The injunction against the Commission of Inquiry lawyers to prevent them from practising in the Virgin Islands was architected by former Premier, Andrew Fahie.
This is according to a letter from Silk Legal sent to the Special Parliamentary Committee that was formed to decide whether former Speaker Julian Willock should personally pay the approximate $98,000 in legal fees incurred from the court case.
Silk Legal attorney, Richard Rowe said in the letter: “We at Silk Legal (BVI) Inc were instructed verbally and on multiple occasions by the then Premier and Minister for Finance, the Honourable Mr Andrew A. Fahie
to file an injunction against the COI
lawyers, who were acting in criminal breach of the Legal Professions Act 2015”.
The letter explained Silk Legal received numerous phone calls directly from the then Premier, directing that the matter be filed without delay.
“It should be borne in mind that the Premier signed the contract under which we acted. We were also urged by Withers to file for an injunction and we had conversations as to how this could be done,” Rowe said in the letter.
“The Honourable Speaker also indicated that he received a telephone call from the Deputy Speaker, the Honourable Neville A. Smith, that the then Premier had instructed him to ask the then Speaker to instruct Silk Legal (BVI) Inc to file for this injunction,” he continued.
Rowe noted the issue of permission from the Attorney General, was not raised until after the application for the injunction was filed.
“The issue with respect to permission was raised in an irregular judgment. When we say irregularly, we mean that the law requires that parties be given an opportunity to be heard before a judgment is given. No such opportunity was afforded to the Speaker before this judgment was handed down,” the letter further read.
“We then instructed the Speaker to obtain the necessary permission from the Attorney General. Unfortunately, as far as we are aware the Attorney General did not respond. We then recommended to the Speaker that the best course of action was to withdraw the matter in light of the judges’ request for permission. The Speaker then instructed us to withdraw,” it continued.
In the end, the Special Parliamentary Committee determined that no expressed permission was given to Willock to file the injunction as such the burden of payment falls squarely on him; as was ruled by the court in the first place.