The law outside the law?

Yet another solicitor is under scrutiny for allegedly robbing his clients. Michael Lynn, solicitor and property developer is under investigation by the Law Society for what they sheepishly describe as ‘acts of dishonesty’ possibly involving millions of euros.

On Liveline last Thursday (18th Oct.) a caller related how his mother and father were robbed by another solicitor, a case that demonstrates just how well protected this privileged group is from real justice.

In 1981, the couple bought a property in Nassau Street Dublin. Unfortunately, they employed a corrupt solicitor by the name of Johnathan Brooks.

He never disclosed to them that he was the owner of the property and on the day they bought the property Brooks changed the leases on the two shops on the ground floor so that they reverted to him after a number of years. This crooked solicitor also robbed the registration and stamp duty on the property.

When the corruption was discovered in 1985 a complaint was made to the Law Society but they didn’t want to know. This is not unusual behaviour for this august body.

After over a year of stalling the matter eventually came before the disciplinary committee of the High Court. This court has the power to strike off a solicitor.

The caller related how badly he was treated by the three sitting judges and claimed that they were sitting in judgement of him rather than the corrupt solicitor. Eventually, Brooks admitted that he had ‘forgotten to do the paperwork’. (A case of tribunalitis?).

He assured the judges that he had paid all the fines, settled with Revenue and stamped all the deeds. The learned gentlemen never asked for proof of these claims and some years later the caller discovered that Brooks had lied to the court.

In all, Brooks robbed about €15 million from clients in his short criminal career, he committed suicide in 1992.

Joe Duffy naively asked about reimbursement for the victims of this rogue solicitor from the Law Society. In fact, the Law Society did everything they could to keep this very valuable property for themselves. It was only when they were threatened with the High Court and given a sum of money that they relented.

It took this family 24 years to get what was rightfully theirs back from this criminal solicitor and the greed of the Law Society. The caller said that of about 100 solicitors he had dealt with in his life, only about five were honest – he’s lucky.

He also said that solicitors should be put in stocks and pelted with rotten vegetables – I agree.