In the Matter of an Application by David John Phillips QC to be admitted as an Attorney of the Turks and Caicos Islands (CL 50 of 2015)  TCASC 11 (09 November 2015);
IN THE SUPREME COURT
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
IN THE MATTER Section 4 of the Legal Professional Ordinance
IN THE MATTER of an application by David John Phillips QC to be admitted as an Attorney of the Turks
and Caicos Islands
Mr. Neale Coleman for the Applicant
Mr. Richard Savory QC for the Bar Council
Heard on the 23 September 2015
BEFORE THE HON. CHIEF JUSTICE
1. Mr. Phillips QC is an eminent silk with chambers in London. He has been admitted to the Turks and
Caicos Islands Bar pro hac vice on numerous occasions since 2006 both on the application of the
Attorney General to appear on behalf of the Crown in divers Civil Recovery matters in which the
Attorney General had instructed the firm of Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge LLP and, more
recently, on the application of the firm of Karam Missick which now moves his application for full
admission to the Bar.
2. The application is opposed by the Bar Council on two primary grounds. The first is that Mr. Phillips is
not ordinarily resident in the TCI which, the Bar Council asserts, is a prerequisite of full admission. The
second is that, as an attorney engaged by the Crown, he has intimate and extensive knowledge of
confidential information in the possession of the Crown and therefore ought to the subject of the socalled
'Donegan Rule' which provides that a person who holds legal office with the Crown not to be
allowed to work in the private sector for at least two years following the termination of their
employment with Crown.'
3. It is, I think, plain that, given the nature of his engagement as a barrister instructed to appear in a
limited number of matters on an ad hoc basis, Mr. Phillips cannot be described as a person who holds
or has held legal office with the Crown. Nonetheless, 9 invited Mr. Phillips to file further evidence to
address the issue of whether, in fact, he had through his association with the Attorney General's
Chambers he acquired such knowledge as described by the Bar Council.
4. Mr. Phillips filed his second affidavit on the 28 September 2015 in which he describes his relationship
with the Crown officers, the extent of his interactions with them and number of occasions that he
attended the AG's chambers and the reasons therefor. The Bar filed its affidavit in response on the 16
5. t accept Mr. Phillips' evidence and I say that I am satisfied that he has not acquired any confidential
information as a result of his association with the Attorney General's Chambers, save such information
as came into his hands in the course of preparing for trial in the several matters in which he was
instructed. I accept that most of that information, if not all, emerged, as he says, in the course of those
trials and is now in the public domain.
6. He has obtained employment in the Islands with a firm of attorneys like many other English barristers
before him, he has a work permit and has established a residence here, The fact that he may maintain
a home or an office overseas is not determinative of the question of whether he is to be regarded as
resident here. On the face of his application, he meets the residency requirement for full admission.
7. Other matters have been brought to my attention by the Bar Council including a letter written to the
Council by the former Attorney General. I will confess that I struggle to understand how the ringing
endorsement of the Attorney, who describes Mr. Phillips as having "a mastery and understanding of
the taws and practice of the Islands," demonstrd Les that Mr. Phillips is not a fit and proper person to
be granted full admission as the President of the Bar Council suggests in her affidavit. The Council has
also suggested that Mr. Phillips has or may have breached the provisions of divers Ordinances by not
acquiring work permits or business licenses for those periods when he was engaged by the Crown.
Given that no complaint has been made against him by any relevant agency or authority in that regard,
those assertions of impropriety are bare assertions which I could not properly take into account.
8. In my judgment, Mr. Phillips has satisfied all requirements for admission and the motion is granted.