Eighteen new Queen’s Counsel were admitted to the Inner Bar of the High Court this morning.
During a near-two-hour special sitting of the Supreme Court held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), the 12 men and six women were invited to take their seats as senior attorneys in the Inner Bar, following recitation of their sworn declarations for allegiance to the Queen of England.
The ceremony, which was presided over by a full bench of the island’s judges chaired by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, was conducted in the presence of the Queen’s local representative, Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, sitting magistrates, retired justices, members of the legal fraternity and family and friends of the new QCs.
In brief remarks, Sir Marston said that as far as he knew, it was the first time a Queen’s representative has attended such a sitting of the court, adding that he felt honoured Dame Sandra – a former judge – would take the time to be present.
Turning his attention to the new senior lawyers, the Chief Justice encouraged them to hold the hands of their junior colleagues and mentor them.
“Mentor them . . . show them the path that you have taken. Show them where it has led and you will be certain that they will follow you to the Inner Bar,” the Chief Justice said.
In wishing them blessings, Sir Marston thanked the QCs’ families for the help and support provided in the context of having to be away from their homes for long periods.
“On your behalf, I want to thank those members of your families and your friends who are here . . . and I want to say to them that even though I cannot officially welcome you [family and friends] to the Inner Bar, this is as much your joy and as much your excellence as it is theirs. And so, on their behalf, I want to thank you obviously, separately, but I want to thank you for helping them and standing by them when they needed you,” he said.
St Clair Howell, who was selected as spokesman for his fellow counsel of “silk,” pledged to aspire to give of their best professionalism, while acknowledging the heavy responsibility they bear in the society.
Howell also noted that QCs have represented kings as well as the ordinary man which he said has led to the rule of law.
“I say on behalf of my learned colleagues and myself, that there can be no doubt that the legal profession in Barbados is most certainly in good hands. My colleagues and I pledge not to deviate from this noble honour and trust bestowed on us this morning,” he added.
The 18 senior lawyers admitted to the Inner Bar this morning were Junior Allsopp, C Anthony Audain, Andrew Ferreira, Emmerson Graham, Michael Griffith, Mary Haynes, Fiona Hinds, Adrian King, Michael Lashley, the minister of Transport and Works, Dale Neblett-Brown, Phillip Pilgrim and Dawn Shields-Searle.
Others are Larry A.C. Smith, Roslind Smith Millar, Monique Taitt, Andrew Thornhill, Michael Yearwood and of course Howell.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and former Attorney General Dale Marshall recommended the various QCs to the court as being fit men and women to be elevated to the Inner Bar. (EJ)