Every row in Judge Charles Quin’s courtroom was filled Friday, when a boisterous crowd welcomed the newest member of Cayman’s legal community. Daegan McLaughlin, the elder son of Premier Alden McLaughlin, was called to the Bar and celebrated by a large group of family and friends.
Three former members of the Legislative Assembly – Osbourne Bodden, Wayne Panton and Kurt Tibbetts – were part of the crowd. James Eldridge, a partner at Maples and Calder, introduced the younger Mr. McLaughlin to the court.
“Admission as an attorney is a huge milestone,” said Mr. Eldridge. “It is invariably the culmination of many years hard work both as a student and as a trainee lawyer, and today is no exception. It is doubly special, my lord, when as in the case of Mr. McLaughlin, he is joining the family trade.”
Mr. Eldridge described the 25-year-old’s academic background, starting with his graduation from St. Ignatius school in 2010 and progressing through his days at the University of the West of England.
Mr. McLaughlin earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2013, and a graduate diploma in law the next year. He earned a legal practice course certification from BPP University in Bristol and took on the articles of clerkship while working for Maples and Calder in 2016.
He is set to embark on a career with that same firm, and Mr. McLaughlin, in his brief speech before the court, lauded his parents for being a constant source of encouragement and intellectual stimulation.
“In pursuing this career, my parents have been shining role models the entire way,” he said. “As long as I can remember, they’ve been willing to share any advice and wisdom they had whenever I asked for it. I cannot say they’ve ever pushed me in any particular direction, but they were quick to remind both my brother and I of the value of education. And without their constant advice and reassurance, I would never have made it this far. I would add a special mention to my father: After numerous mentions in public speeches, it is finally nice to repay the favor.”
Both his parents are attorneys, and Judge Quin worked with Daegan’s mother Kim McLaughlin at Quin and Hampson earlier in both their careers. The judge lauded Mr. McLaughlin for his eloquence and academic background, and he said that if he took after his mother’s diligence, he would have an excellent career indeed.
“If you work with the same care and attention that your mother worked, you won’t make many mistakes,” Judge Quin said.
The judge recalled Daegan McLaughlin as a respectful child at company Christmas parties. “You and your brother would beam with pleasure in getting a Christmas present early on Christmas Eve,” he said. “I sincerely remember both you and your brother being exceedingly polite and well mannered. And good manners are very important, particularly for an attorney, but for everybody.”
After the ceremony, Mr. McLaughlin was congratulated by a crowd of well-wishers, and his parents stood nearby, beaming, while posing for photographs to commemorate the occasion.
“This is probably the proudest day of my life,” said Kim McLaughlin.
“I’m very emotional,” Alden McLaughlin said shortly after the ceremony. “November will be 29 years since I was admitted, and it all came back to me. I could’ve introduced him, but it wouldn’t have been proper. Those who have worked with him are the ones best placed to move his admission.”