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Caymanian Joanna Cameron Chasing "Beautifully Complex" Law Career with the Help of Walkers

Twenty-three year old Joanna Cameron is one of seven university-level students who recently had the opportunity to work with a team of lawyers within the Walkers Cayman Islands office as part of the firm's annual Legal Internship Programme. She spent three weeks with the Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group, where she participated in real-life client assignments and case work.

A recipient of the 2021 Walkers Legal Scholarship, Joanna has since started the final year of her LLB at the University of Birmingham in the UK; but before heading back to university, Joanna shared a bit about her time with the firm, what motivates her as an aspiring lawyer and how she's making an impact on her community.

Q: How are you giving back to your community while in university?

A: I have been given the opportunity to mentor a group of secondary students in the UK and assist with their personal development and progression beyond secondary education. I create a lesson plan each week, ensuring goals are set and targets are met.

I am also a part of my university’s pro bono group where I work along-side London solicitors, offering legal advice to those in need and give street law sessions to larger groups and schools around the West Midlands, which are designed to teach about legal rights and procedures that everyone should be made aware of.

Q: Why did you choose to study law?

A: Life’s problems are not black and white and no one method or answer may be used for the same problem. That is why I chose law. It is beautifully complex and offers multiple avenues for answering those big ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.

As I was growing up, I noticed that the law governs almost every aspect of society and knew I wanted to learn more about different laws and how they are applied to real life scenarios. The vast room for growth and continuous learning is what also compelled me to pursue a career in law as I knew the opportunities associated with this profession would be plentiful.

Q: What did you learn during your internship?

A: During my internship I was given a short timeframe to construct a letter of advice and it reinforced my ability to read and quickly understand a new area of law, developing my time management and research skills.

Going into the internship programme I had no knowledge of what insolvency is or what it entails. However, after only three weeks, I now have a wider understanding of the many liquidation and insolvency procedures open to a company and feel I can confidently engage in conversation surrounding the matter.

Q: Could you see yourself working for Walkers in the future?

A: I can definitely see myself working for Walkers in the future! My time there, while brief, was nothing short of enlightening. Everyone I worked with was so welcoming and genuinely cared about my personal development, which made it easy to ask questions when I required further understanding on something.

I also appreciated that Walkers focuses on wellbeing and maintaining a healthy work environment, factors I think are essential for any company.

Interning at Walkers has only motivated me further and reassured me that I am pursuing the right career.


Over the summer, Walkers legal scholarship recipients Benjamin Black, Zachary Jones, Daniel Lee, Elijah Samson and Lauren-Mae Vernon also completed internships with Walkers. Sherol Anglin, who is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, participated in the Walkers Legal Internship Programme as well.

You can learn more about other students' internship experiences by reading the Walkers Apprentice Interview Series. For more information on the Walkers Cayman legal scholarship and intern programmes, click here.

Walkers Admits 60th Caymanian to the Bar: Francisco Hernandez

Walkers is pleased to announce the admission of Caymanian Francisco Hernandez, who was called to the Cayman Islands Bar on 20 August after successfully completing his legal training with the firm. He marks the 60th articled clerk to have trained in Walkers' Cayman Islands office since the inception of the firm's articled clerk programme in 1983.

Francisco was a recipient of the 2017 Walkers (Cayman) Legal Scholarship. Prior to this, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Justice Political and Philosophical Law, with a minor in Religious Studies, from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In 2018 he went on to obtain his Masters in Law with Merit from the University of Bristol; and in 2019 the Legal Practice Course with Distinction at the University of Law, also in Bristol.

As with many other Walkers Legal Scholarship recipients, Francisco took advantage of Walkers' legal internship programme and spent two summers shadowing lawyers in the firm's Finance & Corporate and Investment Funds practice groups.

Before commencing his Articles of Clerkship with Walkers in January 2020, Francisco travelled for six months, studying Japanese in Tokyo and Kyoto. He also has a background of teaching English to elementary students in Hong Kong and Kosovo as a volunteer.

Walkers' Global Managing Partner Ingrid Pierce moved Francisco's application before the Hon. Justice Ramsay-Hale and shared: "Francisco has proven to be a diligent and hardworking young man, who has always sought new opportunities to learn and develop himself."

During his speech to the court and the Hon. Justice Ramsay-Hale, Francisco admitted his journey to law was not a straight course but that he was grateful for the mentorship and "superb leadership" he had received from Walkers. He thanked his mother the Hon. Angelyn Hernandez, a magistrate with the Cayman Islands courts, for "inspiring my interest in law."

Walkers' Partner and Chair of the Trainee Committee, David Collins congratulated Francisco on reaching this important milestone in his legal career, adding to Ingrid's sentiments that "Francisco will make a fine attorney."

