Travis Ritch’s admission moved by his father, David
Travis Alan Ritch was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands on Sept. 17 in a ceremony similar to one held 39 years earlier.
In 1976, David Ritch was called to the Bar, with his admission moved by his stepfather, the late Warren Conolly, who presented documentation to show that the aspiring attorney had successfully completed the studies and articles that qualified him to practice law in this jurisdiction.
Last week, David Ritch stood where his stepfather had stood while his son Travis sat nearby, awaiting his call.
It came from Justice Charles Quin, who congratulated him after hearing of his academic record, saying it augured well for the future. Told that Travis will be an associate in the firm started by his father and step-grandfather, the judge joked that he should stay on the right side of the office manager, who is “the real boss.”
The audience for the admission ceremony included Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is an attorney and a former president of the Caymanian Bar Association; Truman Bodden, attorney and former legislator for whom the local law school is named; and MLA Arden McLean, a successor to Warren Conolly as representative for East End.
After Travis signed the roll book, his father helped him put on his wig and could not resist giving him an extra pat on the head before the new attorney gave his maiden speech.
He thanked Justice Quin for accepting the application for his admission and expressed his gratitude to everyone attending his Bar call “to see this special moment in my life and in my family history.”
“Ritch and Conolly has been many things to me over the years,” he said.
“Though it is less of a family firm now than it was 20 years ago, at various times, my father, step-grandfather, grandmother, three grand aunts, aunt, and mother worked or continue to work at the firm. I can still remember how large the office furniture seemed, and how imposing the filing system appeared to be, walking around as a young boy. I also knew where the client biscuits were,” he added. The law firm provided his first formal work experience, as well as a place to meet relatives and friends, some who had known him all of his life, he noted. “Now, as a fully qualified attorney, Ritch and Conolly will be the place where I begin to make my mark as a professional.”
He thanked his father and firm partner Cherry Bridges for their confidence in him, pledging to work hard to make good on it.
He also thanked the partners of Harney Westwood and Riegels for choosing him as the first articled clerk in their Cayman Islands office. “I enjoyed my time training in their litigation department where I learned both how to play a bad hand, and how to press the advantage when one has it,” he said.
He spent part of his articleship with Mourant Ozannes, where the partners had put him through his paces in the corporate context. “Although I intend to practise primarily litigation, I am sure that my experience of funds, corporate and finance practice will serve me well in the future,” he said.
He dedicated the day to his parents as an acknowledgement of their unconditional love and support. He thanked the mentors, colleagues and friends, without whom “I would not have made it this far.”
In closing, he said he looks forward to a bright future and a successful career in law.
“I am conscious of how fortunate I am to be in the position to do this for a living, and I will strive to remember that every day. … I promise to do the profession proud.”
The academic record Justice Quin referred to included Travis Ritch’s completion of his primary and secondary education in Cayman, the U.S. and Canada, with his success in the ‘A’ level program at St. Ignatius High School qualifying him for university admission.
Thereafter, he read law at King’s College, London, completing his bachelor of laws degree with honors, followed by the postgraduate vocational qualification known as the Bar Professional Training Course at City Law School, formerly the Inns of Court School of Law.
His grades were classified as “outstanding” in such areas as civil litigation, evidence and remedies, criminal litigation, evidence and sentencing, resolution of disputes out of court, and company law.
He was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple on July 28, 2011. Following his return to Cayman, he spent several months as a paralegal at Ritch and Conolly before completing the period of articles required for admission to practice generally in the Cayman Islands.