LXP Partner Conducts Training at JP Morgan
April 2011

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    Simone Fitzcharles, Litigation Practice Group Partner, has now kicked off her current season on the speaking circuit by conducting a training session at the office of J.P. Morgan Trust (Bahamas) Limited on Friday 15th April 2011.  The audience was comprised of executives and staff of J.P. Morgan in The Bahamas, as well as its Geneva Office via teleconference.

    Pictured from Left to Right:  Desiree Terrell-Davis (JP Morgan), Selwyn Richardson (JP Morgan), Simone Fitzcharles (Lennox Paton), Jackie Rolle (JP Morgan).

    Simone was invited by J.P. Morgan to speak on the topic of mental incapacity of clients.  She therefore delivered a presentation entitled, "Mental Incapacity, Fraud and Undue Influence: To Pay or Not To Pay?" in which she explored the issue of a banker's duties when his customer has given instructions but the banker has been put on notice that the customer may be suffering from some form of mental deficiency and may be a victim of fraud or undue influence.

    In a discussion that was very well received by the trust company, Simone apprised the listeners of the law as it relates to mental incapacity, fraud and undue influence.  She prefaced the talk by stating the bank's primary duty to comply with its client's instructions pursuant to the mandate.  She pointed out, however, that notwithstanding this primary duty, a banker may refuse to carry out payment instructions where he is aware that the customer does not know what he or she is doing, or where the banker has a reasonable belief that the customer is being defrauded. This arose, she stated, as a result of a duty of care which the law imposes on bankers to be exercised towards their customers.

    She also discussed practical pointers which could help a bank or trust company to decide whether it should consider itself "on notice" in relation to fraud and undue influence over a customer.  She also took the company through steps they should take once put on notice, both in a situation where the client who gave the instructions is of normal mind, and where it is suspected he may be suffering from mental incapacity.

    Simone highlighted situations where the bank will have a duty to investigate transactions which require an explanation and which the bank may have been instructed by its client to execute.  She indicated that it is usually difficult for a bank to discover fraud or undue influence against its clients where the perpetrators are family members, which is often the case.  
    Having blended, in her typical speaking style, the law with practical guidelines for action, anecdotes from her experiences as a litigator of 16 ½ years and a bit of humour, Simone concluded the talk by opening the floor to questions.  This developed into a lively discussion of the issues by all.  

    Mrs. Desiree Terrell-Davis of J.P. Morgan, who extended the speaking invitation to Simone and organised the event, stated that J.P. Morgan found the experience delightful.  She said further, "The feedback has been extremely positive and it was a great learning experience for the group."  She has indicated that they look forward to having Simone back in the near future.

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