The London-based Privy Council has ruled that a judgement made in the UK in favour of Christiana Yearwood, the ex-wife of St Phillips North MP Sir Robin Yearwood, can be registered in Antigua and Barbuda resulting in a multi-million-dollar payout.
Sir Robin and his former spouse were divorced in 2009 and the English High Court made various orders against him as a result of the proceedings.
These included an order dated May 10, 2010 which directed Sir Robin to pay his ex-wife £3,144,456.80.
On May 31, 2010, Christiana applied to the Antiguan court to register this order under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act.
However, a judge held that the order could not be registered, and set aside the registration on Sir Robin’s application.
On June 27, 2013, Christiana applied to the Antiguan court to register a default costs certificate (to enforce the lump sum) dated November 12, 2010, and a further order made by the High Court of England and Wales on July 9, 2012.
In response, Sir Robin sought a declaration that his former wife was not entitled to register judgments, orders or directives of the English High Court, locally.
He also sought an injunction to prevent her from seeking to register such judgments, orders or directives.
A judge ruled in favour of the woman granting her application to register the English High Court order dated July 9, 2012.
However, she refused Christiana’s application to register the default costs certificate, on the basis that the application was made out of time.
The Court of Appeal also dismissed Sir Robin’s appeal in 2017 and allowed his ex-wife’s counter-appeal to permit registration of the default costs certificate.
In an October 19, 2020 judgment, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council stated that it “will humbly advise Her Majesty that the appeal against the registration of both the money judgment order and the costs order should be dismissed.
“It follows that the Board would not interfere with the Court of Appeal’s decision in relation to the registration of the costs order,” the judgement also read.
Sir Robin will now have to pay out almost £4 million to his ex-wife.