A farewell ceremony to mark the retirement of Justice Angus Foster, hosted by Governor Helen Kilpatrick, recognised him for his “significant contributions to the administration of justice”. Justice Foster was one of six founding judges of the Financial Services Division (FSD) of the Grand Court in 2009, following his retirement from Walkers as a commercial lawyer and litigator.
The FSD is “a legacy to which Angus Foster can justly in large part lay claim as one of the pioneer judges”, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said at the ceremony, according to a press release from the Judicial Administration.
“It is not for me to extol the virtues of the FSD, but I think I can be allowed to assert that it has become an effective institution, one now widely recognised as a leading commercial court.”
As a testimony to Justice Foster’s knowledge, many of his judgments are reported in the Cayman Islands Law Reports (CILR). Similarly, several of the cases in which he appeared as an attorney are recorded in the CILR.
In addition to his role as a judge, he served as chairman of the FSD users’ committee and, according to the chief justice, “single-handedly” edited the second edition of the FSD users’ guide. Chief Justice Smellie added, “I am pleased that he has agreed to continue to chair this important committee for at least one more year.”
He also noted that prior to Justice Foster’s appointment as a judge, he contributed significantly to local legal and judicial developments.
“As chief justice I will most fondly remember an initiative he took while head of litigation [at Walkers] to support the administration of justice,” he said, noting that around 2000, following “the perennial judges’ plea” for more legal aid practitioners, Justice Foster offered to set up a criminal-practice office to take on legal aid cases, which Walkers opened and ran until the operation was no longer considered sustainable after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the financial crisis of 2008.
In response to the accolades and expressions of appreciation, the retiring judge thanked the governor for hosting the farewell ceremony and for her support. He also thanked the chief justice and acknowledged the work of his judicial colleagues, magistrates, court staff and the barristers who appeared before him.
Among barristers he specially admired, he said, was Ramon Alberga, the father of the Cayman bar. “Ramon has been a great companion, lawyer, and role model,” Justice Foster said.
Chief Justice Smellie noted the support Justice Foster has received from his wife, Fiona, saying that “we are here to celebrate retirement as a special milestone as a mark of appreciation for the contributions made by our friend and colleague, supported by a very caring and supportive wife”.