Home » Jamaica’s richest man awarded $43 million in dispute with Dominican Republic

Jamaica’s richest man awarded $43 million in dispute with Dominican Republic

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Michael Lee-Chin

Jamaica’s richest man Michael Lee-Chin has been awarded more than $43 million in an investment dispute with the Dominican Republic.

The final verdict in favor of Lee-Chin came from the UNCITRAL Arbitral Tribunal, spotlighting novel issues under the Caricom-DR Free Trade Agreement. This decision aligns with an earlier Partial Award on Jurisdiction in Lee-Chin’s favor, announced in July 2020.

The heart of the dispute traces back to Lee-Chin’s stake in Lajun Corporation SA, a Dominican enterprise holding a lengthy concession deal to oversee a Santo Domingo landfill. The operational reins of the landfill were in the hands of Lee-Chin’s son, Adrian Christopher Lee-Chin, who acted as Lajun’s top executive.

However, in 2017, a swift move by the Dominican Republic saw the military assuming control of the landfill. Concurrently, local moves were made to revoke and cease the concession, citing purported environmental crises.

In response, Lee-Chin pursued investment arbitration against the nation. He alleged that the Dominican Republic committed several Treaty breaches, including random actions that pressured him to manage the landfill without appropriate remuneration.

Lee-Chin, who is worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes, made a fortune investing in financial companies. He owns a 60-percent stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica.

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