Though neither man was there in his professional capacity, it was Attorney General of Belize Wilfred Elrington squaring off with President of the Bar Association Eamon Courtenay in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The matter is personal and private.
Courtenay’s firm, Courtenay, Coye and Company, sued Elrington in a personal capacity without the unanimous consent of the company’s shareholders and directors, of whom Elrington was one.
Elrington, who before he became Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a senior counsel and former judge of the Supreme Court, had previously been sued by two fellow shareholders in the company, for alleged breach of his duties to the company because he also acted as their attorney.
They were defended by Courtenay (before he became Bar President) and former Crown Counsel Pricilla Banner.
Elrington won the case after the other side conceded that it did not have authority to sue him, but was not awarded costs by Justice Oswell Legall, and so Elrington sued Courtenay and Banner for those costs of defending the action, in legal terms a “breach of warrant of authority”.
In chambers on Tuesday, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin dismissed an application to strike out the suit by the attorney for Courtenay, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, who told another media house that he would await the Chief Justice’s written reasons and consult with his client further .
Elrington said he had wanted “to get the company to account for the proceeds of the earnings of the company.”
He added that he believed that “the company had not behaved in a way as it should have behaved as a company.
“There is provision in the law where the people who manage a company behave in such an irresponsible and negligent manner for the court in fact to order that they be made to account for their stewardship”. Elrington said.