Finance lobby begs MLAs to drop motion

| 06/03/2017 | 131 Comments
Cayman News Service

East End MLA Arden McLean

(CNS): The body which represents Cayman’s financial services sector has conceded that local law firms have lawyers practicing Cayman law overseas but maintained that they are not breaching the existing Legal Practitioners Law. As the political row over the new Legal Practitioners Bill continues, Cayman Finance is urging the politicians involved to drop a controversial private member’s motion calling for lawyers to be investigated. Opposition MLAs claim that some of the country’s leading legal firms have been practicing outside the law and denying potential fees to government but Cayman Finance has said the firms are generating income for the public purse, not dodging fees.

Urging MLAs Arden McLean and Winston Connolly to withdraw the motion they have filed calling for an inquiry and possible prosecution of lawyers and law firms, Cayman Finance said the members of the Legislative Assembly need to protect the financial sector, not try to damage it, given that it is “directly responsible for more than half of the islands’ economy, more than half of the government’s revenue and employs more Caymanians than any other industry”.

In a lengthy statement released Friday about the current arguments that are causing considerable concern across the industry, Cayman Finance accepted that the law firms are practicing Cayman law overseas but claimed they are not breaking the law.

“The foreign offices established by the law firms have been a critical part of the success of the Cayman Islands financial services industry over the last 22 years and rather than having ‘…a deleterious impact on the economy of these islands… depriving the economy of… economic benefits…’  the opposite is true,” the organisation stated, quoting parts of the motion.

“The positive impact of such practices contributes approximately US$32 million directly to the Cayman Islands Government in annual revenue. Many of the clients who use Cayman structures and services are based in countries that are far away from Cayman and in different zones, such as the UK and Hong Kong. As such, they often want to deal with attorneys in those jurisdictions or time zones. If they were not able to deal with attorneys who practice Cayman law in those jurisdictions, they would simply chose to deal with the attorneys who practice the laws of one of our competing jurisdictions in those countries, which would deprive the Cayman Islands of the economic and employment opportunities and government revenue that would flow from that business.”

The lobby group, which is the collective voice of the offshore sector, said it “understood” that the practice of Cayman law outside the jurisdiction is not regulated under the current legislation, while McLean and the other independent members have argued that the legislation requires the overseas lawyers to be qualified and licensed in Cayman, regardless of where they may practice the law.

However, Cayman Finance said it was “not aware of anyone having asserted before this that the practice of Cayman law in the foreign offices could result in the partners of Cayman firms committing a crime under Cayman law”, implying the organisation is not certain, despite rushing to the defence of the legal profession.

Pointing to the now well publicized allegations, Cayman Finance said that to its knowledge these are the first in the long history of the existence of foreign offices. But Ezzard Miller, one of the MLAs supporting the motion, has indicated that he has raised the issue many times.

“These allegations bring adverse publicity to the legal profession, which in itself could have an adverse impact on the jurisdiction,” Cayman Finance stated. “If proceedings were actually to be brought against the partners in the law firms which have foreign offices the results would be disastrous for the jurisdiction as a whole,” the organisation stated. “Cayman Finance would strongly suggest that instead of pursuing a course of action that could have such negative consequences for the jurisdiction, the parties instead focus their efforts on fixing the problems with the current law in the interests of all parties concerned.”

The MLAs argue, however, that the new legislation is still problematic and they do not want to see government pass a law which legitimizes what they claim is the wrongdoing of law firms without some form of accountability.

See Cayman Finance’s full statement in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (131)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    so where is ezzard on this?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This silly campaign is an obvious attempt to pander to the ignorant vote, a key demographic. It is essentially based on fake news story that implies Littl’Johnny Ebanks is being denied his chance of becoming a lawyer because of evil furreigners. Of course
    nothing could be further from the truth, everyone with the requisite talent and ability can easily join the profession.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for wasting everyone’s time with your nonsense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maples annually take on Caymans top talent and rewards them well for hard work. The fact of the matter is, that by pure demographics, you need highly intelligent people to study law and when you only have 30,000 locals, the pool is going to be less than is needed, especially with people who may wish to do other things. This is the 5th largest financial centre in the world…you need world class lawyers.

