Stress in Legal Circles

2 separate articles in the Times, ouch. … 28238.html

They are

Meanwhile , in a more rarified place. … 28219.html

Nama for the Bar

I suspect the ghost of Derek Quinlan will forever haunt the north quays

Poor Barrasterds!

I thought it was going to be this article:
Bank takes action against legal firm … ing80.html

This is the piece which refers to the cause of the stress: … 01090.html

No glee please. A few investments going south, which seemed like a good idea because everyone else was getting into property plays [one of which is near the courts] & causing you to lose everything you have earned for 20 years is quite tragic.

cry me a river

given the levels of fees charged by barristers I would suggest substituting acquired above for many of our top legal eagles

Some rather smart barristers have been totally cleaned out on private equity schemes. Some even borrowed their equity for the private equity schemes.

We’re hearing it both ways - one that it would be possible to continue to practice and another that it would not. Any idea which it really is Honest?

Personally, I don’t see the problem - it would surely benefit the creditors and the bankruptee if s/he could earn their way out of their bankruptcy (the 50% repayment thingy).

Grey area, I assume that it depends on why they are bankrupt and whether any malfeasance / lying on loan application forms or fraud is involved.

There is no law that automatically disbars them on bankruptcy where there is for solicitors but the latter handle client funds and barristers do not.

I don’t have a view about whether bankruptcy should be fatal to a career at the Bar. (There will probably be some variety of Beverly Cooper Flynn challenge if someone was told to vacate their desk in the Law Library in any event.) The cause of the bankruptcy should be treated separately - i.e. even if your fraudulent ways did not bankrupt you, it should still lead to you being disbarred.

Back to the solicitors. Lorna Burke has previous and her husband Frank could be said to have been struck off 3 times.

That is “Lorna Burke, practising as Burke and Co, Kiltartan House, Forster Street, Galway” … 33159.html

Unsurprisingly the insurance industry found she was a risk. I will get to the story of Frank in a mo.

She was censured again in 2008

anyway to Frank.

Frank was also found guilty and recommended for a strike off by the law society in 1985, the judge saved him and fined him £20k which was the highest ever fine for a solicitor in the High Court at that time. He was struck off finally for other matters like a £120k client fund deficit in 1990 but in 1994 he was passing himself off as a solicitor in Lornas office :slight_smile:

It all came out in the Supreme Court in 2001 when Frank tried to get himself struck back ON in effect …and was refused. … method=all


I would say that between Frank and Lorna there are near 50 separate findings of misconduct by the disciplinary tribunal including at least 3 strikeoff recommendations over the years and yet it will be the Insurance Companies who will finally shut her/him/them down.

The President of the High Court said, and this should be read carefully by the bar too .

The Supreme Court went on.

and MOST pertinent if you are still reading HB

“An Isolated Act Explicable Because of Special Circumstances” …that is the defence case at the bar council for ya. PM me your learned monograph :smiley:

Didn’t Daniel O’Connell kill someone in a duel? Didn’t stop him from practicing law if memory serves…

Plain English translation: I do have a view about whether bankruptcy should be fatal to a career, and my view is it should not…


@ym, even if it was against the barrister’s code of conduct, they can always change it. @olympia, he said he was sorry so it was ok. Insisted on wearing a funky single glove though.

So long as they can still get professional indemnity insurance and no complaints have been made about them it probably is better for society if they earn something and pay off their debts. But if the profession is deemed to be sufficiently special that the stigma of bankruptcy is thought to be repugnant to them continuing to practice, well that’s fine too (in fact it’s a back handed compliment from the proletariat).

I don’t see any reference to it in the Code of Conduct, but I’ve heard people talking about the fact that the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy would have to approve expenditure on your subscriptions, insurance, secretary, expense account for boozy lunches and all of the other items of expenditure necessary for a career at the Bar.

Tell ya wha’, get Lynner to come back and face up to a wig and we’ll talk…

“Better for society…” sheesh! :unamused: