BVI News

Willock refusing to pay $77K legal fees for failed court injunction

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

House of Assembly Speaker Julian Willock has argued that he should not be held legally responsible for the tens of thousands of dollars in court fees racked up from a failed Hight Court injunction he instigated.

The Speaker filed an injunction weeks ago to prevent three attorneys – Rhea Harrikisson, Andrew King and Bilal Rawat – from continuing as participants in the ongoing Commission of Inquiry unless they were properly called to the bar in the BVI, in accordance with the law.

But Willock failed, in the first instance, to request the necessary permission from Attorney General (AG), Dawn Smith to bring the matter to court. He belatedly sought her permission after being instructed by the court to do so but the AG reportedly ignored his request which was done in haste. This subsequently led to the Speaker withdrawing the injunction.

With the injunction now torpedoed, the court has asked Willock, along with the defendants named in the matter (including the AG), to state their respective positions as it relates to legal fees on the matter.

In the assessment of costs, 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.

Arguments not convincing

Meanwhile, Willock’s attorney at the Silk Legal law firm, Daniel Fligelstone 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.

Secondly, Fligelstone Davies argued that there should be no costs decided because the BVI government was paying Willock’s legal fees and would be responsible for any liability for the legal costs of other parties.

Willock’s attorney further submitted that there was no point moving monies from one government pocket to another government pocket.

But Justice Adrian Jack was not persuaded by any of Davies’ arguments, ruling instead that Willock’s action was not brought before the court as a matter of public interest, but rather, as a private law action.

Justice Jack further ruled that he was not convinced by Willock’s claims that he had any agreement with anyone in the BVI government to cover the cost of the injunction.

I had an understanding

The Speaker was instructed to swear an affidavit to this effect to have the matter cleared up by September 7 and avoid any doubts as to who would be held financially culpable.

A section of the very brief affidavit Willock swore to stated: “I hereby confirm that I instructed the lawyers at Silk Legal (BVI) Inc to pursue this administrative law action on the understanding that the Government of the Virgin Islands is covering the costs/fees of the matter.”

Furthermore, Willock said: “I have not paid for the lawyers of Silk Legal (BVI) Inc, it is not my responsibility.”

No agreement in place with government

But the Judge was even more confused by Willock’s affidavit, asking among other things whether the Speaker’s ‘understanding’ was legally binding or not.

Appearing for the AG, Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool, denied any such agreement was in place between the Speaker and the BVI government, as this would have had to be approved by either the clerk of the House of Assembly or the Financial Secretary, depending on the amount of money required.

The Speaker, along with someone from Silk Legal with knowledge of his agreement with the government, was therefore asked to complete another affidavit by 4 pm today giving details of, among other things, who in the government agreed to pay the legal fees.

The judge said he will then be able to decide on costs once this has been done.

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70 Comments

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  1. Great News says:

    I wonder if Willock will now take legal action against the Judge as well as the COI and the AG. What a pr*t!

    Like 89
    • First says:

      First, the legal bill from Slick Law is outrageous. Can anyone imagine the bill they have run up so far regarding the COI. It must be staggering. Rowe sits there during the hearings asleep but the clock ticks for he and his staff as the taxpayer foots the bill. Foy and the rest he represents should be made to pay if there is the slightest indication of poor governance and we know the COI has already shown that. With regards to the Blonde Ba***n, he hired Slick Law for the injunction and he should pay. Slick Law however should have known that the injunction wouldn’t be accepted by the courts. This all shows the degree of incompetence they all have at the expense of the taxpayers. Lock them all up. Lock them up. Lock them up.

      Like 109
      • Real Simple says:

        That ain’t Silk bill, that’s Rawat them bill for preparing a defense. Willock going have to pay it.

        Like 48
        Dislike 1
        • Rubber Duck says:

          Hilarious. Sue in haste, regret at leisure.

          Like 51
        • Remember says:

          The taxpayers will end up paying this. Remember the case with district 4 rep.

