Claims of solicitors' conflict of interest

I have heard stories like this from friends, and it was raised recently and reported in today’s Irish Times. Basically people are coming in to solicitor’s offices and trying to force their elderly parent(s) to sign over land or property to them.

Ken Murphy, director-general of the Law Society, said there was a clear ethical obligation on any solicitor not to act in a situation where there was a conflict of interest between their clients.

“Certainly if there is a person with diminished capacity and that person is signing away an interest then in principle there should be separate and independent legal advice for both parties,” he said.

If a solicitor was acting for two parties where there was a conflict of interest he or she could face a professional misconduct hearing and there was also the possibility that the transaction the solicitor was involved in could be challenged at a later stage, he added.

Mr Murphy said anyone with concerns about solicitors acting in situations where they had a conflict of interest should report this to the Law Society. They should also seek independent legal advice “if they have suffered as a result of this situation”.

By the way it is Day 22 since reports of solicitors stealing money was first aired. Still no arrests.

Different standards

The following is how Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell reacted to Independent Newspapers treatment of the Liam Lawlor story.

‘It was grossly offensive, it was cruel and it was utterly lacking in any foundation in fact…apologies in the circumstances will never undo the trauma.â€?

In contrast, his reaction to his solicitor peers after they were found to have robbed their vulnerable clients of thousands was – Silence.

Scampering rats

Panic, panic, panic, the thieving solicitors are tripping over themselves to pay back the money they robbed from their vulnerable clients (victims). The obvious question arises – why? If, as many of them claim, the monies taken were legitimate fees, why the headlong rush to pay the money back?

We can get some idea of how these vultures operate from the latest development in the scandal. Apparently, some thieving solicitors, as a condition for returning the monies robbed, are insisting that their victims sign a statement promising that they will not make a complaint to the Law Society.

This matter was due to be aired on Liveline today but because of the kidnapping of the Irish journalist in Iraq, there wasn’t enough time. Hopefully, Joe will discuss the matter tomorrow.

Nine days now since this corruption was uncovered and still no police or State involvement, just not interested. Meanwhile, the Law Society is working away on behalf of its members. As I said in my first posting on this outrage, not a single solicitor will face real justice. That’s how it goes in the Banana Republic of Ireland.

Thieving solicitors

One of the methods of dealing with corruption in the Banana Republic of Ireland is to pretend it doesn’t exist. The use of language is very important in achieving this end.

So, A bank executive doesn’t cheat on his taxes, he has ‘tax issues’. Banks don’t rob their customers, ‘system errors’ have occurred. A solicitor doesn’t rob his client; he ‘mistakenly overcharges’. All very unfortunate but nothing deliberate, you understand, no organised plan to plunder the modest awards of very vulnerable people.

The following is a sample of the experiences of these people as heard on Liveline.

Rita €13,000 demanded as percentage of award minutes before facing redress board, eventual ‘settlement’ €7,000. Told there was a shortfall. Money deducted directly by solicitor before victim saw the cheque. No itemised bill provided.

Norman €11,000 demanded minutes after getting his award. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided.

Marie €3,000 demanded. Money deducted from cheque. No itemised bill provided.

Nora 4% of award demanded. No itemised bill provided.

Jack €5,000 demanded. Money deducted after solicitor lodged cheque in bank. No itemised bill provided.

Maura €5,000 demanded and deducted. Told there was a shortfall. Solicitor refused to give itemised bill. Maura’s cheque had her solicitors name on it. She was provided with a photocopy of her original cheque.

Margaret €3,000 demanded and deducted minutes after getting award. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided.

Mary €12,000 demanded and deducted on day of award. Solicitor claims he had her permission to take the money. Work involved 15 letters and one phone call.

Mark 10% of award demanded just after getting his award. Mark challenged the demand, solicitor ran away.

Peter €7,000 demanded and deducted. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill.

Chris €5,000 demanded immediately after award. Chris challenged the demand, solicitor ran away.

Joan €7,600 demanded. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided. She was told that envelopes cost €300. She received two letters in all.

THE Solicitors Amendment Act which became law in 1994 is quite clear –


Keep in mind that ALL of the expenses incurred by solicitors in these cases are already paid for by the taxpayer.

