Dart brings in ‘bigwig’

| 11/12/2013

(CNS): Having asked to be joined in the defence of the legal action taken by four ladies regarding the closure of the West Bay Road to facilitate the development of a beachfront resort by Dart Realty Cayman Limited, the developer appeared to spare no expense in the fight this week when they instructed the former attorney general of England and Wales.  Peter Henry Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith, PC, QC, who now works for the New York-based firm Debevoise & Plimpton and is reputed to earn over one million pounds per year, advocated for Dart on Tuesday before Justice Alex Henderson. He argued that the women did not have a case as the rights they said they had lost were not private but public rights.

Baron Goldsmith suggested that the right of way people had to the road, and in turn beach access, were general broad public rights that everyone shared and therefore bringing the action under the Bill of Rights was wrong because that was meant to deal with infringements of private rights. He argued that the closure was lawful and therefore, as part of the gazetted closure, all public rights of way ceased.

Goldsmith suggested that if there were any questions at all about the closure, the present suit itself was the wrong kind of action because the women should have applied for judicial review within three months of the signing of the NRA agreement in December 2011 in accordance with the court rules. Acknowledging changes in the constitution which appear to increase that timeframe to twelve months, he said that either way the outcome was that the women were out of time and their claims were “misconceived”.

The leading attorney said there were very good reasons in law for placing timelines on such cases, as illustrated by the massive financial investment and the work already undertaken by his client.

The Dart lawyer agreed with the government's QC, Richard Keen, who had also argued the same point that the plaintiffs were “adventitious” when they had adopted the date of the gazetting of the road as the point where the timelines should begin. He argued that government had notified the people of its intention to enter into an agreement with Dart, part of which included the road closure, as far back as June 2011.

Despite arguments that the details of this agreement were madebehind closed doors and that the full deal was not revealed until after the closure, Baron Goldsmith said the women were well aware of the intended road closure from the start and had been part of the public opposition to it and had gone on television voicing their objections.

Given the timeline’s importance to the case, he said, the suit was a “manifest abuse of process” as the women had attempted to circumvent a judicial review, which would have been the correct route. He said his clients had undertaken very expensive and substantial work on the basis of the agreement signed with the NRA and government in December 2011, and it was clear that any legal questions could not be allowed to meander for any length of time.

The closure, he argued, was perfectly lawful and was made by political leaders giving due consideration for all of the facts and socio-economic as well as environmental issues. He pointed to speeches delivered by the former premier, McKeeva Bush, in support of the Dart deal. He also referred to the efforts Dart is making to maintain pedestrian access to the beaches in the area and the provision of the public park.

Baron Goldsmith noted at the beginning of his submissions that only part of the road which is earmarked to be closed has been gazetted, noting that the developer was undertaking the closure in two parts and, when it happens, the closure of the remaining stretch will also be done under the same roads law.

However, questions remain about the closure of the remaining stretch of road, which for all intents and purposes is now a cul-de-sac and no longer provides through access. The Cayman government remains in negotiations with Dart about the NRA agreement as it seeks to extract value for money for the public purse after questions were raised about the deal by independent consultants.

The PPM administration has also publicly stated that it is pressing to change parts of the deal which it has found “unacceptable”, not least the 50% concession Dart was given on room tax in the deal for all of its tourist accommodation which it owns, acquires, builds or renovates in the next thirty years for up to ten years from that accommodation opening.

The case brought by Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon, Ezmie Smith and Betty Ebanks on behalf of a wider activist group continues in Court 4 Wednesday at 10am when local attorney Anthony Akiwumi, instructed by Irwin Banks is expected to reply to the defence arguments.

Following an extensive agreement of certain facts, the lawyers will not be calling live witness and will leave the judge to decide the case based on the written submissions and evidence, as well as the arguments the lawyers made on their feet during the course of the trial this week.

