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Her Ladyship: ‘Sargeant comes like a breath of fresh air’

Her Ladyship: ‘Sargeant comes like a breath of fresh air’

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On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, Bequia resident, Simeon Sten Mc Neil Sargeant Esq. was admitted to the Bar to practice as a barrister and solicitor in St Viincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Sargeant’s call was presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Gertel Thom at the High Court Kingstown. It was attended by his mother, close family and friends.

His call was moved by counsel Richard Williiams and seconded by lawyer Olin Dennie.

Sargeant has a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree from the University of Huddersfield, through Holborn College, London. He completed his Bar Vocational Course (BVC) at Northumbria University at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England and has been a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple since October 2007.

Before migrating to England to embark upon studies for his BVC, Sargeant worked as a Purchasing Manager at the Cotton House Hotel on Mustique.

In his remarks, Williams said Sargeant’s attainment of his Law degree whilst studying in an unconducive environment is no easy feat. Williams added that Sargeant had to display a level of discipline unbefore seen and “it speaks to the mettle of the man.” He further added that Sargeant has become an asset to the firm of Williams & Williams since being attached to their Chambers.

He cautioned Sargeant that the law is like a ‘jealous mistress’, and that the camaraderie amongst Lawyers is missing in the profession now. “Although you may want to represent your clients without fear or favour, what would it profit one lawyer to steal a march on another lawyer to appease a client, only to lose the respect of his peers?”

In Dennie’s remarks, he stated that he first came into contact with Sargeant some 5 years ago and Sargeant has made a ‘quantum leap’ from a Purchasing Manager to Barrister & Solicitor. He added that given the number of young females admitted to the Bar over the last three months, Sargeant comes like a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the profession.

Adressing the court, Sargeant said the history of law practice in St. Vincent and the Grenadines up until the last 8 or so years has been a family affair, and that tribute must be paid to the firm of Williams & Williams which has opened its doors to many law students and new practitioners who need that all important start to build up their clientele when new and unheared of.

He pledged to always advise his clients in their best interests and not his own, and said that he would not accept any fees if he knows he would not be able to show up to represent them, and will represent his clients without fear or favour.

He remarked that he has paid close attention to the Court since 2004 when he began studies leading to his LL.B. The young lawyer added that he would often hear Senior Magistrate Donald Browne complain about the number of young men brought before him and High Court judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle complain about the small number of young men being called to the bar. “I offer myself to the court as evidence that all is not lost amongst the males in our society as yet,” he asserted.

He thanked Chief Magistrate Sonya Young, Magistrate Zoila Ellis-Browne, Master Pearletta Lanns and Her Ladyship Justice Thom for allowing him over the past 4 months to sit at the Bar Table with Arthur Williams, Richard Williams and Stephen Williams to observe the law in practice.

“It may be all well and good that you have your certificate in your hand to wave, but now is when the real learning starts and I would have been a fool to advise myself that I would have been instantly ready to represent clients.”

He also thanked his mother for her role in his upbringing.

Sharing some advice, Thom told Sargeant that ‘the bond between lawyer and client is a special one of trust, a fiduciary relationship’. Her Ladyship cautioned him that he must always serve his clients in their best interests.

“If they come to you and they have no case, you must explain that and save them unnecessary cost. Clients always appreciate when you take time to explain things to them. More importantly, do not use clients money as your own. Always keep separate accounts,” Thom implored.

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