First Lawyer of the 12 months in Name to the Bar – Royal Gazette

Updated: January 26, 2021, 9:07 am

Chelsea Rodrigues becomes the first Bermudian lawyer to join the bar in 2021 (Photo by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda Bar has welcomed its first new lawyer of the year.

Chelsea Rodrigues, 23, was called to the bar last Friday during a ceremony in front of her family and professional colleagues.

Ms. Rodrigues said she felt “a weight has been taken off my shoulders” after achieving her dream job as a corporate attorney at ASW Law.

She added, “I went through a lot to arrive at this room that I am honored to be in today – late college evenings, early college mornings, pressure and an inner struggle with self-doubt and the fear of failure.

“The next step is to keep learning and growing and being the best corporate attorney I can be.”

Chelsea Rodrigues becomes the first Bermudian lawyer to join the bar in 2021 (Photo by Blaire Simmons)

Ms. Rodrigues from Warwick was called before the Puisne judge Larry Mussenden in the government building.

She said that since childhood she wanted to become a lawyer because it was an opportunity to help the less fortunate.

Ms. Rodrigues added that she initially planned to get into criminal law but admitted that she moved to company law because “it made me nervous in court”.

But she said she still believed she could help the community despite the change of direction.

Ms. Rodrigues added, “Bermuda is a massive center for mergers and acquisitions that can bring billions of dollars to the island.”

She said, “I am constantly trying to improve the quality of life in my community by helping and volunteering.”

Ms. Rodrigues graduated from City University in London with a Bachelor of Laws in 2018 before attending the University of Law, also in London.

She began working at ASW Law under the guidance of Neil Horner and other senior lawyers at the firm.

One of the first projects Ms. Rodrigues worked on at the company involved a $ 30 billion merger – a project she described as “exciting”.

She added, “It was exciting to put what I learned at university into practice right away.

“I definitely learned a lot that I didn’t necessarily learn in college, but it was really exciting to communicate with people all over the world – I found it even exciting to be up late into the night.”

Ms. Rodrigues was also the first ASW employee to complete most of her pupil during the pandemic lockdown.

She admitted the experience was difficult at first, but “adapted quickly”.

Ms. Rodrigues added, “It was definitely an interesting time to have most of my meetings on Zoom, but I suppose it was the beginning of a new era.”

Rod Attride-Stirling, chairman of ASW Law, said the law firm greeted Ms. Rodrigues as she mourned Jan Woloniecki, who co-founded the law firm and who died earlier this month at the age of 61.

He added that Ms. Rodrigues had a good character – a quality that the company took “very seriously”.

Mr. Attride-Stirling said: “Ms. Rodrigues is an admirable person and I am delighted to see her in the bar.

“She’s a great person, a great lawyer, and we are delighted to have her on our team.”

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