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Pearman calls for Simmons lawsuit explanation

Scott Pearman

Shadow legal affairs minister Scott Pearman has called on Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons to explain to the public why she has been named as a codefendant in five civil lawsuits.

The five writs are among 14 cases filed in the Supreme Court since 2008 against her husband Myron Simmons, senior Crown counsel in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as revealed by The Royal Gazette last week.

Senate leader Ms Simmons is listed as codefendant in one of the most recent cases, brought by HSBC Bermuda in February 2017. According to legal papers, the case involves three mortgaged properties in Sandys, to which the bank laid claim.

The Attorney-General is also named in four other writs, filed in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Mr Pearman said: “It is a fundamental principle that every person is innocent until proven guilty.

“Against that background, we should all exercise caution until more is known about these allegations made against the Attorney-General, her husband and their [former] law firm [Lightbourne & Simmons].

“It is also fundamental that Bermuda lives or dies by its reputation as an international financial centre. Our chief law officer must be beyond reproach.

“No doubt the Attorney-General will now want to clarify publicly whether the allegations have any merit and what explanation she has to assure the public that nothing improper has occurred.”

Ms Simmons has not responded to requests for comment from The Royal Gazette but she told ZBM earlier this week that it was a private matter.

David Burt, the Premier, told the news station: “I am not concerned about that report. What I would say is it’s unfortunate that people would like to drag people’s family into the news and the press. But that is the modus operandi for The Royal Gazette and so I’ll just leave it at that.”