The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has dismissed an application by the Judicial Managers (JM) for the collapsed Clico International Life Insurance Limited to have the assets of former CLICO boss Leroy Parris remain frozen.
In March this year, the Barbados Court of Appeal issued an order unfreezing $4.5 million in assets belonging to Parris and his Branlee Consulting Services.
But in August – five months later – the Judicial Managers applied to the Trinidad-based CCJ for special leave to challenge that order and at the same time, asked the CCJ for more time to prepare the same challenge application.
However, on November 9, the three-member panel of judges sitting at this country’s final appellate court said “no” to extending the time for the Clico Judicial Managers to appeal.
The CCJ handed down its ruling after reading and reviewing the various documents and hearing oral submissions from attorneys for the JMs Ramon Alleyne, QC and Shena-ann Ince and the lawyers for Parris, Hal Gollop, QC and Michael Yearwood,QC and Steve Gollop representing Parris’ company, Branlee Consulting Services Inc.
“It is ordered that the application to extend time to file application for special leave to appeal is dismissed. Cost is awarded to the first and second respondents [Parris and his company] in the amount of $2,400 each, being basic costs for appearance at a case management conference,” the judges ruled.
In response, Gollop told Barbados TODAY that his client has had access to some of the money, but that certain issues, which he declined to detail, were still to be sorted out before there is a final conclusion.
Justice William Chandler had issued the freeze order in an ex parte hearing on January 27, 2015. The action was filed by CLICO’s judicial manager Deloitte Consulting Limited against Parris and his private company, Branlee Consulting Inc.
The claim also named the estate of late Prime Minister David Thompson, represented by his widow, Mara Thompson, the executrix, as a defendant in the matter.
That original order had stated: “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.”
Parris subsequently appealed the High Court decision through his attorneys Gollop and Vernon Smith, QC.
Earlier this month, the private entity representing thousands of former CLICO policyholders had requested an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Mia Mottley to address fears that many more of its members may die without receiving “one red cent” of their savings if Government’s recent bond exchange offer is applied to their investment.
President of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) June Fowler said then,
“Our concern is that more of our members will pass away, adding to the 300 people who have not survived the CLICO debacle [over the past 10 years] to see their hard-earned savings being returned. These issues need to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Fowler said.
On December 16 last year, Justice William Chandler approved a transfer agreement between CLICO International Life Insurance Ltd, under judicial management, and New Life Investment Company Inc and Resolution Life Insurance Limited.