18th July 2023

The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Guyana notes the passing of Joseph Arthur King, S.C. on 16 July 2023 with deep regret.

Mr. King was born on 28 March, 1930, at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara, to John and Barbara King and came from a family of prominent lawyers, including his grandfather and namesake, Joseph Arthur King, who was the Public Trustee, Official Receiver and Crown Solicitor of British Guiana.

His father’s brothers included Percy King, who was also the Public Trustee, Official Receiver and Crown Solicitor of British Guiana; Bernard King, who was Registrar of the Supreme Court and of Deeds and an acting High Court Judge in British Guiana and Arthur George King, who was a solicitor in private practice at Kings Lawyers on Croal Street.

Mr. King attended St. Stanislaus College and then worked at Cameron & Shepherd, Attorneys-at-Law, for 18 months between 1950 and 1951 before joining Lincoln’s Inn in late 1951. He was called to the Bar in England in May 1954 and in British Guiana in June 1954.

Mr. King spent his career in private practice at the Bar between 1954 to date at Cameron & Shepherd, as an Associate, Partner, Senior Partner, and then as a Consultant on his retirement from the partnership in 2006. He was Judge Advocate of the British Guiana Volunteer Force and acted as a High Court Judge between September 1964 and January 1965.

Mr. King appeared in 30 reported cases in the West Indian Reports, many of which established and applied principles of commercial and property law in Guyana. One case decided by the Court of Appeal of Guyana in 1966, Bart v British West Indian Airways, on the carriage of goods by air was, unusually, reported in Lloyd’s Law Reports published in the United Kingdom and later cited in several English decisions which was also unusual for the time.

Mr. King was also an avid sportsman, competing in rowing, tennis and motor racing. He was the Champion Driver at the May 1980 meeting at the motor racing circuit Timehri.

Mr. King was never married and had no children. The Bar Council expresses its deepest condolences to his extended relatives, all of whom live out of Guyana, as well as to the staff and partners of Cameron & Shepherd.