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Tobago

Summary: A handful of Trinidad and Tobago lawyers are raking in millions. Is corruption to blame?

How would you like to make $58 million for practicing law one year? Or how about a meager $1.4 million as a first year lawyer just eight months out of law school? The Attorney General in Trinidad and Tobago, Faris Al Rawi, states the Peoples Partnership Government has spent $900 million in the past five years on legal fees.

  
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During his presentation to the country’s House of Representatives, he explained how payments of over $245 million have gone to only eleven attorneys. The attorneys were all employed externally; they were not employees at the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Here are the check amounts made out to some of the attorneys:

  • $35,818,703.16
  • $26,574,235.00
  • $16,565,083.65
  • $13,773,402.58
  • $13,383,000.00

So, is the Trinidad and Tobago government actually receiving value for the money spent? Al Rawi states, “What the previous Government spoke to and what they did seemed to be far from the key.” Another report by the Auditor General on the government’s spending pointed to many discrepancies in how money was spent.

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The Auditor’s report stated that signed contracts were nonexistent, over-payments in the millions of dollars were made, and lawyers could not provide adequate explanations and evidence to support their fees when asked.

While making millions in a Caribbean paradise would be nice, perhaps we shouldn’t all move there quite yet.



Source: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20151012/news/ag-reveals-the-58-million-lawyer

Photo: Wikipedia.org



 

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