Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Brakes on Brady! - Top flight attorney in painful fall after being found guilty of professional misconduct

Published:Sunday | March 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue

Harold Brady - the colourful and once-trusted legal lieutenant of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leaders Bruce Golding and Edward Seaga - is on a fast track to infamy as he has joined the ranks of members of the legal profession barred from practising law in Jamaica.

Brady - who featured prominently in the JLP's machinations which led to the Commission of Enquiry into the actions of the Golding-led Government in the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke-Manatt affair - was yesterday struck from the roll of practising attorneys in Jamaica after being found guilty of professional misconduct.

There is as yet no official word from the General Legal Council (GLC) as to the circumstances surrounding the decision of its Disciplinary Council to deliver the ultimate penalty to Brady, but the attorney-at-law, who made his reputation as a high-stakes deal broker, confirmed the action early yesterday afternoon.

"They have taken from me what they gave to me, but what I have they can't take from me," Brady told The Sunday Gleaner, sparking memories of his "Not one word sir" response when called to testify during the Dudus-Manatt Commission of Enquiry.

At the heart of the latest troubles for the always stylish Brady is a deal involving former government minister Dr Neville Gallimore and an attempt by a company he operated to purchase a property from the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ).

In April last year, The Sunday Gleaner first reported that Dr Gallimore started proceedings for the purchase of a property at the corner of Marcus Garvey Drive and Industrial Terrace in 2011.

But 10 months after making total payments of $142 million, he had not received the title for the property.

At the time, Gallimore's lawyers were unable to collect the title from FCJ as the state entity said it had not received the money.

Brady has insisted the money is now paid to the FCJ, but when our news team checked, five years after the deal should have been completed, Gallimore's attorneys, Grayson & Company, was demanding the title, having provided proof that the entire sum was paid to Brady, whose company was acting on behalf of the FCJ.

Gallimore's lawyers said on February 23, 2011, $100 million was paid by way of a manager's cheque to Brady & Company, which responded on the same day acknowledging receipt.

Three years after that payment, April 2014, Brady & Company wrote to Gallimore's lawyers enclosing a copy of a duplicate certificate of title to be registered in his name, but indicated that there were encroachments which had to be corrected.

Gallimore's lawyers were told that there was an outstanding balance of $21.5 million to close the deal with a 'notice to complete, making time of the essence' and requesting a banker's undertaking for the outstanding sum.

Sale of the property was approved in 2010 by the then Golding-led Cabinet. The property housed Universal Freight Limited, which was operated by the Gallimores.

With the matter referred to the GLC, following a probe the Disciplinary Committee handed down its ruling yesterday, putting the brakes on Brady's legal career, plus ordering him to pay restitution to the FCJ to the tune of just over $111 million.

The GLC is chaired by veteran attorney Walter Scott, who could not be contacted yesterday.

Brady's name will now be added to the list of 50 lawyers who the GLC has barred from practising law in Jamaica.

The attorney, who unsuccessfully contested the 1997 general election on behalf of the JLP in St Andrew South Eastern, and famously used his body to block PNP supporters from accessing a public facility which he claimed was built by the JLP, will now have to decide if he will head to the courts to challenge the GLC's ruling.