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PPM olive branch on LPB ignored by opposition

| 14/03/2017 | 98 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin in the LA

(CNS): The closed-door ‘pow-wow’ between the government and opposition benches planned for Monday to thrash out some of the concerns about the controversial Legal Practitioners Bill failed to materialise, CNS has learned. It is not clear why the meeting did not happen. Premier Alden McLaughlin released a statement Friday evening saying that he had asked members to sit down and reach a compromise and that they had agreed. However, on Monday morning Winston Connolly claimed in a post on his Facebook page that he didn’t know anything about the meeting.

“I have had no meetings with the PPM on the LPB and have heard of no meeting today as reported in the press,” the independent opposition member for George Town wrote on social media. “We have presented overwhelming evidence from brave Caymanian lawyers who have spoken about their plight and discrimination in the industry, what the premier himself has said on the issue in the past and the CBA memos to government and immigration.”

He continued with his call for government to investigate the claims made about the inequities in the sector and possible wrongdoing, as he called for a commission of inquiry.

CNS understands that although government was waiting to meet the opposition, no one turned up.

MLAs were expected to return to the Legislative Assembly Tuesday morning to continue the debate, but most members of the opposition have already made their contributions and slated the law for various reasons. Government plans more than 50 committee stage amendments and the opposition has paged a huge amendment document that suggests more than 130 changes.

There are two major issues at the heart of the bill. The first is the discrimination against Caymanian attorneys and the failure of larger firms to push local lawyers through the ranks, bypassing them for overseas lawyers. The second is the question as to whether the major law firms are breaking the existing law by practicing Cayman law in overseas jurisdictions without being licensed.

But while there is significant opposition to this latest version of the law, which has been presented by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, it is clear that there is significant division on the opposition benches.

Winston Connolly, a former attorney who worked in the sector before being elected to office, believes the new law must pave the way to legalize and regulate the practice of Cayman law overseas under a controlled environment.

Conversely, Ezzard Miller told CNS that he is “absolutely opposed” to the principle of lawyers of any firm practicing Cayman law outside of the islands — a major point of disagreement in the allied group of independents. Asked about those differences, Miller pointed out that as independents they are at liberty to disagree, but this adds to the challenge of trying to find consensus on the controversial law.

The LPB has already taken up several days of this final LA session and it is now expected to take up more of the packed business agenda. There are now only 11 working days to complete the government’s long list of new bills and amendments before this parliament is prorogued at midnight on Tuesday 28 March.

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This forum must appear so perplexing to an outsider looking in.

    Any and every thing that is geared toward improving or securing the welfare of Caymanians is negatively rated or opposed in the threads.

    The owners really ought to consider a name change. Seriously.

    – Who

    * Btw, I trust our hopeful candidates are paying close attention to the recent examples set by the USA and UK in terms of diversity, inclusion, and immigration (that would be “expats” when White people happen to make up the transient body) – or lack thereof.

    Do not shy away from standing firm and acting upon what you believe is in the best interest of the Caymanian people … EVEN IF it defies historical LOGIC, economic options and traditional policies.

    It is the new way.

    ** Watch the hypocritical Americans, Europeans, and Brits in the room vote down this comment and forward their sage advice.

    Awesome.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ignore those people who. They have no culture or heritage; they want to strip you of yours.

      Happens all over the world, not unique to these islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Good to see that Who recognises that the changes that are being sought to the bill are really social welfare legislation.




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      • Anonymous says:

        If so then we’re simply following the New World Order my friend.

        Same could be said of the UK’s Brexit and the USA’s election of Trump.

        – Who




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  2. Anonymous says:

    How many Caymanians have received Oxbridge law degrees?




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    • Anonymous says:

      In Cayman Islands Law? None.




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      • Anonymous says:

        After a month of working in Cayman one knows all one needs to know about Cayman Islands law. Cayman Islands law is English law lite.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Then why does one keep breaking so may of our regulatory laws, including breaches that may constitute criminal conduct? I thought it could be out of ignorance. Are you suggesting any such breaches are intentional?

          And if Cayman Law is only English law light, is one not outraged that Canadians, Scotts, Australians, Jamaicans and South Africans are being allowed to practice English law without being qualified to do so?




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          • Anonymous says:

            You really need to understand who to use the pronoun “one” properly. Mixing the “one” and “you” like that, sweetie, you are trying too hard. But then you spell “Scots” as “Scotts” so I suppose you should be encouraged to keep trying to write like an adult. One day you will make it. In a few years. If you work hard.

            Anyhow, Cayman law is pretty much Canadian law lite (except if you are from Quebec), Jamaican law lite and Australian law lite. You could have a point with the Jocks and the South Africans, but then how many non-English qualified Scots or South Africans come to work as attorneys in Cayman?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Oxbridge is just another pseudo-intellectual scam designed to fool people. Go take a running jump with your über attitude.
      There are many of us Caymanians who went to decent educational establishments and we can hold our own with you pompous gits.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm.. this might be a good time to buy popcorn in order to sell come election night.




