Crim­i­nal As­sets Bu­reau re­ports two solic­i­tors to Law So­ci­ety reg­u­la­tors

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - News - Maeve Shee­han

THE Crim­i­nal As­sets Bu­reau (CAB) has passed in­for­ma­tion on two solic­i­tors to the Law So­ci­ety af­ter be­com­ing con­cerned about the work they were car­ry­ing out for clients who were tar­gets of the bu­reau.

The agency is un­der­stood to have re­ferred the cases of two solic­i­tors in re­cent months to the so­ci­ety, which is the reg­u­la­tory body for the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

How­ever, the Law So­ci­ety has in­di­cated that it will not be tak­ing fur­ther ac­tion on foot of the in­for­ma­tion from the bu­reau.

In a state­ment to the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, it said there was “in­suf­fi­cient le­gal and fac­tual ba­sis” to take dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings.

The of­fices of pro­fes­sional ad­vis­ers are fre­quently raided by the CAB dur­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into white-col­lar crime and money-laun­der­ing, but this is rou­tinely to se­cure files and pa­per­work re­lated to their sus­pects and does not re­flect on the pro­fes­sion­als in­volved.

How­ever, in one ex­cep­tion, bu­reau of­fi­cers crit­i­cised an ac­coun­tant whose clients in­cluded sus­pected mem­bers of a gang linked to the Ki­na­han-Hutch feud.

The ac­coun­tant’s of­fices were raided as a part of a wider probe into the gang’s fi­nances but bu­reau of­fi­cers claimed in an af­fi­davit that the ac­coun­tant was “eva­sive, un­pro­fes­sional and unco-op­er­a­tive”.

One of the coun­try’s big­gest law firms, Math­e­son, has launched an app called Dawn Raid, which ad­vises com­pa­nies on how to pre­pare for and re­act to searches, warn­ing that Ir­ish and EU reg­u­la­tors can now forcibly en­ter a busi­ness or home, de­mand in­for­ma­tion and seize records.

An ar­ti­cle in the lat­est is­sue of the Law So­ci­ety Gazette in­forms read­ers that “any busi­ness fear­ing a dawn raid on sus­pi­cion of white-col­lar crime” can get help from the app, which is “a tool for cri­sis man­age­ment and train­ing”.

The app gives “step-by-step guid­ance for how to be­have dur­ing a raid, and aware­ness train­ing of raid pro­to­col ahead of time. There will also be push-but­ton ac­cess to Math­e­son lawyers em­bed­ded in the tool”.

In a state­ment to the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, Law So­ci­ety di­rec­tor gen­eral Ken Mur­phy said: “The CAB has pro­vided in­for­ma­tion to the Law So­ci­ety about two solic­i­tors. These were not com­plaints.

“Upon in­ves­ti­ga­tion, nei­ther of these mat­ters were re­ferred to the Solic­i­tors Dis­ci­plinary Tri­bunal as there was in­suf­fi­cient le­gal and fac­tual ba­sis to take dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings.

“For le­gal rea­sons, the Law So­ci­ety is un­able to com­ment fur­ther.”

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