No client pays anything like $1M in annual retainer fees

Dear Editor,

I do not seek to respond to Mr. Anil Nandlall’s remarks about me. Those same tired accusations have been made repeatedly by his cohorts in the PPP, ad nauseam, and have been answered. I do point out, however, that following the pattern of his leader, he ends his letter with threats.

His allegation that I “accepted retainer contracts for legal services valued at millions of dollars for several state-owned companies, agencies of state, departments of government and public corporations” is rather surprising. If true, why did he not use his influence to withdraw these alleged contracts while serving the government? These unworthy allegations have been made and answered before.

My firm, Cameron & Shepherd, of which I am only one of five partners, was established in April 1901 and is the oldest and most reputable law firm in Guyana and one of the best known in the Caribbean. It has not a single client which pays anything remotely close to $1 million in retainer fees. Fees for services in individual matters are based on time spent and complexity. These are fixed and compare favourably with standard fees of the lower scale in the legal profession. The few state-owned companies and statutory bodies which are our clients make up about one-fifth or less of our clientele and a similarly small proportion of our income.

The answer to his assertions about a violation of the Procurement Act by the Government offering a MOU to Fedders Lloyd has been answered by Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan in another section of the press and it is worth repeating. The contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of the Procurement Act state that upon a termination “the employer may enter the site, expel the contractor and complete the facilities itself or by employing any third party.”

The Government’s actions in signing the MOU with Fedders Lloyd is therefore quite in order, as I have argued.

Yours faithfully,

Ralph Ramkarran

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