James ‘honoured’ to receive prestigious award
Vanessa James has been selected as the recipient of the annual Dame Lois Browne-Evans Criminal Pupillage Award.
In winning the prestigious international award, Ms James received a bursary of $25,000 and, in October, began her 12-month pupillage at Carmelite Chambers, “one of the busiest sets of criminal chambers in London”, according to Carmelite Chambers head Nigel Lambert QC.
Ms James said: “I am honoured to receive the award bearing the name of the first female Bermudian barrister, Opposition Leader and Attorney General. The prestige of this award is synonymous with the reputation of Bermuda's first national hero.
“After only a short time in Chambers, I have seen the highest calibre of Crown court advocates prosecute and defend cases. I am thrilled to say that even in such a competitive arena, Carmelite can be characterised by kindness and willingness to help, as well as straight dealing.
“I am now certain that from the very start of my career, I have been taught to maintain the highest standards of the legal profession. I can only look forward to representing my own clients in the second six months of my pupillage.”
After graduating from Warwick Academy in 2007, Ms James went on to earn a 2:1 law degree from the University of East Anglia in 2011, a masters of science in management and law from Lancaster University in 2012, and successfully completed the Bar practical training course at Nottingham Law School in June 2013.
Chief Justice Ian Kawaley, chairman of the award selection committee, said Ms James earned the award “based on her excellent academic record” and because she demonstrated a “keen interest in advocacy”.
“Her values reflect an appreciation of the importance of making contributions to the community, as illustrated by her record of volunteering in both legal and other areas in Bermuda and abroad,” said Mr Justice Kawaley.
Ms James thanked the Bermuda Bar, the UK Bar Council and Carmelite Chambers “for their consolidated efforts in developing and implementing this initiative and thus affording me the opportunity to train in the UK”.
She added: “Receipt of this award has and will continue to expose me to areas of criminal practice not readily available in Bermuda. I am eager to return to Bermuda and make significant contributions to the Bermuda Bar.
“Thank you to Mr Justin Williams, the president of the Bermuda Bar Association, Justice Ian Kawaley, Ms Cindy Clarke and the rest of the selection committee for recognising my hard work and potential.
“I would also like to thank Wendell Hollis, Koshae Scott- Millet and Megan Woloshyn for their considerable interest in my personal and professional growth. Thank you to my family and friends for their years of unwavering support, especially my mother, Pamela Gihon James, and my aunt, Jennifer Wealzholz.”