See related storyClosure-was-fait-accompli

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  1. CaymanFriend says:

    Worshipping the Almighty (CI) Dollar, disrespecting the lives and beliefs of our Caymanian elders who worked, and worked hard, and worked long and tediously to provide for ungrateful children who only want handouts rather than taking advantage of the opportunities we've been blessed with over the past half century, living in ignorance because of the decrying of education and training, voting for anyone who promised freebies rather than fiscal responsibility, driving too fast for any of our roads, drinking and carousing and abusing our bodies and our minds – this is our legacy and we have only ourselves to blame.

      No Expat did this to us – we've done it to ourselves.   

    Proof?  Just look at those of our neighbors who have maintained their integrity, built businesses, gone to sea and come home to this beautiful Island country, become successful professionals, especially in law because we had visionary leaders who established a qualified law school almost three decades ago.

    Is it not time to take stock of just who we are, where we come from, and where we want to go? Building for the future will not be easy, made all the more difficult by the hole we've dug for ourselves – morally, educationally,  professionally, financially.  And it won't happen until we root out the greed of self-serving politicians and anyone who fails to support internal development of our society.

    Caymanian seafarers of the past did not make excuses but rather had to use their knowledge, strength of character and true grit to see themselves through tough times.  Cayman cannot improve without those same values being exhibited by our leadership and supported fully by parents, business, and Expats alike.  And anyone – of Cayman heritage or Expat – who doesn't support a moral rebirth of this society should have no complaint about a faltering society mired in incompetence, debt and moral degradation.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should put that into a letter to the Compass.  It is exactly the type of overearnest meandering crap without a point they like to publish.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We gotta chase these crazy bald heads out of town

  3. Anonymous00 says:

    Everything changes in life nothing will ever be the same all our politicians become corrupted as soon as they get a seat in. They've sold our "public beach" for $$$$ and now our children will never see the beauties of the island that we've seen. Why don't we just kick dart off our island truth is he's changing and taking over the place soon it will be call darts island. Step up stand up for your rights as caymanians to save our public beach after all it's for the public right! Greediness the queen should step in and undo all his changes…

  4. Anonymous says:

               Not to worry. Government has the right to acquire land for public purposes ,so there is nothing to stop this Administration or future Administrations from gazetting and acquiring land for a future road following the same route as the closed off section.



  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget wb’s the govt promised you’ll a road for +20yrs and nothing yet! I say if dart want to spend $$$ and we benefit from the deal, TAKE IT lmao! Wp

  6. Anonymous says:

    Listening to the talk show this morning I heard that these 4 persons against the road are receiving Legal Aid!!! Now this is a story, as this is my money going to something i am in support of. I give customs 10,000's a year, now all that is going to waste on 4 ladies!!!

    CNS, you need to look into this, there are many more persons curently on our litte rock that need assistance, especially this time of year. I would love(want) to know the total cost to the CI government at the end of this case, not Darts money, the money spent by the 4 ladies and court time.

    This is a disgrace!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Legal aid for a civil suit that doesn't even affect their owned property is absurd.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Especially a lawsuit that no attorney could credibly say has any prospects of success.

      • Anonymous says:

        Apparently a crap old road is part of their cultural identity.  Tragic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Deal with it. 

      If your beloved Dart and Big Mac had not violated the publics rights (or any member of the public-get it?) it would have never come to this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is the plans they have for our Public Beach and the West Bay Road……a Cayman Culture kill!  

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not especially enamored by this style of architecture, but once built it will look a lot better in the flesh than this artists impression shows. We need to look at what will draw tourists to Cayman for the next 20 years and this modern style is certainly more appealing than the Regency style of the past 20 years. Regretably we do not have a Caymanian architectural style that is easily translatable to a building of this type. So we must  address what our overseas customers want and build accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes 11.26, it looks really good, perhaps I would phrase it a Cayman culture improvement…

      • Anonymous says:

        Then you have exceptionally poor taste. That hideous design looks like something from the 1960s.  

        • Anonymous says:

          I did not write about my taste 08.51, it was specificailly about improvement to Cayman culture

          • Anonymous says:

            And that is setting the bar very low.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then to what does "it looks really good" refer if not your personal taste?

