Justice Charles Quin, a Grand Court judge and an integral member of Cayman’s law community for more than 30 years, passed away at his home in the company of family and friends on Friday evening. He was 68.
Justice Quin first came to Cayman as an attorney in 1985 and practised with Bruce Campbell and Company before serving as a senior partner for Quin and Hampson from 1992 to 2007.
He became an acting magistrate of the Summary Court in 1993 and served intermittently for many years before being named as a judge of the Grand Court in May of 2008.
Justice Quin is survived by his wife Diana and his sons Nicholas, Thomas and William, and daughter-in-law Jessica. Justice Quin was remembered as a proud member of the Kingston Cricket Club in Jamaica, and he followed the Ulster and Ireland rugby teams, as well as the West Indies cricket team with “complete devotion”, according to family members.
“We have lost a very special man,” said his family in a statement. “He was a great husband, father and friend. We will remember him as a great man who loved these Islands and was proud to call Cayman his home. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and we have been extremely moved by the messages of love and support that we are receiving. They mean the world to us.
“We hope that everyone will remember his big smile, loud voice and wonderful laugh that he shared with so many people. “
Justice Quin was born in Magheralin, a village in County Down in Northern Ireland, in November 1950 to Reverend George Alderson Quin and Dr. Norah Quin. His father was later named the Bishop of Down and Dromore.
The Quin family moved to Belfast and lived there until 1959, when they relocated to Bangor, County Down.
Quin obtained a history degree from Southampton University in England in 1971. He moved to Kenya and taught English as part of Voluntary Service Overseas. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1973 and enrolled at Queen’s University to do his Bar exams. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1978, which is also the year he married Diana Elizabeth Robinson in Newcastle.
In 1981 he took up a role as Crown counsel in Bermuda, and his sons Nicholas and Thomas were born there in 1982 and 1984. In January 1985, he moved to Cayman.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said Monday that he had known Justice Quin for decades and that his wife, Kim, got her start in the legal field when she was hired to be a secretary by Quin at Campbell and Company in 1988. Kim McLaughlin continued working with Quin at Quin and Hampson in 1992 and remained at the firm until 2005, and years later, she became an attorney in her own right.
“Kim regarded [Justice Quin] as another father, and he encouraged her to go to law school and mentored her throughout the years,” said Premier McLaughlin on Monday.
“He was incredibly proud to be the judge who admitted her to practice at the Cayman bar in 2012,” he said, “and then also to admit our son Daegan, whom he had known since birth, to practice in 2017.
“Charlie was one of the finest lawyers I have known and over the years of my practice at the bar, I appeared against him in many cases. He always argued his case vigorously but was unfailingly polite and fair. He upheld the noblest traditions of the bar; he was compassionate, charitable and honest to a fault. He was truly the rarest of human beings, and one that can truly be described as a gentleman. He was dearly loved by many and respected by all who knew him. He shall be greatly missed by Kim and I.”
Justice Quin moved to his home on Selkirk Drive in Red Bay shortly after moving to Cayman, and his son William was born in 1987. He later became president of the Cayman Islands Law Society and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004. He also served as Cayman’s representative of the Royal Commonwealth Society for a decade and was the attorney general of Montserrat for four months in 2006.
Justice Quin officially retired on 31 May 2019.
Chief Justice Anthony Smellie recognised him for his service at the ceremonial opening of the Grand Court in January this year, saying, “We, his colleagues, are bracing ourselves for the eventuality of Justice Quin’s formal retirement in June of this year, an event which we – like the rest of the court staff, the profession and very many members of the wider community – would wish to postpone indefinitely.”
The chief justice issued an official statement of condolences regarding Justice Quin on Sunday.
“Justice Quin served the Cayman Islands very admirably as a Judge of the Grand Court for more than 10 years, prior to which he practised at the Bar of the Cayman Islands and in other regional jurisdictions for more than 25 years,” he said. “Justice Quin was very greatly admired and respected within the Judicial Administration, the Cayman Islands legal fraternity and the wider Cayman community, as well as in other jurisdictions around the Commonwealth.
“He will be greatly missed and the jurisdiction will always be grateful for his service.”
Parick Moran, director of public prosecutions, expressed his condolences.
“Justice Quin was a well-loved and highly respected member of the community, whose numerous contributions to justice in the Cayman Islands will be long remembered,” he said.
“Prior to joining the Bench, Justice Quin was a skilled attorney, dedicated both to the law and to his clients. As a Grand Court judge, he fulfilled his duties with wisdom, warmth, fortitude and good humour. His voice will live on through his many written judgments, which will continue to guide attorneys and judges in the Cayman Islands for years to come. He will be sorely missed.”
A memorial service for Justice Quin will be held at 3pm on Friday, 14 June, at St. George’s Anglican Church. His family asked that donations be made to the Cayman Islands National Trust and Jasmine hospice in lieu of flowers.