasure over lawyer misconduct poisons Barbados as a destination for foreign investment.

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