Inniss wants lawyers to spread their wings

Minister of International Business Donville Inniss is not satisfied that local lawyers are getting into niche areas of practice especially in the international business sector.

The outspoken government minister said it is about time lawyers in Barbados stop limiting themselves to the common areas of law that were practiced and start exploring more niche areas that would allow them to work globally.

Pointing out that next month there would be “a couple dozen” more lawyers admitted to the Bar, Inniss said people often lament the number of lawyers on the island.


However, he said “I am not dismayed about the numbers. What disappoints me is the lack of interest in getting into niche areas in the field of law that can service international business sector”.

He said he realized that despite the number of lawyers being admitted to the Bar, there was still a need for attorneys-at-law who have a training and specialization in niche areas relating to “cross border transactions and taxation”.

“It means that the lawyers that work in Barbados cannot and must not limit themselves to just fundamental law as exists in Barbados but must start to have a greater appreciation of what is happening in the world,” said Inniss.

A check on the Bar association’s website showed only one attorney-at-law specializing in international tax law; nine specializing in international business law; five specializing in wealth management law; and 36 specializing in international trade law.

Inniss’ comments came as he addressed the official launch of the Barbados International Business Association’s (BIBAs) National Secondary Schools Quiz tournament on Monday at the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s (BPWCCULs) Belmont, St Michael location.

Officials are hoping to bring more awareness of the sector to the youth through the national quiz tournament, which will see students in forth, fifth and sixth forms across the island going up against each other for more than $15,000 in prizes, which is provided by the BPWCCUL, the primary sponsor of the tournament.

President of BIBA Gregory McConnie said there was a perception that the international business sector was “something elusive and only of benefit to a handful of rich guys and expat”.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said McConnie, stating that the sector provided a lot of opportunities for a vast section of university graduates.

“It is hoped that through international business week, this tournament and future initiatives we can eventually alter the perception about the sector,” he added.

Marketing and communications chairperson and director of BIBA Tara Frater said the interest among the students and teachers in the tournament was very high, adding that several secondary schools have already registered.

The tournament, which will consist of three rounds and a final, will start on October 24 and end on December 2, 2016. (MM)


9 Responses to Inniss wants lawyers to spread their wings

  1. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis October 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Tell we were Barbadian Tax dollars gone.Always jucking he foolish mouth in every body business

  2. Tony Webster October 9, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    There is value in our lawyers “going global”. However, the underlying problem remains: Attorneys-at-Law are given unfair , privileged great ent in that they can conspire as a group Call it cabal or a cartel) where the minimum prices of their services are not subject to market forces of supply and demand. This is anathema to free markets anywhere God’s Green Earth, for products, services, or commodities.

    Having lots of new attorneys out looking for business will at some blessed time, cause cracks to appear in the cartel….and immediately place at risk the up-ending of the whole apple-cart. The real solution is not a placebo or an alalgesic, but surgery. Major surgery.

    However, now is a most inconvenient time for scheduling…or even talking…of reforming the rotten system of set fees for certain legal services. Much better to postpone the surgery. Yes, indefinitely.

  3. Phil October 9, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    It all starts at the University. Most if not all attorneys are focusing on criminal or civil law. That’s where they see themselves making the money. Tony Webster, you are perfectly correct. They, like doctors and political parties, have a network going. They defend and protect each other beyond belief. Oh and Barbados Today, This article is much too long for what it is worth. Unless of course you are trying to “big up” the Minister…

  4. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde October 10, 2016 at 12:13 am

    I’m all for spreading wings, he should sprout his and fly off into the sunset and never return.

  5. Hal Austin October 10, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Even Inniss get the occasional thing right. Allow lawyers to compete in fees, advertise, we want to see more mergers with other law and accountancy firms, give those admitted to the bar the right to appear in court, but allow other specialists to compete: conveyancing, writing opinions, appear in tribunals, etc.
    Law should not be a protected specie.

  6. Jus me October 10, 2016 at 6:48 am

    In Barbados, Lawyers persue the profession wherein the innocent are represented by the guilty.

  7. Phil October 10, 2016 at 9:26 am

    There are many elements related to International Business. These include, Corporate Business structures, Constitutional Law, Laws governing acquisitions, Buy Outs and Take Overs, Shares and Dividends values and payments, and here is where the tax element comes in because there are loopholes as Trump can best explain. How can a man declare bankruptcy 5 times and still worth tens of Billions of dollars? He’ll tell you he’s hood at holes. The loop holes in the system, and the holes on women..

  8. jrsmith October 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    The first thing we need to be able to trust our lawyers , at the rate we are going half our island would be lawyers…

  9. Hal Austin October 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    jr smith, you are right. The number of good people going in to law is a waste of good talent. Partly it is to do with the lack of career opportunities.
    Once we have lost confidence in lawyers, we do in the legal system and, therefore, the nation goes in to decline. This is what we are experiencing today.


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