BVI News

Willock declines to boot judge from court case despite accusations

HOA Speaker Julian Willock (centre) and his two attorneys from Silk Legal, Daniel Fligelstone Davies (left on screen) and Richard Rowe.

House of Assembly (HOA) Speaker, Julian Willock and his legal team has declined to file an application for Justice Adrian Jack to recuse himself in the matter of a now aborted court injunction against attorneys for the Commission of Inquiry (COI). 

This is despite an article appearing on several local media outlets — including the Speaker’s own news website, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) — claiming that the judge had interfered in the BVI’s legislature by questioning the funding of the Speaker’s legal defence. 

Among other things, Justice Jack had instructed the Speaker to sign an affidavit giving details about who in the government agreed to pay his legal fees. 

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, September 28, Justice Jack asked the Speaker’s attorney, Daniel Fligelstone Davies, whether the Speaker was going to file an application for recusal. 

Fligelstone Davies said he was not sure where the article originated from and insisted that it did not originate from him (Davies), therefore he was not inclined to file an application for recusal. 

Notably, the media coverage on his client’s accusations against Justice Jack originated from a public opening statement Speaker Willock delivered to HOA last Wednesday, September 22.

Fees skyrocket for COI attorneys 

As for the actual court hearing about the flopped injunction case, the court was told that the legal fees for attorneys representing the COI’s lawyers have risen significantly since first being disclosed less than a month ago. 

Attorney Andrew Sutcliffe, who appeared for the defendants in the COI, said the legal fees for Walkers (BVI) law firm now stand at $115,348.50. 

Sutcliffe said the Speaker’s injunction application was misconceived in the first instance and was later withdrawn after an enormous amount of work was done in preparation of the defence of the COI’s attorneys. 

Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool, who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Chambers, said her office will not be seeking further costs in the matter. 

Forbes-Vanterpool contended that the contract through which Willock engaged the AG‘s chambers did not apply in regard to the injunction that was filed against the COI’s attorneys, therefore the AG was not responsible for Willock’s legal fees. 

Justice Jack said he was minded to make a cost order in favour of all five defendants (the persons against whom Willock made the lawsuit), given the evidence that he had heard. 

Willock’s attorney was given until October 5 to file any objections to the new cost schedule filed by Withers.

Justice Jack said a written decision on his assessment of costs is expected to follow shortly after he sees any objections filed by Davies. 

Background of the injunction 

House of Assembly Speaker, Julian Willock, filed an injunction weeks ago against three of the COI’s attorneys – Rhea Harrikisson, Andrew King and Bilal Rawat – from continuing as participants unless they were properly called to the bar in the BVI, in accordance with the law.

Willock later withdrew the matter after failing to get the AG’s permission to move the matter forward in the High Court. 

When the court asked Willock, along with the other defendants named (including the AG), to state their respective positions as it relates to legal fees on the matter, the three main defendants claimed that they had incurred $71,388.59 in expenses, while AG Dawn Smith assessed her own costs in the matter at $6,084.00.

Davies argued that the Speaker should not be held responsible for the costs in the matter because he brought it before the court as an administrative action which was a matter of public interest in the first instance.

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35 Comments

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  1. Monkey knows which tree to climb. says:

    Somebody needs to learn that when you are in a hole, you should stop digging. This guy needs to pay his legal fees that are outstanding, fees that he incurred, and stop adding more to the tab.

    Seeking recusal of the judge was a bad idea, because the next judge handling the case would have applied the same law.

    It would have been a no win situation for him, and a win for the lawyers whose invoices are increasing by the hour. They are getting richer, and he is getting poorer.

    Anyway, he is all mouth. He knew he could not win a fight against the judge and the judicial system by extension.

    Empty barrels makes the most noise. This is a perfect example.

    Like 36
    Dislike 2
  2. Hmmmm. says:

    When will this end? This b**foon is embarrassing our country.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  3. Domino effect says:

    Justice Jack said he was minded to make a cost order in favour of all five defendants. I for one will be raising a glass when Justice Jack makes a written decision ordering Willick to pay costs.

    Like 48
  4. Anonymous says:

    keep fighting for the people esteemed SPEAKER, we not going to blog all day but trust me, WE WITH YOU

    Like 6
    Dislike 52
  5. ... says:

    we the people will support Hon Willock to the end. The bill will be paid not to worry ppl this is small potatoes

    Like 5
    Dislike 47
  6. JimmyJowe says:

    Joules needs to step down… this behavior is embarrassing for the jurisdiction

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  7. @ says:

    Willock needs to stop running bills and expecting the people to pay for his tantrums. Bottom line VIP needs to remove him as Speaker! The people did not vote for him and him alone causes so much problems from the day he got in. Needless to say his reputation from long should have disqualified him. Begs the question what dirt does he have on the VIP or the Premier specifically????

