BETHANY CHAMBERS

Advocate Attorneys at Law

 

 

ABOUT US

Bethany Chambers was established in October 2008.  Bethany is a specialist advocates' chambers. Originally set up by Andre des Vignes (before his elevation to the High Court and thereafter the Court of Appeal) and Ian L Benjamin SC,  its focus is on excellence in advocacy in all forms of dispute resolution - civil litigation, arbitration, mediation, judicial settlement conferencing and expert determination and in all forms of investigative processes such Commissions of Inquiry, ad hoc Investigations and specialist tribunals. Our advocate attorneys have strategic depth of experience in construction, financial regulation, company, banking and insurance matters; in family disputes and occupational health and safety and industrial relations matters; in challenging administrative and constitutional law matters. Several of the members of Bethany have teaching experience at the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad or the Faculty of Law, St. Augustine, University of West Indies. All members undertake appearances as advocates before  the  local High Court and the Court of Appeal, the High Courts of the CARICOM region and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Judicial Committee of  the Privy Council.

JUSTICE of APPEAL ANDRE DES VIGNES (retired)

9 March 1956 - 24 January 2022
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It is with great sadness that we of Bethany, present and past, mourn the  passing of retired  Justice of Appeal Andre des Vignes, one of the co-founders of Bethany Chambers. Our condolences to his family, the Judiciary, the communities of Archdiocese of Port of Spain and the Foundation for Human Development and all those whom he touched with his courtesy, solicitousness and charm.    

 

OUR ATTORNEYS

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Ian L Benjamin SC

Head of Chambers

Call 1989 (TT); Silk date 2018

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Justin Phelps

Call 1996 (TT)

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Keston McQuilkin

Call 2008 (TT)

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Jerome Herrera

Call 2008 (TT)

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PIerre Rudder

Call 2013 (TT)

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Sadhna Lutchman

Call 2019 (TT)

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Dionne A A Springer

Call 2014  (TT)

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Tekiyah Jorsling

Call 2016 (TT)

 

Ian L Benjamin SC

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After Ian completed his pupillage in London, England he returned to Trinidad where he worked for three years as State Counsel in the Solicitor-General’s Department of the Ministry of Justice. Since then he has worked for the most part in sole practice as an advocate attorney-at-law specialising in civil litigation. Breaks came in February 2000 when he took a sabbatical for 18 months  to pursue his LLM at the University of Sydney, preparing a thesis on libel/defamation, and in 2005 when he took up a temporary six months’ appointment as a High Court judge.

Ian practises primarily in the broad commercial areas of banking, financial regulation, insolvency, insurance, professional negligence and contentious pension and tax and construction disputes. In addition, he undertakes significant public law work including Commissions of Enquiry. He is well-regarded for his strategic advice and advocacy, particularly in appellate work and has made several appearances before the Privy Council. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is a CEDR Mediator. He also accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has appeared in several ICC and ad hoc arbitrations.

He is one of the founding members of Bethany Chambers.

Call to Bar England & Wales  1988

Member, Honourable Society of Middle Temple

Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 1989

Call to Bar Dominica 2008

Call to Bar Grenada 2013

Call to Bar Anguilla 2016

CEDR Trained Mediator 2011

CIArb Member 2017

Door Tenant Fountain Court Chambers, London, England

BA (Cantab.) 1986

LLM (Cantab.) 1987

LLM (Univ of Sydney) 2002

Other interests:

Chairman of United Way Trinidad & Tobago;

Director of Trinidad Karate Association;

Director of Foundation for Human Development;

Director of Republic Bank Financial Holdings Ltd.

