Solicitor Richard steps down after almost half a century

An Oswestry solicitor who, in the 1990’s, acted for the inhabitants of the South Atlantic island of St Helena and its subsidiary territory islands of Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Island in helping them to recover their full British Citizenship, has announced his retirement from the legal profession.

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes

At that time Richard Hughes was a partner in the Oswestry law firm of Milton, Francis & Hughes, ad in 2018 he became a Consultant Solicitor with GHP Legal after the two firms merged.

Saint Helena and all other Crown Colonies were reclassified as British Independent Territories when the British Nationality Act of 1981 came into force. As a result, the islands’ inhabitants lost their full British passports, along with the right of abode and the right to work in the UK.

This situation remained until 1992, when a Bishops Commission was established with the aim of restoring full British citizenship rights to the islanders. The islanders needed a UK based solicitor to represent them and Mr Hughes was instructed to investigate a means of achieving this goal, and in particular brief Counsel for a Legal Opinion on how to proceed.

The British Overseas Territories Act which restored their rights and designated St Helena and all other British Dependent Territories as British Overseas Territories.

Mr Hughes qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and for a time was also acting Town Clerk of Montgomery.

His lifelong interest in agriculture and agricultural communities stems from working on the family farm at Castle Caereinion near Welshpool.

During his 48-year legal career, Mr Hughes says he has seen considerable changes in the way the profession operates, with professional innovations and technological advances affording great advantages, both to working practices and to clients.

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