By anguillian May 16, 2016 09:39 Updated





Ms. Ojeda Vanterpool

A crowded High Court has witnessed the call to the Anguilla Bar of its newest member, Barrister-at-Law, Ms. Ojeda Vanterpool, who was the recipient of much commendation for her academic prowess and community work.
The 26-year-old island scholar, who now holds top legal qualifications earned in the United Kingdom, was called to the Anguilla Bar on Thursday, May 5, before Resident High Court Judge, Justice Cheryl Mathurin. The event was attended by a large number of persons representing the Bar, the Anguilla Government, local educators, family, friends and well-wishers.

Her call was moved by retired High Court Judge and Justice of Appeal, Mr. Don Mitchell, CBE, QC, who was her early law tutor at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School. He outlined the relevant affidavits, other pertinent documents and legal requirements relating to her studies and admissions to the Bar both in England and Anguilla.

The documents presented in the Court showed, among other information, that Ms. Vanterpool is a graduate of the University of London Queen Mary and Westfield College in England where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree (with honours) on July 12, 2012; a graduate of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, where she obtained a Master of Laws Degree in Commercial Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation, and Economic Law on November 1, 2013; and a Postgraduate Diploma in the Bar Professional Training at the BPP University Law School on October 9, 2014. She was called to the Bar in England & Wales, on November 27, 2014, by the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn. On January 12, 2016, the Bar Council of England & Wales issued a Certificate of Good Standing in her name.


Mr. Kerith Kentish

Speaking on Ms. Vanterpool’s sterling academic performance, Mr. Mitchell went said: “In 2007 she became one of my first students at the CAPE Law Course provided by the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School. She excelled in this course, receiving a 1 in the first year; and another 1 in year 2. In June 2009, she was awarded the Anguilla Island Scholarship for the best A Level results in Anguilla –having achieved eight 1s and three 2s in the CAPE Exams. Since her first call to the Bar, she has become an Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.” He told the Judge that Ms. Vanterpool’s achievements were not limited to the academic but also included service in the wider community. He mentioned several instances in which she was engaged in pro bono work at three centres of advice in England between 2011 and 2014; and in Anguilla where she serves as a teacher of clarinet and piano music at Morlens Music Studio; and as a dance teacher at From Within Dance.
Mr. Mitchell continued: “Ms. Vanterpool, M’Lady, has made a good start in her career in law. She will do well if she shows humility and respect in her dealings with the Court, her colleagues and clients. She is admonished to take with her the Code of Ethics of the OECS Bar Association which is now embedded in the Legal Practitioners Act. The principles of the Code of Ethics have been worked out over centuries of legal practice to govern the conduct of a Barrister of the Eastern Caribbean Court. They are designed to keep a Barrister in good standing with the Court, colleagues at the Bar, the clients, and the community in which she will practice her profession.”

Mr. Mitchell added: “I am sure that with her undoubted brilliance she will have no difficulty during what promises to be a long and distinguished career at the Bar.”
Ms. Vanterpool was dressed in her legal robe by Mr. Alex Richardson, Principal of the law firm Alex Richardson & Associates, who submitted the application for her admission to the Bar. He said he had known her from very young and was “extremely impressed to see the poised, confident and talented professional that she had blossomed into”. He continued: “She is descended from excellent pedigree on both sides of her family and of good solid Anguillian stock. On her mother’s side, are a renowned family of educators and civil servants who have helped to mould the minds of successive generations of young Anguillians…and her grandmother, Mrs. Stella Horsford, was one of my beloved teachers.” He noted that on the young lawyer’s father’s side were “the Vanterpools known throughout Anguilla for their exceptional skills as entrepreneurs and business persons, who also produced many outstanding civil servants, including teachers.”


