February 8, 2023

Three new acting magistrates appointed

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MagistratesHE the Governor Helen Kilpatrick officiated at a swearing-in ceremony on Friday (21 February) formally appointing three new Acting Magistrates: Mrs. Philippa McFarlane Ebanks, Ms. Angelyn Hernandez, and Mr. Adam Roberts.

The Acting Magistrates will start training in the coming weeks and will soon be presiding in criminal and civil matters. They were welcomed by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, who said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint three very capable, experienced and highly regarded professionals from within our local community to sit in the summary courts. “

The Chief Justice said that the new Acting Magistrates would bring a wealth of practical experience “to the difficult and demanding” task.

“Our summary courts are exceptionally busy courts and it is a great asset to be able to support the full time Magistrates with five acting Magistrates who can be called on as the need arises,” the Chief Justice said.

Slated to begin her work as an Acting Magistrate, Mrs. McFarlane Ebanks has been an Associate at Kobre and Kim (Cayman) law firm since December 2012. She previously served for three years as a Senior Associate with Bodden & Bodden Litigation. Prior to that, she was a Crown Prosecutor in the UK for eight years.

A graduate of Dalhousie University, with a BA (honours) in political science, Ms. McFarlane studied law at the University of Liverpool, graduating with first class honours. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales following studies at the Inns of Court School of Law.

“I am very proud to have been appointed as an Acting Magistrate of the Summary Court, and will do my utmost to serve the Cayman Islands to the best of my ability,” Mrs. McFarlane Ebanks said upon being sworn in.

Echoing similar sentiments, Acting Magistrate Hernandez said: “It is a most humbling appointment and I am extremely honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to serve the people of the Cayman Islands.”

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Ms Hernandez comes with almost 24 years of public and private practice. She holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of the West Indies and a Master’s in Law from Queen Mary’s College, University of London.

A Crown Counsel prior to entering private practice with Quin & Hampson, she was a partner there for 15 years. For the past five years she served in her own practice, Hernandez &Co.

Meanwhile, Mr. Roberts, who has been serving as Legal Adviser to the Financial Reporting Authority, has served as a Crown Counsel for most of his working career.

“I am thrilled to have been invited to sit as Acting Magistrate,” Mr. Roberts said. “I have spent nearly all my adult life in the criminal justice system and have made Cayman my home since 1991. I see this as a way of using my experience and for me to give back to the community.”

Prior to assuming his post with the Financial Reporting Unit in 2008, Mr. Roberts served with the Cayman Island Government Legal Department as a prosecutor, joining as a prosecutor in 1991. He was subsequently appointed Senior Crown Counsel (Criminal) in 1998.

Mr. Roberts holds an LLB (Hons.) from Manchester University.

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