The Barbados Bar Association has hailed this week’s disbarment of a local attorney as evidence that the disciplinary system for lawyers is working properly.
“In my view, the public ought to be comforted and it ought to restore public confidence because this is a decision of the Disciplinary Committee, which is headed by a lawyer, which has made a certain recommendation. The Court of Appeal has examined that recommendation and upheld their recommendation. To me, this is a demonstration that the system has worked and has worked effectively,” said President Tariq Khan.
Attorney-at-law Therold Fields was disbarred on Wednesday after he was charged with stealing a client’s money.
Khan said this was about the fifth case in the past 15 or 20 years where a lawyer was disbarred. He contended that it did not mean disbarments were endemic but that attorneys were being dealt with properly and in accordance with the law.
Noting that some of the reports against lawyers were repeat complaints, Khan reiterated the Bar’s position on matters of this type.
“The Bar Association’s position has always been that any attorney-at-law who has been found in breach of the Legal Professions Act, particularly the Code of Ethics, has to face the full consequence of their actions and must be prepared to do so,” he told Barbados TODAY.
He emphasized that the legal profession welcomed any action where, based on the evidence, an individual was found to be in breach, that he or she is dealt with according to the law.
In handing down judgement, the Court of Appeal ordered Fields to repay more than half million dollars to the former client.