14th Jan 2021

This was an appeal from the Court of Appeal of Trinidad & Tobago before the Privy Council. Thomas Roe QC and Rowan Pennington-Benton (instructed by BDB Pitmans LLP) acted for the appellant.

Lord Burrows: “Rosemarie Marchand is the mother of Nicolas and Naomi Marchand (both of whom were adults in their twenties at the relevant time in June 2006). The three of them are the claimants in this case and the respondents in this appeal. They were the joint owners of their family home (ie the land and the house on it, which I shall refer to as “the property”) that had been transferred to them by Rosemarie Marchand’s mother in February 2006 prior to her death in May 2006. On 26 June 2006, each claimant signed a deed conveying the property to Dr Rohit Dass, who was Rosemarie Marchand’s employer and doctor and is the (first) defendant in this case and the appellant in this appeal. The claimants were paid a total of $307,800 by Dr Dass in respect of that conveyance. They alleged that they had been “tricked” (ie fraudulently induced) into signing the deed of conveyance by Dr Dass and by a lawyer, Victor Hosein, who was the second defendant in this case but died before the trial. They sought, inter alia, to have the deed set aside. That claim succeeded before Rampersad J in the High Court of Justice of Trinidad and Tobago in a judgment delivered on 30 October 2012. His judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago (Pemberton JA, with whom Mendonca and des Vignes JJA agreed) on 16 July 2018. Dr Dass now appeals to the Privy Council.”

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