Defaulting Lawyers

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Recently, I heard that the Bar association had published a list of attorneys-at-law who did not pay their dues to the association, as required by law. At first, I was a bit sceptical but all doubts have been removed when I saw a story in the Saturday Sun of April 6, 2013 to that effect.

Surprisingly, the list appeared in my Inbox: it contained the names of 75 lawyers. The whole affair piqued my interest, so I set about to find out the reason for the omission of so many lawyers. The reasons ranged from: conscientious objection, no longer practising, inadvertence to plain just being cheap. I have examined the case for the conscientious objectors, and quite frankly, I believe that by not paying their dues, they have shown utter disrespect for the law that they are sworn to uphold.

My understanding is that some of them hold the view that compulsory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional and they should not be forced to pay Bar dues. I agree that no one should be forced to become a member of any organization. However, I cannot agree with the way that they have gone about to register their objection. After all, they are lawyers, and should be aware that they are required to obey all the laws, until they have been struck down as unconstitutional or deemed ultra vires any particular piece of legislation by a court.

Section 11 (1) of the Legal Profession Act states:

A person who is registered on the Roll and who desires to practise law in any year shall, in the month of January in that year, apply to the Registrar for a certificate, to be called a Practising Certificate, and the Registrar shall, on the payment of the annual registration fee, unless that person is exempt from such payment, but subject to section 49, issue to him a Practising Certificate.

In addition section 45 (3) states:

A practising Certificate issued to an attorney-at-law shall be of no effect until the annual subscription required by section 44 has been paid.

For completeness, section 44 makes it mandatory for an attorney-at-law who has been issued a Practising Certificate to pay annual subscriptions to the Bar Association.

It therefore appears to me that a person, who does not pay his Bar dues, is not entitled to practise law. If he does so, he is, in accordance with section 12 of the Legal Profession Act, guilty of an offence and on summary conviction liable to a fine of five thousand dollar or to imprisonment for one year or to both.

The amazing thing is that some of these lawyers continue to appear in court, presumably because the presiding officer is unaware of their indiscretions. To my mind, a magistrate or judge who knowingly continues to hear a defaulter in court would be guilty of aiding and abetting the lawyer in the commission of an offence. My advice is that the Bar Association should forward the list to the Chief Justice.

This situation is symptomatic of what’s wrong in this society: people refuse to comply with the law if they do not like it. In this regard, practitioners of the law must be held to a higher standard. Also, it would be interesting to see how persons on the list of defaulters, who are scheduled to be elevated to the high office of Queen’s Counsel, will be treated. Sounds like Medes and Persians to me.

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  1. BAFBFP April 9, 2013 at 8:09 AM #

    This lawyer thing come when you gotta strong feeling David shaping up wid somet’ing pon the Iron Lady …


  2. DR. THE HONOURABLE April 9, 2013 at 8:24 AM #

    After all, they are lawyers, and should be aware that they are required to obey all the laws, until they have been struck down as unconstitutional or deemed ultra vires any particular piece of legislation by a court.
    THE FOCUS of attention here is whether THE LAWS ARE MADE FOR PEOPLE ?
    People made for the Law.


  3. David April 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM #

    Interesting to compare BU’s blog to that of Caswell’s, interesting indeed.


  4. Well Well April 9, 2013 at 9:19 AM #

    That says a lot, surprised that Bobby Clarke’s name is not there, I understand he refused to sign up as a member of the Bar, pays no dues, but still practices in Bim and has been for decades………………don’t really know the whole procedures or requirements but we know that those who are charged to uphold the laws are often the ones who break the laws, no surprise there.


  5. Well Well April 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM #

    Banana Republic mentality, politics coupled with family name coupled with all types of corruption endemic of the society.


  6. BAFBFP April 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM #

    I betting David got a Iron Lady article in de oven …


  7. David April 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM #


    It is possible.


  8. Amused April 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM #

    @Casewell. There are times when my best advice to you is to count to 1000 and then maintain a discrete silence. In this instance, I advise you to offer a correction as soon as possible.

