Skip to main content

Case details

HEB Enterprises Ltd and another (Respondents) v Bernice Richards (as Personal Representative of the Estate of Anthony Richards, Deceased) (Appellant) (Cayman Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0087

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands

Case summary

Issue

This appeal concerns two disputed commercial property transactions in the Cayman Islands. The purchase price was advanced by Mr Richards to HEB by way of instalments but completion did not occur. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the “Board”) is asked to consider whether the Court of Appeal (Cayman Islands) was correct to determine that:
1. there had been no total failure of basis; and
2. that Mr Richards’ recovery in restitution was limited by a deduction for “mesne profits” (to represent rent accrued, but unpaid, during his occupation).

Facts

Mr Richards sought to purchase two parcels of commercial land from HEB. “Parcel 1” in December 1994 and “Parcel 2” in July 1997 (with Parcels 1 and 2 referred to collectively as the “Properties”). HEB was at all times controlled by Mr Bodden.

The two transactions were structured such that Mr Richards would pay a small deposit to HEB with the balance of the purchase price to be paid by way of instalments (in each case subject to interest of 12 per cent. per annum). The term of each arrangement was 20 years.

Title to the properties would pass to Mr Richards only after the final payment was made to HEB but Mr Richards was entitled to occupy the Properties prior to that date (although the purchase agreements did not provide for any rent to be paid in relation to that occupation).

Mr Richards was unable to continue to make the required payments. By February 2015, there were varying sums outstanding in relation to each Property. Mr Richards sought to sell his interest in the Properties, having received interest from a third party, but Mr Bodden refused to contemplate such an arrangement. Instead, in light of Mr Richards’ continuing default, Mr Bodden terminated the agreements for repudiatory breach. Mr Richards claimed return of all the sums that he had paid to HEB.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Bernice Richards (as Personal Representative of the Estate of Anthony Richards, Deceased)

Respondent(s)

HEB Enterprises Ltd and another

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin

Hearing start date

17 November 2022

Hearing finish date

17 November 2022