Chevy Devonish, first Guyanese lawyer selected by multinational law firm for prestigious program
Attorney-at-law and university lecturer, Chevy A. Devonish, has been selected by multinational firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP to take part in the Firm’s prestigious ‘Foreign Attorney Program’.
Devonish is the first Guyanese to be selected for this program, which is not a government initiative. Recruitment and vetting are handled exclusively by the Firm, a press release from the Attorney General’s Chambers noted on Thursday.
Arnold & Porter is a multinational firm employing almost one thousand attorneys practicing in approximately 40 areas in 14 offices across the globe. Practice areas include international corporate law, international financing and international arbitration.
According to the press release, it is expected that Devonish will be an active member of the firm’s international corporate, financing and, time permitting, international arbitration practices at the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office until July 2023.
The release noted that since Devonish is not licensed to practice law in the United States, he will not function as an attorney-at-law during the program, but will, among other things, actively observe and participate in cases along with Arnold & Porter attorneys.
“These are areas of increasing relevance and importance, due to the unprecedented commercial growth prompted by oil and gas exploration and development in Guyana. I look forward to learning from Arnold & Porter, and returning to leverage that knowledge to assist Guyana’s development. Arnold & Porter is an ideal place to develop these skills as the Firm routinely represents sovereign states in these areas,” Devonish is quoted as saying in the press release.
He said he is also looking to explore ways in which he can employ the skills he would have accumulated in journalism, lecturing, and legal practice in Guyana to the benefit of Arnold & Porter.
“Guyana is developing, but Guyanese have much to offer the world,” Devonish is further quoted as saying.
Arnold & Porter’s Foreign Attorney Program is designed to allow foreign attorneys to understand, firsthand, the variety of services the firm provides for its clients. Foreign attorneys observe and participate in US law firm practice, and learn about various legal proceedings.
They also attend seminars and training programs on US legal issues and international legal issues, and actively observe and participate in cases in their areas of practice, including attending client meetings, hearings, strategy sessions and reviewing relevant case documents.
The participants also undertake legal research and writing, and work collaboratively with Arnold & Porter attorneys on various matters.
“Both the Attorney General’s Chambers and the University of Guyana are immensely proud of Devonish as he proceeds on this endeavor, and look forward to his return,” the release noted.
Devonish graduated as valedictorian of the Hugh Wooding Law School’s graduating class of 2019, and was admitted to the Bar in Guyana in November 2019.
He was then appointed State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs in February 2020 where he has since performed with distinction, being appointed to various cases of national significance, including Election Petitions 88 and 99 of 2020.
Devonish, with the Attorney General’s approval, also resuscitated the Chambers’ liaison system, and conceptualised, implemented, and coordinated the Chambers’ LLB internship initiative, which saw several LL.B students benefitting from internships at various State entities, including the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
He has also assisted in the coordination and implementation of the Summary Courts’ Prosecutors Programme, which has seen the training and deployment of thirty lawyers into Guyana’s Magistrates’ Courts.
Additionally, since being admitted to the Bar in Guyana, Devonish has lectured and or tutored in Public International Law, Jurisprudence, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Real Property, and Politics at the University of Guyana.
The first of many opportunities for Guyanese professionals to be recruited by foreign business enterprises allowing them to operate in Guyana as prescribed by the Guyanese government edit. The rule that says any firm that wants to operate in Guyana must have a percentage of Guyanese content involved. This is good for the country and it’s citizens.