      • Anonymous says:

        The comment was bang on the reality of what is going on. Calling something accurate “nonsense” is a Trumpian response.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s ironic because that’s Wayne standard response to anything that calls him to question!

    • Anonymous says:

      Little Johnny Ebanks huh?. I wonder what big mouthJames Smith would say if little Jonny Ebanks father Big John Ebanks put his foot right up his arse. Stop the bs, leave our names alone. And I am Old JohnEbanks

    • Soon come to you says:

      Little Johnny huh wait till he grow up and you walking with ya cane woe betide.

  3. Let me too says:

    Hey I got a question.

    Since the persons involved with Cayman Finance and these Law Firms have publicly stated that whilst they may have broken the law “just a little bit” thats its okay as long as we change things now then I would like to have published a list of all the persons involved, with home adresses.

    The reason is because I would like to break the law “just a little bit” too.

    It seems as though its okay for them but no one else.

    Seems “a bit biased” there fellas.

    • Jotnar says:

      Actually, the law firms and law society have said that they haven’t broken the law, and Cayman Finance has said it is not gojng to get into whether they have broken it. Perhaps a “bit biased” yourself?

      • Anonymous says:

        “We won’t get into it by withdraw your motion questioning whether they have because if so they are too wonderful and untouchable to be held accountable!”

  4. Anonymous says:

    To the elected officials of the Legislative Assembly

    I am a concerned citizen of the Cayman Islands.

    I have been reading about the current debate on the Legal Practitioners Bill, the Private Members Motion calling for an investigation of the large international law firms, and of various reports of concerns which have been brought to the attention to those who occupy the highest positions in our Government. I am concerned that much has been said about the potential damage to our Islands economy if the Private Members Motion were to continue and if the Legal Practitioners Bill does not pass in this final seating of the Legislative Assembly. I am concerned that various stakeholders, including Cayman Finance, the Cayman Islands Law Society and the Caymanian Bar Association have made great efforts to decry the Private Members Motion and to challenge the motivations of your fellow members to who brought the motion. However, I am increasingly concerned about the apparent lack of substance in those efforts to reach a definitive answer (and perhaps why an answer was not immediately ready and forthcoming) and put the matter to an end, despite claims to be acting in the best interests of all.

    To that end, I would ask you to consider, if you have not already done so, several issues that I feel are of increasing importance as this debate rages on, including the statement made by Cayman Finance on 3 March 2017. http://www.cayman.finance/2017/03/cayman-finance-statement-relation-recent-private-members-motion-mr-arden-mclean-mr-winston-connolly/

    When Cayman Finance said of the Private Members Motion, “These are very serious allegations, which as stated above have not been made before (to the best of our knowledge) in the long history of the existence of foreign offices”, how could the mouthpiece of our Financial Services Industry ignore:

    (a) The concerns raised by Attorney General Mr J. Michael Bradley in his speech in the Legislative Assembly on this issue on 25 November 1982 when he said,

    “I do not consider it desirable, Sir, that a person who has severed their ties with these Islands, who is not living here, who is not working here, who is not entitled to work here, should, in other jurisdictions, be able to hold themselves out as the holder of a practising certificate the Grand Court in these Islands”;
    http://www.legislativeassembly.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/9780633.PDF

    (b) The concerns raised by Attorney General Mr David Ballantyne in his speech to the Legislative Assembly on this issue on 19 December 2002,when he said,

    “The question that arises is: Does this apply to a lawyer overseas who is practising Cayman Islands Law and is the law silent on that situation? It appears that it may be, and I suggest that that is an undesirable situation if, in fact it obtains. I have no information that there are lawyers practising Cayman Islands Law. If there are, then it would appear that they are not amendable to the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice and it may be that consideration should be given in conjunction with the Chief Justice to addressing that issue”;
    http://www.legislativeassembly.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/10778115.PDF

    or

    (c) The concerns raised by Mr James Bergstrom, then President of the Caymanian Bar Association when he spoke at the opening of the Grand Court on 13 January 2010 and when he said,

    “… we are hopeful that we will see the revised Bill brought into force in the first quarter of 2010. Our reputation as an international financial centre remains at risk until this is done”.
    https://www.judicial.ky/wp-content/uploads/publications/speeches/SpeechbythePresidentoftheCaymanBarAssociation-GrandCourtOpening2010.pdf