    David has already ventilated the issue of registered counsel with practice certificates who are NOT members of the Bar Association. Among the names on the list are: Sir Frederick Smith Q.C., Mr Edmund King Q.C., Mr Maurice King Q.C., Mrs Beverley Walrond Q.C., Mr Hal Gollop Q.C., Mr Vernon Smith Q.C. The facts are these:

    • These, among other, names were omitted from the official list in the Official Gazette.
    • The pre-action protocols required by the CPRs had been commenced against the Registrar.
    • When lo and behold the Official Gazette, to stave off the action, published a new list with these names (and the others previously omitted) on it.
    • Matter done.

    What it appears to me that you have done is to take a list of attorneys who MAY NOT have paid their registration fees and therefore have not been issued practice certificates (and should not practice) and confused them with those who have practice certificates, but have refused to involve themselves with the Bar Association. I don’t know, but I will verify this in due course and ONLY if I am wrong will I comment further. Unless you say something else idiotic.

    The names I mentioned above (Sir Frederick Smith Q.C., Mr Edmund King Q.C., Mr Maurice King Q.C., Lady Beverley Walrond Q.C., Mr Hal Gollop Q.C., Mr Vernon Smith Q.C. et al) are still (and you can take my word for this) not members of the Bar Association BUT THEIR NAMES ARE ABSENT FROM YOUR LIST.

    Are you so stupid as to believe that Sir Frederick Smith Q.C., Mr Edmund King Q.C., Mr Maurice King Q.C., Lady Beverley Walrond Q.C., Mr Hal Gollop Q.C., Mr Vernon Smith Q.C. et al would not ensure that they are absolutely correct in law before taking the position that they have? I point out to you that two of these names are former attorneys general and had, before and after their cabinet stints, extremely successful practices. The stupidity of thinking that they would expose themselves as you suggest, is breathtaking.


  9. Legal April 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM #

    This list is inaccurate. A revised list has been circulated by the Bar Association which I suggest you reference on your site.


  10. pieceuhderockyeahright!! April 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM #

    @ Benny

    Adult to 4 to 5 year old (Barbados, circa 1933) “what you want to be when you grow up?” Child’s response ” a doctor or lawyer”. Ask that same question today and you will get the same response.

    Tell me what has changed from 1890 when the Education Act was first established Benny?

    I would ask both you and David [BU] is there, or can there ever be, a Bajan equivalent to the Singaporean “Ten Years Programme for Education Policy in the Colony of Singapore” that would prepare us for true self-governance? I would answer that with the response “there is none”

    Jones and his ilk will not engage persons like Ralph Jemmott in the fight against national apathy and the academic stagnation that defines our primary, secondary and (as a consequence) tertiary education systems

    We still have been unable to develop, and employ, an integrated curriculum where there is ubiquitous access to academic and vocational disciplines at every single secondary school.

    Simply put, a system which can manifests in a student from Harsun College having equal opportunity to learn and excel in maths as well as carpentry, masonry or auto-mechanics.

    Equalization through Integration and not the elitism currently being practiced at our schools where for example pupils at Springer Memorial are exposed to all the Home-Economics training while the Queen’s College crew have premiere chemistry, physics and biology laboratories.

    Dear Minister of Education, please don’t stop there with the ‘aesthetics” of pretty buildings, Edutech, notwithstanding, but try to engage in a serious analysis of what our HR skills pool is.

    Should that empirical data you need ever become available from the Census Department this might permit you to determine/project what the needs are for the current work force. How many lawyers actually exist, what are their average incomes and if it makes sense to pursue a career where local employment opportunities are few.

    One of our Labour Department Statisticians computing who is retiring, and/or incorporating actuarial calculations e.g. resignations and deaths could augment the MoE analysis/projections.

    Overlaying this analysis with future market needs, local and global, that might inform on a long term education/training curricula to meet these needs and try to make our education system more relevant.

    But here is an old man talking about high science things like a “national survival driven education programme”, expecting that the Director of Census, The Ministry of Labour, the Minister of Education, Minister Buffalo Sinckliar from Finance and of course Data Processing (and other big wigs) to meet and collaborate on syncing Barbados’ education system.

    It is easier for (the illiterate) Gearbox to get a degree at UWI in Social Sciences than these entities to collaborate in meaningful Curriculum Reform.

    My Gearbox example was not a good allegory given that the “idiotoramus Patrick Tull” finally got one. I will ask The Miller or Baffy to help me use a more suitable example of “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.


