A complaint spanning several years put before the Bermuda Bar Association and later withdrawn, has been reactivated against a lawyer; who no longer runs a private practice, and works as a Senior Crown Counsel for the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Colleen Williams refiled her complaint against Myron Simmons with the Bermuda Bar Association on Wednesday, March 21st.
At the centre of the dispute is $400,000 in cash, left in an accounts which he had control of at the former law firm of Lightbourne and Simmons.
Roughly $100,000 was put in escrow for her daughter’s education, the other $300,000 she said Mr Simmons asked her to loan to him, which she did.
She also provided Bermuda Real with a documented paper trail in a file that contains a Promissory Note, signed by Mr Simmons and a witness, in addition to bank statements on the accounts involved and both complaints to the Bar Association.
The complaint reactivated, Reference Number PCC-360, states: “With reference to my previous filing, I am resubmitting my complaint of improper conduct against Myron Simmons: Lightbourne & Simmons, due to failure on his part to comply with the agreement made between us, to honour the Promissory Note and to make restitution of monies owed.
“This agreement was the reason that I stopped the the proceedings previously. It is my desire to reopen the case and proceed with the investigation as the Professional Conduct Committee may see fit.
“I recognize that stopping the proceedings in the first instance may have caused an inconvenience to the Board, and so I extend sincere apologies.
“However, because of the total disregard and contempt I’ve suffered throughout this ordeal, I am left with no recourse but to go forward and bring this complaint to maturity. I have enclosed all relevant correspondence in an effort to promote expediency.”
In an exclusive interview with Bermuda Real, Ms Williams said the dispute moved to a new level when she discovered that the money held in escrow had been spent while in the process of registering her daughter for college abroad.
“Then I started pressuring him and little by little he gave me $75,000,” she said. “He just kept asking me to be patient – be lenient and that he was going to take care of it, and this went on from 2014.
“I think it’s very disrespectful for a lawyer in a position of prominence to disregard their obligation to me like there is no obligation. I’m questioning how lawyers could do that – to whom much is given much is expected. And no I’m not getting what I expected!
“I want the Bermuda Bar Association to hold Myron Simmons to the standard he should be held to, and whatever the consequences are, then so be it. I’m looking for justice!”
Ms Williams explained that her family had been dealing with Mr Simmons for many years. Her late grandmother died in 1996 and left the family homestead to her and her sister.
“It was decided that we should sell the property. Myron Simmons handled the paperwork for the sale. The house was eventually sold for $1.25 million and I purchased a condo up in Somerset.
“We stayed there for a while until about 2009, went away for a while and then came back to Bermuda and sold it. Myron Simmons handled that as well and the condo was sold for $725,000.
“Then I purchased Charing Cross and $400,000 was left over in an account that he had control of, $100,000 was put in escrow for my daughter’s education. The other $300,000 he asked me to loan to him for real estate deals and I did it.”
She stressed that she has tried to resolve this matter since 2014. But she said: “I’ve been given the runaround throughout this whole ordeal.
When she filed her initial complaint to the Bar Association and they were ready to proceed, she said: “Myron Simmons promised me that he would sort it out and he begged me to call it off.
“I withdrew the matter in good faith because he promised to sort it out. Four years later – nothing has happened, and I have no more options other than to proceed with my complaint.”
And she said it was “way past time to have this matter settled, starting with the Bermuda Bar Association”.
When contacted by Bermuda Real last week, Mr Simmons said: “In regards to the accusations against me, I am not at liberty to discuss with the media any relationships with clients.
“I do not intend to communicate with you any further on this personal matter and especially not on this public portal.”
Since then, Bermuda Real has obtained the confirmation letter from the Bermuda Bar Association.
The letter states: “In accordance with Section 21 of the Bermuda Bar Act, the Bar Council, have referred the matter to its Professional Conduct Committee (“the Committee”) to investigate and make a determination as to whether a prima facie case of improper conduct has been made out against the person complained against, to be referred to as the Respondent.”
Ms Williams was also informed that “should this matter be referred to a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal Committee”, she will be required to provide a witness statement”.
She was also informed that “it is possible” that she “will be required to attend for the purpose of cross-examination by the Respondent” on her statement, which she said she was more than prepared to do.
This latest development was put to Mr Simmons yesterday, noting that this story would be published today. There was no response.