Country’s Oldest Law Office, Callenders 1st Firm to Have Three QC’s

Lester J. Mortimer, Jr., QC, was named Queen's Counsel in the list released this week by the Government, making Callenders, the country's oldest law firm, the only law office in The Bahamas to have three QC's in one firm.

By Diane Phillips, DP&A

Nassau, Bahamas – This week’s release of the latest list of lawyers to be called to the Inner Bar as Queen’s Counsel, the highest honour in legal circles, held extraordinary meaning for Callenders when it became the first law firm in the history of The Bahamas to be home to three partners holding the prestigious title.

“We offer our warmest congratulations to Lester who was one of 11 very accomplished attorneys recognised for their dedication to the law and upholding the critical role it plays in civil society,” said Colin Callender, QC, Managing Partner of the Firm founded in 1903. Callenders’ Grand Bahama Managing Partner, Fred Smith, is also a QC.

Mr. Mortimer served on the Judicial and Legal Service Commission from 2004 – 2009. He is a member of the current Constitutional Review Commission and the former Deputy Co-chair of the Commission from 2003-2006. He was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1978, joining Callenders as a partner in 1985 where his work in constitutional and administrative law, commercial transactions, banking, shipping and telecommunications has become legendary.

One of nine partners in the Firm that has won numerous awards and honours, Mr. Mortimer has provided evidence as an expert witness on Bahamian Law in several Courts and has attended as a witness in the Courts in England, Cayman Island and the United States District Court for South Florida. Locally, Mr. Mortimer has appeared as Co-Counsel in several notable and high profile cases.

He has served in several posts with the Bahamas Bar Association, including as its Treasurer for four years and as a member of the Bahamas Bar Council. Mr. Mortimer has also served as a member of the Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of The Bahamas. He is a graduate of St. Anne’s High School in Nassau and holds degrees from Dillard University, New Orleans and the College of Law, London where he was awarded the Degree of Utter Barrister, Lincoln’s Inn.

This week’s appointments also included the first female to be named a QC, the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General of The Bahamas.