Teacher, political candidate now an attorney

Judge commends Andrea Christian for obtaining master’s degree in maritime law

West Bayer Andrea B. Christian was called to the bar on Tuesday, 25 June. 

In presenting her credentials to justice Alexander Henderson, Attorney Delroy Murray said many people in Ms Christian’s community were aware of her interest in politics and social issues; her honesty, integrity and passion for standing up for human rights were paramount in guiding her decisions, he told the court. 

“This was reflected in her recent participation in the general elections as an independent candidate for West Bay. Although unsuccessful in gaining a seat… her impact was positive and illustrative of her advocacy for human rights and fairness towards all,” Mr. Murray said. 

Ms Christian was an honour student at the Cayman Islands High School (now John Gray High School), graduating in 1984. She won the Miss Teen title in 1983 and represented Cayman at both local and international events. She then attended Brock University in Canada, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in economic and politics. 

Mr. Murray explained that Ms Christian’s professional career began as a trainee labour economist, but she was convinced that if she wanted to contribute effectively she should start with educating. 

She had worked as a volunteer with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ summer camps and as a teacher’s aide at John A. Cumber Primary School. After earning a diploma in education from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, she taught business studies and was acting head of careers at John Gray High School. 

She also taught at Queen’s high School in Kingston and worked as an assistant human resources manager and trainer at Cayman National Bank.  

Ms Christian studied law locally, earning an honours degree from the University of Liverpool through the Truman Bodden Law School in 2007. 

In her study of commercial law, she explained later, she found that a lot of it addressed issues in maritime law. Because of her interest, she approached Joel Walton, chief executive officer of the Maritime Authority, and discovered there was an opening for an assistant in the Shipping Registry. She worked there about one year and then received a scholarship to pursue further studies. She was awarded a master’s degree in maritime law from the University of Southampton, England in 2009. 

Maples and Calder had contributed to that scholarship and on Ms Christian’s return, the firm sponsored her for the Professional Practice Course at the law school. The firm also initiated her training contract for articles, which she recently concluded with Glidden Meghoo and the Judicial Department. 

Mr. Murray gave other examples of Ms Christian’s community involvement, such as founding the West Bay Runners Club and the KayCees Educational Centre, which provides tutoring and a bridge between parents and teachers to maximise students’ abilities. 

Justice Henderson welcomed Ms Christian to the bar and commended her for undertaking the master’s degree programme. 

He predicted that degrees like this will become more popular as specialisation takes root in the legal profession. He said Ms Christian would be one of the first if not the first to accept maritime cases. 

Justice Henderson said he knew from personal experience that she was a hard worker and a pleasant person to work with. Told that her practice will include family and employment law, the judge noted that there were a lot of employment and matrimonial cases, so he looked forward to seeing her in court. 

Among the many friends and relatives attending the admission ceremony were several attorneys: her sister Bethea Christian, Martha Rankine and Charles Clifford. 

Ms Christian thanked them for their support and said she could not have realised this goal without the contributions of her sponsors and principals. Along with other family members, she specifically thanked her son, Thaddeus Ebanks, “who shared in many of the challenges to accomplish this goal.” 

Andrea-Christian-bar-call

Fellow attorneys welcome Andrea Christian to the bar. From left, Bethea Christian, Andrea Christian, Delroy Murray, Martha Rankine and Charles Clifford. – Photo: Carol Winker
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