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Case details

Philip Brelsford and 3 others (Appellants) v Providence Estate Ltd and another (Respondents) (Montserrat)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0088

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Montserrat)

Case summary


This appeal concerns a number of real estate transactions between each Appellant and PEL in Montserrat. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the “Board”) is asked by the Appellants to set aside the orders of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) (the “Appeal Court”) in relation to that Court’s determination:

  1. that each Appellant’s ownership of the relevant property (each a “Parcel”) was subject to an equity in favour of PEL and, relatedly, that each Appellant should execute transfer instruments in favour of PEL; and
  2. as to the application of certain provisions of the Montserrat Registered Land Act 2008 (the “Act”) to a series of transactions.


The facts of the present case are complex. Put briefly, between 2007 – 2008 each Appellant entered into a real estate transaction, in respect of a Parcel, with PEL. Mr Cassell, purportedly a director of PEL at the given time, represented the company. Mr Cassell had an interest in a law firm, Cassell & Lewis, which arranged for the transfer of the Parcels to the Appellants and their subsequent registration as proprietors of the relevant Parcels.

In a separate litigation, Mr Rooney instituted proceedings against, amongst others, Mr Cassell in the United States. Mr Rooney alleged that Mr Cassell had not been a director of PEL at the relevant time. In a further related litigation in Montserrat, Mr Cassell was subsequently charged, and convicted, of defrauding PEL (such convictions were overturned on appeal to the Board in 2016 and a re–trial ordered on certain counts).

The Appellants sought declarations that they were the absolute owners of the relevant Parcels and that they had been properly registered as owners of the relevant Parcels in accordance with the Act. PEL and Mr Rooney made certain counterclaims to the opposite effect. The High Court of Justice (the “High Court”) found against the Appellants. This decision was partially overturned by the Appeal Court.



Philip Brelsford and others


Providence Estate Ltd



Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

18 July 2022

Hearing finish date

18 July 2022

Watch hearing
18 July 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

1 December 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKPC 46