A response to BU’s earlier blog – The Everton Cumberbatch Versus Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem And Breakers Investment Inc Matterwas a cry to have sight of the documents for the defendants. We are pleased to post additional documents which shine light on the other side of this matter. We highly recommend that the BU family read these documents which give insight into how the prominent and ‘deep pockets’ in our society operate. The affidavit of Leroy Parris is of particular interest and instructive in this regard.
This matter is before the courts and, BU understands will be decided shortly. Therefore BU will tread lightly by sounding off within the bounds of fair comment.
A careful read of the Affidavit of Leroy Parris suggests that he was not a part of the plan and he was merely acting as the “deep pocket” in return for shares. BU surmises that it is highly unusual that, based upon Cumberbatch’s affidavit evidence – see earlier blog, he did all the work, identified the property and then was to receive 10% of the share capital of the company, while Messrs Tatem, Cheltenham and Parris divided the remaining 90% of the share capital amongst them and Tatem was allowed to stack the board of directors in his favour by inviting his son to sit as director.
This case is most important to Bajans because it gives currency to the perception by those who wish to better their lot that there are two Barbados’. It appears to show an attempt by those with deep pockets to hijack good ideas and opportunities when they are brought to them for financing. Although to be fair this lifting of ideas happens all over the world. There is, therefore, a strong argument for budding entrepreneurs like Cumberbatch to require the Tatems and Cheltenhams execute non disclosure agreements (NDA) when ideas are bought to them. NDAs are a fact of doing business nowadays.
There is another problem that Barbados – both government and judiciary – have got to address as a matter of urgency. The unjustifiable wait times for these matters to be brought before the courts, heard and decided. It seems Everton Cumberbatch is lucky in that his matter has taken a relatively short time – so far! BU is aware of several cases involving millions of dollars languishing in the Court system, in some cases exceeding more than five years. The common thread in many of these cases is that prominent citizens, deep pockets, whether parties to the cases or not, are somehow involved and a resolution of these cases would in some way disadvantage them.
We continue to lament why Barbados foreign investments are shrinking, part of the reason is the abominable and unjust wait times experienced in our Court system! Who wants to put money into a country where if they have the misfortune to have to litigate it will require too much time and money.
There is the suspicion that the reason Cumberbatch has managed to have his case heard in a relatively – for the Barbados courts – timely manner lies in the fact that it involves the much publicised and under threat Leroy Parris, and that the public perception of corruption if this case was unduly – for Barbados – delayed, there would be a raucous outcry. Although our judiciary is said to be independent the political considerations in matters which involve Leroy Parris cannot be ignored.
BU has raised our alert level to Hawk Mode regarding this case. We will be watching and reporting on whether the courts reserve their judgement for an inordinate and unjust length of time. If that happens, we will also be naming and shaming the judge concerned and issuing a call for their removal from the Bench to Chief Justice Gibson.