Two of Jamaica's legal luminaries — Retired Justice Karl Harrison and Derek Jones, QC — will be honoured by the Jamaican Bar Association at its annual dinner this Friday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
The Bar Association uses the dinner to recognise persons from the judiciary and legal fraternity who have served their professions with distinction and excellence.
A former Appeals Court judge, Justice Harrison now serves on the Criminal Records Board, Financial Securities Commission, and the Corruption Prevention Commission.
Harrison, 69, attended Savanna-la-Mar primary and elementary schools before going on to Mannings High and then the University of the West Indies where he studied law. He also studied at the International Law Institute in Washington, DC, USA.
He came up through the ranks of the judicial system and was appointed an Appeal Court judge in January 2005. He also served as acting Grand Court Judge of the Cayman Islands on several occasions and was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class).
Jones is an attorney-at-Law who qualified in November 1970 and practised with the firm Myers Fletcher & Gordon until September 2010.
He started his career as a litigator and appeared in the Resident Magistrate's Courts, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
Jones headed the litigation department from 1974 to 1984 and appeared in a wide range of civil and criminal cases at all levels. He appeared for the Jamaica Defence Force in the famous Green Bay Coroner's Inquest in 1978 and for Esso Petroleum in the Public Enquiry into the 1980 fire in Montego Bay.
In 2003, he was engaged by Cable & Wireless as the lead counsel in its litigation with various regulatory authorities in Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean during the process of liberalisation of the telecommunications industry. He appeared successfully on the company's behalf in trials in the High Courts of Jamaica, St Kitts, St Vincent, and St Lucia.
In 2005, Jones was seconded to the Cricket World Cup organisation and served as senior legal counsel to that body leading up to the hosting of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in March 2007.
In that capacity, he was responsible for successfully negotiating and helping to draft the 'Sunset Legislation', which was put into place for the tournament. This entailed managing relations with nine countries and their legal and political directorates at the highest level, and also the chief parliamentary counsel of the territories working in tandem with the Caribbean Community.
At present, he serves as a director of Caribbean Cement Company Limited and Kingston Wharves Limited, both listed companies on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. He chairs the Cable & Wireless Jamaica Pension Fund, the Red Stripe Pension Fund and the Jamaica College Trust.
He is a trustee of the Urban Development Corporation Pension Fund and a member of the All Island Electricity Appeals Tribunal, a statutory body which hears and determines disputes between the Jamaica Public Service Company and the Office of Utilities Regulation.
In February 2011, Jones joined the firm Higgs & Johnson as its regional managing partner based in the Cayman Island. The firm, which also has offices in The Bahamas, is engaged in a wide range of corporate, commercial, real estate, and litigation practices and currently represents the BAHAMAR development in the Bahamas among other prestigious clients.