Couple accuse local lawyer of deceiving them

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Couple accuse local lawyer of deceiving them
The Nelsons speaking to HTS News4orce's Miguel Fevrier.
The Nelsons speaking to HTS News4orce’s Miguel Fevrier.

A British couple who hired a local lawyer to register a piece of property which they bought in Monier, Gros Islet in 2006 are crying foul more than a decade later, as the land has still not been transferred to them.

A frustrated Donald and Pamela Nelson clams that they contracted the services of the lawyer to deal with the transfer and have long paid the attorney in full to put the land in Pamela’s name. She is of St. Lucian parentage.

For some time, the couple said they believed that the process was completed but realised the contrary when the former owner called claiming that the Inland Revenue Department was demanding from him thousands in property taxes. After inquiring, they found out that the land was never registered in Pamela’s name.

Since learning of this, the Nelsons have made several trips to the island to try to resolve the issue. They travelled here in 2015, 2016 and twice in the last year. They gave HTS News4orce an account of their story.

According to Donald, the lawyer in question has admitted that he failed to come through with his end of their contract, though he was paid to do so.

“…He agreed and admitted that he should have registered the property in Pamela’s name but he had not done so. He also agreed and accepted that he had been paid in full for doing this work; however, he would get unto it and get it done promptly. That unfortunately was an empty promise because the registration was not done,” the husband said.

Donald said that after their fruitless 2015 and 2016 visits to St. Lucia they decided to take the matter to the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association which contacted the local bar association asking that they deal with the matter urgently.

“… The bar association chair in St. Lucia then contacted us to say she will deal with it because it is a disciplinary matter and must be dealt with. However we lacked update and information from the chair. On pressing her, her response to us was, ‘I implore you, do be patient. Please be patient’,” Donald said.

“We were irritated at that response given that we’d waited virtually ten years for this process to take place,” he added.

According to the couple, they were advised that the lawyer in question is not a financial member of the local bar association and their best bet would be to take legal action against him. The Nelsons wish to sell the property and have already had several offers but they are unable to since the land is not registered to Pamela.

“Are we to believe that this behaviour is acceptable In St Lucia? We wonder how many other ordinary people who may not have a voice suffer at the hands of, I dare say, unscrupulous lawyers because that’s the behaviour that they exhibit. They take money, agree to do work, they enter into a contract but they don’t complete. And the client is then left at odds, often out of pocket … up to now, we are thousands of pounds out of pocket as a result of several visits to St. Lucia in order to get this sorted,” Donald said.

(37)(4)

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45 COMMENTS

  1. In fairness to the lawyer though he has not completed the transaction he has made no attempt to deny the troubled buyers of their property by attempting to use the said property to his advantage. Not even the previous owner has even attempted to be unscrupulous although the land is still in his name. Two positives in this story already.

    What captured my interest about this case is the fact that none of the two buyers are St.Lucian citizens though "Pamela's" mother is supposed to be a St.Lucian. Could it be that the lawyer was unable to effectively complete the transaction because the buyers needed an Alien Landowner's License? Which in fact should cost them more money.

    The lawyer is definitely guilty of "inefficiency" but at least he is no crook.

    (2)(4)

      • Oh by the way the lawyer didn't kill anyone either. Does that make me a murderer? You people just love insulting people. And for additional measure the lawyer was not money laundering. Does that make me a money launderer too? You need me to go on!! But I didn't call you a jackass. So you know what that makes me of course. But in spite of e everything you were right to bring to my attention that I shouldn't seem to be defending that lawyer. I probably should have called hima "dog" s that I would have no chance of being called one. Thanks.

        (0)(0)

    • He entered into a contract to transfer title and he is recognized under the law as being competent to do so. Any barriers against registration, he is obligated to give that advice to his clients. However, the couple should have gone ahead and sued him. In fact the would have gained more because the lawyer would have to pay additional compensation for lost of business opportunity.

      (1)(0)

  2. Please publicize the name of the lawyer. People need to be aware of the doings of these lawyers particularly when legal fees are so exorbitant and honest people have worked hard for their money or have taken loans to purchase property to put a roof over their head. If it was an ordinary person their name would have been plastered all over the place!!!

    (7)(0)

  3. The Bar Association is complicit in this type of thievery by lawyers, unless they act swiftly to resolve such complaints. If a practising lawyer is beyond your jurisdiction because he has not paid dues you have 2 problems:
    1. You are telling us that running a loose ship (anything goes when you hire a lawyer in this jurisdiction---hmmm...so potentially prepare to administer your own discipline in they go rogue?)

    2. Lawyers who break the rules (not paying required dues), can flourish by breaking more rules (stealing from clients-if they pay for a service and it is not delivered)

    These stories of lawyers behaving without consideration of ethics are not new (my brother had the same experience 20 years ago and the culprit is still practicing law in the jurisdiction despite having written multiple complaints to the Bar!!!).

    Have the honest among you no sense of professional pride to stop the lawlessness in your supposed honourable profession? By doing nothing that you are doing a disservice to the profession. I have even heard that reps from financial institutions (after hearing such horror stories from their clients) have taken to telling them unofficially (for their benefit) who are the rogues to avoid. Is this true? Must other institutions do the job of the Bar Association Disciplinary Committee for you?

    Think about it, even minibus drivers via (NCOPT and Transport Board) have procedures and clout to discipline rogue minibus drivers. You mean minibus drivers are attempting (and of course they can do more) when drivers do not provide a service (that cost at max $10-a trip to Vieux Fort) and you cannot respond to infractions by rogue lawyers that run clients in the thousands of dollars? SHAME, Shame, shame...

