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Attorney-General’s husband sued

Myron Simmons, senior Crown counsel, is the subject of 14 writs

A top Crown counsel is being sued for an alleged failure to pay back more than half a million dollars to a “self-help” club set up by a group of friends in North Hamilton.

Club 10 Foundation Ltd claimed that Myron Simmons, a senior lawyer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, still owed the organisation $547,000 after he took out a series of loans a decade ago and failed to repay them.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions against Mr Simmons, 56, husband of Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, in the past ten years.

Supreme Court records revealed 13 other cases filed against Mr Simmons since 2008.

Five of them named Senate leader Mrs Simmons as a co-defendant.

The outcomes of the cases have not been made public, but documents first published on the Offshore Alert website show that the most recent matters are of a financial nature.

As a lawyer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Mr Simmons is a legal adviser to the Government and appears in court on its behalf in civil cases. He declined to talk about the Club 10 case and the other lawsuits.

Mr Simmons said: “These are personal matters. These are business dealings that I had over ten years ago.”

The latest writ, filed on behalf of Club 10 Foundation by law firm Marshall Diel & Myers on August 27, claimed that Mr Simmons took out four loans with a total of $870,274 from the organisation between October 2007 and March 2010.

Three of the loans were made out to him, with two for property restoration and no reason given for the other.

The fourth loan, for $294,000, was made out to the law firm he ran with his wife, Lightbourne & Simmons, and was “to enhance cash to finance an emergency with son”.

The lawsuit said that Mr Simmons paid back $332,004 but stopped making payments after September 2014.

He signed an agreement with Club 10 in March 2016 that he still owed $538,279.

He paid back a further $2,000 but has “not made any further payments” since April 2016, legal documents claimed.

The outstanding amount of $547,000 includes interest.

Joseph Christopher, former vice-president of Club 10, told The Royal Gazette the group was set up in 1971.

Dr Christopher, who is no longer involved with the club, said: “It’s a group of people who got together to set aside funds on a regular basis and to loan those funds out to each other as needed.

“Each person decided how much to pay on a monthly basis. It’s a revolving fund. Mr Simmons became a member very early in the process in order to get a loan.”

He added the organisation tried to sort out the problem of the unpaid loans several years ago without going to court.

Dr Christopher said: “I think the new executive decided to move on it. From their point of view, they have a responsibility to their remaining members to get all of the funds which are eventually due to them.”

Mark Fields, who is understood to be president of the Club 10 Foundation, did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.

Christine Herrero, lawyer for Club 10, said: “We appreciate your reaching out to our firm but we have no comment.”

Two lawsuits were filed against Mr Simmons in 2017.

The first, by law firm MJM on behalf of bankers HSBC and filed in February that year, named Mrs Simmons as a co-defendant. The writ involved three mortgaged properties in Sandys, which the bank laid claim.

The case was raised in the House of Assembly by Attorney-General Trevor Moniz, who is now an Opposition MP, in June 2017.

Mr Moniz claimed that media “networks” had been “threatened” in an attempt to avoid reports on the proceedings and that they were “cowed to the extent that they were afraid to report it”.

Dennis Lister, the Speaker, pulled Mr Moniz up for the comment and told him to stop discussion of it unless he had any evidence of a threat.

The second 2017 case was filed in November by the Burgess Family Law Practice on behalf of Raphelita Clarke and involved the estate of the late Noel Clarke.

The submission asked for court orders to make Mr Simmons, who formerly traded as Lightbourne & Simmons, pay the stamp duty on Mr Clarke’s estate and produce a statement showing the “balance in hand” from the $290,000 sale of a lot of land in Warwick.

Ms Clarke could not be contacted for comment.

The four other writs which named Mrs Simmons as co-defendant were from 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015.

There was no response to repeated requests for comment from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. A Cabinet Office spokeswoman also declined to comment.

The Bermuda Bar Association said privacy regulations meant it could not comment on whether any complaints had been made to its professional conduct committee about Mr Simmons.

The association only publishes information on suspended or disbarred lawyers and Mr Simmons’s name does not appear on that published list.

An HSBC Bermuda spokeswoman said: “HSBC takes the issue of customer confidentiality very seriously and as such is not able to discuss any matters with respect of customers or purported customers.”

The writs

• August 2018 — Club 10 Foundation Ltd v Myron Simmons — case #294 of 2018

• November 2017 — Raphelita Clarke v Myron Simmons — #413 of 2017

• February 2017 — HSBC Bank Bermuda Ltd v Myron Simmons and Kathy Lynn Simmons — #57 of 2017

• March 2015 — Clarien Bank Ltd v Myron Simmons and Kathy Simmons - #101 of 2015

• September 2014 — Yelena Packwood et al v Myron Simmons — #347 of 2014

• June 2014 — HSBC Bank Bermuda v Myron Simmons — #221 of 2014

• June 2014 — HSBC Bank Bermuda v Myron Simmons — #219 of 2014

• February 2014 — HSBC Bank Bermuda v Myron Simmons and Kathy Simmons - #67 of 2014

• August 2013 — Lois Audrey Voight Stockey v Myron Simmons — #248 of 2013

• November 2011 — Capital G Bank Ltd v Myron Simmons and Kathy Simmons — #446 of 2011

• March 2010 — Mary Harris-Lynch v Myron Simmons — #110 of 2010

• August 2009 — Martin Athol Rigg v Myron Simmons — #285 of 2009

• May 2009 — Erica Williams (trading as Premier Properties Real Estate Agency) v Myron Simmons and Kathy Simmons — #125 of 2009

• February 2008 — RoseAnn Careen Tucker v Myron Simmons (trading as Lightbourne and Simmons) — #38 of 2008

Source: Offshore Alert

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers. To view copies of the writs, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”