    Like 39
    • sea cows bay says:

      you all got jokes. Hon. Willock is the best speaker I have seen in years in this country. Blogging p**s will not change that. Did we forget the 8 years of Moses so fast?

      And let me tell you a secret HE NOT GOING ANY WHERE AND WHEN THE VIP RETUNED TO OFFICE HE WILL BE SPEAKER AGIN…now go smoke that

      Like 4
      Dislike 19
  8. you b**ga you says:

    I’m sorry the esteem one don’t want to file an application. I guess roach was able to talk him out of it so he don’t rack up more costs to have to pay out. Ole big h**d

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  9. VG68 says:

    This man is an embarrassment to the entire HOA. He obviously truly believe he sits on a “throne” and rule all the BVI.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
    • @ VG68 says:

      Mr. Willock is the best thing ever happened to the bvi and the house! he is one of we, he is a fighter and he loves his country.

      Keep on keeping on Willock or sorry Mr. Speaker, no Hon Speaker Sir..

      WE STAND WITH YOU FOR THE GOOD OF OUR COUNTRY

      Like 2
      Dislike 37
      • Put down what you are smoking says:

        You are delusional. Smoking does that to you. The person you are praising is a walking contradiction.

        Here he is fighting the U.K. all the while up in the House of Assembly wearing a symbol of colonialism…a blond wig..one that makes him look like is from the hottest part of Africa or from a scene out of Planet of the Apes.

        I would have more respect him if he tossed that wig in the fire, but no he likes wearing it, bad mouthing the U.K. with no apparent understanding of the contradiction.

        Please..get out out of here with that bs. His ego is his Achilles heel, and will be his undoing.

        I don’t want some black guy in a blond wig fighting the U.K. for me. Please no. go away. I cant.

        Like 11
  10. Hmmmmm says:

    The Speaker is way out of his league here and got played. He will have to pay the legal fees because he went ahead with his b**lish actions with out first seeking proper advice.

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  11. Thoughts says:

    He better start putting some $$$ together from his own pockets. The writing is on the wall. Court cases are expensive. You have to be able to afford to sue. He should have thought long and hard whether HE could afford to sue before he filed the injunction. It is obvious he took it for granted that the public purse would once again be at his disposal to pay for yet another frivolous and vexatious waste of time lawsuit. A cost order is likely to be made and HE better have $$$ to pay.

    Like 20
  12. Run little D says:

    Boy, run while you can. Get yourself a respectable job with respectable attorneys. Stay away from those waist of time crocked people. You are who you represent!

  13. WIGGLELOX says:

    sooner or later what’s in darkness will come to light / someone got something on somebody / the ARROGANCE that Mr ESTEEMED has displayed in that position says it ALL 🤔

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  14. Here we go again says:

    Didn’t Willock serve a brief stint in prison in 2016 after he missed scheduled court dates related to alleged non-payment of debt instalments?

  15. Google says:

    Watching closely to see what rules they will try to break to get government to fund this. I’m sure Bilal and Sir Gary are watching as well.

  16. something wrong says:

    Willock cannot be a real person. Sorry. Something went dreadfully wrong ..

    • Born here says:

      Will***k thinks he run the BVI but sure bet he don’t Tortola is govern by the UK he needs to remember that. He has cost the BVI to much unnecessary money and he feels that its all ok to do so like he run things.

  17. Born here says:

    Will***k thinks he run the BVI but sure bet he don’t Tortola is govern by the UK he needs to remember that. He has cost the BVI to much unnecessary money and he feels that its all ok to do so like he run things.

  18. Rubber duck says:

    Willock is one of we he will be alright one thing we must admit he is doing a hell of a good job as speaker, love him or hate him

    Like 2
    Dislike 9
  19. @ SCB says:

    we all want to see you and Andy try that number on the COI like you all did on the member from 3rd district ( who seems to be catching himself now 👍

  20. @ Rubber Duck says:

    “One ah we “.. no sir ree
    One of his toe nails might be,maybe but he nah One ah we
    Check the history of the BVi,easy,for certainty.

  21. Truth says:

    No he is not. He is a bu***on…and he u***.

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