A longtime Cayman Islands trust practitioner said Friday that she acted with complete propriety and honesty in relation to the affairs of a British Virgin Islands company, which issued a writ of summons against her and the Dundee Merchant Bank late last year, alleging funds held by the BVI company were unaccounted for.
Sharon Lexa Lamb filed a response to the lawsuit by the Willaud Corp. and Canadian Lawrence Heath, QC, in December stating that “no transaction occurred in relation to the assets held … without the positive instruction of Northland [a wealth management company] and Mr. Heath.”
Ms. Lamb served as a director of the Willaud Corp. between February 2013 and September 2015, her response states.
She has agreed to the Cayman Compass publishing her response to the Willaud Corp. lawsuit, which is typically not a publicly available document in the local courts.
Further, Ms. Lamb denies that there was any connection between herself and Ryan Bateman, director of the Cayman Islands investment brokerage firm, B&C Capital to which the custody of the Willaud account was transferred, other than provision of custodial services to certain accounts of which Ms. Lamb provides director services.
Any other claims against B&C Capital in the Cayman Islands Grand Court are separate from the action carried forward by Mr. Heath and the Willaud Corp. against Dundee Merchant Bank and Ms. Lamb.
According to Ms. Lamb’s response to the writ, a massive online smear campaign which has been ongoing since August of last year was designed by Lawrence Heath, Monte Friesner and Kenneth Rijock, to discredit her. Reports carried in those online sources that have linked Ms. Lamb directly to Mr. Bateman and B&C Capital Ltd. employee Fernando Mendes are now the subject of a counterclaim defamation lawsuit that Ms. Lamb’s attorneys filed in December against Heath, Friesner and Rijock, as part of the response to the Willaud Corporation’s writ.
The initial November 2015 writ states that Mr. Heath and his advisers had transferred certain assets into the Willaud Corporation in the British Virgin Islands to be held on his behalf.
Through a complex series of legal maneuvering, another company named TDMB was agreed as custodian of Willaud Corporation’s investments while a Bermudian company, Longbar Nominees Ltd., acted as nominee shareholder of the Willaud Corporation, holding the shares in trust for Mr. Heath.
“It was understood by Mr. Heath that TDMB and Willaud BVI would liaise with each other … about Mr. Heath’s assets, but that all parties would ensure that Mr. Heath was kept fully informed of proposed material changes to his portfolio and, indeed, seek his instructions on any such changes in advance,” the November 2015 lawsuit states.
In her response, Ms. Lamb states that TDMB, where she held the position of senior vice president until the bank’s closure, did have cash and securities held for the Willaud Corp. and received fees for those services. TDMB began to wind down its operations in Cayman toward the end of 2013.
As part of the termination of TDMB’s custodian agreement in relation to the assets held, three cash accounts, 16 securities and one physical security were transferred to B&C.
She also states that funds held by the Dundee Merchant Bank were transferred to B&C Capital only upon the written instructions of Mr. Heath and his advisers.
“Acting on the authority and with the consent of Northland [wealth management company] and Mr. Heath, and the consent of Ms. Lamb as the director of the [Willaud Corp.], TDMB effected the transfers of those assets to B&C between 12 and Feb. 26, 2015,” Ms. Lamb’s response writ states. “TDMB duly delivered to Northland closing statements showing all such transfers with dates and nil balances on the accounts of [the Willaud Corp.] with TDMB as at March 25, 2015. Ms. Lamb delivered to Northland thereafter periodic statements in relation to those assets issued by B&C.”
Ms. Lamb said she “fully reported” to Northland and Mr. Heath the funds transfers until she ceased operating as a director of the Willaud Corp. on Sept. 7, 2015, the lawsuit response states.