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Government moves to protect the citizenry against potentially unfair attorneys

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Contact: Adhara King


Thursday 3 February 2011 – The interests of private citizens who utilize legal services in purchase agreements, particularly mortgages, have been safeguarded by an amendment passed at the recent meeting of the House of Assembly.


The amendment has come on the heels of unscrupulous acts committed against citizens who signed agreements with financial institutions, but never received what they were paying for because of fraudulent deeds by their attorneys.


Attorney General, Senator the Honourable Lorenzo Rudolph Francis, says  the new amendment to the Legal Profession Act will make it mandatory  for attorneys  preparing mortgages, bills of sale, conveyances and any transfer documents, “to have the requisite liability insurance to cover up to the value of the transaction which they are carrying out. Therefore, effective today every practicing attorney will have to get liability insurance.”


Upon consultation with the Bar Council, Francis says, varying levels of coverage will be established for attorneys.


However, Francis says it does not mean that transactions performed are calculated cumulatively to the set insurance value. It means the attorney can do any number of transactions, each up to that value.


“We are going to discuss this further with the Bar Association. I would recommend that the insurance certificate be displayed like you display the practising certificate. Everyone coming into your chamber will be aware of what your limit is in terms of liability insurance.”


The premise of the amendment to the Legal Profession Act is to keep practising attorneys accountable to their clients, Francis says, and to safeguard those clients against any possible loss resulting from negligence by their legal counsel.



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