          Like 25
          Dislike 2
          • Exactly says:

            The taxpayers can never catch a brake from the VULTURES THAT IS PICKING A POUND OF FLESH FROM THEIR BONES EVERYDAY.

            Like 16
          • School chirren say... says:

            I don’t know what criminal acts the COI lawyers are committing if they are. I do know that the errors of judgment, and ignorance of the laws our so called “leaders” were supposed to uphold are being laid in front of the people of this country every day. Yesterday Mr. Skelton Cline wanted to know why locals weren’t engaging more on this matter, why we aren’t cying out in protest against the COI. Someone please take that man out of his misery and tell him that it’s because most people are so fed up of the past two governments, and we cannot bare to listen to an entire COI hearing because of the embarrassing, mostly ignorant things being spewed as answers to the questions. One lie compounding another that one testifier after another have to deal with. Oh what a tangled web. They are constantly on their shows and in the HOA talking about how the COI law was written in 1800. What does that have to do with the elephant in the room they want to ignore, that it is they who asked for these people to come here and brought this unholy thing down on our heads. What they are mad at isn’t the COI somuch as the COI didn’t do what they wanted – which was to take down NDP and the airline debacle. They mad that Jaspert didn’t call for the inquiry when they told him to. Instead he did the cowardly, but smart, thing and called for it and then run like hell out of Dodge. This is all about be careful what you ask for people, you just may get it in spades.

            Like 1
            Dislike 1
      • Hmm says:

        Willock is almost certainly entitled to an indemnity from Silk Law who advised him to bring a claim that he was not entitled to bring without the permission of the AG.
        Who paid the UK lawyers fees of $77k. I doubt they paid it personally and suspect that the UK or BVI Govt paid their costs.

        Like 7
        Dislike 8
      • Runaway Horse says:

        Catch him if you can………………………..

      • School chirren say... says:

        Is Rowe sleeping, or just hanging his head in embarrassment?

    • to great news says:

      mann you near make me burst out a big laugh. too funny but don’t put it pass the fool to do

    • Well WEll says:

      I would really like to hear the Premier. He said that ho does not control the speaker, so lets see who does. Now if the Premier foot this bill , it would be a plus for the COI.WOW What are cost of protecting the speaker. AAAAAAHHHHHHH.

      Like 19
  2. Running with the Big Dogs says:

    He who want to run with the big dogs better be prepared to back up his bark.

    Like 60
  3. Smh. says:

    Well sah is all I can say…..honorable premier who appointed this wrecking ball….all of this is your fault. I law this squarely at your feet Mr. Premier

    Like 65
  4. Send help says:

    What a fiasco. Putting your money or at least having it to put where your mouth is, is a cardinal rule of life. How can the Speaker be unable to establish for the court what the position on fees is in a definitive way at this stage of the proceedings? Another cardinal rule – haste makes waste.

    Like 32
  5. Pay up! says:

    So let me get this straight. This person who rode into the House of Assembly on his high horse and filed an injunction against the 3 COI lawyers without the blessing of the AG or presumable the government, now is refusing to pay the legal cost associated with this misadventure and wants the tax payers of the British Virgin Islands to foot the costs of his ego driven failed attempt?

    H**l no! He did this crap with the Rep from the 4th District already, and now this? Again, h**l to the no. The BVI treasury is not his piggy bank to carry out personal vendettas.

    Here we are living in this pandemic going thru hard times, and he is running up needless expenses when things are already tight.

    Again, h**l to the no. He needs to pay his legal fees. He filed the injunction, not the struggling tax payers of the British Virgin Islands. Filing injunctions costs money, and he need to be held responsible for not only the cost but his actions.

    He needs to stop wasting taxpayers money, get down off his high horse, and foot his own legal bills for this embarrassing mess.

    I don’t care where he gets the money. He could sell more adds on his website, but he needs to pay up.

    If he does not pay up, garnish his wages, or put a lien against anything he owns. That should hold him, and make him think twice before he tries to run another tab on the backs of the BVI taxpayers.

