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Professional Conduct Committee

Professional Conduct Committee's Mandate & Responsibilities

The Professional Conduct Committee is the disciplinary body of the Bermuda Bar Association. It was created under the Bermuda Bar Act 1974 and operates under the Bar Professional Conduct Committee Rules 1997 and the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal Rules 1997. Any allegation of improper conduct, as that expression is defined in the Barristers’ Code of Professional Conduct 1981 (“the Code”), is dealt with by the Professional Conduct Committee (“PCC”). The powers of the PCC are specific and are set out in Section 18A of the Bermuda Bar Act 1974. Broadly speaking, its principal function is to investigate and determine if there is a prima facie case of improper conduct against an attorney. The PCC may also appoint accountants to manage the trust funds of the attorney. If a complaint of improper conduct warrants further disciplinary action, other than the admonishment that the PCC can give, the complaint is referred to a tribunal. The tribunal has the power to admonish, reprimand, fine, suspend or disbar the attorney.

 

In accordance with Section 18 of the Bermuda Bar Act 1974, the following members have been appointed by Bar Council to serve on the Professional Conduct Committee for the ensuing year April 2016.

 

From the Membership: Jeffrey Elkinson (Chairman), Kevin George, Saul Froomkin QC, Delroy Duncan, Charmaine Smith & Garrett Byrne

 

From Bar Council: Michael Hanson

 

Chairman, Jeffrey Elkinson is a Director/Partner at Conyers Dill & Pearman Limited. He specializes in banking, trusts, insurance and reinsurance, construction, administrative law, telecommunications and energy. He is a member of the Bars of Ireland, England & Wales, Hong Kong, New South Wales, New York, United States Court International Trade, United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, Bermuda and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Jeff is an active arbitrator, mediator and counsel in domestic and international disputes. He is the current President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Jeff was appointed by the Bar Council to the Professional Conduct Committee in 2006 and appointed as Chairman in 2009.

 

Kevin George graduated from Queen Mary College, London University with an LLB (hons) degree in 1976. He sat the Bar Final at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called the Bar at Grays Inn in 1977. Kevin was called to the Bermuda Bar in 1978 and has practiced in Bermuda since that time in the areas of conveyancing, estate planning, probate, trusts, landlord and tenant, planning law and general corporate law. After employment with several law firms Kevin established the firm of Moniz and George with Trevor Moniz in 1986. Kevin has been a member and chairman of various Bermuda Bar Association Committees including Committees on conveyancing, wills, immigration law, planning law and a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Association. He has also been a member and chairman of the Land Tax Appeals Tribunal hearing objections to land tax valuations and Human Rights Boards of Inquiry hearing complaints of Human Rights violations. Kevin was appointed by Bar Council to the Professional Conduct Committee in 2003.

 

Saul Froomkin QC, OBE has over 50 years call and has both vast and diverse experience in legal practice that makes him truly unique. He obtained both his Bachelors Degree in Law (LLB) and his Masters of Law Degree (LLM) in 1960 and 1965 respectively from the University of Manitoba. He was appointed as a Queen's Counsel in Canada in 1975 and Bermuda in 1988. He has also been admitted to practice in the United Kingdom, Anguilla, and specially admitted in Antigua, St.Kitts and Nevis.  Saul was the Honorary Canadian Consul to Bermuda from 2001-2006. Prior to coming to Bermuda, Saul practiced as an advocate in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for 9 years as Senior Advisory Counsel (1961 – 1969). He was also Director of Criminal Law for the Department of Justice in Ottawa, Canada between 1975 and 1978. After arriving in Bermuda, He held the post of Solicitor General from 1978 – 1981, after which he held the post of the Attorney General from 1981- 1991. After leaving government service Saul became a partner with the firm of Mello Jones and Martin (now MJM) where he was engaged in criminal, corporate, commercial and civil litigation matters to name a few. In February 2012 Saul moved on to new pastures and joined ISIS Law as a senior attorney where he continues to practice in a diverse number of areas.  As well he served as chairman of the International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge, England from 1984- 2011. In recognition of his service to the community through his legal work, Saul was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and received the Gold Medal of Honour, Ministry of Justice, Republic of China in 2011. Further, he is a member of the following societies: Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Fellow, Society of Advanced Legal Studies; Fellow, American Bar Foundation and is Honorary Canadian Consul to Bermuda. Saul was appointed to the role of Professional Conduct Committee member in April 2011. His years of experience and extensive court appearances are very useful as the PCC members are regularly called upon to prosecute matters during tribunals.