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  4. Naya Boy says:

    Two more months and this regime will be gone Thank the Lord! as for you El Fuego and others like you dog going to eat your supper yeah feel me! Here is some good polictical advice Its time you start looking for another Uncle Thomas to purchase!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep then you’ll have Mac back as your leader and you can stand by and watch him sell out what remains of Cayman, to you know who…




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  5. Change says:

    Winston Arden Alva Mac and Marco must form the core of the next Government, at least they stand up and fight for us and haven’t sold out to the money and power people




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ok. Why doesn’t the Gov. fund a Law Firm that can only hire Camanian born, bred, and educated Lawyers. Make it a law that all businesses using Cayman in any way must hire only them. SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR GOLDEN GOOSE. Dare you.




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      • Anonymous says:

        08.39, oh dear, you never did study business or economics, did you??…I will be gentle.
        People who force you to do things (it doesn’t matter whether its Cayman, UK, USA or similar) end up having no business at all…look at Venezuela, Cuba (changing slowly), North Korea, even Russia…if you wish to live like those poor people do, please carry on.
        See, if I have a choice of jurisdiction between Bermuda, BVI, Barbados and Cayman for example, and Cayman forces me to employ a lawyer who is not the best qualified to look after my business, I will choose another domicile that allows me to choose the best law firm for my business. If you end up with just one law entity, they have no competition and generally get slack and lazy. You only have to look at the supermarket cartel here and petrol cartel to see what unhealthy competition is…overpriced bad quality product. I read somewhere that the Financial sector here employs some 3000 Caymanians-if you close that down you got 3000 more people with no income, and a huge reduction in government earnings from lack of WP fees and taxes generated by expat spending here. In short, a lot more unemployed and a lot less income to give them welfare with. So its not the expat Golden Goose that will get killed, they will find homes elsewhere, it is the local one.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps 1% of people who chose a Cayman domiciled company do so because of the identity of their attorney- 99% chose it for tax and regulatory reasons




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          • Anonymous says:

            Which you need an internationally experienced lawyer to advise you on




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            • Anonymous says:

              and so it might be important for Caymanian lawyers to get international experience? OK, if that is true, why not encourage them to work in your overseas offices, or are you trying to prevent them from gaining such experience?




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        • Anonymous says:

          Narcissist lawyer much?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Whose Golden goose? In any event, what is wrong with Wayne Panton, Alden McLaughlin, Winston Connolly, Marco Archer, Bryan Hunter, David Collins,or any of the many other Caymanians the big firms have had no problem calling partners?

        And if there is no problem with the conduct of law firms why not submit to a commission of inquiry? Dare you.




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    • The Young Caymanian says:

      seriously….




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    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN




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    • Anonymous says:

      Mac???? The rest, certainly, but Mac ?????




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Why does these meetings have to be behide closed doors. Is there something to hind. If not, talk on the floor of the LA so everyone can hear and it be recorded.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t the players in this showdown be reversed – whereby the Cayman GOVERNMENT is digging in their heels in defense of the opportunities for Caymanians?

    Instead, here we are with not only an absurd reality of motivations, but also government attempts to “cut a deal” behind closed doors.

    Very, very telling.

    A wise woman once said; “When someone shows you who they are – believe ’em”.

    – Who




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    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on. The Opposition is doing the job of the Government and are being pulled across the coals for it!




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    • Anonymous says:

      The opposition, had they turned up, may have been able to force some changes…they didn’t..says more about them than anything else.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The Opposition have tabled 160 amendments Those are the changes they want. The Government on the other hand have tabled nothing but have made empty promises to fix this screwed up Bill somehow




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  8. Veritas says:

    If you want to get to the top go where brains don’t matter but influence does i.e. the Civil Service.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard Miller doesn’t want caymanian law practiced overseas? Who the hell voted for this man? Does he want to destroy the careers of thousands of caymanians who rely on the legal industry?




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    • Vote For Me! says:

      Ezzimir Putller doesn’t want any law practiced in Cayman but his own.

      Vote wisely and vote often!




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  10. Sharkey says:

    It sounds like what these politicians need is the citizens of the Islands to communicate their messages since they are not talking to each other . What are we going to do with these kind of politicians?




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  11. Anonymous says:

    The end of this article bothers me. This government spent four years doing absolutely nothing and now with 11 days to go to they are going try and push through everything and anything they can, Stand strong Independents/Opposition, fight, fight, fight!!!!




