Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the Paria Fuel diving tragedy, Jerome Lynch, is now a King’s Counsel following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week.
The CoE sat for the first time last week and will next sit on November 21.
But Lynch is not alone.
Senior attorneys from the United Kingdom and in Commonwealth countries whose head of state is still the British monarch will now be referred to as King’s Counsel rather than Queen’s Counsel.
Lynch’s profile on the Cloisters website has already been updated with the initials KC replacing the QC initials he has been using since he received silk in 2000.
Lynch was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1983.
The change in title and corresponding post-nominal initials for such attorneys who were previously appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) occurred automatically with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of her son King Charles III last Thursday.
However, the change in designation, which would require the changing of business cards and letterheads, will have little to no effect on T&T, as local senior attorneys were given the title of Senior Counsel after the country became a Republic in 1976.
Caribbean countries whose legal fraternity would be affected by the change include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Barbados would have been affected had it not become a Republic like T&T and Guyana in November last year.
Notable local attorneys who have held the title before their deaths include the country’s first Chief Justice Hugh Wooding, former Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide and former Attorney General Karl Hudson-Phillips.
Traditionally, the title is given to senior barristers who have distinguished themselves in courtroom advocacy but has been extended to solicitor advocates who have extended rights of audience in court having previously been restricted to office work and instructing barristers.
The distinction in the profession existed in T&T before the two roles were fused with the passage of the Legal Profession Act in 1986.