According to its website the BLACKSTONE Law Firm was established in 2011 and is headed by Joseph Serrant located at Strathclyde Drive, Bridgetown, Barbados. Further, the law firm advertises the expertise to represent in areas of:
- Property Law (conveyancing & mortgages)
- Law of Succession
- Debt Recovery
- Incorporation of Businesses
The blogmaster writes on behalf of a concerned citizen who continues to be frustrated by the aforementioned law firm in the matter of the Estate of Ronald Griffith. Since 2013 the family of the late Ronald Griffith – represented by the Blackstone Law Firm – has been unsuccessful in processing an application of Letters of Administration with the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The blogmaster has reviewed communications between the daughter of the late Ronald Griffith and various lawyers acting on behalf of Blackstone Law Firm, including its head Joseph Serrant. For eight (8) years what was anticipated to be routine transaction has morphed to a frustrating experience for the family.
The communications the blogmaster has seen identifie the main reason for the delay as the Law Firm moving from Bridgetown to Strathclyde in 2017. Since 2013 various communications made available to Barbados Underground between family members and Blackstone Law Firm were signed by head of the law firm Joseph Serrant. Have a look at the Meet Our Experts team featured on the Blackstone Law Firm website.
The blogmaster always regrets when clients of lawyers are forced to seek remedy by sharing private matters with the public. It is obvious if we are to judge from the number of similar complaints in the public domain, a system meant to dispense timely justice continues to earn the labels of being supine and moribund. That officers of the court can be so brazen to take advantage of the public without fear of being censured is an indictment of the quality of oversight, moral and ethical fibre of our legal profession. The matter was reported to the Barbados Bar Association, no surprise.
This is a first appeal to Joseph Serrant, head of the Blackstone Law Firm to hand over the file and monies paid to date by the family of the late Ronald Griffith to allow the family to retrieve a dignified closure to the matter.
The blogmaster notes Joseph Serrant is known to the BU family on review of BU’s Lawyers in the News page.
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
In a statement from Trinidad extracts which are published in the Nation and Barbados Today, the Chief Justice has said:
“I want to find out what is the Bar’s plan to tackle the growing instances of attorney dishonesty. The twitter in Barbados is that there are several attorneys who are in the same position as the attorney whose case is presently pending before the Court of Appeal,” he said.” [BU’s EMPHASIS]
BU stands to be corrected, but does the CJ not chair the panel of the Court of Appeal before whom this case, recently highlighted by BU has commenced and been adjourned?
If this is indeed the case, for the Chief Justice Gibson (CJ) to allude to it publicly in any way, far less in a press release/statement, is highly improper if he is sitting on the hearing. It is highly improper for any judge to allude in public to a case on which he is sitting – such statements can and must only come from the Bench. And the CJ, not only was not on the Bench, but out of jurisdiction. However, for the CJ, who is head of the Court of Appeal, to make such a statement, especially to the Press, is not only gross misconduct, but brings the courts into disrepute. That is grounds for dismissal from office.
Therold O’neal Fields, another thieving lawyer? – Photo credit: Nation Newspaper
Given the fact that the Bar Association (BA) has now debunked Barry Gale as its president, the actions by the Chief Justice (CJ) in interfering in matters in which he has no authority must now raise the suspicion that the CJ’s conduct was designed to shore up Barry Gale’s position as president of the BA, given the fact that the BA is contemplating taking legal action against the CJ. Whether this was the CJ’s intent or not, is now a moot point as Barry Gale has been voted out of office and Tariq Khan into office.
BU family member Pachamama raised some interesting points recently concerning what happens to lawyers who appropriate money from clients’ funds. BU did a little research on one such case, that of attorney Therold Fields, which provides the template of how things are done in Barbados – See $700,000 theft charge.
The Disciplinary Committee of the BA referred the matter of Mr Fields to the Court of Appeal. And, predictably, in the last week or so, the Court of Appeal adjourned its hearing. Meanwhile, so far as BY can discover, no criminal proceedings for theft have been commenced by the DPP against Mr Fields. And Mr Fields continues to have the right to practice law.
Why has Mr Fields not been criminally indicted? Why has Mr Fields not been suspended from the practice of law? Why is the CJ usurping an authority that he does not have to go after attorneys who are lawfully practicing law and NOT making free with their clients’ money, but merely insisting on their right under the Constitution not to join an association?