Mr. Don Mitchell CBE QC

He also spoke about her dedicated parents who were his schoolmates. “Her mother, Ms Colleen Horsford, is a civil servant who has worked over the years to educate the minds of our youth, and to further the development of the education system,” he went on. “Her father, Mr. Othlyn Vanterpool, was for many years also a civil servant, contributing in particular to the development of fisheries before venturing into politics and becoming a member of the House of Assembly. M’ Lady, Ms. Vanterpool has been blessed with a double dose of brilliant genes. It is no wonder that she became the successful young lady that she is today.”
Mr. Richardson urged Ms. Vanterpool to work hard to develop and hone her skills; develop an expansive and deep knowledge of the law; a passion for reading and research; challenge and push herself and venture out of her comfort zone; develop a good relationship with fellow lawyers, the judiciary and the public; become active in worthy causes; give back to the community; join a charitable organisation; mentor young people; be active in the Bar Association; and, above all, continue to be a God-fearing person and always stay close to her family roots.
Mr. Richardson added: “Your Ladyship, I wholeheartedly support the application before this Honourable Court. Without hesitation I recommend Ms. Vanterpool as an eminently fit and proper person to be admitted as a Barrister of this Honourable Court.”
Ms. Vanterpool, was invited by Justice Mathurin, who saw no reason not to admit her to the Bar, to take the required oath. “I would like to congratulate you and family without whose support, I imagine, you would have had a more difficult time,” the Judge told her.


Placing of Robe by Mr. Alex R’dson

Among other things, she offered this advice to Ms. Vanterpool: “You will be required to be well-behaved, well-mannered and respectful to the court and staff at all times. You will be expected to be competent in the work that you do at all times, and you must do it to the best of your ability. In order to maintain high standards in the practice of law, you have to work hard and read as you will have to study and rationalise and apply the law on a regular basis.” She welcomed the new lawyer to the Anguilla Bar and wished her all the best and success in her future endeavours.

Barrister-at-Law, Mrs Tina Bannister of the Anguilla Financial Services Commission, said that having worked with Ms. Vanterpool for a year, she could attest to her dedication and enthusiasm to duty and that she was very impressed by her achievements. She noted that Ms. Vanterpool was a member of the National Youth Parliament with the title of Attorney General; a member of the Optimist Club; and a very talented musician. She joined in offering her some useful advice on quality service and reminded her of various attributes she is required to pay attention to in her professional journey.

Mr. Kerith Kentish, Vice President of the Anguilla Bar and schoolmate of Ms. Vanterpool, welcomed her to the Bar on behalf of the President, Ms. Jean Dyer, and the membership. He spoke about the many positive roles in which she participated over the years and of her successful legal journey – all of which made her into a well-rounded person. Noting her involvement in music and other community activities, he said she had understood the importance of giving back the community and young people – and he was delighted to see that she had now returned to Anguilla as a stellar officer of the Court. He paid tribute to her academic excellence, including her knowledge of financial law in which she is engaged at the Anguilla Financial Services Commission, and wished her every success in the future.
Ms. Merline Barrett, a Barrister-at-Law at Keithley Lake & Associates, who first met Ms. Vanterpool sixteen years ago, commented: “I knew from the start that she was a remarkable person and would be a remarkable woman.”


Ms. Vanterpool taking oath

Ms. Barrett assured her that she had “joined an honourable and noble profession and that her addition had made it more honourable.” She observed that the Legal Professions Act in Anguilla would change a number of matters relating to the practice of law and how things are done. “You are perhaps better placed than many of us because you would have trained under a number of these new things,” Ms Barrett stated. “The Bar Association wishes that you will lend your support …in getting us through this learning curve we are all going to have to navigate. This is a new time for Anguilla and for us, as lawyers, and we are so grateful that you have joined us with your expertise. You are from good stock and you have everything that you need to become a very good lawyer.”

Responding, Ms. Vanterpool had this to say: “Cognisant of M’ Lady’s busy schedule and the court’s time, permit me to extend brief words of thanks to: M’ Lady for facilitating my admission to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Anguilla Circuit; Mr. Don Mitchell, CBE, QC, who laid the solid foundation on which I stand today and his assistance with my call; Mr. Alex Richardson, Barrister-at-Law, and the staff of Alex Richardson & Associates, for their invaluable time and effort to ensure that my application was completed and submitted and that my call was successful; to the Government of Anguilla for financing my studies; my parents for their unstinted and unwavering support; my other relatives, friends, teachers and colleagues for their support, encouragement and advice. I am looking forward to be an active member of the Anguilla Bar. Indeed, I am humble and grateful.”

By anguillian May 16, 2016 09:39 Updated


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