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Caribbean Court of Justice allows Guyanese architect firm to recover GY$15 million

Guyana’s New Building Society Ltd was ordered by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to pay Rodrigues Architects Ltd for services provided in relation to the construction of New Building Society Ltd’s head office.

The CCJ says it discharged a stay of execution that had been granted in a lower court, enabling the company to recover the balance of monies due.

In 2015, Mr Justice Persaud ordered the building society to pay Rodrigues Architects Ltd the sum of GY$15,897,625, plus 6% interest per annum from 27th November 2008 to 29th September 2015 and thereafter at the rate of 4% per annum until fully paid, and GY$100,000 for costs.

He further ordered that there be a stay of execution for a period of six months from the date of the order. No judgment, however, has yet been delivered to provide reasons for the order.

New Building Society Ltd applied for a stay of execution of the judgment pending the appeal. Justice of Appeal Roy granted the stay until the determination of the appeal but ordered that the judgment sum due to Rodrigues Architects Ltd be deposited with the Registrar to be put in an interest-bearing account to await the outcome of the appeal. Rodrigues Architects Ltd failed to get Guyana’s Court of Appeal to overturn Mr Justice Roy’s decision. The company then applied to the CCJ to discharge the stay of execution and obtain the deposited sum.

The Court, after reviewing the affidavit evidence, found that Mr Justice Roy had erred in making his orders, and the Court of Appeal had erred in reviewing those orders and letting them stand. No stay should have been granted because it had not been shown that there was a good prospect of the appeal succeeding nor that there was no reasonable probability that the company would be able to repay the money received from the building society if the
latter’s appeal succeeded.

Further to that, Mr Rodrigues, a director of the company who has been in business for over 35 years, had been prepared to guarantee that he would personally repay the judgment sum paid to Rodrigues Architects Ltd if the society’s appeal succeeded.