Minding Your Legal Affairs: Protections for the client under the Legal Profession Act 2011

Access to law Governing the Legal Profession: You may obtain a copy of the Legal Profession Act 2011 (the LPA) from the Government Printery upon payment of a small charge instead of having to read through obscure books to know what your rights are.

Professional Indemnity Insurance: Each attorney-at-law in private practice must be covered by professional indemnity insurance. If you successfully claim against your attorney-at-law for negligent work or advice, you can recover your judgment from an insurance company instead of an impecunious or clever individual.

Disciplinary proceedings: A council established by the LPA, comprised as follows, can hear complaints of wrongdoing by attorneys-at-law: a judge, the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General in his absence, a nominee of the Conference of Churches, 2 members of the public selected by the Governor-General; and 3 attorneys-at-law, nominated by the Grenada Bar Association. The Secretary to the Council is the Registrar, whose office can assist with lodging complaints without the assistance of an attorney-at-law.

Your attorney-at-law’s ability to provide competent legal advice: Your attorney-at-law must keep himself/herself current on changes in the law by continuing legal education.

Your right to an account: Your attorney-at-law has 3 months after your demand to give you an account of all monies, not being fees paid for his/her services, held for you.

Your moneys are protected from the attorney-at-law’s personal indebtedness: Each attorney-at-law who holds funds for his/her client must open an account he/she must tell the Bank is a client account, so that the Bank will not deduct from those monies to service personal debts of the attorney-at-law.

Your attorney-at-law must not profit from your monies: The LPA is clear that an attorney-at-law must not hold his client’s monies on an interest-bearing account.

Your protections under the LPA only apply when you hire a practicing attorney-at-law: A person who is not qualified to act as an attorney-at-law, or who has been disbarred, but acts as one, or an attorney-at-law who facilitates any such person, may, if charged and found guilty, be charged up to $20,000 AND sent to prison for up to 2 years, and the person who facilitates can be disbarred.

Your attorney’s obligation on dispute resolution: Where appropriate, an attorney-at-law must advise his/her client to attempt to settle the dispute. He/she is not colluding with the other side because he/she suggests a likely quicker, cheaper, and more effective option.

When can an attorney-at-law represent you and another person(s) on the same transaction/matter:

An attorney-at-law may represent multiple clients:

  1. only if he/she can adequately represent the interest of each;
  2. if each consents to such representation;
  3. after he has explained fully the possible effects of such representation;
  4. being lender and borrower or seller and purchaser, only after each of them has had independent legal advice, and each presents to the attorney-at-law his/her written consent to such joint representation.

The following attorneys-at-law employed by government cannot lawfully act for you for a fee: Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Senior Crown Counsel, Senior Legal Counsel, Parliamentary Counsel, Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Legal Drafter, Crown Counsel and or Magistrate.

Grenada Bar Association

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