Open Complaint Letter to Attorney General Dale Marshall and Chief Justice Marson Gibson About Attorney-at-law Peta-Gay Lee-Brace

Here is complaint received about yet another lawyer from an ordinary Barbados. From the supporting documentation this matter has been outstanding for close to a decade- if we start counting from 2011- when a letter to the Disciplinary Committee was lodged. Note this matter was highlighted on a BU in April, 2015.

See documents repeated via the File Complaints Against Lawyers —–> HERE initiative.

File Complaints Against Lawyers —–> HERE

There is one nettlesome complaint which keeps surfacing from Barbadians at home or abroad. It is always about lawyers wantonly violating standards of conduct as perceived in the court of public opinion and the ‘system’ repeatedly fail to redress.

These lawyers reallocate client’s monies, delay simple transactions to the detriment of clients financially, emotionally, illegally and otherwise. The result is that the reputation of the profession has been injured.

To heap on the issue for complainants is the inability of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) and the Disciplinary Committee (DC) to discharge its mandate to satisfactorily treat with complaints submitted by general public.

The purpose of this update is to invite members of the public – through a simple process – to highlight matters submitted to the BBA or DC. In turn the blogmaster will track and highlight submissions in this medium and other social media platforms to ensure tension is exerted. The expectation is that parties named will see the benefit of resolving matters and be true to their moral and legal mandates.

This is a pilot project. Response from the public will determine next steps.

The blogmaster gives credit to PUDRYR for his input which led to the creation of this initiative.

Barbadians Cry Out as Barbados Bar Association Continues to Protect Crooked Lawyers and Dysfunctional System

Liesel Weekes

On many occasions in which clients have brought disciplinary proceedings against their attorneys for misappropriating or unduly withholding their funds, once the funds have been repaid the client is no longer interested in pursuing the matter at the disciplinary committee – .Liesel Weekes, President of the BAR

The President of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) Liesel Weekes delivered from legalese text last week an insensitive rebuttal to the public. It is no secret lawyers have withheld client funds, misappropriated client funds, ‘misplaced’ important documents, been unresponsive and unprofessional. Weekes found the time to steadfastly defend her Association as any lawyer is trained to do.

She stated that unless members of the public presented evidence the ‘talk’ about lawyers being crooked is not sufficient to discipline the lawyer being accused. What Weekes and her predecessors have failed to do is update the public on the following just to name a few items:

  • The date complaint was received and responded to by the Barbados Bar Association/Disciplinary Committee
  • The number of complaints received and the number actioned by the BBA/Disciplinary Association
  • Give a listing of the nature of the charges contained in the complaints received by the BBA/Disciplinary Committee
  • How many complaints were not followed by the BBA/Disciplinary Committee because accused lawyers frustrated the process
  • Provide an Ageing Report’ of complaints outstanding with the BBA/Disciplinary Committee

No we do not accept that as President of the BBA Ms. Weekes has no idea the status of complaints lodged with the Disciplinary Committee. A commonsense approach would have been to have the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee append to the statement issued by Weekes.

Barbados Underground over the years has posted many blogs to highlight a dysfunctional court system including the ancillary services. The blogmaster is aware the BBA and Disciplinary Committee have not been given the resources to provide a quality service to the public. In fact one would deem it a nobrainer given the volume of complaints about the legal system from the public at home and abroad that successive governments would have addressed the matter. One is therefore left to assume tthe obvious.

At the town hall meetings in Canada recently Prime Minister Mia Mottley – a lawyer- admitted that the justice system is failing those who are forced to seek justice. A Barbadian in the diaspora also shared an experience with David Ellis last week where he travelled from overseas to attend a hearing in Barbados and he was not notified that the lawyer defending the matter would have been unavailable.

Over the years the blogmaster has observed some of our ‘best’ lawyers elected to the role of President of the BBA or appointed  to Chair the Disciplinary Committee. However,  service to the general public has not improved. Despite many of our ‘best’ lawyers having been elevated to become members of parliament and ministers of government where they have the opportunity to influence policymaking.

