By AZARD ALI
Friday, December 21 2007
THE LAW firm Hobsons yesterday said that even though House Speaker Barry Sinanan is a senior partner in its San Fernando law firm, his signature is not on record in legal briefs from State Corporations which the firm represents.
Attorney Sherwin Seenath, one of the three senior partners, told Newsday yesterday that all matters from State corporations are handled by a battery of other attorneys. “All contentious matters from corporations are handled by me and Roger Kawalsingh,” Seenath said.
Kawalsingh, who is a junior partner in the firm denied yesterday that Hobsons was one of the law firms which the Home Mortgage Bank retains for legal services. Kawalsingh said that House Speaker Sinanan’s senior partnership in Hobsons, was not connected to the law firm’s legal representation for some State corporations, among which are Petrotrin, Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance, Water and Sewerage Authority and First Citizens Bank.
The Speaker is being threatened with a judicial review lawsuit from UNC MP for Tabaquite Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, who heads the Civil Rights Association, and who intends to challenge his impartiality on the basis of his partnership in Hobsons.
The issue played itself out in the House of Representatives on Monday during the ceremonial opening of Parliament. The UNC opposition through its Chief Whip Maharaj failed to get the Speaker’s agreement to debate items on the Order Paper and Speaker Sinanan adjourned the House to a date to be fixed.
Seenath told Newsday that Sinanan’s speciality was conveyancing, but asked whether the Speaker was an active partner in Hobsons, he reiterated, “It is highly unlikely he is on record. All contentious matters are handled by myself and Mr Kawalsingh.”
Kawalsingh told Newsday that Hobsons has represented State corporations “through several various political administrations,” including the United National Congress. Maharaj is contending that the Speaker is obliged to declare his interest in the law firm to members of Parliament.
The Speaker said he declared the Hobsons interest to the Integrity Commission, stating that he did so instead of “hiding behind a trust” which he was entitled to do. The Speaker’s partnership in Hobsons was mentioned in a letter from Maharaj to the Speaker dated December 18.
Look how to teef fellas!
You see how these fockers know how to use the system to get state wok. Ah could imagine the kinda fees these fockin junior lawyers probably getting and how much goin back in Barry pocket.
Ah PNM know how to teef boy. Lard!