  11. pieceuhderockyeahright!! April 9, 2013 at 12:20 PM #

    Sorry wrong blog David [BU]


  12. BAFBFP April 9, 2013 at 12:41 PM #


    I know it is the wrong blog… but I now got a reason to go cross dey. pieceuhderockyeahright!!, how you is blow so piping hot and still capable ah talkin’ sa much shite. … You kickin’ taday … I goin’ cross pun de udda thread ..


  13. BAFBFP April 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM #

    Wait, Beverley Walrond is Lady ..? Who she marry again ..?


  14. Kiki April 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM #


  15. David April 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM #

    Feel free to email us the revised list.


  16. Alvin Cummins April 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM #

    @Piece uhde rock.
    You seem to imply that “only” Springer Memorial, and not Queen’s college do home economics, wnd that Queen’s College and not the other school has a “primier” Science Lab. For your information, Home Economics is taught at all secondary schools (check out the cooking competitions hosted by Chef Eddie, and check out the winners from the past couple of years. If I am not mistaken Queen’s college won a hard fought competition against Coleridge and Parry. All secondary schools have fully equiped science laboratories, and are taught the sciences.
    Next, an individuals makes the choice as to which profession he wants to pursue. It’s called freedom of choice.A student from Harrison’s colege, Combermere, Lodge, or any of the secondary schools, having reached fifth form can elect to go to BCC, or SJPP and pursue any carrreer choice.and also sit for the Barbados Scholarship. This so called “elitism” is a myth. Students from various secondary schools have left these schools an gone on to BCC and won Barbados scholarships on various non “academic” subjects. Check your facts and don’t get emotive.


  17. Legal Too April 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM #

    The list of defaulting attorneys is indeed not accurate. Today the Bar Association circulated an apology to one of its members, Ms. Carol-Ann Smith who was not in default.


  18. Disturbed Attorney April 9, 2013 at 5:17 PM #

    Correction! Hal Gollop is not yet a Q.C. and someone needs to tell him that! I mean, even he should know that one does not have the use of the said title until one has been called to the Inner Bar, said calling being scheduled for the 25th instant. But worse than that, it is an UNDISPUTED FACT that he is in breach of the law in that he has NOT paid Bar Association fees and therefore continues to practice without a license.
    The tragedy is that in spite of this information coming to the attention of the powers that be, he has received a letter from the GG informing him that he has been awarded the distinction of Q.C. Distinction I ask, really, I mean if the likes of Mr. Gollop who is in breach of the law can get made a Q.C. then where is the distinction. His breaking of the law alone is reason (though quite truthfully Many Many more abound) for him NOT to be made Q.C!
    Well there is still time……


  19. Colonel Buggy April 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM #

    And when the hawkers and wayside vendors in Bridgetown do not have a valid license, the authorities haul their asses before the court.
    We should not tolerate untouchables in this country.
    Is the Garcia case now null and void, since his attorney is now technically a layman ?.


  20. JUST ASKING April 9, 2013 at 11:08 PM #

    All the laywers in Barbados does do is rob poor people
    robbers !!!
    Doctors –same thing
    These little boys because a lot of them still at school as little boys who if you ask them what they want to be when they grow up , they say -Doctor or Lawyer.
    WHY > To work for Nuff money , buy a Mercedes and build a big House.
    They should build a special Jail for these fother muckers


  21. islandgal246 April 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM #

    Amused….. “The stupidity of thinking that they would expose themselves as you suggest, is breathtaking.”

    That is what you will get from a cutlass and bush lawyer! This union man ent got nuh shame AT ALL!


  22. Undertaker April 10, 2013 at 12:37 AM #

    ERNEST JACKMAN, A lot of people are still waiting to be compensated from that crook. Sorry from that LAWYER.


  23. Amused April 10, 2013 at 3:18 AM #

    @Disturbed Attorney | April 9, 2013 at 5:17 PM | If you are that disturbed, I recommend that you put your money where your mouth is and issue a statement or letter under your name and signature in the Nation or the Advocate. I am sure that you will then receive a very polite letter from the counsel concerned (either individually or collectively) and you will have the sense (or not) to know that they are following the pre-action protocols of the CPRs in advance of suing your ass for defamation. By that letter, you will be offered the opportunity of withdrawing your statement and apologising……..or meeting with them in a court of law……where, trust me, you will not prosper.

