Doctor called to the Bar
A doctor of biophysics who developed a passion for the law was rewarded for years of hard work when he was Called to the Bar yesterday.
Kier James, 36, studied for a law degree in between family life and a full-time job – often hitting the books after a long day at work as an investment analyst in reinsurance.
He said: “I was working sometimes 14-hour days and then still having to try and find time to actually come back after work and continue studying, so I was very sleep-deprived for a couple of years.”
Dr James was welcomed into the profession by Chief Justice Narinder Hargun at a ceremony at the Government Administration Building on Parliament Street in Hamilton.
The ceremony was attended by his mentor, John Wasty, and family members, including wife Jessica and 11-year-old stepson, Jayden.
Dr James, from Smith’s, said that he became interested in the law while he worked in reinsurance.
He said that he was fond of researching law and drafting contracts and began to study law in his spare time.
Dr James went on to earn a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London and completed a Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in London with distinction.
He started his training with law firm Appleby last December and was part of its insurance and banking and asset finance teams.
Dr James said that, although he had a PhD in biophysics and biotechnology, he found the reinsurance industry was another way to put his research skills to good use.
He said: “Initially, what they were looking for was very numerically and mathematically-minded individuals and a lot of my research had a fair degree of physics and mathematics, so I was quite numerate.
“I also think that, fundamentally, they were looking for attention to detail and they wanted individuals that could research independently and had sound judgment and I think that they saw that in doctoral candidates and people that had scientific backgrounds.”
Dr James said that his research skills and “insider knowledge” of reinsurance have helped him with his law studies.
He added: “ I was actually surprised how many transferable skills there were.
“I was used to researching – maybe a slightly different form of research, but you do have to research case law and such – so it did cross over quite well.”
Dr James at the ceremony that it represented “the culmination of a great deal of hard work and dedication”.
He admitted that he missed out on a lot of time with his family, but added “They have always supported me in my decisions and for that I cannot thank them enough”.
Dr James said: “I promise that I will make if up to them both.”
Mr Wasty told the court that Dr James was “a person of good character” and more than fit to be a member of the Bermuda Bar.
He added: “As someone who spent most of his undergraduate career studying biochemistry and genetics, I recognise the keen scientific rigour that Kier brings to his analysis of legal issues.
“I think it will keep him in good standing in this profession.”