Barbados Court does government’s will: Tells Al Barrack he’s screwed

AS IF the Barbados Courts would really rule against the government for $65 million!

Contractor Al Barrack is owed $65 million by the Government of Barbados and the Barbados justice system ruled that he is owed the money for the office building he constructed – or at least started to construct until unknown and hidden caves under the building site changed everything.

Oh, but now he wants his money or to seize and sell the building and other government assets to help pay what the government owes him. Ha! Fool that Barrack is! He thought justice was for all.

The courts will keep this man going round in circles until he dies because on an island of fewer than 300,000 people EVERYTHING is politics including the court. Doing business with the government of Barbados is fine, fine so fine… until something goes wrong. And then, my friend, you have to turn to the government run courts to seek “justice”. As so many have found, the courts will keep you going round and round for ten or fifteen or twenty years and by that time you’re crazy looking for justice and you dress in whiteface and hold signs and stand on the corner and shout and be laughed at.

Beware when you do business with the government of Barbados, because the court is the government and the government is the court.

Like we said in our past article Al Barrack gets it wrong again – it’s not racism, it’s business as usual

“All because a government construction contract went bad FOR THE GOVERNMENT because of an unknown cave under the project.

Welcome to the wonderful world of doing business with the Government of Barbados, Mr. Barrack. Like a male praying mantis seeking a little love, it’s thrilling but often ends badly for the little guy.”

mostly contributed by Al’s Friend.

Strong language removed by Auntie Moses.

Here is the latest on the Driving Al Barrack Crazy and enjoying every minute of it story from Barbados Today. As usual we ask BFP readers to read the story at Barbados Today, but we’re reprinting the entire story here because you know how the press changes history ’bout hey. Haven’t caught Barbados Today doing that just yet, but ya never know!

NHC break

Court rules stay on Al Barrack writ against government

by Shawn Cumberbatch

The protracted and controversial battle between the National Housing Corporation and Al Barrack, over the $65 million the state agency owes the contractor, has taken a new and significant turn.

Barbados’ High Court has just put the brakes on a previously-issued writ of fieri facias commanding the chief marshal to sell the NHC’s “goods, chattels and property” to clear the massive debt, saying if such was allowed to proceed “the statutory functions performed by the corporation at its various locations across Barbados, and in particular at its head offices at Reef Road would be severely dislocated without (Barrack) achieving any substantial reduction in the amount owed”.

And it has concluded that “short of the corporation either paying the debt in full or alternatively, entering into an agreement with Barrack to liquidate or substantially reduce the outstanding indebtedness within a reasonable time, the only practical method of Barrack enforcing a debt of this magnitude” was through the sale of the Warrens Office Complex worth between $73 million and $77 million, and parcels of land at Rices, St. Philip said to have a market value of up to $12.2 million.

This latest ruling, Barbados TODAY learnt, was given recently in chambers by Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.

In January last year the High Court granted a Charging Order to enable the Office Complex, the bulk of work on which was done by the contractor’s company, and the Rices property to be sold. This followed the issuance of the writ of fieri facias in October 2009.

Following an NHC application seeking an order for a stay of execution of the writ, Crane-Scott’s recent decision was that in light of the “special circumstances” which “render it inexpedient to enforce the judgment debt against the corporation by way of a writ of fieri facias”, the matter was “hereby stayed pending enforcement” by Barrack under the Charging Order granted by the court to sell the two NHC properties.

According to court documents, it was “satisfied that enforcement of such an enormous debt by way of the writ of fieri facias is an inexpedient means of liquidating the debt as Barrack would realistically not be expected to realise much more than the depreciated market value of the corporation’s goods and chattels stated in the corporation’s financial statements to be around $307,768”.

Little impact

“Even if the chief marshal were, on the one hand, able to realise the ordinary market value of the goods and chattels of $6,485,656.00 on the levy, the levy proceeds would make very little impact on reduction of the overall debt, due to its sheer enormity,” the ruling stated.

“On the other hand, the court is satisfied that if the levy on the corporation’s goods, chattels and other property were allowed to proceed, the statutory functions performed by the corporation at its various locations across Barbados, and in particular at its head offices at Reef Road would be severely dislocated without the judgment creditor achieving any substantial reduction in the amount owed.