    (2) When Cayman Finance says in its statement that “In light of its significance to the Islands, any damage to this industry could have far reaching implications for the jurisdiction and its people as a whole”, did it consider the concerns raised by the Law Reform Commission in its May 2007 Report when it said of the current practice,

    “Issuing a practising certificate to a non-resident attorney must involve more than providing a mere “flag of convenience” to such a professional to operate under the mantle of the Cayman Islands jurisdiction. There must be substantial and substantive links between the profession and the jurisdiction, which involves a transparent and credible system of licensing, monitoring and discipline where professional misconduct is detected. To do otherwise would open the jurisdiction to potential significant reputational damage if one such professional were to be engaged in misconduct, which resulted in major fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing or other financial scandal. This potential danger could threaten the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a “major international legal jurisdiction”.
    http://www.lrc.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/9776331.PDF

    (3) When, in times of increasing financial difficulty for so many living in the Islands, that our Government is not concerned about the potential loss of revenue that could do so much for our people, when Mr Ian Paget-Brown QC speaking on behalf of Attorney General Samuel Bulgin at the opening of the Grand Court on 16 January 2013 said,

    “The statistics the Law Society provides of 180 lawyers working outside the Islands as Cayman attorneys, assuming that none of them hold current Practising Certificates, are generating an estimated US$108 million in fees annually (180 x average salary US $200,000 x 3 salary being the expected billings) or a staggering US$1.8 billion over 10 years”.
    https://www.judicial.ky/wp-content/uploads/publications/speeches/IanPagetBrownGrandCourtOpeningAddress01162013.pdf

    (4) When Mr Alasdair Robertson, President of the Cayman Islands Law Society for the last 6 years, spoke with Tammi Sulliman on 28 February 2017 and he said, of there being only one Caymanian partner being promoted to an equity partner position in 20 years, that “there are a lot more Caymanians… who are partners in law firms”, who exactly are the Caymanians that he is referring to who have trained at the major law firms, qualified, and became equity partner at those firms?
    https://cayman27.ky/2017/02/concerns-mount-over-controversial-motion/

    (5) When Cayman Finance said that “If proceedings were actually to be brought against the partners in the law firms which have foreign offices the results would be disastrous for the jurisdiction as a whole”, what exactly would be disastrous – that the Private Members Motion was right and criminal acts had been committed? Or perhaps that no investigations should be brought at all, just because they are rich important lawyers?

    Ladies and gentlemen of the Legislative Assembly, it is no longer appropriate for these, and other questions, to be answered simply by prepared statements, sound bytes, and hyperbole, by the very people whom these serious allegations have been directed, without conducting your own enquiry, your own analysis, and your own justification as to why this Bill continues to cause such controversy, why these questions cannot be answered and how this Bill will benefit the people of the Cayman Islands.

    I urge you to do what is right.

    Yours truly,

    A concerned citizen.

    If you are also a concerned citizen, let the members of the Legislative Assembly know:

    [On Facebook: like or share this post if you are also a concerned citizen and agree with this letter]

    [Online: respond to this post that you are also a concerned citizen and agree with this letter]

    [Hardcopy: print this letter and sign it “I am also a concerned citizen and I agree with this letter”]

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. I am also a concerned citizen and I agree wholeheartedly with this letter.

    • Anonymous says:

      I could not possibly agree more!!! Thank you for posting this! I am also an extremely concerned citizen and I demand accountability and an independent investigation!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. Well said. All true factors and all seemingly ignored by our supposedly independent press and supposedly impartial Cayman Finance. I hope they all get their noses rubbed in this.

    • Anonymous says:

      This hits the nail on the head!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bang on! You give truth to their lie that their scam is all fair!

  5. Bruce says:

    Strange that the members of cayman finance are made up mostly of law firms? I would believe to make this matter transparent that they would recuse themselves from the issue. Yet the body would make a cease and desist order to our elected politicians. If conflict of interest isn’t written up all over this, then my name is not Bruce Almighty. For sake of the public, stop underestimating the residents of this country and respect our elected politicians who will stomp out corruption and all the back door deals. Arden, Winston, Alva and Anthony, THANK YOU my children have hope cayman will be for its people again.

