Justin Williams

Bermuda Bar Council president Justin Williams is to step down after two years in the role.

Mr Williams said the last two years had seen “significant advances”, including the introduction of conditional fees, which means failure to win a case means no fee.

He added that a self-regulation anti money laundering and anti terrorist financing scheme had also been introduced.

And Mr Williams said a proposed framework for Bermudian barristers to become Queen’s Counsel had also been drawn up.

He added that the Bar Council had worked with the Attorney General on criminal justice reform, including the reimplementation of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) committee to deal with detention and questioning of suspects.

Mr Williams said restrictions had also been placed on lawyers practising without at least two years of post-qualification experience, while changes to the Notaries Act meant more notaries were available to the public.

Other initiatives in the last two years include requirements for all practising lawyers to have sufficient professional indemnity insurance.

Mr Williams said: “With a significantly increased number of law firms and thus members, the task for Bar Council to oversee is much greater.

“There are reporting obligations imposed on members and member firms alike, which must be encouraged and enforced.”

He added: “When I reflect back on where we were, where we are and where we are going as an association, we continue to move from strength to strength serving our members and the members of the public well.”