          • Anonymous says:

            When are you expats going to understand that when you write purely gratuitous insults about Cayman and Caymanians, albeit anonymously, you create a rod for your own back as there will inevitably be backlash, and when you receive that backlash you call it xenophobia but the truth is you have brought all on yourselves. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice. Very thoughtful comment. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks great.

    • Ineedashotinmybutt says:

      Culture?  Where be da comics???

    • Anonymous says:

      Your photo doesn't include the newly expanded and renovated public beach..That's just the new hotel..

      • Anonymous says:

        Where are all the seagrapes and cocoplums?

        • Anonymous says:

          The sea grapes and cocoplums went when our Cayman Politicians gave away our beaches.

          We had own up to the vegetation ( sea grapes and cocoplums)

          We only own up to the high water mark, which might get up to 6 feet wide.

          Besides the public beaches…. I cant understand why we argue about these people's beaches. So sad what Governrment done back in the late 70s and early 80s. Dont blame Dart or anyone else.

        • Anonymous says:

          Knowing Dart's passion for local plants, shrubs and trees, there will be plenty seagrapes and cocoplums…dont worry!!!

    • Anonymous says:

         This  plan that  they have !   This development will make the developer 100s of millions of $ s . Then Cayman woud be just like miami beach or some other over developed place .           I think  that these Cayman politians that are makeing laws on the Development of the Island , Need to go and read the whole of THE  DEVELOPMENT PLAN 1977  for the Cayman Islands .  It do not talk about this kind of development..   NOT because this plan was made in 1977 that this should not have any merit today, the man that made this plan had VISION  /EXPERIENCE ON HOW A LITTLE  ISLAND LIKE CAYMAN  SHOULD BE DEVELOPED AND CONTINUE TO BE ACTRACTIVE TO WHO THE ISLAND STILL DEPEND ON ( TOURIST) .

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love it!  Well, well, FOUR determined West Bay seniors sets somebody's knees a knocking!

    Keep it up ladies….and if Mr. Bloomberg is reading, do your best to keep the good old USA healthy and clean!

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is ironic that the West Bayer old guard are most upset and complaining, yet it is their voter block that voted in their heroic lawn boy dictator that approved the secret deal.  If you want to know who is to blame, it is actually yourselves: not DART Realty who honoured their side of the bargain; but your beloved backbencher who worked in secret and kept his own counsel.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Never forget! Always ask why?

    Yes it is too late to turn this around, and the QC is no doubt right on the legal niceties, but at the end of this, just remember that one of your representatives gave away your right of access, your rights to considerable income, and massively enhanced the property value of Mr Dart. You got a road that if you wanted it, you could have built yourselves.

    So WHY did he give it away? Was he as stupid as that? Or did he have an axe of his own to grind? Turn over every stone until you find the answers, and then dont forget who did it.


    • Anonymous says:

      Could have built yourselves ?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Cayman Islands Government is fundng this…through legal aid. Just imagine hwo many better ways that money could be used for the people of this island. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who exactly is funding these ladies ?? They clearly aren't doing it out of their own pockets.

    And it is costing CIG and Dart a lot in delays, plus the jobs are on hold until sorted.

    And finally Dart will probably have a big claim against CIG (that means you and me) if the ladies win, as CIG are the experts here and Dart entered and proceeded in good faith

  12. Anonymous says:

    I see many criticizing the park, sand, facilities etc.  My understanding is that this park is not complete and currently is work in progress.  I think we need to have patience and once complete I am quite confident the park will be top notch as anything dart has built to date.  We have to realize that it is in his best interest that the park facilities and surrounding areas are attractive to tourists.  After all, his hotel is right next door.  

    I don't believe it is fair to criticize a partially completed project. 


    • Anonymous says:

      But you  think, it is fair for them to say that we Caymanians do not have any rights.

      But you think, It is fare for them to say the case was braught too late, that it should have been braught in 2011 when the Govt and developer were still in negotations.

      ?????????????????  How pathetic.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair, maybe maybe not. The law, oh yes and we shall abide by the law, not just how you feel about things today.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well we sit on our asses and abide the atrocious laws our governments have burden us down with… havent we??

          These are laws that effect our well being our lives and our ability to survive.High  fees to carry on our business, forced by law to pay for work permits, forced savings for expat workers that will take the money and run.