    (1)(0)

  4. Man! I have a friend who has had her doc in high court for 10 years. They have her money. Keep telling her...go and get ur papers before they take the land under you. "No..No!"

    Some of us always want to rush. Some of us leave our business for others. Some of us feel other people can talk better than us.

    That's how a lot of people before lost their land. To lawyer ministers and their lawyer friends. It's all over the place!

    We need a feedback page for businesses.

    (7)(0)

  5. In situations like these ,that's when obeah needs to come to play ,send the layer and drink water in the gutter Castries or make them turn jombie,/cripple them in a wheel chair ,they will see ppl money and respect it.

    (4)(5)

    • I am sure you can. Wasn't that pair involved with the Malgretoute hotel Project? What about it now???

      (4)(0)

  6. If it was me all now so they lock me up already. He's not a financial member and he is allowed to do his trade illegally. Nonsense.

    (5)(1)

  7. Leak the lawyer's name?! I have yet to meet one lawyer I can trust. I am shopping for land and I need a lawyer I can trust. Please help me weed out all the criminals.

    (14)(4)

    • You can trust Petrus and Maurice Compton. I can vouch for them especially in regard working quickly and efficiently.

      (3)(1)

  8. Lock him up , do not give him the chance to fix it ,put a pig in a palace it is still a f- nast-y pig.

    (11)(0)

  9. "...the land has still not been transferred to them."

    "... to put the land in Pamela’s name. She is of St. Lucian parentage."

    Being of St Lucian parentage means she is entitled to Citizenship. If she hasn't applied for citizenship then she would need an Aliens Landholding License to purchase property. So please give us the full story. Were y'all trying to do some cocomakack?

    (2)(22)

  10. Now people will understand what's it's like to live in the uk for years ....work hard and come home to this. I am proud of this couple because I understand what they are going through.

    Well done mate!!!! Cheers!!!! Let them know what it's like to clean toilet for a living in the uk.

    (15)(6)

  11. And ppl wonder why I always say I WILL NVR VOTE FOR LAWYER to be in gov't again. Those lawyers turn ministers n all the laws protect them and take money form us the poor. If our laws change our economy will grow.

    (22)(4)

  12. A local lawyer ripping off a client. It's as common as seeing a mini bus in Castries. The couple need to go one step further and take that scumbag to court. This lawyer profession is a breeding ground for crooks and other misfits. I believe this lawyer should wear a mask along with his suit because he is a thief.

    (26)(0)

  13. I am leaving overseas,While,i have had a well known female lawyer who has tried to ripped me off.Guess how i was capable of achieving her crooked ways.I actually told someone else who doesn't have a local accent to called her in terms of how much she would charge for a particular thing which requires lawyer's assistance?Both prices were not the same.Can anybody recalled that,i have made comments about the ripped off mentally we've had in this country?As soon as someone goes to another country.Then come back to our shores looking different compared to how they were leaving before in the country.There are people who called themselves Africans by human nature ripping you off.What a sad day for these people?

    (5)(2)

  14. I am leaving overseas,While,i have had a well known female lawyer who has tried to ripped me off.Guess how i was capable of achieving her crooked ways.I actually told someone else who doesn't have a local accent to called her in terms of how much she would charge for a particular thing which requires lawyer assistance?Both prices were not the same.Can anybody recalled that,i have made comments about the ripped off mentally we've had in this country?As soon as someone goes to another country.Then come back to our shores looking different compared to how they were leaving before in the country.There are people who called themselves Africans by human nature ripping you off.What a sad day for these people?

    (0)(1)

  15. Why can't we know the name of the lawyer? Why is there protection for him? Lawyers in St Lucia are known to protect each other even when it is clear that their colleague have done something wrong. Unless a few lawyers in St Lucia are sent to jail nothing will change that culture of deception.
    I happy this couple have taken proactive measures. It's time to expose our legal system to the rest of the world even if it means a lost of credibility.

    (25)(0)

  16. I wonder if it's the same teefing jackass I dealing with they should put his name out and his teefing contractor cousin who owes me thousands. Those who feels it knows it I certainly feel their pain.

    (17)(0)

  17. Yes bring the salops out, I bet now that this is out they doing the work quickly, is like u have to shout at them man for them to do work

    (9)(0)

  18. Lawyers are not to be trusted, there are many more similar stories out there, hats off to the couple for speaking out.

    (17)(0)

  19. I do not give a rats ass every lawyer in St.Lucia is crooked. Why do you think the young ones as soon as they finish school run abroad spend two three years and come back saying they pass the bar and sit on their backsides in crooked law firms and say I am an lawyer,yea right.Look out there's more crooks to come remember a rouge.

    (18)(0)

  20. o boy as if lawyers names are not already dirty enough here comes another thing again. thats why people dont trust their best bone in their body you know smh wam to these fellas garcon

    (19)(1)

  21. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

    – Titus 2: 14

    (2)(38)

  22. Everyone knows that lucian lawyers are shitty. there are more than a hundred stories like this one. they dont take their work seriously at all. and its time, there is some regional or national body to crack down on them like in other serious countries.

    (35)(1)

  23. Local Lawyer so whose the lawyer,why you'll hiding that local Lawyer.You'll need to find him,find the con-artist and make him abswer for these charges and allegations against him.Truth or dare.You'll need to stop.These seniors need answers justice okay.

    (33)(1)

  24. It is so sad to hear but this is one of many horror stories which seem to follow doing business in St. Lucia. The lack of professionalism is embarrassing and corruption is widespread since there is little to no accountability. I pray that you will find swift justice. And to think after waiting all those years the Bar Association chair could only meet your demands by simply telling you to 'be patient'. Welcome to St. Lucia aka Land of Lawlessness.

    (39)(1)

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