Francisco was articled to Walkers' Finance & Corporate partner James Burch. As part of his articles, he spent a month participating in the Judicial Clerkship Training Programme at the Cayman Islands courts, where he sat with judges and observed cases. He joins Walkers' Investment Funds Group.

Ryley Tannock Sets Eyes on Career in Law with Help of Walkers Bermuda

Ryley Tannock, one of two recipients of the Walkers Bermuda Legal Scholarship Programme, has been actively pursuing a career in law for the last five years. He currently holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Psychology from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and previously completed an apprenticeship programme with the Department of Public Prosecutions where he shadowed various Crown Counsel and provided aid in case and trial development. He has also interned with the Cabinet Office, supporting the development of policy and strategy initiatives; and was a key member of the Criminology Society while studying at university.

He and three other young Bermudians recently wrapped up their summer internship with Walkers, but before he left to begin his GDL studies at the University of Law in Birmingham, we caught up with him to discuss what he gained from his four-week stint with the firm.

Q: Why did you choose to intern with Walkers?

A: In conjunction with the bursary I received from Walkers (Bermuda), I was also offered the opportunity to intern at the firm. I immediately knew I would accept the internship. As I start the journey of becoming a lawyer I know it's good to get experience; I knew I would be exposed to new practice areas of law that I had no experience, and little knowledge or understanding.

Walkers is a relatively young legal practice firm [in Bermuda], having only opened in 2016. Although new to the island, Walkers has shown itself to be growing rather quickly. In my view it's best to jump onto the fast-moving ship early and connect as other great opportunities may lie ahead.

Q: What skills do you feel you've bought to the team?

A: My educational background thus far has been in the arts, largely sociological and psychological. I have an understanding of people, communities, classes and the interactions and relations of all of these outside of a business lens. I feel that I bring this knowledge to the team enabling a difference perspective.

Q: How is your internship relevant to your coursework?

A: As I embark on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) I will be taking seven mandatory core law classes of varying topic areas; I have already seen elements of three of the classes within my internship at Walkers.

During my time in the Insolvency & Dispute Resolution team I had the opportunity to work on an arbitration hearing in which an employee of a company suffered injuries at his place of employment and was making claim that his employer should foot the bill of his medical expenses. This matter touched on elements of Tort law but also encompassed some Contract Law, both of which I will be studying.

Also, while I was working with the Corporate, Funds, Finance and Insurance team, I was introduced to a work matter relating to trusts, which complements another class I will be taking: Equity and Trusts.

Ryley and McKenzie-Kohl Tuckett both successfully secured a bursary from Walkers (Bermuda) LLP this year and were given summer internship opportunities with the firm. They, and additional summer interns Caitlin Hyland and Padraic O'Shaughnessy, will document their training experience with Walkers in our Walkers Apprentice Interview Series.

For more information on the Walkers Bermuda Pupillage Programme, legal scholarships and internship opportunities, click here.

Queen's Counsel Appointment for Walkers' Colette Wilkins

A ceremony at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on 3 September 2021 marked the elevation of Colette Wilkins QC to the distinguished rank of Queen's Counsel.

The appointment of Queen's Counsel, or 'silks' as they are known informally on account of the silk gowns appointees are permitted to wear in Court, acknowledges ability as an advocate and seniority in the legal profession. Appointments are made on the recommendation of the Cayman Islands' judiciary to the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth office. There have been 27 Queen's Counsel appointments in the Cayman Islands since the first was made in 1982.

Colette is a highly regarded litigation attorney in the Cayman Islands, where she has practised for the past 15 years, following her early career at the English Bar. She specialises in high value financial services related litigation, asset recovery and contentious insolvency and has appeared in many of the leading cases in the Grand Court and the Court of Appeal. Colette is recognised as eminent in her field by all major independent legal directories including Chambers Global (Band 1), Legal 500 (Tier 1) and Who's Who Legal (Global Elite Thought Leader). Recent directory comments include 'Among the world’s top restructuring and insolvency minds, with peers across the globe recommending her as “an exceptional lawyer” and “a wonderful advocate with a dedicated client following" and “Colette is the creme de la creme of the Cayman Islands when it comes to asset recovery.”

Colette is the Cayman Islands representative of FraudNet, a worldwide network of lawyers under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce and has twice been named Cayman Islands Attorney of the Year by the Recovery and Insolvency Specialists Association. She is in much demand as a speaker at international conferences.

At the Court ceremony on Friday, Colette thanked the talented team at Walkers, saying that their work with her on many leading cases deserves much credit for this appointment.

Colette is passionate about the need for diversity in the work place and, in particular, the need to ensure greater socio-economic diversity in law. She is proud to be a long-serving member of Walkers' Training Committee which continues to work to achieve that end.