In the same way the BBA is always quick to comment on legislation harmful to the power brokers, why not recommend a change to the law that would permit the Crown to prosecute lawyers accused of stealing clients funds when there is evidence monies were repaid? The practice of lawyers repaying monies to clients on condition they do not prosecute is immoral and continues to compromise the justice system. Michael Carrington the former Speaker of the House is a good example.

To the lawyers that are members of the government- enough is enough!

Relevant links:

Tales from the Courts

Barbados Bar Association Not Helping Ordinary Barbadians

The blogmaster has been observing more and more cases of ‘ordinary’ Barbadians seeking justice for inequities meted out to them with the system failing them when they attempt to seek redress. Whether it is the Office of Public Counsel, FTC, FSC, Ombudsman and the others.

In the case of the Justin and Brunetta McIntosh CV1399/2008 matter this is another example – this time – it is the Barbados Bar Association.

The BU family would have read about the plight of the McIntoshes in the BU blog posted in July of 2013.

Not a surprise to the blogmaster, we have had to return to the matter last week:

For the avoidance of doubt to address if the plaintiffs in this matter exhausted the recommended channel (s). See response from the Barbados Bar Association.


When the McIntoshes received the Bill of Cost from attorney Bernadette Callender with 7 days to pay, They referred the matter to the then acting Registrar to solicit advice. After discussing the matter with them, the Registrar telephoned Bernadette Callender in the presence of the plaintiffs.

In summary: Bernadette Callender said if the McIntoshes withdrew the decision to dismiss her as the standing attorney, she would continue the case. Because the McIntoshes wanted to see the matter completed, they agreed.

However, after the new Registrar’s Conveyance was put in place and signed off by the McIntoshes, they received word from Bernadette Callender that she will not be going any further with the case.

The blog of last week highlighted that Bernadette Callender  continues to holds the McIntoshes’ file until she is paid.

Negotiations were made with her to receive money from CIBC FCIB for her services in connection with the foreclosure suit. After the sale of the property, she would be paid monies due after the taxation matter. She consented and promised the standing attorney she would make copies of the files and turn over the originals. The McIntoshes gave consent and she was paid for her services where the foreclosure is concerned. She delivered the conveyance to CIBC FCIB. After that Callender insisted on full payment and advised that she would file for taxation, explaining, that she would be the best person to file because she was the attorney that dealt with the suit.

The blogmaster was advised since 2015 Bernadette Callender mentioned filing for taxation but it was never done.

Bernadette Callender take notice – BARBADOS UNDERGROUND will continue to recycle this matter until there is resolution. The longer it remains outstanding the more familiar Google and other Internet search engines will be made familiar with YOUR name and deed.


A Decade of Waiting on CIBC First Caribbean Bank and Attorney-at-law Bernadette D Callender

Barbados Underground posted the blog First Caribbean International Bank Not Honouring Court Judgement Handed Down Since 2009–Boycott on the Cards?.

In summary:  the Plaintiffs [Justin and Brunetta McIntosh] were experiencing financial difficulty in 2004 and started proceedings to sell the property that they owned which they had mortgaged to the First Caribbean.  They could not sell because the bank had LOST the title deeds.  The bank took responsibility in words [see judgement] but has reneged on its obligation to date.  Why must the plaintiffs, or any Barbadians for that matter, have to tolerate a foreign institution demonstrating scant regard for our Court?

These poor Barbadians continue to suffer as a result of  First Caribbean International Bank’s negligence and it appears that no one at that institution gives a damn. BU’s single request to the management of First Caribbean International Bank is to do right by this matter and we will not have to post a followup blog – First Caribbean International Bank Not Honouring Court Judgement Handed Down Since 2009–Boycott on the Cards?

From all reports the exposure given to the matter by BU helped to moved it along. Unfortunately the plaintiffs Justin and Brunetta McIntosh again find themselves mired in the process. The blogmaster understands attorney Bernadette D Callender who first dealt with the matter is withholding some important files. The blogmaster hopes not to have to do a follow up blog post on the why.

