BVI News

Speaker billed over quarter-million in legal fees, gov’t already paid $130K

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Julian Willock (GIS Photo)

More than a quarter-million of taxpayer dollars could be used to pay for House of Assembly Speaker, Julian Willock’s now-concluded court case against Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool.

Premier Andrew Fahie gave that confirmation in response to questions from Opposition Leader Marlon Penn in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

“The legal fees incurred to date is at $270,526.90. The amount billed to date is $270,526.90. The amount paid is $130,525.20 because … the matter is still in court but there are certain fees that could be paid straight away,” the Premier said.

Despite the actual case being discontinued at the request of Willock, Premier Fahie said the matter is still before the court because of a dispute over legal fees.

Fahie said government is waiting to find out whether it will be made to foot the balance of the bill or whether ‘other individuals’ will pay.

“Mr Vanterpool’s first case for judicial review against the Speaker was dismissed by the High Court on 13th April 2019 with no orders as to cost. His second claim was allowed and the court is yet to rule on the question of legal cost,” said Fahie who is also the Finance Minister.

He also explained that taxpayer dollars are being used to pay the bill only because the Attorney General was not able to represent Speaker Willock.

The Attorney General was ruled out of representing Willock because of a “conflict of interest”.

“Mr Vanterpool filed two claims against the Honourable Speaker with the Attorney General as an interested party. Unfortunately, the Attorney General could not represent the Speaker because he had given certain advice to Mr Vanterpool. Furthermore, the Attorney General was himself sued as an independent party in the case.”

He added: “The Speaker was therefore compelled to seek independent legal representation to avoid any conflict of interest and ethical issues that could arise.”

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46 Comments

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  1. Let Esteem Pay! says:

    Let the esteemed one pay for his own folly!

    Like 60
    Dislike 5
    • Hmmm says:

      It’s going to be a long walk to freedom with this government.

      Like 38
      Dislike 6
      • Conflict of Interest says:

        It was not a conflict of interest – the problem was that the AG had correctly advised the E******d he had absolutely no chance of winning.
        Why is the tax payer going to have to fund the E******d folly?

        Like 6
        Dislike 3
    • Bullfrog says:

      Just want to be a pain in the rectum…wonder where his blond wig gone

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
    • mercy says:

      by time speaker n his friend done with us this country broke no joke 84,000 by 1 year by 4 years lard have mercy how long can we pay those securitys.no vehicles in jost van dyke to drive now he want to tax the ground u walk on lard help us

      Like 13
  2. vip heckler says:

    WOW !!! and climbing ???

    Like 30
  3. Corrupt government VIP says:

    AND HERE WE GO AGAIN! Well Done FAHIE for not controlling this t**d of a speaker

    Like 37
    Dislike 2
  4. Looking On says:

    Pure waste of resources. The law was straightforward and the man should have been sworn in with the law updated for modern day matters. Where were the lawyers of this Territory who could have provided pro bono services to the government on the matter if they were so interested in BVI?

    Like 38
    Dislike 4
  5. Proud BVIslander says:

    Wow. Lawyers fees are normally high, but what was the hourly rate on this one? I would love to know that. How long did this matter run for, two days? Preparation most have been for months and months and months? Well, the people of the BVI are not foolish. We know value for money. We know when we see thievery and robbery and cronyism and ugly politics. I just smile at the words of the now Premier on the campaign trail now. A plate of food for each legislator he had a serious problem with, but everybody can steal millions because they are his friends and supporters. I guess they are lil men. Every dog has his day. Today is yours. Keep thinking you can aggressively ride the horse of State without breaking his back.

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
  6. facts says:

    at least we know where the money went…None went in the esteemed pockets

    Like 6
    Dislike 19
  7. I Told you Guys so says:

    Before election when people were talking about VIP taking over, I told them it would be worst than before. Before was bad, but we should have looked for better. There is a lot worst to come when we learn of the fees for security, and the claud cline contract for nothing.

    Before was bad but we should have mixed them up. Never should have let a total VIP do this to us.

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  8. Meson! says:

    Fahie full of ish!
    The AG couldnt represent him? When it was he who declined the services of the AG to begin with?

    We have to pay this when it was the speaker who went against sound advice and took the matter to far?

    we have to pay? and then you coach your response to the fact that you know that it is egregious that we the people have to pay this bill by saying the you were avoiding conflict of interest and ethical issues?

    you are sooooo full of it!

    but everybody seeing you!

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  9. Political Intelligence says:

    The man behind that speaker empowering him to do stupidness is no better. This is a Planet of the Apes sequel with this VIP government.

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  10. Hmmmm says:

    $1mil a year on security, 5 brand new vehicles for HOA when they already have vehicles, over $400K in legal fees for nonsense, half of which will be paid to cronies firms but yet Hon. Minister for Education said we stopping certain scholarships because it costs too much. Glad to see where the priorities lie for these people. I wonder how the voters feel right now? And don’t tell me no bulls**t about 7.2mil and planes. That was wrong too, but what is happening now is out of f**king order!

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
    • Roxane says:

      Wish I could like this 1000x. Everybody blind and deaf all of a sudden because it’s VIP..this is what they campaigned against why they doing the same thing. Why in this day and age the BVI Government needs a $80,000 vehicle? Why??? The same vehicle bought when he was education minister ain’t drive for years..