 

Delroy Duncan is a partner of Trott & Duncan Limited. He was called to the Bermuda Bar in 1989. He obtained his Law Degree from the University of North London and his Masters' Degree in Commercial Law from the University of Guildhall. In 1984 he was called to the Bar of England & Wales as a member of Gary's Inn. Following pupillage he was taken on as a tenant in Cloisters, a set of Chambers world renowned for Judicial Review cases. There he began to enhance his general practice by extensive work with commercial contracts, intellectual property, contracts and issues relating to the incorporation of private companies. As the head of the Litigation Department, he has been involved in criminal, civil and commercial litigation.  In particular, he has been involved in many judicial review cases. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the National Bar Association of America and a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers in America. For many years, Delroy volunteered advice and legal assistance to the Methodist Church and the West Indian Association. Delroy was appointed a member of Bar Council in April 2001 and during time he serverd as a member of the Professional Conduct Committee for 7 years. Delroy was appointed as the President of the Bar Association in April of 2011 in which he served 2 years. In May of 2014, Bar Council re-appointed Delroy to serve on the Professional Conduct Committee.

 

Charmaine Smith is a barrister and attorney of considerable experience.   She was called to both the Bermuda Bar and the Jamaica Bar in 1997 (not practicing). She has a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an LLB from the University of Buckingham. She has practiced in a variety of areas of law including criminal litigation, public law, employment and labour and trade union law and commercial litigation. She has experience in the areas of compliance/anti-money laundering, gang legislation, labour law reform, fire safety legal reform, immigration/land licences, conciliation, mediation and arbitration. She has been both Deputy Chair and Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority. She is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is a member of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal and the Essential Industries Disputes Settlement Board. She sits as an Acting Magistrate in the Family, Civil and Criminal Magistrates’ Courts of Bermuda. Charmaine was appointed by Bar Council to the Pupillage subcommittee in 2014/2015 and the Professional Conduct Committee in 2016. Charmaine is currently consulting with Liberty Law Chambers Limited.

 

Garrett Byrne is the Deputy Director of Legal Services, Policy, & Enforcement at the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Between 2012-2015 he was Senior Crown Counsel at the Department of Public Prosecutions in Bermuda and headed the Specialist Crime Unit. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree from Bristol University and a Master of Laws Degree from King’s College, London University. For most of his career he was in private practice at the Bar in London with a broad practice that included property and planning, commercial disputes, environmental claims, regulatory and disciplinary matters, and white collar crime. He has particular expertise in judicial review. He sat as a member of the Bar Council (now Bar Standards Board) Disciplinary Tribunal for many years before coming to Bermuda. He sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court in the UK, and he is an Inns Of Court approved advocacy trainer. For ten years he was the Chairman of the Fulham Legal Advice Centre.

 

Michael Hanson returned to Bermuda and joined Appleby in April 2012 after spending 8 years practicing in the UK with DAC Beachcroft LLP and Thrings LLP. Michael is recommended by Legal 500 for his extensive experience in employment and immigration issues and acts as trusted advisor for a large majority of the Island’s International businesses in this practice area. In the past 18 months Michael has been actively involved in all of the major corporate amalgamations and restructures in the Insurance/Reinsurance industry in Bermuda as well as advising on some of the largest executive (and director) disputes in that industry globally. In 2003 Michael was the first independently appointed Chairman of the Human Rights Commission in Bermuda. As Chairman Michael was recognized as establishing and then implementing a fair and robust Commission as well as being a strong and successful advocate for the modernisation of the legislation.