Former Attorney-General sets up law firm
Former Attorney-General Mark Pettingill has set up a law firm with areas of expertise including casino gaming and family law.
Mr Pettingill, a managing partner for the business, was approached almost a year ago about setting up the firm — and his affiliation with an international law firm will be key to the company, he said.
The Pettingill&Co Group is officially registered, and work will now begin to recruit a team of up to six lawyers and four support staff.
His own corporate service provider company, St George Ltd, is already up and running within Pettingill&Co, for which he has hired a “top Bermudian corporate administrator” to assist in that area.
Mr Pettingill, who played a key role in writing the Casino Gaming Act 2014,and who is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, told The Royal Gazette: “With the onset of the gaming industry, I was encouraged to be available to provide assistance in that area on a private client basis. I now have a number of clients with interest in that particular area as it pertains to Bermuda.
“The act is very extensive and I anticipate the regulations are going to be very extensive.
“It will constantly require legal advice and involvement and systems in place to ensure that Bermuda can be a model for the rest of the world, so you don’t have any grey operators, your AML [anti-money laundering] is up to par, and that all of the pieces that are required to have the world-class operation that we want fall into place. I also have my corporate service provider which is now set up. Because of the relationship I have with an international firm, there is going to be a potential for a good amount of business there.
“One lawyer will be focusing on family matters. Over the years, I have always felt it important a law firm provide a family service. I am particularly keen on kids not being overly impacted by divorces and so on. Mediation and collaborative law is the way to go.”
The firm is based at 52 Reid Street.
Mr Pettingill began his career on the Island with Smith Bernard and Diel soon after being Called to the Bar in 1991. Since then, he has been a crown counsel, a defence lawyer, acting magistrate and Attorney-General. He resigned as the latter in May of last year to join Clarien bank, but left after two months with the company.
He moved into the political arena in 1999 when he was appointed as a senator. He now serves as a backbencher for the One Bermuda Alliance.
Asked whether the launch of his firm would affect his involvement in politics, Mr Pettingill said: “All backbenchers have other jobs. I am glad being on the backbench but I am still very much involved.
“It would be good to see a new crop of people who are willing to do that. I always encourage people to get involved in politics and many of my peers who would have been very good didn’t want to because they were busy with their careers.
“In due course it is going to be time for me to get very busy with my career. I am hoping that people will step up as the next selection approaches and put themselves forward.
“It’s important to give back and do some service. I have done it for years now, I think I have done my bit.”
Mr Pettingill said that he would hire Bermudians when possible.
“Ideally I would like to get top Bermudian lawyers involved and some of those discussions are going on.
“When it comes to staff, I would like to have all Bermudian staff — that has always been my approach.
“Sometimes there may be specialised jobs where they are not available.”
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