      Like 11
      Dislike 1
    • @Hmmmm says:

      Finally somebody with sense! I have said it once and I am going to say it again! At least the Pier Park is bringing in money, at least the planes were an investment to help our economy, people make bad investments ALL the time! This Government is in for a mere 6 months and they have spent close to the 7.2 Million dollars already with ABSOLUTELY nothing to show!

      I am not the least bit surprised though, persons tend to forget! VIP was kicked out of office for a reason and just in six short months they have refreshed our memories!

  11. Smh says:

    This ain vip…. this is willock being the man/***** “s**m” is…. we shouldnt be paying for no s******e

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  12. Oh please says:

    All of you are hypocrites. The one who should be paying for this is the Attorney General.

    Like 3
    Dislike 22
  13. Native says:

    Not even a year in office and all this? I guess this is the VIP that was wanted to run the country but I guess the voters was so dumb to realize thief nah love to see thief with long bag… imagine what all was said on the campaign trail leading up to the election what have they follow through on not a thing up to now…. not a next term so make sure you all eat big…..

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
    • Now you understand says:

      @Native, the very famous words, (If I had known, always always comes to late). This is just the beginning of more things to come. This is one big Political Alpha men soap opera.

  14. VIP Has To Go says:

    This is foolishness…yet Government workers cannot get their increment from 2017 and 2018. Buy the country has to suffer because of Willock and Fahie’s arrogance. VIP Needs To Go!

    Like 15
  15. Adding Up!!; says:

    “No, it wouldn’t be as much as the $7.2M for the plane that we haven’t found yet”, Fahie responded.

    So are we to understand that as long as VIP unnecessary spending of elaborate amounts does not surpass what they consider inappropriate spending of the previous NDP administration it ok? What an insult to taxpayers!!! From our perspective what was a $7.2M loss of cash is now a $7.6M loss. Please from here on please refer to foolish spending to $ 7.6 cause it adding up and we ought not wait till the figure reaches $14.4m to complain.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  16. 2023 says:

    VIP all the way you all still can’t stop them

    Like 3
    Dislike 18
    • News flash says:

      @2030, the new young blood party is sailing into town. Have a mojito on that my friend cause it is going to be one heck of an election come 2030.

  17. qc says:

    not a thing wrong with the speaker getting legal representation Parliaments around the world do it.

    We have the best speaker ever!! now go drink that

    Like 4
    Dislike 26
  18. Wow says:

    This is ridiculous…why the need for all this spending….on.material stuff people depending on their 2016, 2017, 2018 increments…school resources. BvI Irma and Maria ain’t teach us anything it is sad…VIP NDP…I dont care what P we are making our country look stupid

    Like 11
  19. Western Union/Money Gram Tax says:

    And this people is the reason the money gram and western union tax on money transfers is now on the table. Please, let’s spend what we have wisely…the people pockets ain’t endless.

    • Fake News says:

      the tax which I do not agree with won’t cover for this massive amount of money anyway – shocking waste of money which could have rebuilt the West End Ferry terminal or gone towards other needed schemes – instead its just wasted on lawyers fees…. wasteful and woeful neglect really…

  20. Hmm says:

    Hope them lawyers pay up their taxes with that amount of payment.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  21. We the people says:

    One thing no one can debate is; the current speaker is smart and is a excellent choice very professional

    Like 5
    Dislike 17
  22. SMH says:

    POLITRICKS AT IT’S BEST…THE SPEAKER AND VANTERPOOL SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO PAY THESE BILLS…THIS IS NOT FAIR TO TAXPAYERS.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  23. bvi says:

    I am mad, i am furious, why the h**l do tax payers has to pay for this d**n stubborn man bill, this is not right, i suggest that the speaker be surcharged until the full amount has been fully paid.

  24. CW says:

    Look at these comments. No wonder the entire country is going down the drain. You can’t support common sense or each other to save your lives. THIS IS A LEGAL FEE AND PART OF THE COST OF RUNNING A GOVERNMENT. YOU BLAME DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES THAT DO THE SAME THING BUT ONLY WHEN ITS NOT YOUR PARTY

    HYPOCRITICAL STRUPE THINKING

    Like 1
    Dislike 9
  25. Blackman says:

    Whether you are in government or in opposition here in this country, please black always remember that our white bosses are painting us with the same brush…in his eyes we’re just a bunch of black people living up to his expectations,of which he expects nothing good coming from us.The esteemed exemplifies this sort or behavior to our white bosses.

  26. Reality says:

    VIP F..k up and they failed to reign this T..t in – so a massive tax bill now falls to the hard working tax payers…somebody should be held accountable but as usual it won’t happen….

  27. Zoe says:

    One thing despite all the jumping up no one can say the speaker is corrupt

    He has maintained his high standards and integrity throughout it all

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  28. Smh says:

    I wonder why this story ain’t up on V*** lol smh, idk why Faihe allow this man to be speaker. We officially a banana republic

  29. Mary says:

    The speaker is doing the right thing

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  30. @Reality says:

    money down the drain thanks to an incompetent Government – I was expecting better….

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  31. no says:

    Willock…like Walwind…Why y’all don’t just live your lives….

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