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Advocate

Rebecca Morley-Kirk

Litigation & Employment Law Partner

Overview

Rebecca began her career in Jersey in 1995, initially specialising in criminal law and personal law (dealing with family, landlord/tenant, civil law and also the odd human rights type case such as asylum applications). She qualified in 2000 and then moved on to head up the legal aid department at another local firm where she specialised in criminal law. Here she defended a large number of criminal cases covering the whole range of subjects: financial crime, sex offences, murder, driving offences, drug offences, violent offences.

After a short career break to have children Rebecca was sworn in as a Crown Advocate in 2007. For the next two years she worked as a Crown Advocate conducting prosecutions for the Attorney General. She then became a Case-Delegate for the Law Society, investigating disciplinary complaints against lawyers, and a consultant for a local firm; all alongside her Crown prosecution work.

In 2012 Rebecca joined the firm for which she had been consulting as a partner. She continued to specialise in criminal law and also did a variety of other types of litigation work such as: regulatory, employment law, personal injury law, civil disputes and trust litigation. She continues to prosecute cases for the Attorney General and has also advised in a case involving the Lieutenant-Governor’s prerogative power of mercy.

Rebecca is known for being sympathetic, approachable and fair when dealing with clients and colleagues, yet tenacious in the courtroom. She has a reputation for presenting well-constructed, clear and logical arguments.

Rep of the Otto Poon Trust [2015] JCA109 

In 2015 Rebecca appeared before the Court of Appeal on behalf of one of the beneficiaries of the Otto Poon Family Trust who had been irrevocably excluded from the trust, following a divorce in which she had received in the region of HK$800 million from the trust. One of the issues raised on appeal was that the professional Trustee had not provided sufficient reason/ justification for its decision to irrevocably exclude the beneficiary. Although the Court of Appeal were not persuaded that the Trustee’s decision was wrong, the Court criticised the Affidavit evidence given by the Trustee and provided some useful guidance as to what level of detail should be expected from a Trustee when dealing with such issues in the future.

In the matter of the Holley murder case 

Between 2001-2005 Rebecca appeared as Junior Counsel in this high profile case in which the Defendant had killed his partner with an axe and in which the issue of provocation in murder cases was debated at length. Mr Holley was tried and convicted, then he appealed successfully against his murder conviction. Although in general Rebecca was Junior Counsel, she actually conducted this first appeal. He then went on to be tried again and convicted again. He also successfully appealed against his conviction again. On both occasions his conviction had been overturned largely because of material misdirection. The Attorney General appealed to the Privy Council which resulted in the conviction being reinstated, but in addition to that, a major feature of the judgment of the Pricy Council was that it led to the law of provocation being changed in England and Wales.

Defence of prisoner’s right not to be force fed

In 2004 Rebecca appeared on behalf of a prisoner who wished to die by hunger-strike. The hospital had applied to the Royal Court for permission to force feed the prisoner and Rebecca successfully defended his right not to be force fed. The case looked at issues of the requisite test for the capacity of an individual to make such a decision.

Rebecca has given presentations to local institutions about various litigation issues. 

Rebecca has given a presentation to a local bank on Regulatory issues in Jersey.

Rebecca has given a presentation to the Jersey Law Society on Advising Suspects at the police station.

Rebecca has given a presentation to a Criminal Law Conference in Jersey on murder/manslaughter.

Rebecca spoke on a panel which included Cherie Booth QC at an Employment law conference in Jersey 2003.

Rebecca is one of Jersey’s advocacy trainers, working in conjunction with Gray’s Inn to train local Jersey lawyers in the art of advocacy and ethics.

Rebecca does charity work for the Death Penalty Project in London.

Key Information

Department: Litigation & Employment
Year Joined: 2017
Education: University of Essex & University of Strasbourg (LLB), University of Essex (LLM)
Admitted: Jersey Advocate (2000)
Appointments: Crown Advocate (2007)
Accreditations: Mediator (2003)
Additional Language: French
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