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Through an elected Bar Council the Bar Association is responsible for matters pertaining to admission to practice law in the jurisdiction and rules of conduct for its members. Bar Council is made up of nine elected members who are chosen annually, as well as the Attorney General, ex officio.

 

General responsibilities of the Bar Council include the following (as laid out in Section 4 of the Bermuda Bar Act):

  • the maintenance of the honour and independence of the bar
  • the encouragement of legal education and the study of law
  • the support of the public right of access to the courts and of the right of representation by members of the Bar
  • the encouragement of improvements in the administration of justice and procedure
  • the promotion and support of law reform
  • the furtherance of good relations between the Bar Association and lawyers of other countries
  • the issuing, revocation and suspension of practising certificates and such other matters of professional concern to barristers

Executive Members:  Karen Williams-Smith (President),  Elizabeth Christopher (Vice President), E. Barclay Simmons (Honorary Secretary).

 

Members of Bar Council:  Cindy Clarke, George N.H. Jones, Michael J. Burns, Helen Cooper, Jerome Wilson, Keith Robinson and ex-officio member the Attorney General & Minister of Justice Senator, The Hon. Kathy Lynn Lightbourne-Simmons, JP.

 

President - Karen Williams-Smith was educated at the University of London, and has been practicing in Bermuda since 1991 in the area of matrimonial matters principally. She is employed at Trott & Duncan Limited. Karen has a master’s degree in human resources and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators. She has been an active member of the family bar throughout her practicing years and has been a member of Bar Council for 14 years.

 
   

Vice President - Elizabeth Christopher was called to the Bar in England & Wales in November 1990 and the Bermuda Bar in April 1991. She was educated at the College of William and Mary before achieving a law degree at the London school of Economics and Political Science. She has appeared in all courts at all levels including the Privy Council and Court of Appeal. Has made numerous submissions to both the courts and the Government on issues including Criminal law, PACE, Sexual Offences and Legal Aid.

 
   

Honorary Secretary - E. Barclay Simmons was a founding Partner of Attride-Stirling & Woloniecki in 1999. Formerly an investment banker with Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York, Barclay returned to Bermuda in 2006 as Managing Partner of ASW. Previously Chairman of the Telecommunications Commission and a Commissioned Officer in the Bermuda Regiment, Barclay is a graduate of Harvard Business School, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Inns of Court School of Law and the University of Kent at Canterbury. He currently sits on the Public Funds Investment Committee responsible for advising the Minister of Finance on the investment of Bermuda's pension funds. Barclay was appointed to the Professional Conduct Committee in April 2017.

 
   

Cindy E. Clarke is the Deputy Director (Litigation) in the Department of Public Prosecutions.  She was called to the Bar in England & Wales in 1999, and the Bermuda Bar in August 2000.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University, completed her law degree at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the Bar Vocational Course at the BPP Law School in London.  She is also a member of the Chartered Management Institute. She has appeared before courts at all levels including the Privy Council and is a member of the International Association of Prosecutors. Cindy is the Chairman of the Legal Education Committee and the Pupillage Sub-Committee.         

 
   

George N. H. Jones is a Group General Counsel and Group Company Secretary of the Argus Group of companies. He provides legal advice and co-ordinates all external legal services required by the Group including external advice on Bermuda, Gibraltar and Malta legal issues, and directly advises the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and the Board as appropriate. He is a key member of the Argus executive management team in Bermuda, and participates on key committees. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons), is a qualified Solicitor and has been a practicing member of the Bermuda Bar since 2006. Mr. Jones was a practicing attorney at Appleby (Bermuda) Limited within the Corporate & Commercial Practice Group. Mr. Jones currently sits on various charitable and other boards.  Mr. Jones also currently sits on the Barristers & Accountants AML/ATF Board assisting in preparing for the island’s peer evaluation scheduled for 2018.

 
 

Michael J. Burns has been a member of the Bermuda Bar since January 1993. Michael served for many years as a senior partner and global group general counsel of Appleby during a period of expansion of the group to 12 overseas offices. Michael is currently the group managing partner of a start-up firm Aquifer Law, which focuses on all aspects of corporate law. Michael’s career-long insurance practice was recently recognized when he was named the 2017 recipient of the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bermuda Captive Insurance Industry. Michael is proud of his longstanding contributions to the legal profession, especially in law reform and in his continuing role as a mentor to many young (and now some not-so-young!) Bermudian attorneys. In seeking to serve the profession on Bar Council in 2018/19, one of Michael’s main aims is to pursue an expanded range of job and other economic opportunities for young Bermudian attorneys. 

 

Helen Cooper is a Director in the Private Client & Trust department in the Bermuda office of Conyers Dill & Pearman. Helen joined Conyers in 2001 and became partner in 2009. Helen’s practice covers all aspects of trust and private client law with specialist expertise in private trust company structures, trust reorganisations and international and local estate planning arrangements, as well as providing advice to private banks, charities, beneficiaries and protectors on a variety of trust related matters. She was educated at Colombia University and then at the Inns of Courts School of Law. She was called in Bermuda in 1997.

 

Jerome Wilson is a partner in the corporate department of Appleby. He was recently recognized in Bermuda: Re+ILS as a ‘Rising Star’, featuring highly regarded professionals in Bermuda under the age of 35. Jerome’s practice includes a wide range of areas within the corporate department of Appleby including, publicly listed companies, shipping and debt/equity financing. He attended Leeds University and the College of Law, London before returning to Bermuda to begin his pupillage with Appleby in 2007. Jerome has been an active member of the Bermuda Bar Association for over 8 years.  

 

Keith Robinson has practiced in Bermuda for nine of the last ten years and has been called to the Bar in Northern Ireland (1996), Ireland (2000), Bermuda (2009) and England and Wales (2010). He has two first class degrees in law from Oxford University and two LL.Ms (UBC & NYU). He has written extensively on Bermuda law and is a regular speaker to audiences both in Bermuda and internationally on Bermuda trust law. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law (TIAETL) (one of only two Bermuda members) and an active member of the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners, currently serving as Chair of the STEP Bermuda Committee. He serves on the Trust Focus Group and the Trust Law Reform Committee of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), and is a member of the Bermuda branch of the Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association.    

 

Attorney General (ex-officio), Senator, The Hon. Kathy Lynn Lightbourne-Simmons, JP

 
Parties appointed for ensuing year 27 April 2018 until date of next AGM scheduled to take place April 2019.