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  12. Anonymous says:

    As it was in the press you would have thought a normal MLA would call up to find out what was going on…but there is an election coming and they need al the press they can get..and to lie through their back teeth…suspect we need to vote in new blood…




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  13. Anonymous says:

    The Premier made an announcement in public..not sure I understand how MLA Connolly canb say he was not aware of such a meeting




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the Premier neglected to actually contact the MLAs with a time and place!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you think it would have been better if the Premier had spoken to MLA Conolly before he made the announcement? If Conolly was not involved in the planning of this meeting and did not hear the announcement it is fair to say he did not know. I am sure the Premier has Conolly’s phone number.. while he should have been properly arranging the meeting he was busy plotting how to use it to his and the financial service Minister benefit only.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Just because you say to a newspaper “im meeting x on Monday” doesn’t make it true, especially if you never spoke to x about it. Typical Alden pressuring techniques he always speaks to the press first in the hope of pressuring people into doing what he wants them to do!




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  14. gt youth says:

    With no consensus in sight and a raft of bills on the agenda, the assembly is in a seemingly shambolic state. No surprise there… especially as an election approaches.

    The LPB should’ve been debated in the first few months when Alden assumed power. Since lawmkers waited this late and did not anticipate that it would drag on for so long, the situation has become merely verbal tennis so as to garner votes.




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  15. EL Fuego says:

    THEY CAUSE ALL OF THIS DRAMA, THEN DONT EVEN SHOW UP TO A MEETING TO DISCUSS , THESE GUYS ARE REALLY TRYING TO DESTROY OUR FINANCIAL INDUSTRY AND ALL BECAUSE THEY JUST WANT TO BE RE-ELECTED. SHAMEFUL! they are drinking too much of their own coolaid!




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    • Hmmm says:

      Why discuss in the shadows? Do it in the floor of the Assembly. These are real men who know how to stand up!!! Take a page from their book Fuego




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    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve got everything backwards. The opposition have laid down all their cards and the ppm know exactly what the bottom line is for them. The ppm on the other hand have been nothing but sneaky and secretive in this whole lpb issue and make up their own alternative facts as they go along. If the ppm truly had a compromise they would have publcally stated it m. All this compromise nonsense was just a lie to give them time to have their speeches drafted for them – they wanted to hear the other side and all objections and then try to use them against the opposition. Ppm games!




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  16. Anonymous says:

    There are 22,000 members of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association. (Any lawyer or law student can join.) The population of the US is about 318,000,000. That’s one “international lawyer” per 14,454 people in the US. Yes, this profession is a bigger part of Cayman’s economy, but it is still not reasonable to expect the Caymanian population to include more than a couple of top-notch international lawyers at any given time.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant.




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      • Diogenes says:

        Ignorant how? You want to deny basic facts. We have a local population of < 35000. We have nearly a thousand attorneys. Do we really think that all those attorney slots can be filled by Caymanians, or that with the population of a small village the local attorneys should manage to cover off the leadership positions in all the law firms needed to fill that demand based on talent alone? No one wants to admit that a Caymanians first policy is positive discrimination, but where do you draw the lines of credibility.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Bermuda is a similar size to us. How come so many native born Bermudians are equity partners of Cayman law firms?




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        • Anonymous says:

          The statistics suggest there is discrimination against Caymanians- not vice-versa!




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          • Anonymous says:

            The statistics actually suggest that it would be impossible to fill 1,000 legal posts out of a 30,000 Caymanian population. Even if the top 1% of educated Caymanians wanted to be lawyers that would only be 300. Assume that perhaps only 25% want to be lawyers and you see where the issue is.




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            • Anonymous says:

              The statistics suggest that no attempt to fill any post with qualified, intelligent Caymanians is being made- because they aren’t bound to the slavery of a work permit and could potentially (heaven forbid) stand up for themselves! These firms want slaves not people!




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        • Anonymous says:

          Ha! Basic erroneous facts. Hasn’t anyone taught you basic statistics and the difference between apples and oranges? How do these statistics compare to other comparable financial centres? e.g Bermuda.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Ha, love it. The OP is “ignorant” because…

        You disagree with him/her?

        You can’t argue with the numbers and or logic so resort to ad hominem attack?

        You dispute the statistics?

        Thanks for your contribution to the debate 5:14, really helped clear up the issues for us.

        Sad!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep!




