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Controversial bill finally gains cross-bench support

| 20/03/2017 | 84 Comments

(CNS): Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton finally managed to steer the Legal Practitioners Bill through the Legislative Assembly with support from both sides of the House Friday. Following the closed-door meeting of MLAs on Thursday, all of the members supported the legislation on its second reading, with just the Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush and East End MLA Arden McLean stating their ‘aye’ vote was conditional on the changes agreed being confirmed in the committee stage, which government hopes to get to sometime this week.

After weeks of angry allegations, bitter acrimonious debates and countless objections from the official and independent opposition, the parliament finally found common ground.

As he wound up the debate on the contentious piece of legislation to manage the legal profession in Cayman and pave the way to begin eliminating the discrimination and inequitable treatment of qualified and experience Caymanian lawyers, Panton said he hoped there would be further agreement on the law once the bill went through the committee stage process.

“None of us are going to get everything that was wanted on either side but it is critical to get the bill done,” he said, adding that he was pleased with the previous day’s talks, when most members participated in the day-long discussions. He said it was clear there was a “desire by most to work together and come to an agreement” about the bill.

He said that broadly, the government and the opposition had agreed that over the next ten years they wanted to see young Caymanians entering the profession receive the best training available and progress through the firms if they put the necessary work in.

The minister said that over the next 15 years, government expected to see the majority of local attorneys reaching the top, owning and controlling local firms. He said that the decision to force this issue was driven by the increase in the number of local lawyers who had been willing to outline the discrimination they have faced.

Panton said he agreed that Caymanians attorneys had to be offered the opportunities to properly progress if they worked hard and that this would be kept under review and make sure the new law has the positive effects that the parliament was looking for.

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (84)

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  1. Cayman truths says:

    The main reason foreigners come here is for a better life, to escape their mundane existences back home, and to enjoy the tropical, year round climate, whilst earning more or at least as much with tax free salaries.

    Ignored losers become somebodies here and begin feeling important, then their narcassism which no one cared about back home makes them start feeling like they are doing Cayman a favour, and all of a sudden they think they can act like they run the place.

    In the UK, Canada, States, the citizens of those countries always get priorities in education and jobs, obviously it is the country of which they are citizens and perhaps have invested and lived in for generations, no Canadian can go to the UK and expect to get a place at a university, training program, or job at the expense of any UK citizen with the same qualification whether of not their work ethic sucks. If the Candian doesnt like it they need to go back to Canada where they are citizens and treated with priority.

    In this regard, if you dont like Caymanians getting priorities, defending their rights, getting into management positions where you work, competing with your job- then yes! Go home, pls do, go back to your miserable little apt infested with mice and rats, surrounded by traffic, a one hour commute, cold and rain, and much longer working hours taxed…dont act like you are here doing us favours, the favour is you have been allowed to live here to try and find a happier existence, but no you should not be more important than the citizens of this country.




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    • Cayman truth you do not speak the truth. Canadians do not get priority for jobs over other people in Canada such as landed immigrants. They are on an equal basis for jobs. The only exception is employment in the Government of Canada. One must live 5 consecutive years in Canada before one can apply for Canadian citizenship. As for your point about Canadians not being able to get positions in British universities, poppycock. There are many Canadian teachers in top U.K. universities because they have a level of expertise and knowledge which is not available in the U.K. That is why they are appointed.

      You might also be interested to know that the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is Canadian. He got the job because he is one of the top economists in the world and the British Government felt he was better qualified than all the other British candidates. That is why they hired him.

      Yes, Cayman truth, you may believe the merit principle sucks but believe it is time for you to get off this tiny beautiful island and see what the rest of the world is doing in terms of employment practices. Suspect your life has been too easy here living in that big luxury house of yours.




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      • Cayman truths says:

        Actually I grew up all over the world, I was not born and raised here, but over the course of many years of living here, I have seen the injustice. I was not given the same education or employment rights in England as I am not British so i am speaking first hand, thanks for assuming because I am Caymanian I am ignorant and have never left this country- this is the problem right there




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  2. Anonymous says:

    So if UK, US or Chinese firms do all the soft Cayman work they will now be able to do it more cheaply than the offshore firms affiliated to Cayman because of then imposition of work permit equivalence taxes out of what appears to be Trumpian theories?




