Minister of International Business Donville Inniss is not satisfied that local lawyers are getting into niche areas of practice especially in the international business sector.
The outspoken government minister said it is about time lawyers in Barbados stop limiting themselves to the common areas of law that were practiced and start exploring more niche areas that would allow them to work globally.
Pointing out that next month there would be “a couple dozen” more lawyers admitted to the Bar, Inniss said people often lament the number of lawyers on the island.
However, he said “I am not dismayed about the numbers. What disappoints me is the lack of interest in getting into niche areas in the field of law that can service international business sector”.
He said he realized that despite the number of lawyers being admitted to the Bar, there was still a need for attorneys-at-law who have a training and specialization in niche areas relating to “cross border transactions and taxation”.
“It means that the lawyers that work in Barbados cannot and must not limit themselves to just fundamental law as exists in Barbados but must start to have a greater appreciation of what is happening in the world,” said Inniss.
A check on the Bar association’s website showed only one attorney-at-law specializing in international tax law; nine specializing in international business law; five specializing in wealth management law; and 36 specializing in international trade law.
Inniss’ comments came as he addressed the official launch of the Barbados International Business Association’s (BIBAs) National Secondary Schools Quiz tournament on Monday at the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s (BPWCCULs) Belmont, St Michael location.
Officials are hoping to bring more awareness of the sector to the youth through the national quiz tournament, which will see students in forth, fifth and sixth forms across the island going up against each other for more than $15,000 in prizes, which is provided by the BPWCCUL, the primary sponsor of the tournament.
President of BIBA Gregory McConnie said there was a perception that the international business sector was “something elusive and only of benefit to a handful of rich guys and expat”.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said McConnie, stating that the sector provided a lot of opportunities for a vast section of university graduates.
“It is hoped that through international business week, this tournament and future initiatives we can eventually alter the perception about the sector,” he added.
Marketing and communications chairperson and director of BIBA Tara Frater said the interest among the students and teachers in the tournament was very high, adding that several secondary schools have already registered.
The tournament, which will consist of three rounds and a final, will start on October 24 and end on December 2, 2016. (MM)