Former judge called to the Bar

Attorney Alexander Henderson will not appear in court

Former Grand Court judge Alexander Henderson was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands on Wednesday morning in a traditional admission ceremony before Justice Charles Quin. 

Mr. Henderson’s credentials and eligibility requirements were submitted by attorney David Dinner of Dinner Martin law firm. 

Mr. Henderson, 70, said he had given an undertaking not to appear as an advocate in court. He also noted that this new phase in his career was somewhat inaccurately described as consulting. 

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie had publicly announced Justice Henderson’s retirement at the opening of Grand Court in January. He paid tribute at the time to Mr. Henderson’s “unflinching and uncompromising sense of purpose and professionalism.” 

Mr. Henderson, who was called to the Bar in Canada in 1970, served as judge on the Supreme Court in British Columbia before coming to Cayman in 2000. He was an acting judge on several occasions before he was appointed full time in 2003, dealing with both criminal and civil matters. 

In 2009, Justice Henderson was awarded $1.275 million in an out-of-court settlement following his unlawful arrest and the unlawful search of his home and office by a police team that had been wrongly advised by a U.K. attorney who was not a member of the Cayman Bar. 

In addition to the numerous judgments he has written that are noted as precedents in the Cayman Islands Law Reports, Mr. Henderson is the co-author of “The Business of Crime: A Report on Organized Crime and Money Laundering.” He is also co-editor of the book “Criminal Jury Instructions.” 

Cayman’s 2009 Constitution sets the retirement age for judges at 65, but allows the governor the discretion to reject or accept applications for a five-year extension. Mr. Henderson had continued as judge until last month so that hearings and judgments he was already dealing with could be concluded. 

He is not the first judge to move from the bench to the bar. Former Senior Magistrate and Grand Court judge Kipling Douglas was admitted to practice as an attorney several years ago. He also made an undertaking not to appear in court, and subsequently accepted employment with a law firm.