Case details

National Stadium (Grenada) Corporation (Respondent) v NH International (Caribbean) Ltd (Appellant) (Trinidad & Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0068

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue(s)
  1. Did Clico Bank hold US$2.8m on trust for the contractor?
  2. If not, did the contractor have a right to the money by assignment?
  3. If not, should the money be paid to NS?
Facts

The appeal raises issues of trusts and assignment law and the interpretation of various contractual documents. In 1997, the Grenadian government engaged Imbert Construction Services ("ICS") to carry out construction work on the National Stadium at Queen’s Park, Grenada. The work was largely outsourced to NH International ("the contractor"). Clico Bank agreed to fund the project through a loan agreement with the National Stadium Project (Grenada) Corporation ("NS"), a company set up by ICS. It was agreed that the contractor’s fees would be paid by Clico Bank directly.

In late 1999, ICS purported to terminate its agreement with the contractor. The contractor said it was entitled to fees for work it had done between 1997 and 1999. It obtained injunctions preventing Clico Bank from advancing money to NS, and requiring Clico Bank to deposit US$2.8m (which had been earmarked for payment to NS) into an account at the Unit Trust Corporation ("UTC") pending trial. Both ICS and Clico Bank subsequently went into liquidation, so the contractor was unlikely to be paid for its work unless it could lay claim to the frozen account at UTC.

Following a trial in 2011, Mr Justice Rajkumar held that the contractor was beneficially entitled to the US$2.8m due to a trust and/or assignment in its favour. UTC subsequently released the money to the contractor (in accordance with an interim order made in 2017).

NS appealed. Its appeal was initially dismissed without a hearing but in 2015 the Privy Council decided a hearing should have taken place. In 2018, the Court of Appeal reversed Rajkumar J’s decision and ordered the contractor to pay the money to NS. The contractor now appeals to the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

NH International (Caribbean) Ltd

Respondent(s)

National Stadium (Grenada) Corporation

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

17 Jun 2020

Hearing finish date

18 Jun 2020

 
Watch hearing
17 Jun 2020 Morning session Afternoon session