by Emmanuel Joseph
Efforts by the Judicial Manager to get the High Court’s permission to seal the CLICO financial forensic report which was filed last Friday, is being fought in court by the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance.
The judicial manager, represented by attorney Patrick Toppin, appeared in court today and submitted their final recommendations along with that report, with respect to the collapse of the insurance company.
Lead attorney for BIPA, Alair Shepherd, said today the alliance would be urging the court to reject an application by the judicial manager to have the forensic report sealed. Shepherd is insisting that the policyholders paid for that report and that everything related to the CLICO issue, would impact on them and therefore, they had a right to see the document. The judge has postponed, until Friday, July 12, hearing in that case, where the judicial manager is seeking further directions from the court on how next to proceed, now that the final recommendations and forensic report have been presented.
The court is also expected to rule on whether the forensic report should be sealed. If approval is given to seal it, the public would not have access to the document, which should reveal all the financial transactions of CLICO, leading up to its collapse.
A source close to the judicial manager told Barbados TODAY they had asked the judge to bring forward the date of hearing to an earlier time and was currently awaiting a response. In a separate matter, but related to CLICO, BIPA has filed two claims. Most of the parties to this case appeared in the Number 10 Supreme Court this morning, requesting that the Alliance be appointed to represent the policyholders in the proceedings of the judicial manager and also to act on behalf of CLICO and British American Insurance Company’s policyholders.
Their attorney, Shepherd said afterwards, that in those actions, BIPA was seeking to ensure that any losses incurred in the proceedings of the judicial manager, are paid to the
policyholders by the Crown or Attorney- General on behalf of the supervisor of insurance, the company directors or auditors, PriceWaterHouse Coopers.
Shepherd said some of the directors in this action were requesting security for costs from BIPA. These directors, he explained, say the Alliance cannot bring any action of negligence against them, because the case had been filed outside of the statute of limitation.
But the attorney is rejecting such a position. Shepherd said while the policyholders did not want the forensic report sealed, their desire was for the judicial managers to get as much money as possible for the sake of the policyholders, and would therefore do nothing, to prevent that.
Attorney for the State, Donna Brathwaite gave notice that she would be seeking to have the name of the Attorney- General removed as a party to this case. This case was adjourned until October 21.
President of BIPA, June Fowler was upbeat regarding the “positive” progress of the issue declared her delight at how it was nearing a conclusion. Fowler said she was also pleased at being able to “sit down” and hold discussions with the judicial manager over the weekend.
No fewer than 13 defendants are being summoned. Among the high profile persons
served were former Executive Chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados), Leroy Parris, and his Trinidad counterpart Lawrence Duprey, represented by Hal Gollop, QC; Leslie Haynes, Woodbine Davis, Anthony Ellis and Basil Springer, CLICO directors, represented by Elliott Mottlley, QC, and David Griffith, former Accountant-General and a director, whose counsel is Vernon Smith, QC. emmanueljoseph@ barbadostoday.bb