Thursday 17 April 2014

Solicitors in the dock on debt

IT is an odd situation when solicitors, who are officers of the courts, find themselves as defendants in bigger and bigger debt judgment cases.

Solicitors have racked up a higher amount of debt judgments than any other profession.

There were €92.4m in judgments made against solicitors last year for the non-payment of money they had borrowed, figures compiled by 'Stubbs Gazette' show. This is more than 630pc higher than the value of the judgments issued against solicitors in 2011.

Having a judgment registered against a solicitor does not automatically mean they can't practice, but they can have restrictions imposed on them.

All of this is a big headache for the director general of the Law Society, Ken Murphy.

Some of his members got greedy during the property bubble. They were not satisfied with carrying out the conveyancing on property deals, they wanted a piece of the action also.

This means that many lawyers got involved as developers and promoters of schemes – deals that have since gone sour.

Now it has emerged that the regulators in the Law Society are keeping a very close watch to see when members pop up in 'Stubbs Gazette'.

That means that one of the most actively read publications in the Law Society's Dublin offices these days is 'Stubbs Gazette' rather than the 'Law Society Gazette'.

Irish Independent

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