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    • Anonymous says:

      It is all about money billions of dollars of money and you want a lawyer with ALL the BEST you can get when their KNOWLEDGE CAN MAKE YOU A WINNER OR A LOSER. If you are not cream you are not going to the top. MONEY ALWAYS BUYS THE BEST.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS how is it ignored if they were not invited? Politricks at work. Hopefully government can get this one right and fix a very prejudiced and seemingly corrupt industry.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    We keep filling our LA with ego-driven adolescents – many without necessary wherewithal to create policy. Those who have no business being in that room, overcompensate with blustering off-topic tirades, or pine for yesteryear. Yet, like a cruel joke, in 70 days we’ll be increasing the number of these fools to 19. We can already see the same swamp creatures from the past resurfacing to campaign again for this election. We need to expand the pool of eligible candidates to include ALL Caymanians – not just Birth Caymanians. Maybe then we could convince some comfortably retired people of integrity – no longer motivated by personal enrichment – to demonstrate their conviction through service to our people. There are some with, great sophistication and knowledge, that would offer themselves for free.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    What is so wrong with a Commission of Inquiry if no-one has done anything wrong?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Can the law society please confirm what its position is should any of its members be found to have committed unlawful acts? Are they above the law?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing should be wrong with it- if the firms are so sure they did nothing wrong they should push for it and clear their names. But they aren’t are they?




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Wayne Alden and PPM continue to sell out Caymanians




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    • Anonymous says:

      Election Candidates need to step up and state as part of their campaign if they’re willing to repeal the contentious provisions within the LP law (if passed into law by the PPM).




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  21. Anonymous says:

    They aren’t ignoring it they just aren’t playing Alden’s stupid games




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    • Anonymous says:

      Members of the Independents offered the olive branch to the Premier then he immediately got on the air waves and announced that he reached out to them. Turned out that The Premier wanted the meeting on his and his group terms only- don’t blame them for not showing up. This bill should be taken to committee where all parties can have their amendments discussed and accepted or not. After all he said that they all want the same outcome. I guess that should be on his terms also. Remember the saying ” what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to deceive” it still rings true.




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Brave Caymanians… get ready to have your heads cut off for this treachery against your masters! Your careers are done! Unfortunate but true.

    The Truth.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    There is no discrimination against Caymanian attorneys. The existing system confers tremendous advantages for local lawyers, and in that environment no-one who has the requisite talent is looked over in favour of foreign attorneys.




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    • Anonymous says:

      COMPLETE AND UTTER BS!!!

      Try walk a day in my shoes.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I would but you would only complain a foreigner stole your shoes as well as your job




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        • Anonymous says:

          Bredrin those little white feet could never fill these shoes just ask your girl.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Hahahaha! Best one yet! I can see him staring down at his tiny designer shoes right now just wishing! Hahahahaha! Ha!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Or could it be 4.52 that your own image of yourself is not what everyone else sees, and you severely overestimate your own abilities? Everyone wants Caymanians to succeed but the bitter truth is that with 30,000 in the gene pool only a handful are ever going to make the same grade as the enormous wealth of talent internationally. It might hurt but it is what it is.




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        • Anonymous says:

          How does Bermuda manage it, including in Cayman Law firms?




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        • Anonymous says:

          Says the expat washout!

          It’s blatant discrimination nothing more nothing less. I have seen it time and time again. It is time for change.




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          • Anonymous says:

            You can, like trump, say what you want. Produce the proof and you might get a fair hearing. No one has done that. None so blind…




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    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure an independent Commission of Inquiry would agree, but I’m game if you are.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you haven’t worked a day in the system or you are among the favored clan.




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    • Trump says:

      WRONG!




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  24. you know who I am says:

    It is obvious who is in control behind the veil of secrecy surrounding the maladministration of the Cayman Islands and it damn sure isn’t the MLA’s. Unless and until the opaque beneficial ownership laws are rescinded and conflicts of interests and far worse are exposed to the sanitizing qualities of broad daylight, Cayman will never get good representation. Those who are coming out of the woodwork now, in addition to the incumbents, should all have to account with full transparency for every copper ching ching in their coffers and campaign funds. That brutal yet lovable bitch called karma is having her way with Cayman and it is all related to the worldwide negative influence of what lawyers call ‘privacy’ but everyone knows is protection from justice to do all manner of evil on a global scale.




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  25. Anonymous says:

    Alden and Wayne know what the opposition want. There’s no hidden agendas for them and I commend the opposition for not conducting these typical closed door nonsense talks. Government knows the truth they know this bill is bad for our country and our people. They have heard from the caymanian attorneys and it’s time to put our people before special interest groups! We are all watching you




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    • Anonymous says:

      What the opposition want is bad for the industry. I am a caymanian attorney and I want this bill passed, it would be fantastic for country and industry.




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      • mmp says:

        Glad to hear that you support the LPB. After this election you can hire Alden because he is going to need a job and he can work under the new LPL.




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      • Anonymous says:

        “Fantastic” isn’t in our vocabulary fraud! Nice try! And if you are Caymanian be Caymanian and stop trying to be like these expat lawyer frauds!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Fanstatic for which country? Did you even read the bill?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Really!? You’re a horrible attorney then as you obviously haven’t read the bill! Pay close attention at the amendment stage and perhaps you will be enlightened little one!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course they want it held behind closed doors, they do not want the public to here what is really going on.




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  26. Anonymous says:

    Alden; the great flip-flopper!




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