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Notable cases:

 

Justin Phelps

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Call to Bar England & Wales 1995

Member, Honourable Society of Inner Temple

Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 1996

LLB (Univ of North London) 1994

Justin is a diligent and experienced civil litigator with more than twenty years' experience of the superior courts of Trinidad and Tobago and in arbitrations. He regularly appears in a wide range of commercial practice areas including complex corporate governance  shareholder and other corporate disputes involving both private and publicly listed companies, banking and mortgage disputes and high value constructions disputes  (FIDIC terms) and has advised on competition & anti-dumping matters, substantial white collar crime and civil fraud claims, misbehaviour in public office, corruption  and procurement. His experience also covers land matters, libel and defamation claims, actions in tort and public law matters. Justin is a well-regarded strategic litigator and a meticulous cross examiner putting to good use a variety of subject areas such as finance, auditing and accounting, taxation, civil , structural and geotechnical engineering and project management.

Notable cases:

  • Tradebridge Limited v Minister of Trade & Industry – regional competition law, anti-dumping duties

  • Commission of Inquiry into Piarco Airport Development Project – corruption, procurement, misbehaviour in public office

  • Petrotrin v Board of Inland Revenue – oil revenue taxation

  • ICS (Grenada) Limited v NHIC Limited – arbitration, building and construction

  • Mora Ven Holdings Ltd and ors v Krishna Persad & Associates Ltd (2014)​ - public companies, fiduciary duties, minority shareholder actions

  • Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of CLICO conglomerate 

  • ICS (Grenada) Limited v NHIC Limited - ICC arbitration, building and construction, FIDIC ("red book")

  • Krishna Persad v Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan - white collar crime, company directors' authorities, judicial review

  • Maersk International v Board of Inland Revenue - value added tax appeals

  • American Stores shareholders' dispute - Companies Act directors' duties

 

Keston McQuilkin

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Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2008

BA (Univ of West Indies) 2003

LLB (Univ of West Indies) 2006

Other interests:

Tutor, Trial Advocacy, Hugh Wooding Law School

Keston joined Chambers upon completing his legal studies and being admitted to the Bar. In the last decade he has proven himself to be a dynamic, thoughtful and well-prepared civil advocate.  He has built up a comprehensive practice in matters concerning insurance, construction and general commercial litigation, together with property, estates, employment/industrial relations, occupational health and safety as well as judicial review and other public law matters. In addition to his court matters, he has appeared as junior counsel in several arbitrations and mediations; he has also appeared before the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Industrial Court. 

Notable cases:

  • Wayne Wills v Unilever Caribbean Ltd [CA No 56 of 2009]; damages, personal injuries, appeal against assessment; fresh evidence on appeal; loss of future earnings.

  • Commission of Inquiry into the construction sector of Trinidad & Tobago chaired by Professor John Uff [2008-2010], acted on behalf of Education Facilities Company of Trinidad & Tobago.

 

Jerome Herrera

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Jerome is an advocate who strives in the practice of law that is sincere, intelligent and dependable. In addition to appearances before the Industrial Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal, he has participated in mediations at the Dispute Resolution Centre and in an energy sector ICC Arbitration. 

Jerome’s areas of practice include real property law, non-contentious and contentious probate proceedings, defamation, company law, personal injury - tortious and negligence claims, insurance law.

Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2008

BA (Univ of West Indies) 2003

LLB (Univ of West Indies) 2006

Other interests:

First Lieutenant of Trinidad & Tobago Cadet Force

Tutor at Hugh Wooding Law School (Probate Practice & Procedure, Clinical Legal Education)

Director Panberi Steel Orchestra Company Limited

Director The Shelter for Battered Women and Children

Notable cases: 

 

Pierre Rudder

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Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2013

LLB (Univ of London) 2011

PIerre joined Chambers in September 2018 after successfully completing his three-year contract as a Judicial Research Counsel having worked on a wide array of civil matters including land and commercial contract disputes and issues of judicial review. He was highly recommended for his work ethic, efficiency, analytical and writing skills. 

He is developing his practice in commercial and civil litigation in line with Chambers' profile. He has acted as junior counsel in various matters, working on issues such as the construction of a tax warranty and indemnity clauses in a share purchase agreement, proof of debt in insolvency, a claim for specific performance of a construction contract, advice on breach of director's duty in insolvency matter.

