Sharma named Cayman’s new solicitor general

Reshma Sharma

The government has announced that Reshma Sharma is Cayman’s new solicitor general.

She was appointed earlier this month following a rigorous open recruitment process, according to a government statement. Sharma, who was previously the acting solicitor general from 1 June 2017 to 31 July 2019, also has experience as the deputy solicitor general from June 2016 to August 2019.

Sharma, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, previously served as a Crown counsel and a senior Crown counsel in Cayman.

She has been involved in human rights litigation that has raised novel points of law in the Cayman Islands, including the first same-sex marriage challenge, the first challenge involving age/nationality discrimination under the Bill of Rights and the compatibility of statutory immunity provisions excluding claims in medical negligence with the Bill of Rights.

Sharma was a key part of the government’s legal team in the same-sex marriage challenge by Vicki Bodden Bush and Chantelle Day, and successfully brought the application for a stay pending an appeal of Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s ruling to legalise gay marriage. That appeal is scheduled to be heard next week.

Before moving to Cayman, she served as a state counsel in her homeland.

She has provided legal guidance to government in a number of areas including immigration, civil aviation, employment, procurement, intellectual property and human rights.

“I am deeply honoured by this appointment and grateful to both the Honourable Deputy Governor and Honourable Attorney General for their confidence in my ability to lead this Portfolio and its talented and dedicated staff,” said Sharma in the prepared statement.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve the Government of the Cayman Islands over the past 14 years and I look forward to this new chapter and the experiences to come. There will be challenges ahead but with the collective best efforts of my staff, the Portfolio will continue to strive for excellence as part of the journey towards a world-class civil service.”

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson praised Sharma, saying, “I am delighted that an attorney of the calibre of Ms. Sharma has been appointed to this position within the Cayman Islands Government. Ms. Sharma has served our Government admirably in all the years she has served in the public sector.”

Sharma earned a masters of law degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and she has served as a member of the Cayman Islands Water Authority board for many years. She is also a member of the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, the Law Reform Commission and the Cayman Islands Child Safeguarding Board.

As head of the Treaties and Conventions Unit in the Attorney General’s Chambers, she worked on conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the extension of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

“I hold Ms. Sharma in high esteem for the probity and intelligence she brings as a professional in the Portfolio of Legal Affairs,” said Attorney General Samuel Bulgin in the press release. “Her attention to detail and subtle nuances when dealing with even complex matters has been an invaluable asset within these Chambers. I congratulate on her attaining this important position in government and welcome her expertise in the service of the people in the coming years.”