The other pressing matter to be resolved is the ‘usurious’ behaviour being levied by FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited on the McIntosh’. Because the client has been gripped in the process not unfamiliar to many Barbadians – the bank in its lack of wisdom continues to apply interest charges which has now surpassed the principal balance.

To explain:

The new Registrar Conveyance is now in place, and is in the keeping of FCIB, due to the fact that we are still owing them on the principle balance of a loan. On June 28, 2007 our then attorney Yearwood and Boyce submitted a letter . It stated, “Our clients have been unable to complete the sale of the property and liquidate their indebtedness to FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited as a result of the lost of the title deeds and plan by the bank and the delay in providing the perused draft affidavit and new plan for the property. In the circumstances we contend that the interest on the outstanding principal due FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited by our clients be waived by the bank” Monthly payments to the bank was very difficult and we were awaiting the sale to pay off the principal balance. FCIB stop sending us the monthly reminders and we thought that they understood our situation and was lenient. On instruction from my attorney, I visited the bank for a printed statement of our mortgage. It indicated that as at 26th February, 2018 our balance is as follows:

Principle balance $27, 510.34
Interest balance $44, 059.24
Outstanding balance $71, 569.58
Interest continues to accrue at 12.25% or $9.23 per day.




Bear in mind the Summary Judgment against FCIB was for damages to be assessed, interest and costs, such cost to be taxed if not agreed was imposed by the Supreme Court.

The blogmaster is calling first on the lawyer holding ther files of the McIntosh’ to have a conscience man!

The second call is on FCIB to also demonstrate your have a corporate conscience’ and allow these people to carry on with their lifes.


Relevant link:

Click to access 2009-Decision.-Justin-Burnetta-McIntosh-v.-First-Caribbean-Intl-Bank-Bdos-Ltd.pdf





Justice Pamela Beckles Rules COMPULSORY Membership in the Barbados Bar Association is Unconstitutional

Justice Pamela Beckles recently ruled in a matter brought by former Bar president Tariq Khan versus Vonda Pile that compulsory membership in the Barbados Bar Association is unconstitutional. The Bar Association has signaled that the matter will be appealed. The following Barbados Underground blog which highlighted the matter was posted in April of 2013.

Non Membership in the Barbados Bar Association Does Not Preclude a Lawyer’s Right to Practice Law

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice(l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

BU has been provided with a copy of the letter dated April 4, 2013 by which the Chief Justice finally advised the new Queens Counsel that he had received the Letters Patent that the GG had executed and sent to the CJ some weeks previously, instructing that they be delivered. The GG had also officially informed the new Queens Counsel himself of their appointment, from which time they had the right to put the letters QC after their names. Do not expect Chief Justice Gibson to offer an explanation for the delay.

BU has also been provided with a legal opinion on the matter of mandatory membership of the Barbados Bar Association, on which it has been argued, in essence, that there is a requirement that attorneys who are certified to practice law in Barbados must also be members of the Barbados Bar Association. BU’s legal opinion states that, as such an Act breaches the Constitution, it is a nullity ab initio, as indeed is any law which breaches the Constitution. Otherwise, the Constitution, which requires a two third majority of the House to change it, would be held hostage to the much lower standard of a simple act of parliament, which requires merely a majority. This would compromise the rights of Bajans and infringe their liberties. Pursued, it could also potentially lead away from democracy to dictatorship.

Thus, the list produced recently by the Bar Association of those counsel who have not paid their membership fees, is not relevant to right to practice law. As long as those attorneys have certification (and a complete list is available from the Official Gazette updated yearly) those attorneys have the right to practice that cannot be gainsaid by the Bar Association.

The Bar Association list has been generally interpreted and presented in the Fourth Estate and the blogs as being a denial of rights to practice by those attorneys and BU posts this clarification. The suggestion or implication that these attorneys, provided they have current practice certificates, are not eligible to practice law is potentially legally actionable.

