Parris hoping for $3.3 m victory tomorrow

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Embattled former CLICO Executive Chairman Leroy Parris could find out tomorrow if he must repay $3.3 million to the company, legal sources have told Barbados TODAY.

Parris’ lawyers Vernon Smith, QC, and Hal Gollop, QC, filed an application before the High Court on February 4 seeking reversal of an earlier ruling that the former insurance boss forfeits the $3.3 million after a forensic audit had allegedly found that the monies were obtained through a fraudulent transaction.

The following day, his lawyers convinced the sitting judge that any further steps to force Parris to pay up should be put on hold pending the outcome of his application.

The lawsuit against Parris was filed by CLICO Judicial Manager Deloitte Consulting, which has asked for the refund, alleging that the money was obtained from CLICO in breach of trust and fiduciary duty.

The money was channelled to Parris through Thompson and Associates, the law firm of late Prime Minister David Thompson.

Smith, who represents Parris’ private company Branlee Consulting Services, has said that the countersuit was filed to set aside the court judgment on the grounds that the CLICO Judicial Manager brought the action against his client wrongfully and improperly.

Parris still faces another legal battle to have lifted a court-ordered freeze on a $2.5 million bank account.

In January 2015, a High Court froze the assets of the former CLICO chief and Branlee Consulting Services Inc to the tune of
$4.5 million.

Justice William Chandler made the order at the time in an ex parte hearing filed by Deloitte Consulting Limited and Thompson’s estate, represented by his widow Mara Thompson.

“If Leroy Parris [the first defendant]and or Branlee Consulting Services Inc [the second defendant]fails to comply with the terms of this order, proceedings may be commenced for contempt of court.

“The first defendant and second defendant may be liable to have an order of sequestration made in respect of his/its or their property, and in the case of Branlee Consulting Services Inc any of your directors may be sent to prison,” the court order stated.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed against Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson by Smith is scheduled to be heard on Friday.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has also been named in the lawsuit, which has arisen out of a ruling by Sir Marston barring Smith from practising law in Barbadian courts because the attorney had not paid his annual subscription to the Barbados Bar Association.

The prominent lawyer has contended that his attempts to make the payment had been rejected because of his refusal to pay the value added tax that was added to the subscription fees.

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