Not her!

Parris lawyers object to Justice Cornelius presiding over his case

Nearly one month after former CLICO head-honcho Leroy Parris filed an affidavit in the High Court seeking to unfreeze millions of dollars in personal assets, his case remains in serious limbo, with no firm date set for hearing of the controversial matter.

In fact, the entire chapter is proving to be a highly dramatic legal imbroglio, with two judges already forced to recuse themselves from the process, and a third, who was only assigned today, now facing strong objection from Parris’ legal team.

First to step aside was Justice William Chandler. However, it was only after hearing the initial application that Justice Chandler decided that he would no longer continue to preside over the Parris affidavit, as the judicial officer who is also in charge of hearing the substantive CLICO judicial manager’s case.

It then fell to Justice Randall Worrell to take forward the matter, but he immediately asked to be excused on the grounds that his wife is employed by Scotiabank, which has terminated its accounts with Parris’ company, Branlee Consulting Services.

Barbados TODAY also understands that a formal letter of complaint was dispatched to Chief Justice, Sir Marston Gibson, earlier today after Parris’ attorneys, including Hal Gollop, QC, Vernon Smith, QC, Michael Yearwood and Steve Gollop, were officially notified that Justice Jacqueline Cornelius would preside over the case.

Hal Gollop, QC
Hal Gollop, QC
Madame Justice Jacqueline Cornelius
Madame Justice Jacqueline Cornelius

The objection was filed on the grounds that Cornelius’ husband, Ralph Thorne, QC, appeared on an Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) platform last month where he made a number of public declarations about CLICO.

For one, Thorne declared that issues surrounding the collapsed insurance giant were for those seeking to pick the flesh off the dead. And in the context of “ruses” and “trickery”, Thorne also contended that illegal activity had occurred at CLICO and the police should intervene in the process.

“This royal mess, this unholy mess has now been reduced to a job for scavengers. That is what CLICO is,” Thorne
said then.

However, when contacted today, one of Parris’ lead attorneys expressed strong concern about how his client was being treated by the legal system.

“This is clearly an injustice,” Gollop told Barbados TODAY.

While noting that there were “very limited choices left, with just three more judges in the assizes”, he said “we are very much in limbo after waiting for nearly a month after the return date of February 16”.

However, it has not been all bad news for the Parris team to date.

Gollop confirmed that in the wake of a High Court order issued on January 27, Scotiabank had “erroneously” frozen all of his client’s assets; therefore the bank has had to make an adjustment.

“All they were entitled to freeze was $4.5 million and they went on and froze much more than that,” Gollop explained.

However, in his affidavit, which is yet to be heard by the court, the former CLICO chairman is claiming that he is still owed $6.5 million.

“[CLICO Financial Analyst] Trudy White, who is one of the persons interviewed by the judicial managers [at Deloitte Consulting], had set out a detailed statement of account showing that they had already paid $3.3 million and they were paying  about $30,000 a month.”

Those payments were officially stopped on November 24, 2010, even though Parris’ lawyers have produced at least three pieces of correspondence in support of his payments.

One is a letter written by Lawrence Duprey, former chairman of CLICO’s Trinidad parent company, CL Financial, on December 5, 2002 in which he gave a commitment to Parris that a lump sum payment in the amount of US$5 million would be made to him by January 31, 2011.

Clico v. Leroy Parris Branlee and the Estate of David Thompson Scans[1] (dragged) 2

Clico v. Leroy Parris Branlee and the Estate of David Thompson Scans[1] (dragged)

The amount is also spelt out in Parris’ employment contract dated May 15, 2005 as gratuity, as well as in a June 18, 2010 letter, written to Parris by then acting Chairman Terrence Thornhill following a query made by Parris about bonus and other outstanding amounts.

These decisions were also approved and ratified by the board of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited in a unanimous resolution in writing on May 15, 2005.

Clico v. Leroy Parris Branlee and the Estate of David Thompson Scans[1] (dragged) 1

However, in its just unsealed June 2013 forensic report, the judicial managers said they had found no approval of this agreement.