Ingrid Pierce, Global Managing Partner says "We could not be more delighted and proud of Colette's appointment as Queen's Counsel. It is richly deserved and reflects her seniority and distinction at the Bar. Colette is a role model for many young lawyers and we wish her continued success for many years to come."

Summer Intern Caitlin Hyland Shares Experience Working with Walkers Bermuda

This summer, 22-year-old Caitlin Hyland spent four weeks working alongside lawyers in the Walkers (Bermuda) office, where she benefited from the firm's extensive training and development programme. While she recently completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, Caitlin says she's shifting gears slightly and will be commencing her LLB this month at the University of York in England.

In this short interview, Caitlin shares a bit of her personal goals, future plans and her experience interning with Walkers over the summer:

Q: How have you given back to your community?

A: Community service has always been important to me. During the past few months at home in Bermuda, I have been volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda Restore whose proceeds are currently funding the Transformational Living Centre, a new purpose-designed housing shelter in Pembroke.

Throughout university I also volunteered at ArtStarts in Schools, a charitable organisation in British Columbia, Canada. ArtStarts’ goal is to facilitate collaboration between artists and teachers to expand the role of art in education throughout the province. They achieve this through a variety of initiatives such as providing grants to schools and districts throughout the province, organising professional learning opportunities for teachers and artists and hosting gallery exhibitions for young people's art.

Q: Why did you choose to study law?

A: I have actually been asked this question often because my first degree was in Art History and at first glance the connection between the two is not immediately apparent. However from my perspective Art History is a complex interdisciplinary subject that involves difficult questions about the socio-political frameworks that govern our lives.

The law is involved in the same interdisciplinary, fundamental issues but considers them in a more pragmatic context. So for me, studying law seems like a natural evolution of interests and an opportunity to make a positive impact.

Q: Do you think your internship with Walkers has supported your university/career goals?

A: Walkers has absolutely supported my university and career goals. For someone just beginning their legal training, the opportunity to gain practical experience at Walkers is invaluable. I have really enjoyed my time here and have learnt a great deal during my four weeks about how a law firm operates.

Just as important is the open office culture and the relationships I have made. Everyone has been very friendly and approachable and they have gone out of their way to get to know me and to help me. I leave with the knowledge that there are people to whom I can reach out in the future.

Q: What have you learned during your internship?

A: I think my most important takeaway from this internship is an understanding of how multi-faceted and diverse the issues are that a law firm can cover in a single day. Lawyers make an important impact in society in so many ways and I’m hoping I can make a similar contribution.

I also learned how important every member of the team is to the legal process. Lawyers are obviously a critical part of a law firm but the administrative staff provide essential support that enable the lawyers to be effective and productive.
And lastly, not to be afraid to reach out and ask questions; there are so many knowledgeable experts here and there really is no such thing as a stupid question.

Caitlin is one of four young adults who had the opportunity to intern with Walkers in Bermuda over the summer. She is joined by Walkers Legal Scholarship recipients McKenzie-Kohl Tuckett and Ryley Tannock, as well as fellow intern Padraic O'Shaughnessy, all of whom we will be interviewing in our newly introduced Walkers Apprentice Interview Series.

For more information on the Walkers Bermuda Pupillage Programme, legal scholarships and internship opportunities, click here.

13 Walkers Partners Recognised in 11th Edition of Women in Business Law Expert Guide

Walkers is pleased to have 13 of its partners recognised in the 11th edition of Legal Media Group's (LMG) Women in Business Law Expert Guide 2021. For the past 27 years, LMG Expert Guides describe the award winners as the "world’s leading lawyers and attorneys in 30 practice areas based on extensive peer review." The 13 Walkers partners represent six of the firm's offerings in four offices, including Investment Funds, Employment, Real Estate, Restructuring and Insolvency, Securitisation and Tax.

The partners include:

  • Ingrid Pierce, Managing Partner, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands
  • Susan Battye, Employment, Ireland
  • Aisling Burke, Tax, Ireland
  • Jennifer Fox, Asset Management and Investment Funds, Ireland
  • Eimear Keane, Asset Management and Investment Funds, Ireland
  • Melissa Lim, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands
  • Sarah Maguire, Asset Management and Investment Funds, Ireland
  • Rachel Rodgers, Real Estate, Ireland
  • Laura Rogers, Investment Funds, Singapore
  • Noeleen Ruddy, Finance & Capital Markets, Ireland
  • Colette Wilkins, Restructuring and Insolvency, Cayman Islands
  • Caroline Williams, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands
  • Denise Wong, Investment Funds, Hong Kong
As part of its methodology, LMG approaches legal practitioners, clients and industry experts across the world, inviting them to nominate individuals to be recognised as leading practitioners for each practice area. Award criteria is based on expertise, technical knowledge, reputation, innovation and contribution to their practice area's development.