“Whoever took his life has to pay and they will pay very soon.”
Those were the words of a man said to be like a grandfather to nine-year-old Cyon Paul during his funeral yesterday.
Members of the southern legal fraternity joined the growing list of those throughout the country and abroad who are mourning the passing of Karl Hudson-Phillips, QC, and are paying tribute to him. Hudson-Phillips died suddenly in his sleep on Wednesday in England, where he had gone with his wife Kathleen to celebrate his son Kevin’s 30th birthday and attend to other business.
Reflecting on his life, senior counsel and former president of the Assembly of Southern Lawyers Hendrickson Seunath said the country and region had suffered a great loss. “I think he was one of the most respected individuals I have known in this era, if I may call it that, in my lifetime and both within and outside the profession,” he said. Hudson-Phillips was viewed as one of the pillars of the profession, said Seunath, who added that he stood out as a statesman.
“He was not only senior in the profession, but someone to emulate.” Seunath, who worked with Hudson-Phillips for more than ten years, added: “He was a selfless person. He gave of himself to this profession and that is something that very few of us in this profession do.”
Attorney and former national security minister Subhas Panday described Hudson-Phillips as a true defender of lawyers when he served as president of the Law Association. He called on the Government to bestow a special honour on Hudson-Phillips for his significant contribution in the legal fraternity, politics and society as a whole.
Recalling his interaction with Hudson-Phillips during the Deochan Ramdhanie inquiry, Panday said: “I found him to be a man of style, a man of eloquence and a man of craft. He was a stickler for discipline, but yet he was always available to assist and guide young attorneys.” Attorney Kevin Ratiram added: “Karl Hudson-Phillips, QC, was one of the icons of law in T&T. He epitomised the highest traditions of the legal profession. He was a true gentleman, whose mastery of the law was second to none.”
Perhaps the most highly regarded patriarch of the profession, Ratiram said: “He will be missed and can never be replaced.” Expressing condolences to Hudson-Phillips’ family and friends, the Assembly of Southern Lawyers said: “We take a moment to recognise a great man who has made a mammoth contribution to the development of the legal system and political landscape of T&T and who has, and will always, be recognised as one of the greatest legal minds to have graced our shores.”