Notable cases:

Dionne A A Springer

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Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2014

BSc (Univ of West Indies) 2004

MBA (Univ of West Indies) 2008

LLB (Univ of London) 2012

Dionne became a member of Bethany Chambers in September 2018. Dionne practises as a specialist advocate in construction and commercial litigation, financial regulation, public law, negligence, industrial relations/employment law, defamation, land, estates and tort. 

Prior to private practice Dionne honed her research skills during her 4-year stint as a Judicial Research Counsel (JRC), working alongside Appellate and High Court Judges at the Judiciary of Trinidad &Tobago. This is further augmented by her wealth of knowledge and private and public sector work experience in Project, Construction and Contract Management and Business.

Notable cases:

  • Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago v Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Others – acting as junior counsel  - public law, judicial review of the decision of the Prime Minister not to initiate impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice.

  • Maritime (Caribbean) Limited v Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago – acting as junior counsel  - public law, judicial review/constitutional claim against the Central Bank in respect of the proposed sale of the CLICO and BAT traditional insurance portfolios to Sagicor.

  • Baptiste and GEM Radio Five Limited v Potts (on appeal) – acting as junior counsel in defamation lawsuit involving a public official and the radio broadcasting media.

  • B. v Board of Inland Revenue - acting as junior counsel in tax appeal matter involving taxation of partnership profits.

  • Guardian Asset Management Limited v Deslaurier et al - acted as junior counsel in enforcement hearings challenging State entity on compliance, statutory and contractual duties and obligations during state commissioned investigation into contract awards and representing senior officers on issues related to contracts, procurement and employment law during internal investigation into certain procurement events and lawful and/or irregular power of sale processes

  • Dale Makoonsingh v Mag. Aden Stroude - acting as junior counsel in respect of judicial review of magisterial and DPP powers

  • acting as junior counsel advising State entity, public officials and individuals in various matters on issues related to amenability to judicial review and potential defences; applicability of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the availability of exceptions; applicability of provisions within the Data Protection Act
     

 

Tekiyah Jorsling

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Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2016

LLB (Univ of West Indies) 2014

Tekiyah joined Bethany in December 2016 upon being admitted to the Bar. Tekiyah has developed as a competent junior advocate in the full range of civil matters appearing before the Court of Appeal, High Court, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in matters involving commercial and construction contracts, insurance, insolvency/bankruptcy, fraud, negligence and real property/land. She has done significant public law work appearing in constitutional motions and judicial review applications in matters as diverse as environmental law to public sector  employment law. Additionally Tekiyah has acted as junior counsel before specialist courts such as  the Tax Appeal Board on oil and gas taxation,  as well as ICC arbitration and the Securities and Exchange Commission in matters relating to financial accounting and market manipulation .

 
 

Sadhna Lutchman

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Call to Bar Trinidad & Tobago 2019

BSc (Univ of West Indies) 2012

LLB (Univ of London) 2017

Sadhna is a dedicated advocate, intent on achieving the best results for her clients. Sadhna did her internship at Chambers in 2018 and became a full-fledged member of Bethany after her call to the Bar in 2019. She has a wide-ranging practice that includes all Chambers' main areas of work in civil litigation, such as public law, land law, tax law, administration of estates, contract law and tort.  She has appeared before the Magistrates' Court, Industrial Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal most often as a junior advocate and occasionally on her own account. Committed to the proper use of alternative dispute resolution, Sadhna uses her adroit negotiating skills to settle, where possible, matters for her clients, saving them both costs and the stress of litigation.

In 2019 Sadhna acted as a research assistant to the Honourable  Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo on her recently published book, "Newsroom Law" (UWI Press, 2020). Sadhna thoroughly enjoyed applying her research and scrupulous fact-checking skills to defamation, media and data protection law and legislation in the Caribbean.

Before studying for the Bar, Sadhna qualified and worked as a land valuer which complements her practice in land matters.

Contact:

BETHANY CHAMBERS

OUR ADDRESS

27 Pembroke Street

Port of Spain 100502

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Tel: 1 (868) 609 2100

Email: info@bethanychamberstt.com