    • Anonymous says:

      8.22…your name is not Bruce or anything other Almighty. However delusional signs are evident.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In other news, turkeys urge a boycott of Thanksgiving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahhh. The truth. Those lawyers were indeed putting themselves out to be Cayman lawyers without having Caymanian practising certificates. Panton knew as did many others. Confession is good for the soul. Thank you Arden for your stellar defence of local practice. Action man.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course he knew this he was managing partner of one of the firms who participate in this practice. There’s a lot more on the line of him than politics!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wish the damn law firms would just close up shop and leave, Dart also, so Caymanians can get a taste of life under Ezzard “kitchen band”Miller and Arden “man of a 1000 (very odd) faces” McLean. The real pathos in all of this is how Winston allowed himself to be dragged in. Suckoo is dim witted and opportunistic and Eden’s mind is wandering in Old Testament valleys of confusion and imaginary horrors but Winston? We expected better bobo.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Everybody knows that before this latest bill was introduced, the only demand the Government was making was that overseas lawyers practising Cayman law fly to Cayman once to be properly admitted before the Cayman Courts. The firms were not even willing to pay for the flights and proper fees. They have traded in closed-door negotiations a sham of a local regulator that will be stocked with paper Caymanians – the same ones demanding this bill become law – for carte blanche in respect of their demands to allow anyone to practise our law anywhere in the world. This is a coup in which the vested foreign legal interests are in cahoots with the Progressives Government. It must be stopped! Never mind Cayman Finance, headed by a former Maples Chief Executive Officer! This is XXXXX self-interest at its very worst!

    • Anonymous says:

      And do tell 4.06pm, how on earth do you think the limited number of Cayman lawyers (and Caymanian numbers limit this) could actually deal with all the International work of the 5th largest financial centre in the world?

      • Anonymous says:

        How about getting agreement form the Government and the two associations on the following simple concepts that will definitely benefit Caymanians and allow for the practice of Cayman Law overseas.

        • 60/40 equity ownership and voting control anything less incurs an additional premium on that firms work permit so if the firm has 50% Caymanian equity ownership every work permit is subject to a 10% fee increase for the firm that has no Cayman participation they are subject to a 60% premium. Work in some greater penalty for those that don’t comply after a period. It could be that the amount doubles every year that they are none compliant etc.(I would also suggest a fee credit where any firm has in excess of 60% Caymanian legal and beneficial ownership and voting control they be entitled to a (say) 25% rebate on their work permit fees paid over the preceding 12 months provided there was indeed at least 60% Caymanian ownership and control during that period.)
        • Increase the PQE requirement immediately to 4 years and go to 5 years in three years.
        • Every non-Caymanian practicing certificate for a attorney to practice overseas incurs a annual $25,000 fee. (Will allow the firms to practice Cayman law overseas as necessary but not allow them to be incentivized by not having to pay work permit fees).
        • Ratio of one overseas attorney for every two in the Cayman office in any one overseas location, the cumulative ratio can remain one to one. There is no reason for any one overseas location to have the same number of lawyers practicing Cayman law. If the firm has 100 lawyers in Cayman they should not need to have any office with more than 50 lawyers in any one location they may be able to justify five offices in different jurisdictions with 20 in each but currently the one to one ratio allows them the equivalent in any one overseas office.(If the majority of work is intended to be sent back to Cayman then they don’t need the same amount of lawyers there).
        • Only one member from each firm on the Council, and only two can be non-Caymanian.

        Simple solutions that will definitely benefit Caymanians. Can we get those associations firms and politicians who all are looking out for the best interest of Caymanians to agree?

        • Anonymous says:

          So you start with pushing for the the firms to forced to funnel profits into local partners regardless of talent or value to the business? Is this legal regulation or a welfare programme?

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe you’re not aware of this but there is requirement for Caymanian participation for businesses that want to do operate in the Cayman Islands. Should all other businesses be required to find qualified and suitable Caymanians to participate in the ownership of business except law firms. Once again are they so special that we should make an exclusion from them having to meet our policy requirements. They knew that when they came to do business here, and many of their equity partners have been made Caymanian during the last 15 years.

          • Anonymous says:

            Ummm, the law requires all partners to be attorneys at law so actually the requirement you are so concerned about already exists.