    Like 146
  6. 360 says:

    What a tangled web he woved when they tried to create distractions to conceal their CLANDISTINE activities / ell it’s IMPLOSION time

    Like 25
  7. itstime says:

    Julian Willock should be made to pay the court fees he did this on his own. Justice Adrian Jack was not persuaded by any of Davies’ arguments, ruling instead that Willock’s action was not brought before the court as a matter of public interest, but rather, as a private law action he is so right on that, Willock needs to be put in his place spending taxpayers money like it’s his, if he doesn’t pay send him to jail.

    Like 56
    Dislike 1
  8. James says:

    What a joke. please I beg and new Government coming into power. Make sure you appoint a speaker who is humble first and foremost. The arrogance on this display from this sitting Sp..ker is bewildering to say the least. What a clo.n sh.w.

    Like 56
    Dislike 2
  9. SNAFU says:

    But wait a minute, are we not are equals?
    My bad, I thought I taw a puddy cat!

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  10. hmm says:

    THis is the child yal put at the head of the table….tsk tsk what a d*mn shame! Great job guys, GREAT JOB *rolls eyes*

    Like 22
  11. Resident says:

    Oh dear; this could be expensive for some one .

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  12. bvi says:

    I am sick of this eg****ic …, this man needs to be removed from the chair, listen, we not paying this, i will personally make a complain to the governor’s office, this not going to happen, tax payers aint paying this one, hell no, this nonsense has to stop now.

    Like 37
    Dislike 1
  13. Lol says:

    Someone predicted soon after this administration was formed that it would be brought down by either Willock or CSC, it is coming to pass.

    Like 44
    Dislike 1
    • Predictor says:

      I thought it was going to be CSC, but it looks like the Speaker is the one that is going to bring down the ADMINISTRATION.

      Like 21
      Dislike 1
      • Get out of jail free card says:

        As to who will pay, I think it will be Willock and Sheep, and the judge will rule that way. The government will deny any involvement and throw both of them under the bus.

        I think Mr. Willock got played on this by someone smarter. I guess we have seen the last of this foolishness with tax payer’s money.

        Like 13
      • @Predictor says:

        That speaker is going to send the VIP Government down a very slippery slope. He go down, they are going down as well. All of this could have been avoided if ROLLY POLLY did not give him CARTE BLANCHE.

  14. heckler says:

    I wish willock used to listen

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  15. granny say says:

    “Who don’t hear will feel”

  16. heckler says:

    This money should be taken out of willock’s salary because of his bullheadedness

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
  17. What a disappointment says:

    Look what the Premier that you fools put in office has done by putting a ticking time BOMB as speaker.

    Like 26
    Dislike 1
  18. TICK, TICK says:

    Will the Speaker soon be … headed to prison? The one that put him in the Speaker’s position will be right behind him in silver wrist bracelets also. You keep playing with fire, eventually you will get burned.

  19. I am Tickled says:

    Tsk tsk tsk. Hope he learns his lesson. Yeah Right!!!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  20. tax payer says:

    he is not an elected official
    he acted on hi own, so he has to pay for his own actions.
    the poor people of the BVI should not have to foot this outrageous bill.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  21. Hahhhhh says:

    Good old Julian
    Keeps on churning out the idi**y.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  22. Deh Watcha says:

    So what about the deputy speaker?

    What is his part (share) in this?

    Like 16
  23. bragga mouth says:

    Silky Rowe at their last press conference said he was only paid $30 k so far ….ain’t?plenty noise don’t win race.

  24. These misfits says:

    The entire government is a complete and utter embarrassment for the people of the BVI. Look at this craziness. The money should be deducted from his salary

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  25. GTFOH says:

    Everything has a price. I do hear a lot of people encouraging people to sue for anything they deem unfair or dont agree with. They should know once they sue they have to pay the lawyers and the court win or lose. Law suits should be made only if you got the money to lose or a no doubt case.

