Lawyers working to get money to beneficiaries
Returning national John Griffiths is a much happier man tonight after finally getting the money owed to him by his former attorney and Speaker of the House Michael Carrington.
He confirmed today that his lawyer Khamaal Collymore had received a cheque to cover what was owed from Carrington’s handling of his deceased aunt’s estate.
“I am very pleased that it is coming to an end and it is going to be settled shortly. I only have to wait on my lawyer to go through all of the details and if they are to our satisfaction, that is it,” he told Barbados TODAY. “However, I am disappointed that the matter took so long.”
In a case dating back 14 years, Queen’s Counsel Carrington was probating the will of Griffiths’ aunt, Muriel Worrell.
Griffiths had complained that Carrington dealt with the sale of one of his aunt’s two properties but did not hand over all the money. The elderly man hired another lawyer to get Carrington to settle the matter.
Last month, a High Court judge ordered Carrington to give an account of monies outstanding from the sale and pay what was due, along with interest.
“We are still going through all of the final details. I cannot give you all of the details about the quantum of the settlement I am to receive because my lawyer is looking into it. Interest has to be added onto the sum of money,” the 78-year-old Griffiths said this evening.
Although confirming that a cheque had been paid on Carrington’s behalf to the law firm of George Walton Payne and Company, Collymore would not disclose the amount.
However, he explained that the figure of $210,000 that was quoted in the media over the past few weeks was not the exact amount that would go to Worrell’s estate.
“The $210,000 which was spoken about was the $210,000 that was unaccounted for . . . The court ordered him to render an account and then pay over what is due on the account,” Collymore explained.
“The reason why we needed an account was because he was entitled to charge fees, so we needed to know what those fees would be first. He has paid over the amount that he received on behalf of the estate from the sale of the property as well as the proceeds of the fixed deposits and interest. That is what we have, but there is a bit of fine tuning to be done,” the attorney added.
Collymore said he would meet with Griffiths early next week as well as with the lawyers for the beneficiaries of Worrell’s estate “and hopefully we could get the funds all distributed quickly”.
The controversy surrounding Carrington’s non-payment of the money had prompted public debate and led the Opposition Barbados Labour Party to object to him remaining in his seat in the House of Assembly.
When the situation was first raised in Parliament – on the first sitting for 2015 – Carrington had recused himself and Deputy Speaker Mara Thompson referred the matter to Parliament’s Committee of Privileges.
However, he returned to the chair in subsequent sittings, triggering Opposition MPs to walk out.
They insisted they would not participate in any sitting over which Carrington presided.