      • Anonymous says:

        RIghts? Your rights are defined by law. Wait for the judgement! And no rights have been removed, you will soon be able to go to a really great much improved beach..now how did that affect your rights? You voted those guys in, deal with it.

        Let me put it in simple words. Dart did a legal deal with the previous government. To unwind it would be the same effect as this:

        You go into a shop and buy a television for CI$500. One year later the shop owner calls you and says, oh, by the way, you should have paid CI$2000 for that, please pay me the extra now. Where you gonna tell him to go? This pointless case is the exact same thing. If it gets anywhere, it will just show the world that Cayman cannot be trusted and all investment will dry up. Welcome to the new venezuela!

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct 00.25..Dart has not built anything shabby yet..in fact his standards are far higher than anything else on island todate…give it a rest nay-sayers. You have already made up your minds on unfinished work for reasons of pure hatred and stupidity. A wise man would judge a finished job…

    • Anonymous says:

      No problem criticizing to the nth degree the four fine ladies who are standing up for what is right though?

      Sorry Charlie but the weed filled “park” completion date is OUT OF TIME!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there a reason it is taking so long??? Is he afraid he is going to lose and don't want to put anymore into it…DART has the money and the power to make things happen. If he wanted the beach done it would be done. I have seen him put up buildings faster than he has spread Columbian yellow sand to cover up our white sand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why would he hurry when he is being sued? Or the deal might get overturned? Use your brain..

      • Anonymous says:

        There were no white sand where that silacone sand is placed. Where the road, and the  old  parkinglot were, were  filled with cayman marl.

        The existing cayman white sand is still in its original state.

        What you all have to understand, at some point this area were all mangroves which were connected to the North Sound. Over the times many storms filled this area with sand from the ocean.

        If you excavate under all that sand you will find the old mangrove trees.

        East of the beach were filled with Cayman marl when the dredging was done in the late 60s.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Who are acting as local lawyers?

    CNS: See previous story here.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All this is all too late.  Dart has spent considerable time and funds to carry out his end of the deal.  Negating on the deal will have significant consequences for inward investment. One govt approves a project and the courts reverse decision.  This can't happen.

    Hopefully we learned some lessons here.  First, vote for capable and qualified people. Secondly, be involved and make ypur voice heard early loud and clear. If we voted competent people we wouldn't be in this situation.  If we came out and filled the streets protesting, this wouldn't have happened.  Complaining at the water cooler doesn't cut it. 

    The reality is that there were only a few hundred people protesting this road closure. If there are more people against this deal, they should have made themselves heard.  Now it's simply too late. We can't penalize dart for being a businessman.  If you disagree with the outcome you have to blame yourself for electing the officials and not speaking out against their decisions as they happen.

    The good news is that thie road we got is twice as big as the one we had previously and its construction appears to be of high quality. No one can deny that the new road is an improvement over the prior road from a construction perspective.



    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks.  One of the most level headed and balanced commentaries I have seen in awhile. 

      You are right,its time for people to make the best of this and move on.   Lets get the beach park completed and enjoy. 

      • Anonymous says:

        We already have the West Bay Road Public Beach – from 1974!

        Long before Ken Dart came here after Belieze ran him from that country and he found enough corrupt people in the Cayman Islands to sell him our Islands.

        Ken Dart our West Bay Road Public Beach is our beach, not your Kimpton Hotel's beach, please Keep Off Our Beach.

        • Hoping for better days says:

          I don't know about you dear but Dart is not stopping ME from enjoying my beloved 7 mile beach. I enjoy that every day….I don't live there but I make an effort to stop in from time to time to enjoy it for what it is.

          Get a grip, really growing tired of all the ignorance from MY people. Yes, I'm Caymanian.

          These 4 could find MANY other things WORTH fighting for. Like fighting for abused children in Cayman etc. They just want to be all over the media for NOTHING.

          It's a national disgrace. Is this what the fantastic 4 consider to be "national pride"? :-/



        • Anonymous says:


          Correct me if im wrong, or if im that stupid. Are you saying Dart took the 7 mile Public Beach??

