Mathilda Twomey (née Butler-Payette) was born and raised in Mahé, Seychelles. She was educated at Regina Mundi Convent and Seychelles College and won a scholarship from the British Council to study law in Europe. She was conferred with a Diplome de Droit at the University of Paris-Sud, Sceaux in 1985 and a BA in English and French Law at the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1986. Thereafter, she studied at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the Degree of the Utter Bar at Middle Temple, London in 1987.
She practised in Seychelles first at the Ocean Gate Law Centre and then the Attorney-General’s Chambers. In 1992, together with former Attorney General of Seychelles, Pesi Pardiwalla, she opened the law firm Pardiwalla and Twomey. She was a member of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the new Constitution of Seychelles in 1993.
She moved to the west of Ireland in 1995 and worked in the voluntary, community and disability law sector. She attended the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and was conferred with a Master’s in Public Law in 2011. She then tutored and then lectured the law of Torts at NUIG.
In April 2011, she was appointed as the first female judge in Seychelles to work on the Court of Appeal. She continued studying at NUIG while travelling to and from Seychelles to attend the sessional hearings of the Court of Appeal.
She obtained a PhD in law from NUIG in 2015. In August 2015 she was appointed Chief Justice of Seychelles.
She now lives in Seychelles but visits Ireland often to spend time with her four children, Seán, Dominique, Camille and Aoibhín.