Case details

Deslauriers and another (Appellants) v Guardian Asset Management Limited (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0062

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue(s)

Appeal 2016/0062 ("The Main Appeal")

Whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to uphold the decision that no misrepresentation or negligent misstatement had been made.

Appeal 2016/0032 ("The Victoria Square Appeal")

Whether the Court of Appeal failed to deal with the Judge’s decision that the Remedies of Creditors Act provided no discretion to the court on the respondent’s application, when in fact it did.

Whether it was wrong to order possession of Victoria Square, given that the respondent already has the right to sell Hevron Heights with vacant possession and satisfy its debt from that source.

Whether it was wrong to give possession of the property without due regard to the appellants’ right to be represented by counsel and their constitutional right to a fair hearing prior to reaching a decision.

Facts

Appeal 2016/0062 ("the main appeal") arises out of two loans made by the respondent ("GAM") to the appellants ("Mr & Mrs Deslauriers"), property developers who were engaged in a development project known as Hevron Heights. The loans totalled TT$18.6 million and were secured by a demand mortgage and two promissory notes executed on 2nd and 3rd October 2007. Mr & Mrs Deslauriers paid quarterly interest up to 2nd January 2009 and thereafter did not pay interest or repay the principal sum when it fell due on 2nd April 2009. At trial, Mr & Mrs Deslauriers sought to set off against their liability for the outstanding amount a counterclaim for losses that they said they had suffered as a result, inter alia, of negligence and/or misrepresentation and/or non-disclosure by GAM. On 25 October 2011, Rahim J gave judgment for the respondent of TT$20,676,295.69 plus interest and dismissed the appellants’ counterclaim and set off. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellants’ appeal. Appeal 2016/0032 ("the Victoria Square Appeal"), is the sequel to the main appeal and concerns the enforcement of the judgment of Rahim J of 25th October 2011, which continues to accrue. On 30 August 2013, pursuant to the Remedies of Creditors Act Ch. 8:09, GAM sought an order for sale of Ms Deslauriers’ alleged beneficial interest in a property situated at 28/29 Victoria Square, Port of Spain, ("Victoria Square"). Before Rahim J, Mrs Deslauriers opposed the order for sale principally on the grounds that (i) the court should take in to account the sum likely to be recovered from the sale of the development property, Hevron Heights, which was mortgaged to GAM and in respect of which GAM was granted vacant possession on 29 September 2014, and which Mrs Deslauriers claimed was worth TT$ 77 million; and that (ii) pursuant to a Deed of Settlement of 8th December 2009, Victoria Square was held on trust for her son and daughter. On 27 October 2014, Rahim J granted an order for the sale of Victoria Square, holding that he could have no regard to the unsold value of Hevron Heights and that no valid trust of Victoria Square was created and both the legal and beneficial interest in the property remained vested in Mrs Deslauriers. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellants’ appeal.

Parties

Appellant(s)
  1. David Deslauriers
  2. lenora Deslauriers
Respondent(s)

Guardian Asset Management Limited

Appeal

Justices

Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

11 Oct 2017

Hearing finish date

12 Oct 2017

Watch hearing
11 Oct 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
12 Oct 2017 Morning session