2016 Financial Statement of the Barbados Bar Association – A Matter of Public Interest

Liesel Weekes

Liesel Weekes, President of the BA

BU is of the view the 2016 Financial Statement of the Barbados Bar Association (BA) is of public interest for two key reasons.  There is sufficient cash generated from membership fees to fund  the recruitment of a senior clerk to assist with trying to improve service delivery to the public. Then there is the matter of the stagnant Compensation Fund BU has written about several times. It appears that the fund is used only to feed the coffers of the Nation newspaper yet clients who are abused by dishonest lawyers continue to NOT have access to money collecting in the Fund.

Barbados Bar Association and the Useless $2,000,000.00 Compensation Fund

This 2016 BU log is highlighted to respond to the page 3A article in today’s Sunday Sun (posted in BU’s comment Box below- Blogmaster

BU continues our spotlight on the Barbados Bar Association (BA) and the Disciplinary Committee (DC), in particular the little known Compensation Fund (CF). The CF can easily be compared to the useless Catastrophe Fund (CF#2), government recently made a decision to transfer the balance outstanding of 35 million dollars to the Consolidated Fund (CF#3). The BA’s website provides the following information on practicing certificates. There are only two references to the CF.


Practising Certificate-$ 2500.00

Practising Certificate – (Queen’s Counsel)- $ 2500.00

Compensation Fund- $ 200.00


Q. What are the fees payable prior to admission?

A. (a) Cheque (or cash) payable to Barbados Bar Association.

Less than 5 years $293.75

5 years and over $440.63

10 years and over $625.10

15 years and over $625.10

20 years and over $1175.00

Queens Counsel $1562.75

(b)Separate Cheques (or cash) payable to The Registrar of the Supreme Court

$200.00 – Compensation Fund – mandatory.

$2500.00 – Professional Registration Fee – [manadatory].

N.B. we only accept cash or cheque no debit or credit cards

NOTE: The standards of professional competence of the BA seems to exclude a spell-check that allows it to spell “mandatory” correctly. This is very encouraging if we consider competency as a measure.

Apart from that, there is no part of the BA’s website that explains the CF. See BU’s search string. There is absolutely nothing in a Google search from the BA to explain the CF. The Legal Professions Act states, inter alia:

50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney- at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.

(2) A grant may be made under this section whether or not the attorney-at-law had a Practising Certificate in force when the act of dishonesty was committed, and notwithstanding that after the commission of that act the attorney-at-law has died or had his name removed from the Roll, or has ceased to practise or been suspended from practice.

(3) On the making by the Bar Association of any grant under this section to any person in respect of any loss-

(a) the Association shall to the amount of that grant be subrogated to any rights and remedies in respect of that loss of the person to whom the grant is made or of the attorney-at-law, clerk or servant; and the person to whom the grant is made shall have no right under bankruptcy or other legal proceedings or otherwise to receive any sum out of the assets of the attorney-at-law, clerk or servant in respect of the loss until the Association has been reimbursed the full amount of its grant, and in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection reference to the person to whom the grant is made or to the attorney-at-law, clerk or servant includes, in the event of his death, insolvency or other disability, a reference to his personal representative or any other person having authority to administer his estate.

(4) The Bar Association may make rules with respect to the procedure to be followed in giving effect to the provisions of this section and of the Sixth Schedule and with respect to any matters incidental, ancillary or supplemental to those provisions or concerning the administration or protection of the Fund.

(5) No grant shall be made under this section in respect of any loss unless notice of the loss is received by the Bar Association in such manner and within such time after the loss first came to the knowledge of the loser as may be prescribed by rules made under subsection (4).

(6) For the purposes of enquiring into any matters which may affect the making or refusal of a grant under this section, the Bar Association or any committee appointed by the Association and authorised by it to exercise any of its functions under this section or to assist it in the exercise of any such functions may administer oaths.

In other words, the BA has the right to make a grant out of the CF, but if the complainant then is paid back the sum claimed from the attorney, they must refund the BA the amount the BA granted them out of the CF. This seems a fair position.