  26. Tellin u says:

    BUT if WE “the ppl” Dont pay Ticket Fine or court Fine, you getting lock up. THANKS MR. WILLOCK FOR SHOWING US THE WAY. Next time Them ask me why You aint pay YET, All i goin to say I Doing the WILLOCK WAY

    Like 17
    • U2Funny says:

      You’re too funny! De Willock Way! Imagine going into a bar, running up a tab and telling them, don’t worry, the Government will pay! SMH, Ayo could see ting sah!

  27. All of this mess says:

    Is on the Premier’s head. He caused all of it when he put BLONDIE in the seat. Yes Sir Premier, this is on youuuu. You should have left the volcano that is about to blow alone.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  28. @ says:

    Willock alone is the demise of the VIP. This is not the first time he is running up legal bills and for what??? Nothing but his ego and now once again is the people should pay for it. We the people didn’t even elect him. So who is he representing??

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  29. Circus says:

    Let the circus begin!!

  30. Confused says:

    I’m still perplexed as to why Silk Legal is being used to represent Government. They are very new and green, with just two lawyers, one of who is a known criminal defense lawyer and one who is very young and has probably never defended a case anywhere. Of all Law Firms on island this is who they choose.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  31. Resident says:

    I wish he would pay for it himself and stop wasting our money

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  32. EGO TRIP says:

    We will all know who wrote the script now (DON’T be a scapegoat , start pointing your d**ty fingers like you have been doing at jaspert and the UK 😁👍

    Like 12
  33. Runaway Horse says:

    Catch him if you can…………….

  34. Common sense says:

    I am sure the COI now have this on their agenda, one more example of why the BVI is incapable of governing itself.

    Like 13
  35. As a Tax Payer says:

    If any of my TAXPAYING money is used to pay for his bill, S**T is going to pop off for sure this time. Sick of them using the TAXPAYERS MONEY LIKE IT IS THEIR F****ING ATM.

    Like 13
    • Fahie and His crew so damxxn weak says:

      This money they allow Willock to misused could have given another stimuluz to still affected workers, and that would have been a positive for them….They are so power hungry, power blind them, they cant see the rest of us..

    • @As a Tax Payer says:

      Exactly, I don’t have a problem with my taxes going towards the improvement of schools, family support programs and so forth but not to be wasted on paying for the Speaker’s legal messes. Let the Speaker and the Premier dig into their own pockets and pay the bill, Why should the hard working taxpayer be caught up in the mess that they cause.

  36. idlewanderer says:

    costs on an indemnity basis should be applied. still baffled why he took it to commercial court. jack j thinks he knows everything but is surely not someone who will kowtow to the speaker.

    willock is a pil***k in this case. and needs to pay. of course, defendants probs could have defended themselves, but that would be practising law

  37. Stupid Men.. says:

    Men with no Wisdom he and Fahie, both of them should be made to pay this money back..Fahie encouraged this nonsense willock is doing Fahie need to be held responsible also…Spending tax payers money without conscience, they will never spend their own money that recklessly…

  38. smh says:

    Is full speed ahead with no thinking about nothing once is the public paying. All of them need to go.

  39. PC says:

    Maybe the Speaker should be elected by the people in the future?

  40. SMDH says:

    Look! If the Government take up this Bill The Virgin Islands Party Administration needs to GO. No if or buts! The People didn’t elected this arrogant Person and what he did was his personal doing. Seriously, if Government take up this Bill, I’ll get a Petition to be circulated and sign for the Motion to be moved by the Governor for the House to be Dissolved. This is becoming way overbearing with the Nature of this Individual as the Speaker. Suppose he was an Elected Official( God Forbid such thoughts).

  41. Facts says:

    The majority is with you Willock

    Dislike 16
  42. Jimmy Jowe says:

    Complete A**-Clown. This country is in the hands of A**-Clowns. What the heck is Julie thinking? Next thing he will look to charge his groceries to the tax payers…Let’s see if the government covers his cost? Didn’t Andy say that Julie was on this trip to nowhere by himself? If the government pays his legal cost then is Andy a liar?

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