Our People

On this page you can learn more about Chancery's legal team. Click a name below to view a profile:

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 46

C +1 441 504 4376
T +1 441 295 3885
E mpettingill@cl.bm

Mark J. Pettingill, J.P, M.P


Mark practises in all areas of general civil and criminal litigation, and has significant experience in the Supreme Court of Bermuda and the Court of Appeal. He has appeared in a plethora of high profile cases over a 23 year career including the Privy Council Appeals. He is a qualified mediator in addition to undertaking Tribunal work. He is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) and locally has in depth knowledge in relation to the development of Bermuda Casino Gaming.

Mark was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992 and subsequently the Bermuda Bar. He was a founding partner and later consultant of Wakefield Quin Limited and was appointed Attorney-General of Bermuda in 2012 during which time he guided important Legislation through Parliament, created the Civil Asset Recovery Authority and spoke on several occasions both locally and Internationally on Bermuda's Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Know your Client (KYC) Regime. In 2014 he was a moderator at the Ukrainian Asset Recovery Forum in London.

He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1998 and also received a Judicial appointment as an Acting Magistrate in 2002.

In 2015 he was appointed by the Governor to the Electoral Boundaries Commission and is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on the protection of children.

Mark has a reputation as a tenacious trial advocate and negotiator in addition to conducting advisory and private client work.


Mount Allison University, Canada (B.A. History & English; B.Ed Education, 1987)

City University, London, UK (Diploma of Laws (Hons), 1990)


Bar of England & Wales (not practising, 1992)

Bermuda Bar (1992)


Member, Bermuda Bar Association

Notary Public and Commissioner for Oath

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 95

C +1 441 516 1436
T +1 441 295 3885
E krichards@cl.bm


  • — Katie is an excellent solicitor. I found her to be extremely professional and diligent. Katie places her clients’ needs and concerns at the forefront at all times. She was tremendously helpful during negotiations and worked tirelessly towards an amicable solution, whilst always being well prepared to strenuously advocate for her clients. I would highly recommend Katie’s services without any hesitation whatsoever.
  • — My divorce was a difficult one. I needed a lawyer who specialised in divorce, and who would be willing to work under pressure. Katie was excellent and had the skills and experience to represent me well. Katie was always available and was able to overcome attempts to delay, confuse and avoid settlement. My case required not just persistent, hard work but also composure and a sense of what is fair. I am very grateful to Katie for getting me through the hardest period of my life with a good result.
  • — Katie Richards and her Chancery Legal office provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to all details of my child access case. One of Katie’s greatest strengths is how she’s always planning ahead. She has the expertise to deal with any crisis . I found Katie and the Chancery team to be very informative by always giving me facts and appropriate advice . In my opinion child custody, support, and visitation decisions are among the most important aspects of divorce and family court proceedings concerning children. Katie was my biggest advocate during a very difficult time. I’m more than pleased that she was in my corner which enabled me to win my case.
  • — Having worked with Katie and her clients directly, I have found her to be extremely knowledge in all aspects of matrimonial law. She has a detailed and compassionate approach which coupled with the breadth of experience, creative thinking and professionalism, results in a highly effective service to clients working through one of the most stressful time of their lives.

Katie Richards

Director of Matrimonial & Family Law

Katie is head of the Matrimonial and Family department at Chancery Legal. She has a strong reputation locally and internationally and has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of divorce and relationship breakdown, both from her time in Bermuda and previously as a practising barrister in the United Kingdom.

Katie's practice includes appearing in multi-jurisdictional divorce disputes where she regularly represents high net worth individuals in complex property, trusts and financial proceedings. Within those proceedings, Katie's work often includes liaising with accounting and other business or tax specialists. She is also well-versed in difficult applications for maintenance for spouses and children and can also assist in the drafting of domestic contracts including pre-nuptial contracts, nuptial settlements and separation agreements.

