Non-Nationals Bringing Corrupt Lawyers To Court


Whatever happen to attorney-at-law Laureen Clothilda Waterman charged with stealing over $400,000 in September 2006. “The proceeds of a Royal Bank of Canada cheque that belonged to the NHC?”

Another corrupt one called Campbell Holder, residing in New York City, living a life of luxury, defrauding Barbadians of $1 623 688 and charged with grand larceny and forgery?

Then we have Ernest Winston Jackman stealing $1m from 2 clients selling upmarket properties including pocketing a $367 085 cheque this month.

Now the latest, 32 year attorney-at-law Therold O’neal Fields “charged with stealing nearly $700,00o in money from 3 clients in a 2 yr span. An Englishwoman at that.

These youngters like they learning from the old boy’s club but it seems they still got a long way to go. These fellows getting caught too quickly! More want exposing. The public only needs to know who they are and steer clear from their covetousness fingers.

6 Responses to Non-Nationals Bringing Corrupt Lawyers To Court

  1. Pingback: Crooked Barbados Lawyers Being Charged With Theft Mostly By Foreigners: Bajan Global Report « Barbados Free Press

  2. dreamstarworld says:

    In God We Trust: In Politicians and Lawyers We Bust

    Most of us was raised to believe that the law is the glory of a decent society; that the rule of law is the sine qua non of a postmodern civilization; that international law is the greatest protector of human rights; that lawyers coupled with doctors remain an elite profession to which a young person can aspire; that making laws is the great work of governments and legislatures; that law schools are among the noble places of learning in society; that the title “judge” or “magistrate” was perhaps one of the highest appellations one can have in society; and that the jury system is an essential component of a just society.

    Sadly, most of the abovementioned ideals have become a pathetic nonsense.

    The legal system is now our enemy according to many disaffected souls.

    Many have come to fear almost everything having to do with law. Though there are many fine people in the legal profession, and though law is necessary to protect society from descending into chaos, we now fear the legal profession more than we do Islamic terror and crashing credit markets.

    To many reading this article these sentiments will come as no surprise.

    The basis of this commentary looks at the ways many of my colleagues and I along with scores of others EXPATS have been mis- treated by lawyers, solicitors or barristers over basic property and other legal transactions for their own gain.

    One would assume that attorneys and the law go hand in hand.

    At least in theory.

    However, upon closer examination, lawyers and the law have very little in common nowadays, unless of course you’re talking about the attorneys’ propensity for using the law to their best advantage.

    If you look closely, you’ll discover that the legal concepts of right and wrong have sadly been replaced by the unwritten law of who’s got the best lawyer in a given situation.

    Regardless of whether we like it or not, lawyers have meticulously manipulated the legal system to fit their own self serving needs.

    The rules of the game, the unwritten law if you will, heavily favor the attorneys and why shouldn’t they some may ask?

    Many of my colleagues who are EXPATS wanting to invest in our homeland of Barbados find it a proverbial minefield of legal bureaucracy – whether it is the sale of or the purchase of property.

    The incidences of financial impropriety are endless where the purchaser is stalled continuously as money is exacted from the Buyer due to the entitlement deeds and paperwork which is in the lawyers possession, at the same time, the Seller’s money sits in the attorney’s bank accounts making interest (which remain theirs) as innocent people are held in perpetual limbo.

    Attorneys by and large, even the good ones who play by the rules and conduct themselves in an honest, ethical and forthright fashion, are reticent to speak out against the rogue attorneys who wantonly abuse the legal system, exploit their clientèle and give the legal profession such a bad name where most people see them as greedy bastards, crooks and highway robbers with a LP license to steal.

    Rather than risk being blackballed or ostracized by their fellow cronies by crying foul, many hold their noses and turn a blind eye towards the nefarious shenanigans of their less than honorable colleagues in their midst.

    This plays right into the hands of those dirty dealing attorneys as they remain unaccountable to no one and can continue their malpractice.

    My business partner has spent a year trying to get closure on a business deal involving a piece of commercial property.

    He had to make six trips to Barbados in order to get his solicitor to finish the legal paperwork and to hand over the documents for which he has already paid for.

    Yet the delays continued and the excesses and excuses abound.

    The long wait for the release of his documents which will give him ownership of his property was arduous and stressful.

    Regardless of whether the lawyers’ bill their clientèle by the hour or work out a contingent fee arrangement to skin their clients, lawyers are making money like it’s going out of style.

    There has never been a better time to make money in the legal profession than right here and now.

    Our legal system is in shambles, in no small part due to unscrupulous lawyers and their unwritten code of conduct.

    They don’t want anyone messing with the way the legal system is set up right now. With the cards so heavily stacked in their favor, who could hardly blame them?

    Reform is a bad word.

    For these crafty lawyers, (is there really any other kind?) they have meticulously fostered “a sue unto others” mentality among the general population, where we are now quick to run to a lawyer over even the most trivial of disputes or inconveniences.

    Lawyers can accuse you of everything under the sun, trash your reputation and drag your good name into the dirt.

    And all you can do is sit there and watch it happen.

    Not coincidentally, the unwritten law dictates that the lawyers make their money as well. These are the unilateral powers lawyers hold over us all.

    You have to swear to tell the truth but the attorneys don’t have to. You have to show respect or risk being cited with contempt of court and the attorneys don’t have to.

    You have to abide by specific timetables while the attorneys can drag things out and tie you up in litigation or drag out your legal work or compensation for years.

    The legal profession in Barbados is in a state of moral hazard.

    This world of modern jurists is a law onto themselves.

    I always thought the client’s interest was the sole responsibility of his lawyer.

    The code of conduct for lawyers is that they must always act in the best interests of their clients subject to preserving their independence as solicitors and to the due observance of the law, professional practice rules and the principles of good professional conduct.