“The impracticality of the judgment creditor proceeding to levy execution to recover such a large debt rather than proceeding under the charging order granted by this Court in January 2010, is yet another ‘special circumstance’ which, in the view of the Court, must be taken into account alongside the other ‘special circumstances’ which exist in this particular case,” it added.

Barbados TODAY understands that the total outstanding debt owed to Barrack, as stated in the writ, was about $60.5 million at July 30, 2009 inclusive of costs and interest, and had continued to climb at the annual rate of eight per cent since then, which is some $2.8 million annually.

Before the matter was stayed, Barrack’s lawyer Alrick Scott, who appeared in association with Sir Richard Cheltenham Q.C., had argued that in light of the “unusual size of the judgment debt”, his client’s ability to gain the amount due to him using various methods including the writ and charging order were “both uncertain and difficult”.

A concern was that the current economic conditions in Barbados and the world would impact the ability of the Warrens Office Complex to find a buyer, although this did not mean that a sale should not be attempted.

As for the Rices land, the lawyer said a valuation of it had shown construction on two lots that had been subdivided, which he said made it unclear if the NHC still owned all of the land there.

The NHC on the other hand had argued that having sought and obtained the charging order over some of its assets Barrack’s decision to proceed with the writ of fieri facias “would be an abuse of the process of the Court since the charged assets may on current market valuations far exceed the amount of the judgment debt”.

Counsel for the NHC, Sir Maurice King, Q.C “urged the court to find that the judgment creditor’s decision to proceed with the writ of fieri facias at this stage of the proceedings was an abuse of process”.

In reaching the decision, however, the judge said the court “has examined the application, together with the affidavits of the respective parties and considered the submissions of both counsel and the legal authorities which were cited”.

“The court has also considered the relevant circumstances in this case, and done its best to weigh the prejudice to the judgment creditor if the execution of the judgment by writ of fieri facias is stayed on the one hand, against the prejudice which will inure to the corporation if the execution of its goods, chattels and other property under the writ is allowed to proceed on the other,” the ruling stated.

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Culture & Race Issues, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race

18 responses to “Barbados Court does government’s will: Tells Al Barrack he’s screwed

  1. Sue

    Legally sound ruling, nothing to do with politics.

  2. WTF?

    Everything the court does is legally sound. Do you think they would screw Al without being ‘legally sound’?

    Al will never get his money. He is so screwed and it is all ‘legally sound’.

    The government can spend half a million in legal fees every year fighting this for the rest of Al’s life and still come out on top. Good strategy and ‘legally sound’.

    When the British burned runaway slaves alive in Bridgetown it was ‘legally sound’ at the time. What the government and courts are doing to Al is ‘legally sound’. Naturally, the government wouldn’t do anything ‘illegal’ because they change the law to suit their fancy.

    It’s all legally sound.

  3. Beefcake

    But is he really owed this money?

    Apart from the court-awarded interest, what are his external costs and debts associated with this project?

    I think an audit should be done of this whole thing.

  4. what will they think of next

    Al Barrack is a jackass. I could use a different name for him but I won’t at this time.
    Barrack was offered a reasonable deal which he flatly refused as is his right. So therefore he has to wait.

  5. C-Section

    Beefcake, the court said he is owed the money and that was after a trial. He is owed the money.

    Audit? Never happen. The BLP destroyed all the records and even they didn’t the DLP isn’t going to call them on this one because DLP contractors and subcontractors got a piece of the action too. Same with the Dodds Prison. The candy is shared between the parties so nobody gets left out. It keeps everything tidier.

    The government won’t obey the court and pay Al Barrack because it’s all a set up. He was a patsy and he’s paying the price. The person who said fair warning about doing business wiht the govment was right.

  6. Wily Coyote

    BARBADOS, THIRD WORLD, UNDERDEVELOPED and HIGHLY CORRUPT, country citizens need to wake up and look to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain etc. for some guidance.

  7. sham offer

    Until one sees a copy, on the blogs , of an unconditional settlement offer with 10% down payment, don’t believe one word about government offering a settlement.

