Lawyer sues for wrongful arrest

Former partner in the once prestigious legal firm Cottle Catford and Co, Philip Nicholls, is suing four legal officials for unspecified damages.

In the civil suit filed in the Supreme Court on January 16, 2017, Nicholls is claiming damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and losses incurred as a result of charges brought against him in 2008.

He has named Barry Gale, QC, as the first defendant, with Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, QC, as the remaining defendants.

A flashback to October 2013 as embattled attorney-at-law Philip Nicholls exited court along with his legal representatives and sureties.

In his 12-page statement of claim Nicholls charged that he was falsely accused of appropriating over $600,000 placed in his trust with the law firm and had used it for his personal use.

Nicholls contended there was malice behind the decision to arrest him, in the wake of several years of threats made verbally and in writing, and attacks on his character and integrity.

The attorney charged that his arrest had led to the deprivation of his liberty, embarrassment and the loss of reputation, both locally and internationally, evidenced by the fact that the news of his arrest was reported prominently on local radio, television and newspapers, and “spread across the Internet like wildfire”.

He contended that to this day he continues to suffer the consequences of his arrest even though the charges were dismissed for want of prosecution.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY Nicholls said he was surprised when he was advised after his arrest that in addition to the funds he was accused of appropriating, he was being charged with money laundering.

“In addition to being charged with theft I was charged with money laundering . . .  and though the charge was subsequently dismissed for want of prosecution I continue to suffer the stigma associated with this charge and has been deemed, if not a terrorist, then a persona non grata by both the USA and Canada,” he said.

Nicholls last year delivered a damning indictment of the legal system here, claiming it has been infiltrated by “rogues” and “bullies” who discredit the profession.

The attorney-at-law fell from grace in October 2013 when he was arrested on charges of money laundering and theft of $674,172.

A still bitter Nicholls, who had released a book chronicling the events that led to his downfall, including the demise of the law firm, told Barbados TODAY at the time he loathed the profession.

“Right now I detest the law. If I never saw another law court in my life I would not miss it,” the angry attorney vowed.

10 Responses to Lawyer sues for wrongful arrest

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn January 28, 2017 at 1:17 am

    How long this case is going to take. Maybe some of them will died before it call some will resign from there jobs or they time up

  2. Bajan At Heart January 28, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Justice will never be served in this law suit. I dont know the facts of the case but his will be swept under the rug, time and time again.
    Good Luck with this Mr Nichoils.

  3. Tony Webster January 28, 2017 at 4:33 am

    I have spoken out against certain, well-known, ingrained-and -scandalous practices in our “Legal Profession”, but it needs bearing in mind, that not all were- or are- tainted. There are many brilliant, honest, patriotic practitioners of this trade.

    When one is buying tomatoes in the market, it would be wise to choose your vendor carefully, and then pick-out your tomatoes…even more carefully. You know…like caveat emptor tomato?

    Hmmm…some tomatoes…even ripen into politicians. Surprise?

  4. hcalndre January 28, 2017 at 7:00 am

    It looks like 90% of the UWI graduates are into the law profession and from there its politics, the reason seems to be that they become above the law.

  5. seagul January 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Just hired guns with an expensive education. 99& are just crazy bald-heads and the monarchy–extortioners. It’s a struggle for every young Black man. You know how it is, only God can judge us.

  6. jack baeur January 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

    so wait …i am here reading this and seeing the current AG mentioned as a defendant in this case.noting full well that as a member of the house of assembly one of his own was recently accused of doing the same and no charges were brought against him in that case and it was proven to be so.this is what is called double-standards

  7. Peter January 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Police do not make charges unless they find hard evidence of proof. $674,172.00 dollars does NOT, nor CANNOT just disappear like that unless it’s $300 Million dollars which NO ONE can account for. Not even the pit bull hounds of parliament. I am certain that a full forensic audit will be conducted. Nicholls will have to verify all his payments, purchases receipts and invoices. Because he’s the son of a knighted gentleman cannot protect him nor make him innocent. Money laundering can come in many forms. I read of a former insurance big wig who paid an attorney now deceased a company cheque for BDS $ 3 million for professional services. only to have that now very dead attorney pay back the former insurance big wig the $3 Million with a personal cheque. Money washed through the system from company to pocket. Business done by a French capital and a born Englishman. Go figure. Nicholls You got to prove you did not take that money. If it missing, Where did it go?

  8. Hal Austin January 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm


    You are right. Stop funding law courses. We have more per capita lawyers than New York.
    And it is a protecdtisve reacket. Sometime agao the UWI was thinking of opening a campus in London. I was asked for my opinion and I said it was a good idea and recommended a soft launch: bar courses, on the grounds that a lot of young lawyers in Britain, especially those of a Caribbean background, would love to do the course but do not have the time or money to go to Mona or Wooding. I also suggested a number of Caribbean-focused which the authorities would not have objected to.
    It appears that the UWI wanted to launch a medical course. The Brits would have eaten them alive if they thought the course would have threatened their own medical schools.
    I am not sure if it was a coincidence, but my invitation to meetings sudden stopped.

  9. Mikey January 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Tony Webster, why do You think that parables is the best way to get over your point ??? Do you know that one first must have an interpreter ??? But that interpreter may not be a Daniel or a Joseph ???
    Please use standard literary prose please .
    Hal, You too ought not to waster column space and time.
    What are you saying about UWI Law courses, the British and yourself ???
    Weed them out and let ordinary citizens get on with their lives.

  10. Malcolm Chris January 29, 2017 at 5:52 am

    This whole ordeal has damaged Philips life in more ways than one (his marriage, health and character) I hope he sues for every penny, dollar or sent he can.
    Good to see you fighting back philip.


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