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Former pageant winner called to Bermuda Bar

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Sangheetaa Phary (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

A former Miss Malaysia beauty pageant winner became eligible to practise law in a third country after being Called to the Bermuda Bar.

Sangheetaa Phary, 35, was welcomed into the island’s legal community on Friday, becoming the first Malaysian this century to do so.

Ms Phary said the milestone was “a true privilege and honour, and I am acutely aware of the great responsibility that comes with this great honour”.

Ms Phary, from Paget, was introduced to the Bermuda Bar by one of her mentors, Rod Attride-Stirling of ASW Law.

Her hearing was presided over by Chief Justice Larry Mussenden.

Sangheetaa Phary (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Ms Phary told The Royal Gazette that she had moved to Bermuda from her London practice about a year ago to stake her claim as a working member of the “largest, most important leading reinsurance hub”.

She said during her hearing that she became immediately familiar with Bermudian hospitality when she missed her ferry by one minute — only for the vessel to turn back around to collect her.

Ms Phary said: “I have travelled rather widely around the world but never have I seen any form of public transport making a turn back to pick one person up.”

She added: “I love the large-hearted embrace Bermudians have.

“The cheerful ‘good day’ greetings from the ferry crew during my morning ride to work brightens up any day.”

Ms Phary graduated from the University of Leeds, in England, in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in law with first-class honours.

She trained at the City Law School in London the following year before obtaining her master of laws degree from Cambridge University in 2012.

Ms Phary started working in Malaysia in 2014 at one of the largest firms in southeast Asia.

Her expertise in corporate law led her to work in sectors across the western and southwestern Pacific, including Australia, as well in Britain.

Ms Phary went on to become crowned Miss Malaysia in 2013.

She is fluent in Malay and Tamil, with a working proficiency in French.

Sangheetaa Phary, left, with Rod Attride-Stirling (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Ms Phary said that her ambition was driven by the dedication of her parents.

She explained: “It was the amount of hard work and effort and sacrifice that they put into raising a family and putting us in a place of good standing.

“They loved us so much, and I think the driving factor is always love for me.

“Where there is love, I will always perform my best.

“I excelled in everything I did because of them.”

Ms Phary thanked her family for their support and love during her Call to the Bar speech.

She also honoured her sister, Bavani, who died in a car crash in 2010.

Ms Phary told the Gazette: “I think she’s smiling from heaven.”

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Published May 13, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated May 13, 2024 at 8:26 am)

Former pageant winner called to Bermuda Bar

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