    These posturings by politicos of real offers are smoke screens for sham offers.

    Of course, the government can’t pay all cash under the present circumstances but where is there a genuine offer to settle the matter? Legal fees will be a lot less than having to come to a fair and equitable settlement and its all about the lawyers fees and the game.

  8. Probably Not Rawle Eastmond

    What a shame :
    Maureen Crane Scott is a ” female friend ” of Sir Maurice King .
    Sir Maurice King is the Chief Attorney for Government in this case.
    What did Al Barack and his attorneys expect ?

    And people talking about me and Hanifya ??

  9. J. Payne

    The government probably will age out Al-Barrack until they eventually “”win””…

  10. Micah

    It would seem to me reasonable for the court to award ownership of the building to Barrack, and if Government continues to occupy it then they can pay rent to him. What is the purpose of a court decision to get justice if at the end of the day (actually several years) it seems that the decision can’t or won’t be enforced, and the only people who may have achieved any material gains to this point are the attorneys in this matter?

  11. Curious

    Speaking of COURTs in Barbados. How come all the mainstream media has missed the last 4-5 sittings of the Arch Cot Inquest in the Coroner’s Court which has been heard once and sometimes twice a week for the last 4 weeks? Is the premeditated, callous neligence that led to the death of 5 people no longer newsworthy?
    Maybe they will show up at court tommorrow when the expert testimony from the engineers, architects and contractors are set to be heard at 1 p.m.

  12. Mobert

    Micah’s solution above is best. Turn over the building at market value to Barack.

    The difference (if it is more than the amount owed), can be set off against the forst couple of years of rent at market value.

    After that, they can agree or not to continue the rental arrangement.

    Case closed, fairly simple to solve IF one wants to……

    A ridiculous scenario.

  13. BFP

    Curious,

    We haven’t seen a thing either. Not a thing. While everybody has to work they do what they want.

  14. BFP

    Micah says

    “What is the purpose of a court decision to get justice if at the end of the day (actually several years) it seems that the decision can’t or won’t be enforced, and the only people who may have achieved any material gains to this point are the attorneys in this matter?”

    You’re missing the point Micah. That IS the purpose of the court decision and the Barbados courts.

  15. Johnny Postle

    Al my boy the best thing to do is to expose all those who benefitted from that contractural deal and I bet you the big boys will colloborate and your money will come running. What you think Al my pal?

  16. iWatchya

    Missing point:
    Al Barrack was made the patsy by the consultants on this project. They have the client’s ear (in this case the GOB) and twisted things in their favor.
    The consulting engineer should have ordered a geophysical survey of the location before ANY designs were started!
    Working in the construction industry is hard.. made even harder when client’s do not pay their due.

  17. Do Dis Nat Dat

    Al, don’t complaint if you’re unwilling to do something to change things. Get moving and make your business to expose Barbados’ unfair practices. Don’t put yourself in debt to lawyers. Instead hire a webmaster and administrator and register a website outside of Barbados to post the particulars of your case. This is a better return on investment.

    Then solicit entries from others with bad experiences with lawyers, the government, the courts, tradesmen … Next, use social media tools to keep the pressure on by keeping the conversations going. Personally I like Facebook and Twitter, or blogs and a Craigslist “rants and raves” format.

    After that show up at Barbados sponsored investment events in the U.K., U.S., Canada, China, anywhere to warn other entrepreneurs about investing there. I was at one where Barbados was pushing the establishment of phone centres and one attendee said don’t bother because the phone rates were too high to compete to India and the Philippines. Guess what? The Minister’s face dropped and the room noticed it. How many phone centres are in Barbados today?

    Al, hit dem in de pocket! A few years of negative publicity fa de gavament en ya jus mite get ya moni bac! Then agree to remove the website and accounts as a piece offering.

    Tink bigga boy! Many are called but few are chose and you have the resources to do this. Good luck and God speed.

  18. Do Dis Nat Dat, Cond't...

    Al look up, even Mia’s thinks social networking is good. Take she advice en use de master’s tools to rebuild de master’s house. They helped blow the winds of change in Egypt and Tunisia.

    Don’t forget to get your contacts to register in the respective High Commissions so you know when the investment events are.