          • Anonymous says:

            What we currently have is a welfare programme for the unsuccessful in “major onshore jurisdictions” who aren’t even from the country or even the region of the law they are practising, let alone actually practising from those places…you are okay with that but not with the actual people of the actual country obtaining the same financial security and prestige? Give me a break. A managed shift from “Cayman lawyers” who walk and talk like they never left the cities they couldn’t make it in to “Caymanian lawyers” who not only know the law but also the country the law of which they are practising would be very well received and I can tell you, my generation has that ability and will take this industry back from you ungrateful greedy lot faster than you think.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The sooner the AG weighs in on this the better for everyone. Either they have broken the law or they have not. All we have right now is this he said, she said.

    No one is going to taking Cayman Finance’s word for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The AG’s views will be fun to see not least given at least two of his predecessors seem to have taken the view (reported in the Hansard) that the practice of Cayman Law by persons without practicing certificates may be unlawful.

      He can also confirm how many Law firms have made section 51 applications when promoting people to partner, and where those applications were in fact made, whether they have consistently accurately disclosed the relevant factors.

      He can then turn his attention to the Legal Practitioners (Incorporated Practice) Regulations and explain how non attorneys may be in ownership and control of Cayman Islands incorporated practices.

      Then he can explain why fronting is so rife and whether Cayman attorneys may have played a role in any unlawful arrangements.

      While he is at it he can describe how many Caymanians have been able to advance into partnership in the last 15 years, given the Law Society have confirmed there is no issue.

      He can also clarify whether making money in consequence of a breach of Cayman Law or regulations constitutes Money Laundering under the PCCL.

      There is so much to see!

      This is going to be good. I’m putting on the popcorn.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the “Tara Principle”? Perhaps all these overseas lawyers are just in training and gaining work experience.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Who runs Cayman Finance? … oh right. Certainly on the side to keep lining their pockets… nothing to see here!!! Move along…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Pretty bold of Cayman Finance to be declaring all the conduct of law firms to be lawful, without any first hand knowledge or investigation, and to state that issues have never been raised before. Since their blind protestations are forcing people’s hand to do and say things they would rather not, I hope all are ready for some servings of humble pie.

    As for me, I already feel sick, and won’t be eating.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look at the members they have a whole lot to lose here- this is just another “body” run by the same firms

      • Anonymous says:

        Reminds me of the Deep South, where you know who could not confront the establishment. Confrontation is alien to certain cultures.

      • Anonymous says:

        Law Society, Caymanian Bar Association, Cayman Finance. Three separate ways for the same people to say the same thing and make it appear that more people hold their position.

    • Anonymous says:

      Drama queen

  12. Dumb and Dumber says:

    The irony of this whole debacle is too much for me… The very bread and butter of this island is now being attacked/threatened not only by regulators from overseas but now from our own simple politicians, who are too thick to see the damage they’re causing.

    Arden, Winston and co., please pull your heads out of your asses and withdraw your motion. It is your duty to protect the interests of our nation not attempt to destroy it for personal/political gain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not very principled, are you? I hope you do not get to call yourself an officer of the court.

    • Anonymous says:

      so are you saying the laws are being complied with or that the laws are not being complied with but they don’t need to be as they are the islands “bread and butter”?

    • Anonymous says:

      What illegal act are you suggesting our politicians are doing?

    • Anonymous says:

      The best interests of our nation are that everyone and every business abides by our laws! If the law has been broken which it appears to have been it is far more important that our jurisdiction investigates and prosecuted than that it sweeps it under the rug! What message does allowing firms to break the law send about our jurisdiction!!?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes allowing firms to become akin to cartels and wrie their own laws and do whatever they please is definitely the best thing for this jurisdiction.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are protecting the Country! Some politicians are honest and not corruptible!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile the “young talented Caymanian lawyer denied articles” has been placed on the same endangered list as the unicorn and bigfoot. According to local myths these apparitions appear every four years just be an election. No-one ever knows their names and as soon as the election is over they disappear again.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only the law firms openly acknowledged the fact of the apparitions when they arise and considered them for opportunities overseas, we would not be in this mess.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is simple-.they have been breaking the law over the years. It does not matter how long they have been doing it, if they are breaking the law. Doing it for a million years does not make it right.

    • Anonymous says:

      except if you read the law you will see they haven’t been breaking it

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve read it. It seems to say they are.

