By Christopher Tobutt
Walkers recently celebrated a major milestone, “50 and Counting,” that is, 50 articled clerks who have passed through the law firm’s legal training programme to the Cayman Islands Bar. The gathering on the second floor of the Elgin Avenue office building was full of distinguished people who have passed through the programme including politicians, senior civil servants, alongside judges, and business leaders. There were, of course some articled clerks still undergoing training, and other students at different levels who were being sponsored.
Lloyd Barker spoke about his “amazing” experience of being an articled clerk at Walkers. He hopes to be called to the Bar sometime around May 2020. “The training programme here is a professional programme. It’s well-designed and properly structured for the articled clerks. You can see and feel the amount of work that the training community actually invests into the training programme as a whole,” he said.
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, said: “It is a wonderful achievement to have such a substantial number of Caymanians graduating from this programme, sponsoring students through the programme, offering training, support and mentoring as they make their way to the Cayman Islands Bar. It was launched in 1983 and is the oldest programme of its kind on the island.”
Ingrid Pierce, Walkers' Global Managing Partner said: “The Walkers Legal Programme is designed to transition our articled clerks into becoming fully fledged, practicing Lawyers. This programme has been established since 1983 by people who knew that just knowing the law was not good enough, unless you have the guidance and you have the support to show you what it means to be part of the profession.
“The training process starts well before Articles. We also work with students’ undergraduate programmes, through secondary school, and also through university. Right now we have eight sponsored students. They are doing their legal studies all over the world, and we are currently training six articled clerks who are here now. Articles requires active participation and a good deal of stamina 23 of our former articled clerks have graduated through the programme and they’ve practiced here at Walkers. We are celebrating our fiftieth articled clerk to come through the program. Some of our articled clerks have become leaders in the community and also in the business world: The Deputy Governor, Charlie Kirkconnell of Enterprise City. And it would be remiss of me if I did not mention our very own Premier, who spent time here: ‘Class of ‘88.’
“The reason we are here is the celebration of a milestone which is our fiftieth articled clerk graduated through the program, Ms. Gemma Cowan. I am delighted to see that we have among us teachers and educators, principals and former principals, and it is at a time in our lives when education has never been more important. We need to equip the next generation with not just the skills and the knowledge but the where-with-all to function and compete with the best in the world”
50th Articled Clerk, Gemma Cowan said: “We really could go on forever about the strengths and benefits of the Articled Clerk Programme here at Walkers. It is a structured and rigorous programme, led by a dedicated team, the Training Committee, whose advice and guidance was invaluable throughout our 18 months of training. It is, by far, the best training programme on island.”