to throw the book at accountants
The Bar Association yesterday decided to take legal action against
accountancy firms which are allegedly involved in what is seen as
the improper practice of bypassing legal procedures.
Kalinga Indatissa speaking after a Bar Council meeting yesterday
said that in most cases the services of young lawyers had been used
by accountancy firms to endorse major contracts without following
proper legal procedures and minimal fees were being paid to those
He said the
Bar Council had appointed a top-level committee to work out plans
to file action against the accountancy firms. The Committee headed
by BASL Deputy President Ikram Mohamed would include Romesh de Silva,
PC, Chandra Seneviratne, PC, K. Neelakandan, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
and Upul Jayasuriya.
said action would be filed under an ordinance whereby it was prohibited
to receive any gratification for procuring employment as a legal
practitioner. The ordinance also laid down that it was illegal to
retain or withhold any gratification of the remuneration to be paid
to a legal practitioner.
said there was evidence that some major accountancy firms enlisted
the services of young lawyers into their legal departments and got
them to sign various contracts, thereby bypassing the procedures.
who raised the issue at yesterday's Bar Council meeting said some
of the accountancy firms were acting improperly and it was affecting
the legal profession.
He said some
of the legal departments of the state institutions were also responsible
for handing over some of the duties to the accountancy firms which
obtained the services of few lawyers and completed the contracts
thereby intruding into the legal profession.