Businesses like ours have to be courageous
Irish Times, 27th February 2012
We are happy to report that John White, Managing Partner of Beachamps Solicitors, on foot of the information provided him, launched a full investigation into the serious and troubling events surrounding the Private Client section of Beauchamps and their service to clients Dolores, Cecil, and Patrick Maxwell, and the history and relationship of Ethan Maxwell to the Private Clients solicitors.
He also appointed a team of solicitors (led by John Costello, former President of the Law Society of Ireland and advocate for the elderly) to oversee the administration of Dolores' estate by Joseph M. Bowe and W. John Cunningham,
We are pleased to say he did this with full transparency, keeping all of Dolores' beneficiaries fully informed of the progress and findings of these investigations. Furthermore he made good on Joseph Bowe's many statements and obtained the financial and other records of Dolores Maxwell, assigning a team of forensic analysts to understand them, and made all this available to the beneficiaries. Mr White also responded to beneficiaries' queries in a timely and professional way.
Except, well, actually the above paragraphs are nothing but bad satire until further notice. Sorry.
So let us present Mr White's actual response here:
Or, perhaps you might prefer the audio version:
Our view of things generally doesn't include retreating behind a wall of silence as a “courageous act.” Then again, we don't claim that our value system has much overlap with a lot of the folks we talk about on these pages. Perhaps in Mr White's, Mr Bowe's, and Mr Cunningham's world, withdrawing behind a wall of silence is a courageous thing to do. We don't know.
Be that as it may, at least as far as the members of Dolores-Maxwell.com and the visitors to this website go, they will do it openly and in full daylight.January 23, 2013
At this point, it's been 7 years, 8 months, and 28 days since Saoirse's letter was delivered to Beauchamps, with the simple request,
“… can you please advise what steps if any, you as Managing Partner of Beauchamps Solicitors, or Beauchamps Solicitors plan to take.”
We'll freeze the timer as soon as we hear of a response. While we're waiting, and since we've loaded up this fine counter code from Praveen Lobo we've codoed up some PHP, we might as well throw out some more numbers. Today marks:
9 years, 4 months, and 4 days since Dolores Maxwell passed away in Wexford General Hospital.
9 years, 4 months, and 28 days since the first time (among many to follow) that Joseph Bowe stated he would seek Dolores' financials and other records once he had the authority to do so – when either Dolores' Enduring Power of Attorney was registered or the Grant of Probate was received.
8 years, 10 months, and 2 days since the Grant of Probate for Dolores' estate.
7 years, 8 months, and 28 days since Dolores' last asset, her house, was sold.
The Wall of Silence and the passage of time makes us wonder if the administration of Dolores' “insignificant” estate isn't actually a mammoth undertaking. For example, for over a year Saoirse's brother has been requesting clarity from the executors about the “phantom headstone.” They seem unable or unwilling to reply. Here, we'll help them out:
Call out to your secretary, intern, or lackey: "Hey you! Pull the Maxwell file and see if we paid any charges for a headstone to either Harrison–Burnell or Ethan or Onan or Adrian or whatever he calls himself. And then shoot off an email to Sean Maxwell telling him the details of what you found. And make it snappy!”
Go back to what you were doing.
Well, what do we know, but it sure seems like a simple piece of work to us. The lack of a response to basically a yes or no query by Mr Bowe's client Sean Maxwell begs the question: Why couldn't Mr Bowe find 15 minutes in the past year to answer his client's question? Or allocate twenty seconds from his busy schedule to have someone else do it? It's a helluva way to treat someone.
In reference to the above cartoon: The first part of the Open Letter to John White series was published one month after John White received Saoirse's third letter. Plenty of time for a response, we think.
Of course, we have to think there must be real reasons this question has remained unanswered for over a year. The wall of silence serves to generate ample theories as to what the real reason may be. All of them lead to a noxious, putrescent and feculent odor emanating from the bowels of the Private Client section at Beauchamps Solicitors. That's a real shame, because all that speculation would be swept away with an honest answer.
It has started to dawn on us that Dolores and her beneficiaries might well have been better served if she had gone to a one–solicitor firm operating out of a 10' x 17' storefront with an answering machine and a part–time receptionist, instead of relying on a professional administration team of solicitor/executors with 6 decades of experience at one of the top law firms in Ireland.
We remain willing and eager to be corrected about anything presented on Dolores-Maxwell.com. Submissions
Perhaps the beneficiaries have no cause to be alarmed. After all, Mr Bowe committed himself to a watchful eye and transparency in the accounts during a meeting with Saoirse in the boardroom of Beauchamps Solicitors two months after Dolores died:
Joe: Ethan is not entitled to any profit or payment for his role as executor, he is entitled to (Unintelligible) expenses…
Joe: …for being executor. And he will probably put forward a bill for visits to this office when he has to sign papers…
Joe: …but, it will be (Unintelligible). Rest assured he's not paid or received no profit for his executor role.