           It is  my understanding that the beach North of  our 7 mile public beach is privatly owned, not owned by the public.

          This beach property was then sold to a private owner, who happens to be Kenneth Dart.

          So can you explain when and how Mr. Dart took our 7 mile beach???

      • Anonymous says:

        And what do we do about the gutted process of the law. Oh yeah, go enjoy the beach. 

  15. WillYaListen! says:

    Bigwig? Million pounds a year?

    Some of our  lawyers have bigger credit card bills.

  16. michel says:

    Our public rights are also Very private to many of us ! Our rights were ignored from the get go. Oh the new road is nice and Dart as a major landowner will only Gain much. But it does give us the right to also maintain our Old public Beach, that while driving by energised us thinking of the upcoming weekend. At the same see the natural beauty that God created for us in our own Little Paradise. Now, were too busy following the road signs. God Bless.

    • And Another Ting says:

      Just my imagination, driving away with me, And Another Ting.

    • Hoping for better days says:

      Excuse me but if you want to enjoy our little paradise perhaps you should PARK your car and take a nice loooong walk on 7 mile beach. I do not see the logic behind "driving" by the beach and as you said looking forward to the weekend. I am sorry but your comment is absolutely ridiculous and silly.

      What rights are you talking about? I am Caymanian and proud indeed but it is people like you my dear that make all of us look incompetent and primitive!!!!

      Word of advise: Grow-up and stop being selfish.

    • Anonymous says:

      There's a lot going on in this post. Firstly in your mind it seems like the fact that the new road is "nice" is diminished by the fact that Dart might make a profit. In other words you can't enjoy the nice new road because of what….jealousy? Why should it matter to you that Dart makes money, if your situation is improved? It doesn't sound like a very Christian sentiment to me.

      The right to maintain your old public beach is interesting to me. I used to spend a lot of time on that beach and it was not maintained very well at all.  It was covered in KFC and plastic containers every morning. Empty cans and broken bottles and other stuff.  It honestly looked like people brought their dinner down there and then just stood up and walked away.  Which they did because I saw them.  And I'd be willing to testify that the people doing that were 100% Caymanian. And the people who used to pick the rubbish up and put it in the bins were mostly non-Caymanians. So much too for the "natural beauty that God created for us" (and by "us" I assume you think God created it for West Bayers).

      You also seem to be saying that your rights include the right to view the beach from the road.  In other words, you not only have the right to the beach and the right to a road but you have the right to look at one from the other if it pleases you. Never mind that there was 20ft high scrub between the beach and the road, not to mention a mountain of litter thrown out of car windows so this "right" never existed anyway, what you are saying is fundamentally ridiculous. If you want to enjoy the beach, get out of your car. It will do you good. If you have a problem with following the road signs on the new road then it sounds like you're better off without any distraction. The beach is still there and will be better and cleaner than before.  The road is still there and is safer than before. Not being able to see one from the other is something you made up because you have no rational basis for complaint.

      Finally the random capitalisations. I find these encouraging. They are present in so many of the most ignorant comments on this site and that suggests to me that it is only the most uneducated members of society that are still holding on to these unintelligible, entitled, moronic opinions and that somehow think Christianity is compatible with xenophobia, selfishness and ill-will to others. You are an anachronism and a fool.

    • Anonymous says:

      14.09, singularly the most pathetic comment I have read to date. You gave your rights to Mac and co whn you voted them in, learn the lesson, get over it and move on. Is anyone amazed at how most of the posters here are West Bayers who got Mac elected in the first place??

