Gollop defends his role in Hyatt case

Queen’s Counsel Hal Gollop has come out swinging against radio commentators who have questioned why he was representing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in the Hyatt court matter, particularly since the senior counsel works at the law firm founded by Stuart.

Not only has he dismissed any notion that Stuart would benefit financially from his involvement, but Gollop was adamant there was nothing unusual about a lawyer from a private law firm representing Government.

Deputy Solicitor General Donna Brathwaite, QC, was initially representing Stuart as Minister responsible for Town & Country Planning in the matter in which political activist David Comissiong is seeking judicial review of the multi-million-dollar Hyatt project. However, Gollop and his son, Steve Gollop, appeared on the Prime Minister’s behalf when the matter came up last week.

The situation has raised some eyebrows, with hosts and callers to VOB’s Down To Brass Tacks call-in programme questioning whether Harford Chambers, founded by the Prime Minister, would benefit from the Hyatt matter.

Since then, Gollop has gone on the war path over the comments, charging that there was a deliberate attempt by some to make it seem like Harford Chambers would reap the sweets of him being Stuart’s legal counsel.

“I would just like to disabuse the minds of any person out there that there is any benefit to be derived by anybody associated with Harford Chambers and it being a partnership. It is not a partnership. No one other than myself and my son, who is in association with me, stands to benefit from our involvement in this matter,” Gollop told Barbados TODAY.

The Queen’s Counsel stressed that every lawyer who works in Harford Chambers was a sole trader.

Gollop, who is also chairman of Government’s Employment Rights Tribunal, also pointed out that it was not out of the ordinary for an attorney in private practice to represent the Government of the day.

“I do not know how, in 2017, any serious Barbadian could be raising an issue about a lawyer from the private bar working for the Government. Years ago, I remember Mr Milton Pierce appearing for [then] Prime Minister [Erskine] Sandiford. I myself have done a number of cases for Government. The one that must have attracted most attention is the [Shanique] Myrie case in which members from the private bar . . . Mr Pat Cheltenham and Mr Roger Forde appeared for the Chief Immigration Officer.

“So I cannot understand at this stage anybody could be considering that this is something unusual,” Gollop argued.

The senior lawyer also took a swipe at two of the hosts on the VOB radio call-in programme saying, “I understand this is the silly season, but one would expect responsible people would rise above the level of silliness that this season is demonstrating.

I’m condemning Peter Wickham and David Ellis,” Gollop said.

“I heard [former Opposition representative] Mark Williams called in to ask if they know how Harford Chambers was founded . . . trying to give the impression that Harford Chambers would benefit, trying obviously to make a link with the Prime Minister benefiting from my involvement. I have been hired as a sole lawyer who has a long association with matters involving administrative law, as the record will reflect under both administrations. It is a mere coincidence that the only chambers I have ever practised from is Harford Chambers,” he insisted.

17 Responses to Gollop defends his role in Hyatt case

  1. John Everatt July 13, 2017 at 3:39 am

    The more important question to me is why does the government need to hire a private lawyer when there are already lawyers on government payroll to do that job? If the government lawyers are not good enough for the prime minister then why are they on the government payroll? Seems like another example of government waste.

  2. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner July 13, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Why is he surprise everything is done shady and slimy especially when politicians are involve and it’s just how Barbadps operates,does the government not have lawyers already on it’s payroll.Another question why does PM have a law office while he is leading island just curious and was it disclose to powers to be to prevent conflict of interest.

    • Epaphras D. Williams
      Epaphras D. Williams July 13, 2017 at 8:05 am

      I hope you live long and continue to have a say in the public domain. Salute.

  3. Sisleen Greene July 13, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Mr.Gollop would do better if he kept his ugly mouth shut. Sole trader or not no one can stop the payment from being split between the P.M and his attorney though whatever channels used to disguise such.

  4. jrsmith July 13, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Deport Comissong to Venezuela or some where in a war zone. matter close…… the man is going to mess up Barbados big time….

    • hcalndre July 13, 2017 at 11:16 am

      I like when some bajans think that Barbados belong to them and them alone, every one else have to keep quiet or leave. jrsmith for your info the white people were in Barbados before you, so should they ask you to leave and what about the thousands of bajans that is cooping up in other people`s country illegally at that.

    • Tee White July 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Or jrsmith, how about deporting you? You late to the party…..we mess up already

  5. Sisleen Greene July 13, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Mr.Gollop would do better if he kept his ugly mouth shut. Sole trader or not no one can stop the payment from being split between the P.M and his attorney through whatever channels used to disguise such.

  6. ks July 13, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Mr. Gollop thinks its not “unusual” ……. IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. Frank White July 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Misdirection is what I am seeing here…

    Anti-America was the one that called David Ellis and ask if the tax payers money would be used to pay Hal Gollop which was the pertinent question of that day and mind you, that question has not been answered yet…

    Now, the discussion is being led to what’s the connection between gollop and Stuart which is a red heron right now…

    The big question remains, who is going to pay attorney Hal Gollop?? @ John Everatt, that’s a excellent question…

    Leave brother Comissiong name out of this article, he didn’t write it nor did he enlist the services of Hal Gollop…

  8. hcalndre July 13, 2017 at 8:15 am

    John Everatt, do you know any issues that their lawyers won, I know that they lost the Marie case, the finger printing was a scam after which Gollop said that they did not loose because it was not legislated, who represents the PM is his problem, what the people wants to know, is it the Tax payers money that his lawyers will be paid? Gallop and his associates could work Pro Bono for the PM., I don`t think Mark or the taxpayers have a problem with that.

    • John Everatt July 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      No I don’t however my question is then why are they on the government payroll? And yes, Mr Gallop could be representing the prime minister out of the goodness of his heart but lawyers are not generally known for their generosity (with some exceptions). I also do not think that the prime minister is footing the Hal Gallop fee. So it must be the tax payers paying the bill.

  9. Philip F. Corbin
    Philip F. Corbin July 13, 2017 at 9:38 am

    What’s his defense again ?

  10. David Hall July 13, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Are the lawyers on governments payroll incompetent. if not, why not use them- since the his Pal, Mr Stuart, does not sand to lose anything should the lawyers lose, because the case is against the Office of the Prime Minister and not against Mr Stuart himself.

  11. Kevin July 13, 2017 at 10:17 am

    How much millions of dollars in legal fees has MAM gained from the stalled 4 seasons project. It is not unusual.

  12. Helicopter(8P) July 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Barbados has now become as restless as some of its Soca vibes! Is it the music tempo or the lyrics? Sir can we have a little more of the Keith Campbell Trio!

  13. Mack July 13, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    This guy should be made Governer General by his friend. I don’t think he would take it. There is too much easy money coming his way for him to do anything else. What you think??


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