The most senior practising member of the Bermuda Bar today (in terms of first call to the Bermuda Bar *) is Ms. Shirley Simmons, who was first called to the English Bar on 22 November 1966 (shortly after England won the football World Cup final!), and then called to the Bermuda Bar on 2 June 1967 (just over 50 years ago, and shortly before Bermuda’s modern Constitution was brought into force in 1968, pursuant to legislation enacted in 1967).
All Bermudians and lawyers should be proud of Ms. Simmons’ achievements over 50 continuous years of legal service, and so it is encouraging to read a story in the Royal Gazette about a ceremony organized by the Women’s Legal Network of Bermuda, in Ms. Simmons’ honor, attended by the Chief Justice of Bermuda.
The Chief Justice is quoted by the newspaper as follows: “Ian Kawaley, chief justice, said Ms Simmons and her colleagues showed how much change could take place “once someone blazes a trail and breaks through the glass ceiling”. “It opens up opportunities for others to follow,” he said. The bar, Mr Kawaley said, was “richer” for the gender diversity it enjoyed today“.
* [It would be remiss not to point out, by way of footnote, that in terms of first call to an overseas Bar, Saul Froomkin QC is even more senior, having been first called in Canada in 1961].