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  3. Anonymous says:

    I will confess it took me a while, but I did just work out the smoke and mirrors here…the status quo is maintained and supported by the full LA…its good, I will give you that…




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  4. Vote For Me! says:

    So many poor fools on this forum think this will actually change anything. Every law in the Cayman Islands is selectively applied. This one will be no different.




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    • Anonymous says:

      totally agree – hence why you read about the amount of traffic violations, break-ins, selective payment of pension by hundreds of employers, circumvention of immigration laws and the list goes on and on……….

      Cayman has no longer a compass – it’s a freefall society – everyone does whatever the hell they want.




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  5. The Wood lice is Bad says:

    Yes garfield weston why don’t you and your termite hoard find a piece of driftwood to eat instead trying to destroy the good tree Cayman because we may yet have to call the exterminator to deal with this infestation brought here to our shores.




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    • Anonymous says:

      4.45, yes, the British bought you here I believe? These days you are free to leave whenever you wish.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Rise up the middle of the road lawyers of Cayman, no longer will your average qualities hold you back from the earnings to which you feel entitled!




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    • Anonymous says:

      This is just nonsense. We will work for it as each of you would have to. We are capable, willing and determined. Tell me, could we come to your country and set up a law firm owned 100% by caymanians? I highly doubt it. Every country has a duty to ensure opportunities for their people. That is what the opposition are trying to achieve. Anything we get will be earned but we will not allow you people to discriminate against us by picking people of your own skin colors and accents instead of us despite our talents outweighing yours.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually you could in the UK there are many overseas owned law firms.
        In any case like 90% of companies in Cayman just needs the silent Caymanian with 60% ownership on paper.
        It is happening all the time and every politician knows it. I also know that some of the most outspoken pro Caymanian people are quite happy to turn a blind eye and contract companies where this happens for there benefit.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You inadvertently make an excellent point because if you’re talking about the UK, yes, yes, you could.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If Cayman was a mosquito-infested turdhole in the middle of the bloody Antarctic, none of you driftwood would be here.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    The changes will force the Driftwood to carry more Deadwood.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not true, but any investigation of the conduct of some may result in some driftwood potentially having to leave (of course, subject to and following any appropriate penalties or possible period of imprisonment).




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  8. SKEPTICAL says:

    The Caymanian “majority ownership” clause could be a case of – ” Be careful what you wish for”. It is a splendid concept, but how will it be perceived within the global financial industry.




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    • Anonymous says:

      WHO CARES?!?!?!? Sick and tired of bending over to these international concerns. 60/40 is required for every Caymanian business- law firms are already getting a reduced requirement. If they don’t like the laws they can leave and other firms will take their place in this tax free paradise.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Heaven forbid the rest of the world finds out Caymanians are done with having the wool pulled over their eyes.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    I think you meant “alleged discrimination and inequitable treatment”. Two sides to every story.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Pounding nails into the coffin. Small view Caymanians have finally killed the best pillar of their economy.




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    • They have managed to start killing the Golden Goose.




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      • Hancock says:

        Look out accountants, architects, surveyors. You are next! This is the beginning of the end.

        Incidentally how will the government handle overseas law firms practicing Cayman law. Try take jurisdiction in those countries. Has the CIG thought this through?




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        • Anonymous says:

          This is what I have been saying all the time but strangely, nobody seems to understand the concept here.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Take the bankers and real estate agents with you. What no farmers? Yep, they are useful.




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        • Anonymous says:

          so how does the UK regulate UK law practice by law firms in Tokyo for example? I would assume if the law firms are hiring a lawyer, it is up to them to verify that they are actually qualified to practice a certain law, and if not, the law firm is subject to criminal actions against them




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      • Anonymous says:

        Whose Golden Goose? It would seem the Golden Goose does not belong to Caymanians, so whose Golden Goose are they killing?