        • Anonymous says:

          I was unaware that the Cayman Islands was able to legislate to cover the entire world. We should start prosecuting people in florida for taking lobsters out of Cayman’s season too.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, just the people here who conspired with people in Florida to take Cayman lobsters as they were migrating through.

          • Anonymous says:

            No need to do that. If you read s 321 and 322 of the penal code you will find that the partners here in cayman who allowed, oversaw and advanced the unauthorized practice of non qualified attorneys practicing cayman law in their firms foreign offices are in fact commuting an offense here in cayman. No need to prosecute people overseas when the head honchos are right here within our jurisdiction.

            • Anonymous says:

              No, because the people working in other jurisdictions are not part of the same legal entity as the Cayman firm, so the primary elements of the offence in question have not been constituted.

              • Anonymous says:

                Thank you 11:30am.

              • Anonymous says:

                Omg! Read the penal code!! The offense is committed here by the local partners for conspiring with persons or entities to circumvent the law! It doesn’t mater where the other party is!

                • Anonymous says:

                  The lawyers overseas are not covered by Cayman law. Agreed?
                  It follows that no crime has been commited by them.

                  Therefore noone in Cayman has conspired with them to commit a crime.

                  Not a lawyer, but i stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

                  • Anonymous says:

                    You couldn’t be a lawyer, if you were you would know that parliamentary sovereignty provides extraterritorial effect to laws. And don’t give me that business about our Legislative Assembly not being a fully sovereign parliament. That doesn’t mean the laws it passes do not pertain to the matters they pertain to wherever they may be relevant. If the UK Parliament can ban smoking in Paris the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly can regulate the practice of Cayman Islands law, wherever and whenever it is being said to be practised. End of story!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard is that you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Finance seems to think these firms are “too big to fail”. If they have nothing to hide why are they behaving so suspiciously?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm so I guess hiring extra local attorneys to work on a shift based rotation will cost more than it does to maintain offices in various countries.
    Alternatively just pay the work permit fees for the attorneys employed in these overseas offices.
    Lastly, if you have qualified locals you could always second them to these offices to avoid having to pay CIG work permit fees.
    All fairly simple solutions if you ask me. But then again simple and practical don’t mix in a lawyers world cos that would mean less billable hours. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      there is nothing practical about either of these “solutions” lol.

      No lawyer is going to work on rotation based “shift work”. Caymanian or foreign its just not going to happen.

    • Jotnar says:

      A few problems with your simple solutions:

      1. Shift work is not going to provide face to face real time contact to schmooze and retain clients. If I live in Hong Kong and can speak face to face with a BVI lawyer about my client requirements, and who takes me out to lunch etc, but have to deal with Cayman by phone or video link, who I have never met, all other things being equal who do you think I will use?
      2. You can only obtain a work permit for someone who is resident in Cayman, so you would need to change the law for that as well.
      3. There are not enough qualified Caymanians to meet the requirement, before you even get into the question of whether they want to work overseas. There are only 40,000 or so Caymanians – there are over 1000 lawyers already employed in Cayman – where are the 100+ lawyers that the MLAs say are working overseas going to come from?

      • M says:

        I accept most of you most points, except, there are easily 100+ graduates of the Cayman Law school who haven’t articled over the last 10-20 years. So, if there aren’t enough qualified lawyers, its only because the firms operating locally have not hired enough article clerks.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If the law firms were acting improperly they would not be covered by their professional indemnity insurance. Given the potential for adverse exposure in connection with gargantuan transactions, no law firm would take that risk. The proof is in the pudding.

    • Anonymous says:

      I gurentee if their insurance companies find out about this they will not be covered! You can’t insure an y qualified lawyer

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope no one seeks an answer to that question from insurers. They may not like the answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 12.09, and exactly right. They are the most risk averse bunch ever. Sadly not many people commenting actually can see the whole picture. If the law association is for this (which represents all lawyers, right) and Cayman Finance too, who are not daft by any means, why do we have everyone up in arms about something most of them are not qualified to speak on and have zero understanding of.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The “Law is the Law” and not even the big law firms have the right to break it. If you break the law, you should be held accountable and not be given a six figure salary every year and expect the public to turn a blind eye to their utter wrongs.

