Cash Plus liquidator loses appeal over receiver-managers' fees
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, the former Cash Plus liquidator has failed in his bid in the Court of Appeal to get an order to bar the former co-interim receiver-managers from claiming fees and expenses amounting to more than $270 million from Cash Plus assets.
The Court of Appeal comprising Justice Hazel Harris, Justice Hillary Phillips and Justice Patrick Brooks, dismissed the appeal on Friday afternoon.
The judges held that Supreme Court Justice Almarie Sinclair Haynes was entirely correct to hold that two other Supreme Court judges had the authority to appoint the former co-interim receiver-managers and to approve their remuneration.
Cash Plus Ltd has been ordered to pay 75 per cent of the legal costs for the former receiver managers and is to pay the full legal costs of "Madam A" – the former Cash Plus employee who placed the company into liquidation.
The former receiver-managers were appointed when Cash Plus went into liquidation in 2008.
Wildman had said if he were successful in the legal battle, he would use the money claimed by the former receiver-managers to pay depositors who have been anxiously waiting for their money.
It was reported that there are 45,000 depositors in the failed investment scheme and they are owed $10 billion.
The former receiver-mangers have so far been paid $100 million.
In the judgment handed down today, it was disclosed that during the time of their appointment between March 31, 2008 and October 2008, the former receiver-managers had racked up fees of $39.4 million and expenses of $246.3 million.
The Supreme Court had ruled on November 27, 2008 that the fees charged by the former receiver managers and those pending must be paid in priority out of the Cash Plus assets.
The then liquidator did not object to the money owed to the former receiver-managers or to the liability to pay them.
Wildman was later appointed Trustee in Bankruptcy and liquidator for Cash Plus Ltd in 2009.
Last year he took the former receiver managers to the Supreme Court seeking several declarations, one of which was that their appointment on March 31, 2008 was improper and ineffective.
Wildman had also sought a revocation of a Supreme Court order made on November 11, 2008 approving fees and expenses for the receiver managers.
The order and declaration were not granted by Justice Sinclair Haynes and Wildman appealed the matter.
Submissions were also made by attorney-at-law Melrose Reid and Kayann Balli who represented “Madam A".
Legal submissions were made in April by Wildman who represented Cash Plus, John Vassell, QC, and attorneys-at-law Courtney Williams and Julianne Mais-Cox who represented the former receiver-managers.