For the second time in three years, Queen’s Counsel Michael Carrington, who is also Speaker of the House of Assembly, has found himself before the law courts over a money dispute with one of his clients.
In the latest legal standoff, Ajax Construction Inc has
filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, challenging the level of fees charged by Carrington for legal work done with respect to the purchase and resale of a portion of land at Warrens,
Ajax Construction is also claiming that Carrington wrongfully withheld some $45,000 from the company, and has asked the court to reward it certain sums of money, costs and other relief.
However, Carrington has filed his defence and counterclaim, arguing that he was entitled to all the monies, including his legal fees and costs for representing the company in the purchase of the parcel of land from the National Housing Corporation and negotiating the sale of the same property to the City of Bridgetown Cooperative Credit Union.
According to court documents, Carrington has submitted that if the claimant had a dispute about his fees, it should properly check with the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
“In breach of the agreement between the parties, the claimant by letter dated September 22, 2016, wrongfully sought to terminate the agreement between the parties, questioning the fees payable and refusing to honour any agreement between the parties. At the time of the purported termination of the agreement by the claimant, the defendant had completed all tasks necessary for the completion of the work for which he was retained to do,” Carrington said in his defence.
Carrington is also denying that the principals of Ajax Construction suffered the alleged loss and damage being pleaded, or any loss at all.
Back in December 2014, the High Court ordered Carrington to pay one of his clients, John Griffiths, over $208, 900, the balance from the sale of a property which included a banker’s cheque with cash value of over $84, 194, the remaining proceeds of an estate which was inherited by Griffiths.
Justice Jacqueline Cornelius also ruled at the time that Carrington must render an account of all sums belonging to the particular estate within 28 days. He was also ordered to pay interest and legal costs of over $7,700.
A settlement was eventually reached, where a banker’s cheque of $200,000 was reportedly paid on behalf of Carrington to the law firm George Walton Payne and Co, which represented 78-year-old Griffiths.
When contacted this afternoon, attorney-at-law for Ajax Construction Arthur Holder said that he first had to discuss the issue with his client before sharing any information.
Efforts to reach Carrington and his attorney Cecil McCarthy, QC, for comment have been unsuccessful.