René M. Baptiste CMG
René Mercedes Baptiste CMG is a Vincentian Lawyer. She entered the Faculty of Law, UWI Barbados in 1971; graduated with Second Class Honours in 1974 – LL.B; attended the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad 1974 – 1976 and obtained the Certificate of Legal Education – L.E.C.
Called to the Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in October, 1976, she was tasked with the establishment of Offshore Services Authority – The Trust Authority and headed it for the first 10 years of its operations. During that time she served on the CARICOM Committee for the Harmonisation of Companies Laws in The Caribbean.
She subsequently opened her Solo Law Practice in 1986 and converted to a Law Firm in 2001 when she was elected to Parliamentary office as an M.P and Cabinet Minister.
During the period 1976 – 2001 she wrote a number of articles for Finance journals; lectured across communities in St. Vincent mainly in Family Law; served as a Radio Panelist on legal subjects. As an elected M.P from 2001 – 2010 she served on the three Parliamentary Committees: The Rules Committee, The Finance Committee and the Public Accounts Committee; during that period she also chaired several Selected Committees; tabled a number of bills; debated motions and resolutions, and wrote many SRO’s.
She returned to her Law Firm Baptiste & Co. in 2011 and continues to manage the Firm with 3 young Counsel – Michaela Ambrose, Mikhail Charles and Dr. Jason Haynes.
Dr. Haynes is a Law Professor at Birmingham University. Mr. Charles is an English qualified Barrister, Accredited Mediator and Notary Public. Miss Ambrose is a Certified Professional Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Consultant as well as a Notary Public. Miss Baptiste is a Notary Public and Certified Mediator. She returned to Parliament in 2022 to facilitate the passage of the National Budget. Miss Annette Mark recently joined the Practice.
The main Practice Areas of the Firm are Company and Corporate Law, Contract, Employment Law, Conveyancing, Trademarks and Patents, Immigration, Property, Probate Law and Criminal Law. The Firm also undertakes Consultancies in Banking and Finance, Governance, Labour Law, Tourism Industry Development, Politics and Culture.
Miss. Baptiste has mentored several young law interns and young counsel over the years.
Serving as a Commonwealth Election Observer in Nigeria in 2011 and Uganda in 2016 has certainly provided her with more insight into Electoral Management Systems.
Her interest is in Continuing Legal Education and Professional Development to meet the emerging needs of transnational and cross-border activities of international business community, trade, investment and Finance. It is her hope that her membership of the Council would enable practitioners from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to benefit from the pool of legal knowledge that resides within the Commonwealth as this Region moves towards developing the Blue Economy; tackling Climate Change and the need to be an active part of the new legal network of the Commonwealth.
Miss Baptiste now serves as the Immediate Past President of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association. She recently accepted the appointment to serve on the Advisory Board of the Caribbean Law Review, a Faculty of Law, UWI, Cave Hill Campus publication.
She continues to serve as Speaker of the OECS Assembly; and is the Chairman of the National Heroes Advisory Committee of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; a Director of the Institute for Politics and Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean, and member of the Publication Committee of the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Her Law Firm is the Collaborating Firm in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for ANDERSEN GLOBAL, U.S.A and Biswajit Sarkar IP Law Firm, India.