Note that in the Google search above, apart from the opaque reference to the CF on the BA’s website, the ONLY references to be found are to BU’s publications on the matter of the CF. The only substantive explanation BU can offer comes from Mrs Woodford-Riley QC, head off the DC which states, inter alia:

“I recall you had raised the issue of the compensation fund. In my opinion the existing provisions do allow the compensation fund to make payments with the provisos that it may require the applicant to pursue civil or criminal or disciplinary proceedings. It does then have something to do with our committee and we do give priority hearings to complaints involving funds. However the legislation limits our powers to a finding of professional misconduct and the ability to recommend removal, suspension, fine, reprimand, order for payment of costs. An Order by the Court of Appeal supporting our finding of professional misconduct would then be supportive of a claim to the fund. Action through civil proceedings is also an effective way to obtain a resolution and support a claim to the fund.”

We reflect on: “In my opinion the existing provisions do allow the compensation fund to make payments with the provisos that it may require the applicant to pursue civil or criminal or disciplinary proceedings.” What if the attorney is impecunious? Is it being suggested that a complainant, already burdened by financial loss attributable to some dishonest lawyer be required, at the complainant’s expense, to bring civil proceedings, with the legal costs, delays etc. to further screw up their lives? As for bringing a criminal action, surely that is a matter for the DPP to decide and prosecute, not the victim of a theft and breach of trust by a ‘teefing’ lawyer and, often, member of the BA?  What makes their crime of theft different from those incarcerated at Dodds? read Speaker Michael Carrington.  That they are lawyers and therefore must be deemed to have known what they were doing was criminal? Surely that makes it worse and even more deserving of a custodial sentence? What the hell are the Police and the DPP doing? Creating an immunity to prosecution to which only the Queen is lawfully entitled? Should we start addressing lawyers as “Your Majesty”?

We accept that the DC cannot order payment out of the CF, but what prevents it, in cases of hardship, from recommending it in its findings to the Court of Appeal and what prevents the Court of Appeal from passing on the recommendation in its judgement.

BOTTOM LINE: Due to a lack of transparency on the part of the BA and the justice system, complainants have probably never realised that they could make a claim under the CF and their lawyers sure as hell are not telling them about it. This has allowed the BA to grow and maintain its nest egg of now well over $2 million without ever making any payment at all, except to advertise the estates of deceased attorneys.

We want to make it clear that, until she proves us wrong, we have the greatest respect for Mrs Woodford-Riley QC, the head of the DC and we are encouraged to look forward to far-reaching changes to the efficiency, speed, transparency and the way the DC operates under her (recently appointed) leadership. As always BU will be closely monitoring and sharing feedback to our readership.

Barbados Bar Association and Michael Carrington

Marguerite Woodstock-Riley

Marguerite Woodstock-Riley, head of the Disciplinary Committee

Several weeks ago Barbadians were promised the Committee of Privileges will determine if Speaker Michael Carrington broke House rules, we continue to wait. To any observer it appears to be business as usual and this matter like many others will shuffle along until the next general election is called where is will die. We hope not. Parliament will resume sitting on the 10 March 2015. The people, the servants of the political class in parliament will have to wait like dogs waiting for a bone.

Let us assume the report, if it completed, will confirm Prime Minister’s Stuart’s view that the Michael Carrington issue is a personal matter, and has nothing to do with parliament. It will confirm to many that public opinion is not a factor with this government. (The idea a political leader of Barbados would make such an idiotic statement continues to be incomprehensible to many and deserves greater national discourse)

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Regulate Lawyers’ Clients Accounts

The Speaker of the House Michael Carrington has been reported to have significantly repaid monies withheld from a septenarian wheelchair bound client demanded by Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius’ court order. The issue of the indiscipline approach to how Barbadian lawyers appear to manage client’s monies must become part of a national discussion and lobby to make better.

While it serves the purpose of the legal profession, including the large cadre who makeup the members of parliament, managing client’s accounts (monies) does not require a rocket science approach. President of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) Tariq Khan can deny it all he wants, we know lawyers hold client’s monies handed to them for simple to complicated transaction for unacceptably long periods and complaining to the BBA is a joke.

Have a look at the Solicitors Regulation Authority handbook. We claim t be an educated people, we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to educate lawyers so where is our return in value to making our society a better place.

Tales From the Courts – Bar Association Complicit XXII

Therold O'neal Fields, another thieving lawyer?

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?

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