    On the matter of Hal giving himself the title of QC, the right to issue that title resides with Her Majesty alone (hence Queens and not Kings, counsel – you may vaguely have realised that). Therefore, from the moment the GG writes to the recipient telling them that he has executed the commissions on HM’s behalf and sent them to the CJ to be delivered to the recipients, they are entitled to call themselves Queens Counsel. This nonsense about a ceremony calling them to the inner bar (on 25th instant – which means March 25th……and since this is a blog, why not cut out the showing off of legalese and say so) is merely to give the Chief Justice the chance to do officially what he seems to be so adept at on the cocktail curcuit – have his picture taken and say something inane.

    The commissioning by HM through the GG IMMEDIATELY confers the right on counsel to call themselves Queens Counsel – in case you do not know it (and it seems that your legal education is deficient here and I am happy to instruct you) only HM is above the law and the courts. Indeed, HM in council has the right to remove (read “fire”) judges from the CJ down. So, are you inferring that the appointment by HM through the GG, a process in which the CJ is merely a delivery boy (most delinquent in this case – in private enterprise, he would have been fired) has to be ratified by the courts? Are you, like Casewell, a bush lawyer?

    Finally, the fact that Mr Hal Gollop Q.C. is not a member of the Bar Association and yet, on the advice of her government, HM has appointed him to be one of her counsel for Barbados would tend to me to indicate that the government, having taken legal advice of its counsel, have determimed that indeed the insistence on mandatory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional. In doing this, the government agrees with the implied views of two of its former attorneys general (one of them formerly a Justice of Appeal and a Chief Justice of another Caribbean country). I had better name them, as you may not know who they are. Sir Frederick Smith KA QC and Mr Maurice King QC.

    @Baffy. You too bad, Yes, Beverley is married to Micky Walrond and he is a sir, so she is a lady.

    @Islandgal. As always, right on the button.


  24. BAFBFP April 10, 2013 at 4:29 AM #

    So “mandatory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional” and people still paying fees. So it means that either there is an advantage to be had by being a member or it could be that the overwhelming majority of lawyers in Ba’bados are a mindless group of jack asses …

    I really suspect that there is NO advantage to be had by being a member…! :)


  25. Amused April 10, 2013 at 5:08 AM #

    @Baffy. All this agreement between you and I HAS to end!!!! It is upsetting my equilibrium. You are RIGHT…..AGAIN!!!! The Bar Association is a statutory body operating, in the case of mandatory membership, on a fatally flawed statute and contravenes the Constitution as to mandatory membership.

    The Bar Association is set up to regulate its members. One could argue that its most important function is discipline, a function in which it is most remiss. Anyway, don’t get me started on that.

    I will give Andrew Pilgrim the benefit of the doubt and say that he is doing his best to bring the Bar Association into line and to fulfil its functions, with strong opposition from certain of the membership.

    However, over the years (and I am reasonably satisfied that Andrew is trying to redress this) the BA has merely become a statutory union with everyone vying to be president in the hopes that they can get a QC out of it.

    By the way, it is my contention that, as it is a statutory body, no VAT is payable on membership fees – yet the BA charges (or charged – I would not know what the situation is these days and have no interest in finding out) VAT.

    So yes, it is a waste of time – but Andrew may succeed in changing that and we have to wait and see.


  26. David April 10, 2013 at 5:54 AM #


    Are lawyers capable of disentangling themselves from the cloak of legalise? Isn’t this the tried tested method of peeing on the perimeter of the argument?…lol


  27. Amused April 10, 2013 at 7:17 AM #

    @David. The Italians have a word for this latest comment of yours. Cativo. And yes, sometimes, not all that often although it may seem so, it is used as a way of peeing on the perimeter.


  28. Bush Tea April 10, 2013 at 8:01 AM #

    Man Amused, you doth protest a bit too much…
    ….why you don’t go and pay the people the $2500 nuh?
    That is peanuts to you…. :)
    Why do you think wunna does enjoy that minimum wage rate that is legislated ONLY for wunna special profession…?


