06 December, 2009


It is not every day I get to say something positive about lawyers. So here goes.

      On Friday night, I had the pleasure of introducing Courtney Abel of the Anguilla Bar to the judges and lawyers of the Eastern Caribbean attending the 20th anniversary dinner of the OECS Bar Association at Coco Resort in St Lucia. This is what I said.
      Courtney Abel was the President of the OECS Bar Association from 2004 to 2006. His presidency was noted for his ceaseless efforts to convert the Association from a well-meaning talk-shop into a professional body, with the necessary institutional capacity that would enable it to perform the functions required of a modern, professional Bar Association in a globalised economy.
      He lobbied continuously throughout his term to persuade us to move away from being an essentially amateurish, non-self-regulating association to a professional body, regulated by statute on terms acceptable to us.
      To that end, he proposed that it be compulsory that:
  • All lawyers' accounts be audited annually;
  • We all be required to attend a programme of continuing legal education;
  • Professional indemnity insurance be obtained by every attorney;
  • We adhere to a strict Code of Ethics;
  • Every practising attorney pay local and regional Bar Association dues;
  • We contribute to a pension plan to provide for us in retirement; and
  • All attorneys contribute to the endowment of a Benevolent Plan for the relief of indigent lawyers and their families.
      On 15 September 2006, at a Special Meeting of the members held in Tortola, the Constituent Members of the Association voted unanimously to adopt voluntarily the above provisions, pending their introduction by a Legal Professional Act. That the legislatures of most of our nine member states and territories of the OECS have not yet introduced and passed the necessary legislation is only to be regretted.


  1. I found this interesting

  2. There are actually three items of interest from the WSJ:



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.