In addition, Katie will routinely act for parents in challenging custody, care and control and access disputes including applications for permission for children to be removed from the jurisdiction, child abduction cases and Hague Convention proceedings. Katie is a formidable court room advocate and vociferously represents her clients to achieve the best outcome in each case.

Collaborative Law

As Secretary of the Collaborative Law Alliance Bermuda and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Katie believes that, where possible and appropriate and before litigation is embarked upon, divorcing couples should have an opportunity to explore alternative methods of dispute resolution in the hope that settlement can be achieved in a respectful and amicable manner. Throughout her career at the Bar, Katie has demonstrated this philosophy in her day-to-day dealings with clients and continues to strive to achieve the best results possible in a collaborative manner.

In 2002, Katie was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, London. Having successfully completed her pupilage at 33 Park Place, Cardiff, where she remained as a tenant for 5 years, Katie accepted an invitation to join the leading family law department at Temple Chambers in Cardiff, where she continued to enjoy a successful practice until she moved to Bermuda in 2009.

Katie was called to the Bermuda Bar in February 2010.


Reading University, UK (LLB 2001)

University of Cardiff, UK (Bar Vocation Course, 2002)


Bar of England and Wales (not practising, 2002)

Bermuda Bar (2010)


Commissioner for Oaths

Secretary, Collaborative Law Alliance Bermuda

Member, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Committee Member, Legal Aid Committee

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 162

T +1 441 295 3885
E gspurling@cl.bm

Grant Spurling


Grant Spurling provides considered legal advice and counsel with respect to corporate authorisations and compliance, contractual preparation and analysis, corporate best practices including Director duties, and corporate structuring in relation to acquisitions and start-up businesses in Bermuda. In addition to general commercial matters, Grant regularly provides financial technology clients with tailored advice for entities seeking to leverage Bermuda’s digital asset business regulatory platform, including Initial Coin Offerings and Digital Asset Business licenses. Grant also advises clients with respect to general civil and commercial disputes, including contractual disputes and shareholder actions. Prior to joining Chancery Legal, Grant practiced as an associate at a large international offshore law firm, supporting significant transactions including complex insurance structures, cross-border corporate financing, and commercial dispute resolution.

In addition to his legal advice and representation services, Grant serves as Director of Corporate Administration at Chancery Legal’s affiliate licensed Corporate Service Provider; Harbor View Corporate Services Ltd.

Grant completed his legal education at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, graduating with First Class Honours and incorporating a year of study at Renmin University in Beijing, China. Grant was called to the Bar of England and Wales by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, London, and subsequently the Bermuda Bar. Grant also holds a B.A. Degree from McGill University, Canada.


McGill University, Canada (B.A. English & Communication Studies, 2010)

University of Kent, UK (LLB, 2013)

Kaplan Law School, UK (Bar Professional Training Course, 2014)


Bar of England & Wales (not practising, 2014)

Bermuda Bar (2015)


Member, Bermuda Bar Association

Commissioner for Oaths

Notary Public

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 208

T +1 441 295 3885
D +1 441 400 3884
C +1 441 534 3042
E jblackwood@cl.bm

John Blackwood

Senior Corporate Attorney

John's areas of expertise include banking and financial services, senior, structured and mezzanine financing, secured and unsecured lending, development financing, investment funds and partnerships as well as more general corporate transactional matters.

John was educated in Scotland, graduating from Aberdeen University in 1989, completed his traineeship in Edinburgh and is admitted as a Solicitor in Scotland. In 2016 he relocated to Bermuda from the UK. He is a member of the Bermuda Bar Association, the Law Society of Scotland, a Notary Public and also a Writer to the Signet (WS). Since John's move to Bermuda he has become increasingly involved with the insurance industry, the regulators and the implications of the recently enacted Economic Substance regime. Before Bermuda, John held partnership positions with HBJ Gateley and McClure Naismith. He was head of the UK Banking Group at McClure Naismith from 2000-2015. Prior to partnership, he was a Director and "in house" Counsel within a leading UK financial institution.