  29. lemuel April 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM #

    Listen, I have a problem with any one here who gives the impression that Hal Gollop should not be given his designation because of any unpaid fees. Out of the whole lot of them Hal is the only one who reasons and speaks with some sense.


  30. lemuel April 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM #

    What amazes me about the lawyers who parade around this blog is their fastness to talk defamation when the majority of them are daily tiefing poor people in this country.


  31. BAFBFP April 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM #


    You don’ feel dat dey does be tiefing rich ppl money too …? HA HA HA


  32. BAFBFP April 10, 2013 at 9:09 AM #

    Bush Tea

    You don’ get the impression that the one reason why Amused is so amused is because he retire comfortable comfortable, and just smiling at the pack ah crabs that he leff behind and don’ got ta deal wid na more ..? Huh?


  33. Red Sun April 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM #

    Gollop ain’t no jokey-ass lawyer like the rest of them fools in Barbados. He does work for his money, not thief it like most of the rest.


  34. Amused April 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM #

    @Bushy. You got me wrong. I am poor, peaceful and polite. $250 is NUFF money to me.

    The truth is that attorneys in Barbados are generally in a bad way. They may have a lot of outstanding accounts due, but due to the fact that they cannot get their cases heard because of things like “lost files” even the most successful are having a hard time financially. A lot of attorneys don’t charge until the case is over, you know. That some of them take to dipping into clients accounts to keep things going is reprehensible and unethical, but the Registrar and the courts are (unconstitutionally) not doing their bit to remove what some view as a matter of survival. I make no excuses, because there are none – but I merely set the record straight. So indeed for every Bajan, including poor old me, $250 is a wash of money these days.


  35. well well April 10, 2013 at 12:15 PM #

    More the reason why those dumb ass titles qc, sir, dame,lady et al make them look even more dishonest and should be gotten rid of……….so what were they before those useless titles……..animals???.


  36. Legal April 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM #

    The Bar Association circulated an amended list on 5 April removing the names Michelle Goddard (Overseas) Melissa Clarke (Overseas) and Mary Haynes (Payment Received) from the list. I suggest once again that you ensure that the list that you are publishing is up to date and accurate.


  37. David April 10, 2013 at 6:58 PM #


    If you have the revised list which was circulated why don’t you email it to BU?

    Here is the email address Barbados Underground


  38. Caswell Franklyn April 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM #


    You are being dishonest. People cannot determine that a law is unconstitutional and choose to ignore the law. Only a court can make that determination. Until that time the law must be enforced. Lawyers are ideally placed to make the application to the court. It seems strange to me that a law that is affecting lawyers would remain on the books if those same lawyers consider that the law is unconstitutional.


  39. eyez April 10, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

    wunna really aint see what is happen here looking one side but not the other side cause wunna always taking but not giving the only thing they ever given me was an is pain a woman son got shot in his hand and he died from a hand shot?? up till now the lady cant obtain her son from the so-called protection(police)that a very strange act one would think by now them<– would of gotten him embalmed so that when the mother is ready to bury him he is well ready??hmm there's a link here one man was hold in ch ch fit as a Fidel and then shortly he was found with brain damages?? allegedly a man da doing something down in the north a sound minded man decided to jump for some reason to some sharp edged rocks? as if he's from a cartoon open yawl eyes wakeup not to mention with finger nails that got pull out with pliers and certain kind of bags got use to fill with the heads of men shortly after a vacuum full of baygon asthmatic victims etc………hey this one here really gave me some insight right out the horses mouth you could believe that them going about talking about gold this and gold that gold buying when them is the same people that have all this great controversy happening I read a post in todays paper by sir seals he described just what is pertaining to that part one thing that stands in my mind as a poor man is that a poor man is going to really feel it. TAX THIS AN TAX THAT TAX THIS AND TAX THAT TAX THIS AND TAX THAT SO FORTH WITH TAX THIS AND TAX THAT AND SO FORTH and pay for the bus an still pay for the catcher to and the diesel this part is for the blind man where's the funeral for the lady son where is he oh he must be close to home in the mental oh let us not use the word in that term(mental) I mean the psychward


  40. Simple Simon April 10, 2013 at 10:57 PM #

    Saw a couple of people on this list who are know are working overseas. Saw a cousin or two, and a lawyer who did not excellent work forme a year or two ago.


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