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      • Anonymous says:

        The Golden Goose is our tax status. That is why these firms are here. When they talk about funnelling work what they actually mean is outsourcing it to cheaper jurisdictions but billing it as work undertaken on a Cayman matter for a Cayman partner thereby avoiding taxation in the foreign jurisdiction. They want to have their cake and eat it too. I don’t think it will take foreign authorities long to figure that trick out.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Oh dear…another one from the cuckoos nest




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          • Anonymous says:

            Tell me what was inaccurate about this post. I am more than qualified to debate this with you.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Clearly not…the workforce they use in other countries will be subject to the taxes on their salaries there and whatever else the local jurisdiction requires taxes for. So it is not tax free, however it may be cheaper than here.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Who are you ” oh dear[ing] ” matey? That phrase reminds me so much of a teacher from your country, who used it in a funny sense to his students to avoid cursing – and what a God send he was to us youngsters. However I am certain you are not viewed as any God send to your Caymanians colleagues.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Spot on!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop the nonsense scaremongering! Caymanians are gaining in strength.. scares you doesn’t it?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Doesn’t scare us one bit, we can move on…and if you think this strengthens you, you really don’t get it and won’t get it until its gone. And then you will still be blaming us, whilst trying to find the income to fund all the social services you will need. I am more sad than anything else, sad for Cayman.




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        • Anonymous says:

          We will still have our tax status and plenty of clients who want to benefit from it long after you and your pals are gone




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          • Anonymous says:

            Dreamer..if it starts leaving it means the trust has gone. Look at Bahamas and Jamaica.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Another snake oil salesman. They went independent! They could no longer claim to have a stable political system. They lost themselves in the words of strongmen, like McKeeva, who are now dinosaurs. They made a bad decision. We aren’t going to repeat it but we are done hearing from the smart white man how grateful we should be to have him plundering our most profitable industry. We’ll take some of that money now thanks. Hand it over! End of story.




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              • Anonymous says:

                If it was your industry, why was there none of it (or incredibly little) before Bahama’s did their thing. You guys are too much, you want your cake and to eat it…




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              • Anonymous says:

                They keep telling us how lost we would be without them- let them prove it- let them all leave. We will be just fine. I think you have all overstayed your welcome.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Well…. yes.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it will be fine, but if not it will all have gone wrong due to unscrupulous outsiders being allowed to breach our laws for years without any enforcement or due regard for the sustainability of the ongoing insults.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Lets hope its not the beginning of the end…




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Very very sad that basic rights of caymanians and the islands best interests had to be so bitterly battled for by the opposition. That should have been governments goal in the first place!




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    • Anonymous says:

      And giving law firms 15 years to be 60% Caymanian is enabling all “New Status Holders” plenty of time to structure things to their advantage




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the basic rights of taxing foreign workers abroad and forcing promotion other than on the basis of ability have been upheld. Hurrah!




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      • Anonymous says:

        EVERY small country has to enforce laws to protect its people. There is plenty of Caymanian talent to take the realms. The reality is only Caymanians care about the long term sustainability of the Islands- everyone else is here for a chunk of the pie so they can run on home with it. There is nothing unusual about a country imposing local ownership requirements- it is done all over the world so just get over it already!




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Would t have take. This long if the bill hadn’t been drafted by special interest groups and been such a pile of **** in the first place. Thanks goes to the opposition for not allowing panton to pass this nonsense bill into law!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear 10.46…you talk as if you actually understand what the hell happened…you don’t.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re right I really don’t understand how the ppm allowed this all to transpire and more so hoe they imagined that they would get away with it..




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      • Anonymous says:

        Neither do you my friend. You just believe what you are told to understand.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to Wayne for making the impossible happen again (see the Conservation law). However, this is the clearest indication yet that, had the opposition not rallied, Govt would have forced a pro-firm bill through so hats off to Winston and the members of the opposition – thank you for your service on this.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously! Just shocking what the ppm thinks they can get away with. Scary!




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    • Anonymous says:

      This was just the second reading. Nothing has actually been changed yet. Hold your plaudits to see what amendments they bring.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Well done Independents and opposition. We are so proud of all of you!!




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  16. Anonymous says:

    A disaster will unfold In the coming days.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    OK Minister. Now what about identifying the bastards that have sometimes unlawfully shut Caymanians out of opportunity in their own land?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh 9.47 and while you are about it identify the Caymanians who make everyone’s life so expensive here with their cartels and monopolies and by employing “furreners”




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