No State briefs for Martin… Daly preparing for President’s House

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Why is Martin Daly not accepting State briefs these days?

Answer: He is winding up his legal practice so he can accept the position of President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago when it becomes vacant in March 2018.

Daly is tipped to replace Anthony Carmona, who will be the only President to serve one term in office. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is bent on replacing Carmona. What makes it even more intriguing is that Daly is the senior partner in the law firm, M.G Daly and Partners. Guess who works in those Chambers? – Sharon Rowley, wife of the Prime Minister.

Friends of Martin Daly have been saying that Daly has been given notice to wind up his legal practice, conclude all outstanding cases, if possible, and clear his slate to occupy the seat of President. He will follow Presidents such as Ellis Clarke, Noor Hassanali, Arthur NR Robinson, Max Richards, and Carmona.

Sources close to Dr Rowley say the Prime Minister, while in Opposition, was not impressed with Carmona who moved from the High Court Bench to being President. He is clear that he wants another President, although Carmona called him on the night of the general elections on September 7, 2015 to congratulate him even though the EBC had not verified the results.

Daly served as Independent Senator between 1992 and 2001. But since he started writing in the Sunday Express, Daly has not been independent. He had been very critical of the People’s Partnership Government, while praising the Rowley Government. How independent is he as a columnist?

Writing in the Sunday Express on November 7, 2014, Daly questioned the $28,000 tax free housing allowance given to Carmona, even though the President was occupying State premises at Flag Staff, St James. Daly questioned the legal basis on which the Chief Personnel Officer granted this approval.

Instead of criticizing, Daly should have checked the status of the Presidency, which we hope he will do when he gets into President House.

Carmona was occupying a house at Flag Staff which was previously occupied by former Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs. The place was in a dilapidated state where Carmona was unable to host private functions. In the living room, Carmona had to replace a large rug to hide a gaping hole in the floor. Despite queries, the State agencies never took Carmona on.

In other words, Carmona could not invite people over, so that is where the CPO agreed to give an allowance whereby Carmona could rent venues to host his functions. It is a pity that the President never explained that to the public. When the cottage on President’s Grounds was completed in June 2015, Carmona and his family moved in. The $28,000 allowance stopped as Carmona was now in a position to host people at the cottage.

Writing in the Sunday Express on September 4, 2010, Daly was critical of the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led Government. This is what he wrote in part:

“Before my August break, I gave glimpses of my growing impatience with the new Government (and I am not referring to it as “new” after today). It is now more than three months since it took office. It is time to assume the demeanour of a Government. The time for settling in is up.

“Time is up, People’s Partnership, for the gallery of victory. Let me first, after my two week August break, recap the concerns I had been expressing between mid June and mid August: Individualistic outbursts by members of Cabinet comprising either unseemly personal attacks or off the cuff statements, which concern fundamental policy issues, obvious lack of teamwork, dissatisfaction with the placement of special advisers and hidden lobbyists, such as ex-ministers, with access to and secretly operating within the engine room of the Government.”

But Daly has not done the same with the Rowley Government. What about the outbursts by the present Ministers, one of whom “steups” at a PNM supporter when she approached him for a house.

Well, Daly’s clear political bias was published in the Sunday Express (July 17, 2016). In his column headlined “After the speeches, what?”, here is how Daly started, “Our Prime Minister Keith Rowley made a splendid speech on the occasion of the State funeral of former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

“I think it ‘real’ that an incumbent Prime Minister would speak from the heart than in dull, conventional funeral platitudes,” Daly wrote. But he in he same article he criticized St Vincent’s Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who  incidentally got a standing ovation in Woodford Square from the PNM supporters. So who was really dull?

WHO IS MARTIN DALY?

Martin Daly heads M. G Daly and Partners, which is a firm of attorneys at law located at 115A Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad. The firm has five partners, namely, Jo-Anne Julien, Sharon Clark-Rowley, Sashi Indarsingh, Christopher Sieuchand and Helen Araujo. In addition, the firm employs three associates and has a consultant, Elton Prescott SC.

They are attorneys-at-law specializing in all aspects of commercial and labour law, corporate law and conveyancing, the latter with particular reference to bank security documents. Their premier clients are businesses in the financial services sector including banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, companies active in the energy sector and two statutory authorities.  They also act for other statutory authorities, energy sector related companies, a mix of other businesses and two leading credit unions.

The firm is unique in that our senior partner, Mr. Martin G. Daly S.C. and Mr. Elton A. Prescott S.C., Consultant, are also trial attorneys-at-law with wide experience in civil industrial relations and public law litigation. They are both prominent attorneys-at-law at the local bar with our Senior Partner, Mr. Martin G. Daly S.C. being appointed Senior Counsel in 1979 at an age that made him the youngest so appointed in the Caribbean and Mr. Prescott S.C. being appointed Senior Counsel in 2006. Persons who are appointed Senior Counsel are recognized as outstanding advocates before the Courts.

Members of the firm have participated significantly in a variety of activities beyond the attorney-client relationship, providing invaluable experience which may be brought to and enrich the attorney-client relationship.

These activities are mentioned in the curriculum vitae of the partners and include judicial and legislative experience and company directorship (Mr. Martin G. Daly S.C., Senior Partner), directorship of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago from 1990 to 1996 (Mr. Elton A. Prescott S.C., Consultant), directorship of the Board of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce (Ms. Jo-Anne Julien, Partner) and advanced legal studies in international transactions (Mrs. Sharon Clark-Rowley, Partner).

During the period 2010 to 2015, Martin Daly was  paid $2,514,423 for State briefs.

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