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Access Legal solicitor moves from PA to clinical negligence lawyer in two countries


Access Legal from Shoosmiths has revealed that one of its clinical negligence specialists has been admitted as a solicitor - for the second time.

Kishma Small, already admitted as a solicitor in the UK, made it a double in her native British Virgin Islands (BVI) in the Caribbean. She is one of the first BVIslanders to complete a Legal Practice Course (LPC), and then remain in the UK to complete a legal training contract.

Kishma has just returned from a special ceremony in the Supreme Court in Road Town, Tortola - the largest of the islands which form the BVI archipelago - where she was required to make a formal speech. Her application to become a solicitor of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court had to be supported by a number of BVI senior legal practitioners for it to be successful. The ceremony was officiated by High Court Judge Her Ladyship Madam Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti. Kishma’s application was presented by Helene Anne Lewis, senior partner at SimonetteLewis and supported by Colin Riegels, partner at Harney Westwood & Riegels.

Kishma said: "By 2001, I felt that it was time to pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer. I chose to study in the UK because I was confident that I would receive an excellent standard of education as well as gain valuable experience of life abroad, away from my tropical home.

“It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, especially as it meant leaving my friends and family, not to mention my country - but it was something I needed to do. I’m so grateful for this phenomenal opportunity - being admitted to practice in the BVI is quite literally a dream come true. I’m privileged to be able to do the job I love in my two favourite countries.”

Richard Follis, partner and national head of clinical negligence at Shoosmiths said: “To be admitted once as a qualified solicitor shows real hard work; to be admitted twice is a fantastic achievement. We’re incredibly proud of Kishma. She’s set a wonderful example to both the team and the legal profession as a whole.”

Kishma, originally from Tortola, had always aspired to become a lawyer. Just a few days after graduating from the British Virgin Islands High School with Honours, in 1996, she began work as a legal secretary at local general practice firm, J.S. Archibald & Co.

In 1997 she moved to Harney Westwood & Riegels’ BVI-based office to work as a legal secretary in its corporate department, and then as a PA to the partner heading the mutual funds team. Here, she was given a rare opportunity to fly by Concorde to hand-deliver papers crucial to the conclusion of a multi-million dollar client transaction.

Kishma joined Shoosmiths as a legal secretary in 2006 after completing her LPC at the College of Law, Birmingham, in 2005. She qualified as a clinical negligence lawyer into Shoosmiths’ medical negligence team in May 2009.

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Notes to Editors

About Access Legal from Shoosmiths:
Access Legal from Shoosmiths is the new consumer brand of top 30 national law firm Shoosmiths. From offices in Basingstoke, Birmingham, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Reading and Southampton, Access Legal from Shoosmiths offers more than 100 services to individuals and their families, whether they are buying a house, claiming compensation for an injury or writing a will. Services are grouped under seven headings: conveyancing; employment law services; legal disputes; medical negligence; motoring law; personal injury claims; and wills, family and wealth. Access Legal from Shoosmiths makes it easier for people to get specialist advice from legal professionals. Shoosmiths has more than 150 years’ experience and advises household name corporate clients.

For further information please contact:
Sophie Llewhelin
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