    Lawyers should not permit their own personal interests or those of the legal profession in general to influence their acting on behalf of clients; further, their acting must be free of all political considerations.

    Lawyers should advise their clients of any significant development in relation to their case or transaction and explain matters to the extent reasonably necessary to permit informed decisions by clients regarding the instructions which require to be given by them.

    Information should be clear and comprehensive and where necessary or appropriate confirmed in writing.

    In particular lawyers should advise clients in writing when it becomes known that the cost of work will materially exceed any estimate that has been given and should also advise the client when the limit of the original estimate provided is being approached.

    The duty to communicate effectively extends to include the obligation on lawyers to account to their clients in respect of all relevant monies passing through the lawyer’s hands.

    The fees charged by lawyers should be fair and reasonable in all circumstances.

    Factors to be considered in relation to the reasonableness of the fee include:

    • the importance of the matter to the client;
    • the amount or value of any money, property or transaction involved;
    • the complexity of the matter or the difficulty or novelty of the question raised;
    • the skill, labor, specialized knowledge and responsibility involved on the part of the lawyer;
    • the time expended;
    • the length, number and importance of any documents or other papers prepared or perused;
    • and the place where and the circumstances in which the services or any part thereof are rendered and the degree of urgency involved.

    Lawyers must act honestly at all times and in such a way as to put their personal integrity beyond question. Lawyers’ actions and personal behavior must be consistent with the need for mutual trust and confidence among clients, the courts, the public and fellow lawyers.

    For example, lawyers must observe the Accounts Rules which govern the manner in which clients’ funds may be held by solicitors and which are designed to ensure that clients’ monies are safeguarded.

    Lawyers who are dishonest in a matter not directly affecting their clients are nonetheless guilty of professional misconduct.

    Sadly policing the custodians of the legal system remains a colossal undertaking especially where phenomenal sums of monies are involved.

    The legal profession is no longer about the letter and the spirit of the law but rather about making money, no matter the cost, whether in human lives, moral integrity or political expediency.

    Take the case of Stanley Works, international tool-maker and conglomerate which announced a “move” of its headquarters-on paper-from New Britain, Connecticut, to Bermuda and of its imaginary management to Barbados.

    Though its building and staff would actually stay put, manufacturing hammers and wrenches, Stanley Works would no longer pay taxes on profits from international trade.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission, run by Harvey Pitt – a lawyer who for more than twenty years represented the top accounting and Wall Street firms he was regulating – accepted the pretense as legal.

    “The whole business is a sham,” fumed New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who more than any other U.S. law enforcer has attacked the offshore system.

    “The headquarters will be in a country where that company is not permitted to do business. They’re saying a company is managed in Barbados when there’s one meeting there a year.

    In the prospectus, they say legally controlled and managed in Barbados.

    If they took out the word legally, it would be a fraud.

    But Barbadian law says it’s legal, so it’s legal.”

    The conceit apparently also persuaded the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Stanley Works’ accountants, the giant global firm Ernst & Young, and its lawyers, the prominent Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, presumably advised their client that this was a good way to keep from paying $30 million in U.S. taxes.

    But it turns out that Stanley Works was planning to save on more than the taxes on business done outside the United States. Even though it only paid $7 million in U.S. tax on foreign income in 2001, Stanley Works indicated that the move would save it at least $25 million in 2002.

    The immediate effect would be to increase the salaries of Stanley Works’ executives, who were already being paid millions; American taxpayers would make up the loss.

    That scam hit the headlines, and in the face of a threatened lawsuit by the Attorney General of Connecticut, Stanley Works backed down.

    The AFL-CIO and unions such as UNITE and AFSCME are using pension stock votes to try to bring runaway companies back onshore.

    They say the moves deprive the United States of taxes and also reduce shareholders’ control, including the right to examine books or sue management.

    But Stanley Works’ ploy is only one of myriad ways companies use the offshore system to cheat on taxes. Companies in international trade routinely use shell accounts.

    According to a Miami private investigator, “If I have a Colombian company that imports Mercedes trucks from Germany, the company ordering the trucks will be registered in the British Virgin Islands or Curacao; no Colombian firm will handle invoices; Colombian tax authorities won’t know how much business they’re doing.”

    These practices are endemic in Third World countries because shrewd lawyers circumnavigate the boundaries of the law and big money is a powerful catalyst for corruption even amongst the custodians of the legal system.

    All it takes for corruption and evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

    Barbados maybe a drop in the ocean compared to larger economies like the US and the EU but the civil and legal norms of accountability must also govern our practice and our right standing within the international economic community.

    Government must work tirelessly at greater simplification and transparency within the legal system where the interests of its people and that of others are protected from rogue traders, unscrupulous lawyers and corrupt politicians.

  3. BGR says:

    “Government must work tirelessly at greater simplification and transparency within the legal system where the interests of its people and that of others are protected from rogue traders, unscrupulous lawyers and corrupt politicians.”

    Well said.
    The Chief Justice a few days ago spoke on software pertaining to enhancing the judiciary system come next year when the Judicial Centre is opened.

    Anything on lawyers ethics? Nah. More money, same old, same old. They forget one vital thing. They work for us not the other way. Maybe the time has come to start an internet forum where persons can vent their fustrations, air their views, suggestions and give advice. Do you know anyone who is willing?

  4. Please follow my page titled “NY Wall of Shame” for judges and lawyers in NY Family Courts and Supreme Court.

  5. Pingback: Barbados Speaker of the House Michael Carrington is a crooked lawyer – stole $250,000 from client – disobeyed court order to pay it back | Barbados Free Press

  6. Pingback: How trustworthy are Barbados lawyers? | Barbados Free Press

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