John was heavily involved in one of the 1st mortgage securitization programs in the UK in the mid-nineties and also worked on the launch of a European internet mortgage fund. More recently he advised on the set up and launch of a private banking operation. During the course of the past 3 years he has advised a number of insurance companies and reinsurers on various transactional matters including regulatory approvals and updating Private Acts of Parliament in conjunction with the Bermudian Legislature.

Throughout John's career he has acted for a range of Banks, Insurers, SPV's, joint venture entities, institutional clients, investment funds, startups and individuals. Many clients commend John for his "unique clientside" perspective and his straightforward, commercial approach.


Aberdeen University – 1989


Member, Bermuda Bar Association

Law Society of Scotland


Notary Public

Writer to the Signet (WS)

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 253

T +1 441 295 3885
C +1 441 535 6709
E asimmons@cl.bm

Aqueelah C. M. Simmons


Aqueelah’s main practice areas are civil litigation, concerning landlord & tenant matters, personal injury claims and debt collection; children and family litigation, which includes applications for divorce, applications for care & control, custody, access and maintenance concerning children and domestic violence protection orders; immigration advice regarding obtaining PRC or Bermudian status and applications for residency and work permits; and criminal litigation.

Aqueelah graduated from the Bermuda High School for Girls in 2014, with an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. She then graduated from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in 2017 with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB). Further, she graduated from NTU in 2019 with a Legal Practice Certificate (LPC) and Master of Laws degree (LLM).

Aqueelah completed her pupillage training with the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform. As a result, she was admitted to the Bermuda Bar to practice as a Barrister & Attorney-at-Law on 12 November 2021.

In November 2021, Aqueelah began her legal career as a Crown Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Throughout her stint at DPP, she conducted several traffic and criminal trials and appeared at all levels of the Bermuda court system, namely the Magistrates Court, the Special Courts and the Supreme Court.

Aqueelah is described as a confident litigator with a keen eye for detail. She diligently prepares for all matters, is empathetic and fearlessly pursues the best outcome for her clients.


Nottingham Trent University, UK (LLB, 2017)

Nottingham Trent University, UK (LPC, LLM, 2019)


Bermuda Bar (2021)


Member, Bermuda Bar Association

Member, Bermuda Young Lawyers Group

Executive Secretary, Leopards Club International

Commissioner for Oaths

Notary Public

Warning: Undefined variable $personslug in /srv/users/chancery/apps/chancery/public/people.php on line 300

T +1 441 295 3885
E wwarnock@cl.bm

William Warnock

Senior Property Attorney

William is a Senior Property Attorney and head of the Property Department at Chancery Legal whose practice covers all areas of property law in Bermuda.

William has extensive experience advising on complex and high value residential property transactions, the purchase sale and leasing of commercial buildings as well as acting for property developers acquiring land and disposing of newly constructed properties.

Prior to joining the team at Chancery Legal, William was an England & Wales qualified solicitor and equity partner at a Top 50 firm of solicitors with a property practice advising on a range of transactions; from the sale and purchases of hotels and restaurants, representing property developers in the acquisition of development sites valued between $25 and $100m and the purchase of small country estates.

William read Criminology and Forensic Science at Keele University graduating in 2009 with First Class Dual Honours, he then completed the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2010 before attending the University of Law in Bloomsbury, London for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), being called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012 by The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (non-practicing). He then passed the Legal Practice Course and subsequently practiced as a solicitor.

William’s clients praise him for the speed in which transactions are concluded from first instruction and his friendly and uncomplicated approach to the law.


Keele University, UK (BSc Dual Hons First Class, 2009)

Bournemouth University, UK (Graduate Diploma in Law, 2010)

University of Law, UK (Bar Professional Training Course, 2012)

Bournemouth University, UK (Legal Practice Course, 2019)


Bar of England and Wales (not practising, 2012)

Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales (2019)