    When you see the law partners with their fancy BMW’s, Audi’s, Benz and Lexus riding around Grand Cayman and living in places like Crystal Harbor etc…. going to Sunday brunches at the Ritz Carlton every weekend and getting plastered, their mortgages are paid off in seven years, then you know they are allowing other lawyers to practice in foreign jurisdictions without a local certificate, which allows them a few million more in their pockets at years end.

    This is big money being lost in CI Government coffers every year and has been going on for many many years.

    If you need a lawyer at any of these firms, then God Help You. You are charged $350 CI for a five minute phone call, $700 CI for them to read a two paragraph e-mail and if you are selling, buying or setting up a company, then make sure your bank account is Donald Trump HUGE !!!!!! because they are going to hit it big like CHINA !!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      His whole point is, its not the law…

      • Anonymous says:

        But it is. That’s why this makes them so nervous.

        • Anonymous says:

          2.03, then show us which part of the law is being broken…

          • Anonymous says:

            Section 10 of the legal practitioners law, various provisions of the immigration law combined with sections 321 and 322 of the penal code. Go do some reading!

    • Anonymous says:

      Our own government breaks the law by ignoring immigration laws and regulations by freely giving management permits, regardless of suitable Cayman applicants, for the sake of “lower level positions”. Our permit revenue focused premier is far to frightened of political ramifications of changing the law so he merely makes it policy to ignore.

    • Sharkey says:

      Anonymous 10:50am , your comment and opinion are ever so right .
      I think that the MLA members might be onto something when they see that no one should be above the Laws of the Islands, and that everyone has to pay their dues.
      What I think is some don’t see it their way , that’s why some are quiet and some are running of the Islands.

      I think every citizen of the Cayman Islands should get behind the 2 MLA members and make sure that the Legislation that they are trying to do is done properly and no loopholes / whiteholes in it .

      • Anonymous says:

        agreed!!! Have you ever seen the big firms lobby so hard together for anything at all?? This is their golden ticket. As if they are spending all this money to “help our jurisdiction” they just want an indemnity and to be able to do whatever they please. It’s crazy that people aren’t starting a revolution!

        • Anonymous says:

          And the pro-port Cayman people don’t lobby? That’s what an association is for you nutter. And go ahead start a revolution on something you don’t understand, wave the big bucks good bye, and oh, most of the Islands livelihood with it. Smart.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yep.. another corrupt cause! Sick of selling the islands out to the highest bidder. The firms can leave, good riddance

      • Anonymous says:

        Winston is that you?

    • Philip says:

      You do realise that goverment makes a nice chunk of change every time the ‘law partners” buy one of these fancy cars and purchase homes right?, and come to think of it government also makes money ever time a bottle of champagne is served at Sunday brunches.

    • Jotnar says:

      So the heads of the Law Society, the Caymanian Bar Association and now Cayman Finance, which represents the entire financial sector, not just the lawyers, say what is going on at the moment is not illegal, but points out that saying it is will cause reputational harm, and the AG and DPP have never prosecuted anyone for the alleged breach of the law in all the years it has been in force, but you would rather believe a small minority of opposition MLAs, only one of whom is even a lawyer? No chance your obvious resentment of big firm lawyers and their remuneration and lifestyle could be possibly colouring your views, is there? .

      • Anonymous says:

        Please provide the source of your contention as to the position of the Caymanian Bar Assiciation on this issue. I have heard of no such statement from them.

        • Anonymous says:

          You mean they all represent the cartel right?

        • Anonymous says:

          perhaps he was at the CBA gala on Saturday night where a CBA council member eviscerated the opposition MLAs and the motion in an excellent speech

          • Anonymous says:

            I was at the Gala and the excellent speech said that if laws were broken that the passing of new legislation should not be stopped by that. That’s a lot different from saying that no laws were broken, the point that he made was that is a different matter and should be dealt with appropriately but go ahead and pass the needed updated legislation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Jotnar what type of car do you drive? Where do you live and brunch? You seem to have a vested interest in this subject whenever it comes up. I wonder if you aren’t concerned about the feathers in your nest more than the well-being of the people of this country? Not the residents – the people. Don’t pretend you don’t know the difference.

