Paris appeals CLICO ruling

A day after the High Court ordered former CLICO executive chairman Leroy Parris to pay back more than $3.3 million to the company, his legal team has filed a counter suit in a bid to have the judgment set aside.

Vernon Smith, QC, and Hal Gollop, QC, represent Parris and his private firm Branlee Consulting Services. This morning, they lodged an application in the court to have the judgment revoked.

“We made an application for it to be set aside . . .[on] the grounds that everything was done wrongfully and improperly,” Smith told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.

“And I will tell you this, the whole thing shows that there is a serious conspiracy going on in respect of our clients,” he charged.

Smith also said he was drafting a letter to be sent to the Nation Publishing Company and editor Tim Slinger, claiming that a story published on the CLICO ruling defamed them as counsel for Parris.

“I am drafting it now and I will be sending it to the Nation and to Slinger too for defamation, and it is in respect of the attorneys who are appearing for the first and second defendants,” the senior lawyer added.

Asked to say how they were defamed, Smith replied: “They have implied [that] we have not done what we should have done . . . [that] we have not defended our clients and have not acted on behalf of our clients in a professional and proper manner to prevent what they are saying have been filed against our clients. That’s what I am doing, drafting that letter for my lawyer to send to the Nation.”

Deloitte Consulting Inc, acting on behalf of CLICO International Life, successfully brought the court action against Parris, claiming that the $3.3 million went to him through Thompson and Associates, the law firm owned by the late Prime Minister David Thompson.   

Forensic auditors from Deloitte Canada, in their report of December 5, 2011, had expressed concern about the payment, which they described as a fraudulent transaction. The Judicial Manager wants the $3, 333 000 refunded, which they alleged was obtained from CLICO in breach of trust and fiduciary duty.

Almost a year ago, the High Court froze the money on Parris’ account at the Bank of Nova Scotia. It is that same money which Parris’ lawyers are currently fighting to have released and have filed a second constitutional motion to have the court speed up the process of giving a ruling.

A hearing has been set for February 17 so the court can make a final determination on the multi-million dollar payment.

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