McSweeney is Called to the Bar

  • New barrister: John McSweeney celebrates his achievement with his wife, Kristen, and daughter, Harper

Bermuda’s newest lawyer, John McSweeney, has been welcomed to the legal fraternity before a packed courtroom of family and colleagues.

Craig Rothwell, director of litigation for Cox Hallett Wilkinson, introduced Mr McSweeney to Chief Justice Ian Kawaley.

Mr Rothwell told the court: “Do not be deceived by his surname to think of the green hills of Ireland.

“Mr McSweeney is a fox in disguise — his family has a long St David’s ancestry.”

American as well as Bermudian, Mr McSweeney spent his early years in Massachusetts, and attended Northeastern University, Boston, where he gained a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.

Mr Rothwell said Mr McSweeney took a break in 2003 when Mr McSweeney joined a band on tour as bass guitarist.

He also worked from 2009 to 2012 with an internet start-up business, creating an online marketplace for a second company, before going to the New England Law School at age 31, followed by Boston College Law School. and was Called to the Bar in Massachusetts.

Mr McSweeney studied for the qualified lawyer transfer scheme from 2015 to 2016 to become a solicitor in England and Wales.

After sitting his exams in London, he and his wife, Kristen, spent the summer planning their relocation to Bermuda, and Mr McSweeney joined Cox Hallett Wilkinson in October 2016.

During his pupillage, Mr McSweeney became a proud father to his daughter, Harper.

Addressing the court, Mr McSweeney recounted some of his journey to becoming a lawyer and paraphrased Bob Dylan: “There’s no success like failure, and failure is no success at all.”

He thanked his parents Michael and Linda, his grandparents, and other relatives and colleagues present.

Mr Justice Kawaley told Mr McSweeney he was “impressed with the diversity of experience you bring”, which gave him “a new level of creativity and business savvy”.

He added: “Wherever you end up, I know you will do well.”