        • Jotnar says:

          Damn right I am concerned about my feathers, because I work in the financial services industry which will go down the plug if Arden and Winston don’t stop shouting fire in a crowded theatre. But then everyone, Caymanian or expat, rich man or poor, should be concerned, irrespective of whether they work in the financial services industry. Where do you think government is going to find the $32 million in direct fees and taxes, and god only knows how much in indirect taxes from all the sectors employees if that happens? You screw up an industry that provides over 50% of the GDP everyone gets hurt. Ironically the people who have the least to lose are those who cannot just relocate to the financial services jurisdiction that then eats our lunch – the very people you are concerned about.

          • Anonymous says:

            Jotnar, it was our industry. We shared it. Those we shared it with took it. We want it back.

            • Anonymous says:

              5.15, never write before drinking coffee or after drinking. FS industry came from the Bahamas who did what you would encourage, and that has not worked well for them.

              • Anonymous says:

                I never encouraged that. Those that broke our laws and deprived locals of fair opportunity did that!

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the expat lawyers who represent these “independent” bodies? Zzz…

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, jealousy is the key…you give yourself away…I tell you what, get trained up as a lawyer and you too will see that Caymanian lawyers, even junior ones are doing well. Maples takes on the best Cayman graduates every year and those who do well prosper…

      • Anonymous says:

        No, they don’t. They award scholarships many years before the recipients graduate. They give them careers on a silver platter; all they have to do is work long hours and the fat paycheck is guaranteed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    SO what they are saying is its no big deal let them continue to break the law so we can keep making money?

  19. Anonymous says:

    “If proceedings were actually to be brought …. the results would be disastrous.”

    Since I assume proceedings would only actually be brought if there was in fact evidence of wrongdoing, what does Cayman Finance have to worry about? Or, are they just suggesting that some people are too important to have laws applied to them?

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is all smoke and mirrors. Most FS firms subcontract work either internally to offices overseas or to third party…you cannot expect smaller companies to run the full range of services needed here-so of course they subcontract that work that they cannot afford to do here overseas. Much processing and “donkey” work is done overseas, and this is the same all over the world..why do you think there are call centres in Philippines, Eastern Europe and so on? Why would you pay an accountant here $100 an hour for simple processing when you can probably get it done for $10 in India or somewhere similar? The point is, the brain power is here…if it weren’t you wouldn’t need Cayman at all…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Typical election rabble rousing of the ugliest type. The mythical suitable but unemployed young Caymanian denied access to the legal market is an urban myth. I

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s so easy to not trust what you are not smart enough to understand. The trouble starts when you act like you know what your talking about and everyone knows that your really clueless. Then you can’t stop.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It is surprising how those that the rules helped succeed (I’ve worked with the Scott’s and dare them to deny their advantaged path) now seem to disagree with that similar support for Caymanian people. I guess suppression is a great way to retain a rich and privileged level after early retirement.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It should have been simple: lawyers practicing Cayman Law, regardless of where they live, should be members in good standing of our bar, and should be paying all appropriate gov’t fees for the privilege. The legislation needs to be changed so that becomes the regulatory effect, with CIG receiving their pound of flesh. The sky will not fall, and it will not spell the end of Cayman Finance. Once again, fixing the actual legislation rather than labelling the industry in a pre-election grandstand would have been a far better use of the limited time left in this LA period. Where are the grown-ups?

  25. Anonymous says:

    If you look at Cayman Finance’s webpage it’s pretty clear why they are “begging” for the motion to be withdrawn. At least 7 members are big firm partners… just another outlet for them, just another facade.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jude Scott is no man’s fool and a great advocate of Cayman. I have seen him first hand drumming up business for these Islands, and not just for the lawyers. He had made Cayman Finance work, whereas previously it was dead in the water.

      • Anonymous says:

        no one said anything about Jude Scott in the above comment..insecure much?

        • Anonymous says:

          Not at all-pointing out a fact-he is the head of the organization or did that fail to register in your brain cell?

      • Anonymous says:

        Look at the members. He is one single man- that is an association with a large amount of members who may very well be entangled in the wrongdoing themselves. I’m sick of hearing how great these firms and organizations are if they broke the law they need to be prosecuted. I’ve read the laws and I think there’s a good chance- avery good chance – that they broke it so I expect or AG and DPP to investigate it!

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