Because these thieves operate in a state that is itself corrupt means that not one of them will face real justice

Scum solicitors still walking free

It is now six days since solicitors were found to be ripping off their vulnerable clients and still no action from the State or the police.

This is not unusual in the Banana Republic of Ireland. When it comes to white collar crime, deals are done, arrangements are made, the wink, wink, nod, nod, mechanism is employed. These vultures are to be investigated by their own peers, the Irish Law Society. We can be absolutely certain that not one of these solicitors will face justice; they will be “looked after’.

Here’s an interesting figure to ponder over. There are over 600 firms involved in these cases. Seven have issued a statement stating they never charged fees and at least twenty of them have been flushed out into the open by Liveline. That leaves about 573 firms who are remaining very quiet. What do you think? How many decent solicitors are there?

Scum Solicitors

Outrageous as this case of scum solicitors robbing their clients is, it is just one of thousands of incidences of white collar crime uncovered in recent years in this Banana Republic. The only reason scum like this can operate in this country is because the State itself is corrupt. Quite literally some groups or institutions operate outside the law of the land.

AIB for example is presently investigating itself. When it has completed its investigation it will be allowed to dispense justice as it sees fit. There is no police involvement whatsoever.
Similarly, the legal profession is allowed to police itself. This type of mechanism, supported by the State, allows these people to operate within their own justice system, again with no police involvement whatsoever.

Let’s call a spade a spade – These people have robbed thousands from their vulnerable clients. If Ireland is not a corrupt state, then they will quickly face the full rigor of the law just like ordinary citizens do.

If Ireland is a corrupt state, (which I believe it is) then these people will be will be allowed to decide their own fate outside the rule of law. We are now into day five of this scandal and still no police/State involvement. So far I am correct in my claim that we live in a Banana Republic.

Scum Bags

If the allegations made on Liveline are true then ‘scum of the earth’ is the only appropriate title for the solicitors involved in robbing those vulnerable people coming before the redress board.

Anyone who is any doubt that we live in a pathetic little Banana Republic should listen to RTEs Liveline over the last three days.

This outrage will serve as a good example of how a corrupt system protects itself when some of the sleazebags who feed off the weak are uncovered.

In a real democracy when a citizen is suspected of theft the following events happen. Arrest for questioning, charges if enough evidence is gathered, court appearance and if found guilty appropriate punishment.

To date nothing has happened except some waffle from the Law Society. This case will be followed closely by this blog in order to conclusively demonstrate that the Republic of Ireland is a corrupt state where white collar crime is rampant.

Irish solicitors and the redress board

This really is a crucial story to break on the national airwaves. The allegations made on yesterday’s liveline are well worth repeating, the gravity of the situation could not be over estimated. The allegations amount to theft, greed, lies, involving significant amounts of money being taken from people who were the subject of institutional State abuse.

John Twomey, London Irish Center: (paraphrasing)

One woman, Mary, was charged €12,000 by her solicitor, despite the fact that the Redress Board was already paying the solicitor in question for their work. That involved a year of work, they didn’t have a single attendance on Mary, there were a total of 2 memos with regard to telephone attendances, they submitted 2 medical reports to the Redress Board, and the case was settled.

The moment it was settled she was called aside by the solicitor and asked to sign a document. This document gave authority for the solicitor to take €12,000 from her. Not only that, but the solicitor in question noted that they were entitled to €108,000 in fees.

It gets worse. The Redress Board sent the settlement cheque, made out to Mary, to her solicitors. But somehow, and if true, completely illegally, the solicitor negotiated the cheque into their own bank account, and then sent a cheque to Mary minus the €12,000 fee to which they were not entitled. This could also suggest collusion between a solicitor and their bank, and we all know what banks get up to in Ireland.

This is on top of the fact that the solicitors in question received €14,000 in fees from the Redress Board.

When people sought redress from the Law Society they were refused, the Law Society declined to investigate, as they must protect the client’s confidentiality. Yes you read that right. They were protecting you by not investigating what you were complaining about.

By the way all this is illegal under the Solicitor’s Act 1994, Section 8.

But in this Banana Republic will a criminal investigation take place?