Ten days after he accepted a brief from the Ministry of Finance to be its lead counsel in the CLICO/Hindu Credit Union Commission of Enquiry, Law Association president Seenath Jairam SC returned the brief to the ministry yesterday.
Junior counsel Joseph Toney, who is chairman of the Congress of the People (COP), also returned the brief given by the ministry yesterday.
Attorney Jagdeo Singh is now the only legal representation for the Ministry of Finance when the enquiry resumes on Monday.
Singh told the Express he couldn't abandon the client at this stage with the enquiry mere days away and he was "ethically bound to stay at this point".
He said "somebody has to be prepared" for the enquiry and he was "deep in paper" reading.
Singh, who is also a junior counsel in the 1990 Coup Commission, said he had been working a 17-hour day since he got the brief.
Jairam, Toney and Singh were the legal team selected by Finance Minister Larry Howai to replace Fyard Hosein SC and Michael Quamina as the Ministry's attorneys.
Quamina and Hosein had represented the Ministry for 18 months of the enquiry.
The enquiry is expected to be concluded in May 2013.
In a statement issued on the matter, Jairam said while he had received advice that there was no good reason to return the brief and that he was satisfied that he had breached no ethical or professional standards by accepting the brief from the Minister of Finance, he was bound, based on the "public perception manifested in the media", to lead by example and return the brief.
Toney said he returned the brief because it was causing tremendous discomfort to members of his political party.
He said he had been a public figure for three decades and his integrity had never been questioned.
"Although there is nothing wrong with being hired by the State in my professional capacity, there was public discomfort. I did not want anyone to think that the office of the chairman of the COP (Congress of the People) can be bought or compromised," he said.
Finance Minister Larry Howai could not be reached for comment last night.