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Distinguished lawyer passes at age 68

Distinguished lawyer passes at age 68

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The death of one of this country’s most distinguished and highly regarded lawyers has resulted in an outpouring of tributes from those who knew him personally and professionally.

Queen’s Counsel Andrew Cummings passed away on Saturday, March 24 at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital at the age of 68 years.

He was the head of the Cardinal Law firm, which he established in 2008, the same year he was appointed to the Inner Bar. A practising lawyer for 42 years, Cummings handled a vast number of cases successfully, right up to the British Privy Council. He started his legal career as an associate of the late EAC Hughes QC, and sometime thereafter, became a partner until Hughes’ death in 1989. He remained a partner in the law firm Hughes & Cummings, until its dissolution in 2007/08.

At a special celebratory sitting of the High Court in 2008 when he received Silk, local legal luminaries spoke of Cummings’ legal brilliance, keen sense of humour, undisputed integrity, and resilience in the face of adversity.

The late lawyer, who was married to Jacqui and was father of Bradley, Jarand, Anique and Jadric, had for years battled diabetes, which led to renal failure and eventually a kidney transplant.

Cummings, who was a member of the first class to graduate in Law from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, was a staunch and vocal advocate of the Caribbean Court of Justice. He was highly critical of those CARICOM member states who had not yet made the court their final court of appeal. In July 2008, he said that the region’s jurisprudence is being impeded by the hold-up, a hold-up that reflects a prevailing attitude that we are not as good as other people.

That is the only reason why, Cummings reasoned, as a region, we could snub the brilliant legal luminaries that staff the CCJ and still hold to the British Privy Council.

A star athlete in his youth, Cummings was also known for his debating and oratory skills.

His funeral service is expected to be held on Saturday, April 7.

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