New lawyer Called to the Bar
A young lawyer started a new chapter in his life after he was Called to the Bar last week.
William Finnerty, 23, told a courtroom at the Government Administration Building that the he overcame the demands of university and work with the help of his family.
Mr Finnerty said that his parents and grandparents “provided the guiding optimism that led me to believe that, with hard work and a positive mindset, anything is possible”.
He later added: “My parents were the main positive force for me throughout university and throughout work and I think that sort of translated to the positive outlook and the positive mindset that I employ at work.
“I’m very thankful for the values they taught me growing up.”
Mr Finnerty, from Devonshire, was Called to the Bar last Thursday in front of Chief Justice Narinder Hargun.
The ceremony was attended by family and legal professionals.
Mr Finnerty said that he became interested in law after he took part in a work experience programme in his last year at Saltus Grammar School.
He added that he interned in a legal department that specialised in dispute resolution and enjoyed “the team-based work and the problem-solving nature of it”.
Mr Finnerty said: “It’s nice being able to communicate well with people, to understand their problems and to think of the best way for them to move forward.
“I also like working with different people and working with different industries – I’m constantly learning because of it.”
Mr Finnerty studied last at the University of Exeter in Britain and graduated in 2018.
He finished his Legal Practice Course last year at the City Law School, University of London, with a commendation.
Mr Finnerty said that he interned at Appleby, Walkers, Marshall Diel & Myers and Cox Hallett Wilkinson over his summer vacations.
He also held internships for legal departments in the business world, including Orbis Investments, Third Point Re and Renaissance Re.
He added that he was now with the London office of law firm Kennedys, where he worked with its product liability and life sciences team, as well as with its commercial litigation and international arbitration team.
Mr Finnerty said that product liability and life sciences involved defending medical and pharmaceutical companies and commercial litigation involved the “day-to-day legal problems” that businesses might face.
He added that he appreciated the chance to work in a small team despite the size of the firm, as well as with senior lawyers.
Mr Finnerty said: “It’s not only important to have their expertise but also that they’re very friendly, straightforward and approachable people, which is what I’ve found at Kennedys.
“You come out of law school knowing the black-letter law, but when it comes to practice, it’s a whole different ball game and so they really have to be there to help bridge that gap between academia and practice.”
Mr Finnerty said that he hoped to move back to London in March next year to continue his work with Kennedys and might return to Bermuda after he gained experience.
Mark Chudleigh, the managing partner of Kennedys Bermuda office, said he was honoured “to be here on this significant day for Mr Finnerty and his family”.
He added: “From his time with Kennedys, it is clear that a promising legal career lies ahead for Mr Finnerty and I have no doubt that he will make a significant contribution to the Bermuda Bar in the decades to come.”