Dr Jamie Trinidad was appointed King's Counsel on the 2nd February 2023
The first appointment of a KC in Gibraltar since January 1951 when Sergio Pelayo Triay and Albert Isola were appointed.
Albert Isola's son, the late Peter J Isola and Senior Partner of Isola & Isola, (as the firm was known then), presented Jamie's petition for his call to the bar in 2005.
The Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel appointed Dr Trinidad congratulating him on his achievement saying, "This appointment is in recognition of his (Jamie's) highest standards of professional integrity and ability."
ISOLAS LLP Senior Partner, Peter Isola, praised Jamie's achievement adding, "it is wonderful to see that Jamie's hard work and expertise has been recognised. Jamie is a real asset to both our firm and Gibraltar as whole where he assists the Government on public international law. Congratulations Jamie!"
We met up with Jamie to learn more on his achievement:
1. What is your role at ISOLAS?
I am a Consultant with ISOLAS and work mainly on international, public, administrative and regulatory matters.
2. What attracted you to law?
A: I've always been interested in how rules are made and applied. However, the truth is that I was first drawn to law because I couldn't decide what to study at university, and it seemed like an interesting subject with decent career options after graduation.
3. Your academic research focused on international territorial disputes, self-determination, and human rights. Was this driven by the political scene on the Rock?
A: To begin with, yes. My focus broadened a lot after I began to study these topics at university, but I still enjoy researching and writing about Gibraltar. It is such a fascinating case study in the law of decolonisation, territory and self-determination, and it is one of the territories I discuss in my 2018 book, 'Self-Determination in Disputed Colonial Territories'.
4. You became a Fellow at Wolfson College Cambridge in 2013. Was it always your intention to become an academic?
A: No, I was already in my early 30s when I decided I would apply to study for a PhD in international law while working at ISOLAS. Dividing my time between academic work and legal practice felt like an ideal balance, so towards the end of my PhD I decided to apply for academic positions, and I was thrilled when I was elected as a fellow of Wolfson, the Cambridge college where I had previously been a student. For the last decade I have juggled my research, teaching and pastoral roles at the college and university with my legal practice. It's hard work, but it's been more varied and interesting than the days when my entire professional life was spent in an office.
5. You are often called upon by the Gibraltar Government for matters relating to international law, Gibraltar's constitution and its right to self-determination. How important is this to you?
A: Unlike the work I do for other governments, some of the issues I deal with on behalf of the Gibraltar Government are directly relevant to me and my family, so the work feels important on a personal as well as a professional level. It's also a privilege to be able to give something back to my community.
6. You are the first new KC to be appointed in Gibraltar since 1951, when Sergio Triay and Albert Isola were appointed. This makes your appointment all the more special. What exactly does it mean to you?
A: It's a great honour to be recognised for the quality of my work and contribution to the jurisdiction. 'Silk' appointments are rare in Gibraltar, so I'm proud of the achievement. It seems that appointments during the reign of a king have been particularly rare. Apart from the two that you mention, I believe the only other KC appointment from the local bar was Arthur Carrara in 1923.
7. What plans do you have for the future?
A: I want to keep working on interesting cases for as long as my clients continue to instruct me, and I have a couple of book projects in the pipeline.