Open Letter to the Registrar of Supreme Court about Leroy Parris Matter


The embedded letter dated 30 January 2019 was sent to the Registrar of the Supreme Court in the matter of Civil Case 99 of 2016 – Clico International Insurance Company (under judicial management) Claimant vs. Leroy Parris First Defendant, Branlee Consulting Services Inc Second Defendant and Estate of David Thompson (acting through duly appointed Personal Representative Marie Josephine Mara Thompson) Third Defendant by senior lawyer Vernon Smith Q.C.

The blogmaster has been reliably informed that to date the Registrar of the Supreme Court – paid with tax dollars – has not seen it proper to reply to the letter. Many in this space will read the letter and be happy to focus on the minutiae of the several issues exposed in the content. The more sensible critique should be the breakdown of the justice system in Barbados. A simple letter to the Registrar that should have triggered a routine response in a 7-day period has stretched to six months. This is not an isolated case.

Today the blogmaster listened to Senator Caswell Franklyn in the Upper Chamber outline the horrific state of the public service. We have to wait for 6 weeks for garbage pickup, we have to tolerate a fleet of 60 buses to serve the country… more importantly we do not have a clear strategy for waste management. This week so far we were subjected to the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and the Registrar of the Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne expressing public disagreement.

What is happening Barbados?


Philip Nicholls and the Cottle Catford Matter, Questions

Philip_NichllsThe release of the book published by Philip V. Nicholls More Binding Than Marriage – the former partner of the once venerable Cottle Catford law firm – has only served to exacerbate public scrutiny of the legal profession. Those who read the book were astounded by many revelations shared by Nicholls. Until now the public has not been treated to a rebuttal to the tell-all.

BU shares the following documents received which put Nicholls on notice that offended and or interested parties intend to push back against some of his allegations. We invite others who have documents and a story to tell about the demise of Cottle Catford, the part played by Philip Nicholls and related other matters to visit the top of the BU page or click on the Contact Form located at the bottom of the blog (note the blog and NOT the comments section). Submissions via the contact page will be directed to BU’s confidential inbox.

Perusing the documents submitted we find it interesting that that upon the withdrawal of Allan Watson as a partner, he, along with Sir Neville Nicholls, were appointed by Cottle Catford whose sole partner was Philip Nicholls, to be consultants of Cottle Catford. If as at 01 January 2003, Philip Vernon Nicholls was the sole partner of Cottle Catford, why did he not have a taking of accounts? We invite Nicholls to elucidate on this matter in the public interest. In the book Nicholls pleads ignorance and a high level of naivete as contributing to highly questionable business decisions taken as a partner at Cottle Catford, can the scholarly and respected Sir Neville Nicholls claim to be of the same mind at that time?

A disclaimer: BU holds no brief for any of the actors in this affair. We will publish all documents received without fear or favour.

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The Vernon Smith Vs Marcelle Smith & Family Affair, with Court Documents

Vernon Smith QC

Vernon Smith QC

The unfortunate death of Marcelle Smith who was the wife of retired headmaster of the Lodge School Aurelius Smith and who is the brother of Vernon Smith and Frederick ‘Sleepy Smith’ of the venerable Law Firm Smith and Smith has generate a distasteful public story.  Based on the documents attached we have a family feud which is fuelling serious allegations. In the interest of being balanced and transparent BU will post the attached documents to inform public discussion and leave the speculation to others.

TALES FROM THE COURTS – Vernon Smith QC Has Sued the Barbados Bar Association XXIX

Vernon Smith QC

Vernon Smith QC

Hot on the heels of his suit against Marston Gibson, Vernon Smith QC has sued the BA. It is reported that the BA has responded by filing and serving […] Continue reading

Tales From the Courts – The Ongoing Saga of Chief Justice Marston Gibson XXVII

Vernon Smith QC

Vernon Smith QC

Barbados Today has carried a report – Court Twist – of a recent court proceedings in the matter of Vernon Olivier Smith v the Attorney General and Sir Marston Gibson. This report includes the comments of Sir Henry Forde QC. The spectre of secret court hearings on matters of national interest as attempted by Marston Gibson are, frankly, terrifying.

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Barbados and CCJ in a Tiff

Sir Dennis Byron, President of the CCJ

Sir Dennis Byron, President of the CCJ

One of the most controversial court decisions handed down by the United States of America Supreme Court is Roe v.Wade in 1973. To this day the decision continues to stoke public debate about the license humans should be given to determine when to abort the life of an unborn child. It is also interesting to note one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom – still the final court of appeal for the majority of former British colonies – allows Dissenting Opinions by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

In 2001 the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was established. It is the original original jurisdiction to translate and arbitrate matters arising from the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus. Many suggest it is unfortunate only Barbados, Belize and Guyana so far, are the countries to recognize the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction.

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Vernon Smith QC Suggests Barbados Bar Association Illegally Charging VAT on Member Subscriptions

Vernon Smith QC

Vernon Smith QC

BU read the Barbados Today article with  interest which outlined Vernon Smith QC reaction to being characterised a delinquent Barbados Bar Association (BA) member. The BU family is reminded of the list which was circulated by the BA and posted to BU in a blog by Caswell Franklyn – Defaulting Lawyers.

BU has posited a view that the Legal Profession Act contravenes the Constitution of Barbados concerning lawyers who opt not to pay BA fees and is therefore a nullity ab initio. Vernon Smith’s view has also been discussed.  Now that he has come public in his defense it provides the opportunity for the BU family to explore the matter further.

Vernon Smith is quoted in the article as follows:

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The AX Matter Moves To The Next Phase

Commissioner Frederick Waterman – Photo Credit: Nation

The final arguments from lawyers representing all parties in the Alexandra School Dispute have been submitted and Barbadians await the report from lone Commissioner Frederick Waterman. It is obviously the report will be delivered before the September school term begins.

There was a sense by BU during the last two weeks of the Inquiry that it was hurried along; and for an obvious reason. The  first school term is scheduled to begin on the 10 September 2012 and given known timelines the Waterman Report will be late. Therefore the 64k question is – what will be the next phase of the AX Affair?

It is early days yet to evaluate the performance of the Alexandra Commission. However, BU is concerned the Commissioner made some questionable decisions which will impact the quality of the final report.  For example, it is understood from our sources that the aunt of Miss X whom we reported on another blog the student in the transcript affair was to go to live in the USA to facilitate school there, was in Barbados and prepared to give evidence. BU understands she was seized with interesting bits of information as a result of her visit to the school to which Miss X was to attend and where the transcript was allegedly sent by the secretary. Our source has advised that she had proof no such transcript was received by the US school. A reasonable conclusion to be made, the transcript was never sent. We have been reliably advised that Commissioner Waterman refused to allow this witness to be called.

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