They specifically made mention of the board’s resolution, dated May 15, 2005, saying it had signatures next to the names of Mr Woodbine Davis, Mr Anthony Ellis, Mr Leslie Haynes and Mr Vishnu Ramlogen and appeared to have also been signed by Mr Parris and the Corporate Secretary, but not Mr Thornhill.

However, a copy of that resolution obtained by Barbados TODAY was indeed signed by Thornhill in his capacity as a member of the CLICO Holdings board.

13 Responses to Not her!

  1. Desmond Edwards
    Desmond Edwards March 14, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Well the CCJ will be impartial.

  2. Louise King
    Louise King March 14, 2015 at 3:40 am

    sorry U will need a change of govt -or call for public assistance ; U got unplug de freezer loool

  3. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins March 14, 2015 at 5:36 am

    What would make my day is when these words are uttered to him, “You have the right to remain silent as he is being led away in handcuffs” After reading that CLICO report you and your enablers want jailing.

  4. Michael Doughty Sr.
    Michael Doughty Sr. March 14, 2015 at 6:20 am

    What I want to know is if when shame did passing if none ent stop by he. Lol

  5. Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne
    Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne March 14, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Some people wait in this country for decades to get cases heard. My boy complaining about 1 month…I’m glad he feels he could be so arrogant and confident…Bajans like it so..

  6. ejd March 14, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Parris has got to join the line of people waiting to be paid by Clico. How can he expect to be paid while the hundreds of people owed by the company can’t get a cent? He was the captain of the ship and as such he should be the last to be paid.

  7. Alex Alleyne March 14, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Share holders must press for this matter to be forward to the CCJ.

  8. Bdosmike March 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Well, if the $3.3m was a legitimate ‘gratuity’, why create a fake invoice listing all manner of non-existent ‘services’ just days before the announcement of the collapse of CLICO? Why not just issue an invoice for the ‘legitimate’ gratuity together with a copy of the ‘agreement’? Why the subterfuge? What was really going on?

    And what about VAT on the invoice if it was for ‘services’, and where are Mr Parris’ tax returns since 2005? Presumably he has been paying income tax on these outrageous commissions and gratuities.

    Once these questions have been answered, perhaps we will stop laughing at Mr Gollop’s ridiculous statement that ‘this is an injustice’. Is he serious????? What about the injustices suffered by thousands of policyholders for the last six years while his client lives the high life and sues everyone in sight for what he claims is HIS money?

    No wonder no-one in the justice system wants to touch it.

  9. Alex Alleyne March 14, 2015 at 8:21 am

    BDS too small , every body know one aonther and or friends of the high circle in this profession.
    This is a perfect example . Let it go to the CCJ.

  10. Patricia Bowen March 14, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Well well. Some of us live our lives to eat the best, wear the best, and accumulate the most wealth. For some it’s giving God first place in their lives and advancing his kingdom. For others joy Health, and happiness are not too important if the the greed for wealth remains. You become someone who never really cared about the poor, contributed to their development educational or community wise. Yet you took their tears, sweat and bread and covered yourself like a garment. The years roll by, the body becomes frail and the sky above the head becomes brass. Shame and disgrace suddenly becomes a constant companion. Pills and medication soothes the pains. Your mind is a constant windmill. What then? Are you expecting to walk through heaven’s gate pulling a suitcase filled with the keys to safe deposit boxes, your cheque books, title deeds, stolen gain and unforgiveness towards others?
    You have a choice. Make hay while Crimson speaks from above the heat of orange and black.

  11. Tony Webster March 14, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Pat Brown…my thanks to you, for you have the most perfect and blessed view, and understanding, of what will surely go down in the annals ( yes, intended) of Barbados Hall of Shame. When will we learn? Which altar shall we pray at? Just like the light cast by one Godly and righteous child, man, or woman, can illuminate the path ahead for millions, so can the ways of those without light within their souls, darken many lives.
    We wait. We hope. We pray.

  12. Sue Donym March 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    So much stayed under wraps for so long. Can he or any of his cohorts truly justify such obscene payments? The lot of them should be on bleeding knees begging for forgiveness. And if they feel they did nothing wrong/unethical are they willing to stand before the public and answer the obvious questions?

  13. Asiba March 14, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Oh my Word !! Look at the money –Wow !!
    and I thought that my $ 500.00 per week was money.


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