Saoirse: Now, on those, is there a way the rest of the family can get full disclosure?
Joe: Of course. But, (Unintelligible) there's a limit to what (Unintelligible) should be (Unintelligible)
Joe: But you are a residual beneficiary in this estate, (Unintelligible), you will be given an account from Beauchamps that I prepare, showing this is what we started with, this is what we paid out, this is what we collected in, this is what we got left, this is how it (Unintelligible) out. You and all your siblings have to approve that.
Joe: Now if you (Unintelligible)
Joe: I'm sorry, would you really want to go and get all that, now I'll give them to you…
Joe: …because if Ethan says he's out 500 euro and he vouched for it all, that's what he'd be paid…
Joe: …but I mean, you know, I think you could be probably looking for that level of detail, like a (Unintelligible) I should say it…
Joe: …(Unintelligible) allow the executors to have some common sense in this, when I say executors, I mean John Cunningham and myself…
Saoirse: But both of you (Unintelligible)
Joe: Yeah. You have the right to approve the account; you won't sign off on this administration until you're happy, after everyone's been paid, correctly, and not (Unintelligible)
Saoirse: Yeah, yeah
Joe: (Unintelligible) you're entitled to it!
Saoirse: Well, and you'll keep an eye on his expenses as…
Joe: Rest assured! (Unintelligible) because I don't want someone coming back to me and saying it shouldn't be done.
Saoirse: Yeah, only because, again, of Uncle Paddy's and the…
Joe: I know that. Yeah, I understand. I think things might be slightly different this time, because it's a different set of beneficiaries, I mean you will be approving the accounts before we (Unintelligible)
Saoirse: Before. OK, ok.
Saoirse: So, full disclosure.
Saoirse: Now, what are Beauchamps' rates?
Joe: Yeah. Well, I'm too cheap for starters, that's a fact. The fee for this will be…
Joe: It may sound corny, but I think I have some duty to your mother not to be wasting money on this…
Saoirse: Well, yeah.
Joe: (Unintelligible) you say to me I'm entitled to a full disclosure, of course you are, but I just think, there are some things you just have to rely, if I say I've checked out…
Joe: …(Unintelligible). I mean, he does have 500 euro, and he has given me all these taxi receipts, or whatever, but, I mean your sister Sophie, now, sent in a bill (Unintelligible) her going to attend the funeral, I don't know how you get on with Sophie, that's not, I don't want to know…
Joe: I (Unintelligible)
Saoirse: Oh, I know that if there was lodging, um…
Joe: Yeah. But I mean, like, I was (Unintelligible)
Joe: You know all these bills are coming in; you wouldn't normally get that…
Joe: But I think I'll just have to form a view on that, and see how much they are, and who's looking for them…
Saoirse: Is everybody?
Joe: Well, you've got a point, I mean, not everybody has given in a bill for coming to the funeral, so…
Saoirse: I mean, that's your mother, why…unless it was the things like the airfares, I totally understand that, because I know when Dad died, Mom was going to reimburse everybody that made those…
Joe: Yeah, yeah, (Unintelligible) that sort of issue,
Joe: (Unintelligible) I just want to be reasonable about that, and give certain latitude, and not look at every single euro and cent that was spent on it, but as I said, this could mushroom very quickly…
We certainly don't think it's “corny” to not waste a client's money; we consider it part of the absolute minimum level of professional service a client deserves.
And we note that Mr Bowe seems to be aware of his client and co–executor Ethan Maxwell's proclivities:
Joe: You can give me argument, but Ethan has no incentive to keep costs down.
Joe: I mean if there's 30 or 50 thousand spent, (Unintelligible) he's going to be happy.
Saoirse: Oh, he will be, he will be.
We hope in this instance, Mr Bowe will follow through with full disclosure and transparency for Dolores' beneficiaries as he said he would. We'll see.
So while the clock ticks, we'll continue this series which began with Beauchamps>Letters to John White>An Open Letter to John White Part 1 as we look at a letter sent to to each of Beauchamps Solicitors 23 partners. An Open Letter to the Partners.
And we'll keep ourselves busy with other things like pondering what we know about the item on the left and how it played a part in Dolores' Last Year.
Once again let us state that we invite clarification and correction and are more than willing to offer space for alternative views. Really. We are. Seriously.
We strive to present the events of Dolores' life and its aftermath as clearly and precisely as we possibly can. If you can help us do that, please don't hesitate.
[Editor's note: As always, we seek and encourage anyone with knowledge of Dolores' life and/or the events presented here to contribute to this site. Memories, anecdotes, photos and documents are more than welcome. Clarification, correction and alternative views are encouraged and welcomed. Submissions ]