Governor Martyn Roper announced Tuesday that Valdis Foldats will take over as chief magistrate in Cayman on 1 Feb., following the retirement of Nova Hall.
Magistrate Foldats’ promotion was approved following an internal recruitment process by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, according to a statement announcing the appointment.
“I am pleased to appoint Magistrate Foldats as the next Chief Magistrate,” Roper said in the statement. “I am confident that his skills, experience, knowledge, passion, and commitment will all serve him well as he takes up his new role. I look forward to watching his contributions towards future advancements in, and development of, the Summary Court.”
He added, “I would also like to publicly thank Chief Magistrate Hall for her commitment and dedication to the Summary Court over the past ten years.”
Chief Justice Anthony Smellie also welcomed Foldats’ appointment, saying in the statement, “Magistrate Foldats is a very well respected Magistrate who has served in the Summary Court full-time for over eleven years. His colleagues and I welcome his appointment and look forward to his continued innovative work on the Diversionary Courts.
While we will formally bid goodbye to Chief Magistrate Hall at the Opening of the Grand Court later this month, I take this opportunity to thank Chief Magistrate for her leadership and dedication since her appointment.”
Foldats has served as a magistrate in Cayman’s Summary Court since October 2011. He first began working for the Judicial Administration in 1999 as the registrar of appeal/senior deputy clerk before being promoted to the clerk of court, where he served for nine years, during which time he also gained experience as an acting magistrate.
Foldats was called to the Bar in Canada in 1984. Prior to moving to the Cayman Islands, he spent 15 years practising law in the areas of criminal, coroner and disciplinary proceedings.
Hall has served as chief magistrate of the Summary Court since 2012 when she took over from Margaret Ramsay-Hale. A graduate of the University of the West Indies where she gained her LLB (Hons) in 1986 prior to taking the CLE in 1988, the same year she was called to the Bar.
Before moving to Cayman, Hall practised law in Jamaica in the areas of civil and criminal litigation, contract, company law, conveyancing, and probate and succession. She served for five years as the senior deputy clerk of courts/registrar of the Court of Appeal in the Cayman Islands before being appointed as a magistrate in 1999.