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Lawyer Reid Orchard praised for persevering with studies through pandemic

Reid Orchard, the island’s newest lawyer, after he was Called to the Bar (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

The island’s newest lawyer was praised by his colleagues in a Call to the Bar ceremony at the Supreme Court with a quote from US rapper Kendrick Lamar to illustrate his perseverance.

Reid Orchard, a hip-hop fan as well as a fourth-generation lawyer, called to mind the line “the tortoise only makes progress when his neck sticks out”, MJM director Fozeia Rana-Fahy told Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden.

She said Mr Orchard had stuck his neck out as a dogged and dedicated law pupil.

Ms Rana-Fahy and fellow director Jennifer Haworth also praised Mr Orchard for his tenacity in slogging through legal studies during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ms Rana-Fahy told the court: “The brevity of Mr Orchard only serves to highlight his humility – what’s clear from my time working with him, knowing his work experience before joining us, is he is keenly and completely dedicated to becoming a savvy lawyer.”

She added: “We are confident he is destined to make a wonderful member of the Bar.”

Ms Haworth said the 26-year-old completed his foundation year in law in 2017 and completed his Bachelor of Laws with honours in 2020 at the University of Plymouth in England.

“We can all imagine what completing one’s law degree in the midst of a worldwide pandemic must have been like.”

In September 2020, Mr Orchard started his legal practice course at BPP University, completing his studies with distinction in July 2021.

Ms Haworth said he went on to distinguish himself during his pupillage at the MJM as “a very capable, hardworking young man”.

“I recall seeing Mr Orchard during the summer of 2019 at these courts, filing papers when he was working as a summer student with another law firm,” Ms Haworth told Mr Justice Mussenden.

“He struck me right off the bat as a well-spoken young man with a keen interest in the legal process.”

Mr Orchard’s pupillage at MJM gave him eight months’ experience with the firm’s corporate team, and he is nearing the end of a similar term with litigation.

In the coming year he will work with the private client and property team.

His volunteering on the island included the charities Keep Bermuda Beautiful and the Bermuda National Trust.

Mr Orchard told the court: “Becoming a lawyer, and a fourth-generation one at that, has been very important to me.”

He listed his professional exposure at a string of Bermuda law firms as well as Freshfields in London.

Mr Orchard thanked his family on the island and abroad for “their support, sacrifice and selflessness”.

He also thanked Paget Parish Council for their financial backing.

Mr Justice Mussenden praised the Orchard family for giving the new lawyer “all your support along the way”.

He told Mr Orchard: “I am really impressed by your experience, where you have worked with different companies and law firms.”

He commended Bermuda’s law firms for investing in young lawyers through their pupillages.

“I did hear that you have done some volunteer work – it can take you all over the world, and there are organisations out there that can benefit from the experience and intelligence you have.”

He added: “We look forward to seeing you in court.”

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Published November 18, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated November 18, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Lawyer Reid Orchard praised for persevering with studies through pandemic

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