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Nov 27, 2018

Barrow & Williams LLP Pulls Out of ‘Sanctuary Bay’ Lawsuit

Dean Barrow

U.S. citizen Coleen Strom launched a lawsuit against Sittee River Wildlife Reserve in relation to the multimillion dollars Sanctuary Bay real estate scam.  The architect of the scam, Andris Pukke, promised investors a lush piece of land, equipped with world class amenities on a fourteen thousand-acre property in southern Belize. That property is owned by Sittee River Wildlife Reserve, one of the many entities named in the civil complaint according to the Federal Trade Commission. In court on November twelfth, Sittee River Wildlife Reserve was represented by Lissette Staine, an attorney from Barrow and Williams LLP. This is the law firm in which Prime Minister Dean Barrow is a senior partner, which as you might have guessed, bares his last name. While Barrow has not been practicing law for quite some time and has been away from the law firm for about eleven years, there is still what many consider, as a reputational risk. The scam is the largest real estate fraud that the F.T.C. uncovered in its history and it is believed that Pukke and his associates made off with millions of dollars in U.S. currency. So being linked to this scam in any way can have its negative effects. News Five has confirmed that on Monday, Barrow and Williams LLP made an application to be removed as attorneys, leaving Sittee River Wildlife Reserve with fourteen days to find another firm which is willing to represent them. The move came as surprise especially since on Friday the Prime Minister was asked about reputational risk. He said that Barrow and Williams representation of Sittee River Wildlife Reserve is in the normal course of their profession.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“If I can resort to an analogy. So because Atlantic International Bank Limited- so very important to this jurisdiction, so well known to us, because there is a complaint against Atlantic Bank International, if Barrow and Williams were to defend Atlantic Bank International, you would have the same query? No. I believe we take the position, I certainly do, that Atlantic International Bank Limited is innocent. That is the presumption that our law which is akin to US law affords and that goes for all the entities, individuals, companies that are part of the complaint which includes Atlantic International Bank Limited. They are all entitled to a presentation in their effort to establish their innocence or lack of liability and if Barrow and Williams represents one of those entities, that is in the normal course of their profession and in furtherance of legal undertakings.”

 

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