  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS it is either you are going to be reporting the news or you are going to admit that you are providing opinions masquerading as news.  Why does the lead on this article mention the fact that Baron Goldsmith earns over a millions pounds per annum?  The man has been an attorney for the better part of 30 years. He is a well known authority on constitutional issues.  How is what he earns relevant?  The fact of the matter is that this article would have been better placed if the arguments were explained to people who read this so that we understand in layman's terms exactly what are the points that are being argued.  That, rather than Goldsmith's earnings would have served the public a lot better. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    The power of money.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The argument that the BoR only applies to 'personal' rights is a big decision as it renders some of the other 'aspirational' rights invalid by natue. The Environment has been in the news recently and it would be hard to argue that the BOR 18 (IIRC) 'rights' are personal in nature and not a 'society right' guaranteed (relatively) to us all by the Constitution.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So why would it surprise anyone that Dart would hire top-notch attorneys?   They have literally spent millions of dollars of their own money so far for no benefit in anticipation of building a resort, all of which would be for naught if this suit is succesful (how can there be a road running between the hotel and beach?).  

    Meanwhile, Joe/Jane general public is left without the beneft of the new beach park, with the boardwalk and bike paths. 

    All of this smells of a banana republic    You have an elected government that negotiated a deal.   We have a new set of roads that we all are enjoying.  And now we want to quash this development, and the public beach???  Seriously???   A road vs a larger beach park???

    Hey, I have no skin in this game.   Just saying that Camana Bay aint a bad place to hang out.  And I trust Dart to do the same with the new resort and public beach park.   

    Why dont these ladies focus on beautifying West Bay??????  


  21. Whodatis says:

    "Bigwig" lawyers such as over-paid attorneys and QC's only serve to discredit the alleged justice of the legal system

    If the "rule of law" actually exists, there would be no need for or even the existence of "bigwig" legal personnel … especially at this stage of our (supposed) democracy and system of justice.

    In fact, the mere introduction of such a "bigwig" would have a negative result on my opinion if I were on the jury of any particular case.

    Or perhaps the "rule of law" is simply an expensive luxury to obtain?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do tell us more about the role of a jury in civil proceedings in the Cayman Islands. 

      • Whodatis says:
        1. The operative term in that sentence is "any". If you were truly the wise-ass you consider yourself, you would have realized I purposely avoided the word "this".
        2. You failed crack does not negate the general point being made.
        3. Unfortunately for you, the entire basis of your rebuttal is off-target. Do be more careful on your next attempt. (I'll be right here baby. xoxo)
    • Anonymous says:

      oh dear Whodatis is..you have become rusty..has it occurred to you that they might be very well paid becuase they are extremely good at their jobs, whilst the not so good are poorer paid? It happens in almost every profession and has nothing to do with discrediting the justice system.

      • Whodatis says:

        You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to disagree.

        There already exists a "just" outcome for this and every case that comes before the courts. The fact that there is a requirement to pay BIG money to obtain said "just" outcome discredits the entire system.

        That simply translates into; "Side A or B was not able to afford the price tag of justice."

        Were we discussing say a heart transplant in the medical profession, I would agree with your post, as there are not predetermined "just" outcomes of such a procedure.

        Anyway, this can easily turn into a merry-go-round debate and I am sure neither of us are interested in that regard.

        My basic point is the corrupt / capitalistic nature of the English justice system is truly pathetic and contradictory to everything it claims to stand for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis is back!  Hurray!

      Interesting line of logic though. So your opinion is negatively influenced by how expensive the other side's brief is, not the actual legal merit of the arguments?  If you are ever selected for jury duty, make sure you tell them that at jury selection.  Shoul avoid you the inconvenience of ever having to sit through a trial.  

      • Whodatis says:

        Yours is an interesting line of logic as well.

        Therefrom one could argue that Dart is not confident in the legal merit of his argument.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's a ridiculous comment, whodatis. Every profession has its elite to whom a premium remuneration is paid for their superior services – doctors, educators, accountants, architects etc.. The market determines whether they are overpaid or not, not whodatis.

  22. Anonymously says:

    My my, this is reason for concern.  Maybe he will also defend the Dart Corporation in NY, interesting times indeed.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would they need to defend Dart in New York, they are no legal proceeding there. They are just looking to place a ban on Styrofoam and Dart offered an alternative to buy back and recycle used Styrofoam containers..  


  23. Anonymous says:

    I can't see why the delay issue was not dealt with on a preliminary expedited basis as it is clearly determinative.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It is a requirement in cayman to change the deal

  25. Anonymous says:

    in dart we trust….