Acting SG secures job after open process

| 21/08/2019 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service
Reshma Sharma

(CNS): Reshma Sharma, who has been the acting solicitor general for more than two years, has been formally appointed to the post. Following what was described by officials as a “rigorous open recruitment process”, Sharma was given the job some three weeks ago. Already very experienced in the role of solicitor general, she is currently acting as the attorney general and is also the chief officer of the Portfolio of Legal Affairs.

Before she began acting as the SG, Sharma was the deputy solicitor general for more than a year after she was promoted from senior crown counsel in the portfolio, having joined government in 2005 as crown counsel. Before arriving in the Cayman Islands, Sharma had worked in the Solicitor General’s Chambers in Trinidad and Tobago, where she had been admitted to the bar in October 1997. She also has a Masters in Commercial Law.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said he held Sharma in high esteem for her probity and intelligence. “Her attention to detail and subtle nuances when dealing with even complex matters has been an invaluable asset within these Chambers,” he said, as he congratulated her on the appointment.

Over her years of working in the government’s legal offices she has given legal advice to numerous government departments and public authorities on a range of subjects, including immigration, civil aviation, employment, procurement, intellectual property and human rights.

She has represented government in court and statutory tribunals, including the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, covering constitutional and public administrative law matters involving novel and often complex issues, as well as matters of considerable public interest, officials said.

Some of the human rights litigation in which she has been involved has raised novel points of law in the Cayman Islands under the CI Bill of Rights provisions in the Constitution Order, 2009. This includes defending government against the first same-sex couple in Cayman to challenge the legal ban on gay marriage.

She has also dealt with other discrimination cases under the Bill of Rights, medical negligence cases, and she also represented government in the challenge to the closure of a portion of the West Bay Road.

As head of the Treaties and Conventions Unit in the Attorney General’s Chambers, she coordinated work on conventions extended to the Cayman Islands, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and, more recently, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Sharma has been actively involved in human rights training for civil servants and has also helped government prepare and negotiate contracts. Serving as counsel to the Central Authority under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and the UK, Sharma is also responsible for matters arising under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

Formerly a member of the Cayman Islands Water Authority Board, she is now a member of the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, the Law Reform Commission and the Cayman Islands Child Safeguarding Board.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said Sharma has served the government admirably in all the years she has been in the public sector. “I look forward to her continued sterling service to the people of these Islands,” he added.

Commenting on her formal appointment after two years on the job, Sharma said she was honoured and grateful to the DG and AG for their confidence in her ability.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve the Government of the Cayman Islands over the past 14 years and I look forward to this new chapter and the experiences to come,” she said. “There will be challenges ahead but with the collective best efforts of my staff, the portfolio will continue to strive for excellence as part of the journey towards a world-class civil service.”

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Folks you have got it wrong. First congrats Ms Sharma.

    Second it is all about Salary. No Caymanian with 20 years PQE is going to even apply to be SG making just over $100k PA when they can make $300k in the private sector.

    The civil service salaries at the top is meager and does not reflect the enormity and complexity of the job. Chief Officers regularly managed over $50m budgets and 500 staff. A job like that in the private sector pays at least $300kpa. The Chief Officer gets less than have that amount. While most heads of the run away Statutory Authorities are paid more than the DG and the Premier.

    Finally its hard to train a Caymanian to become SG if no Caymanian have an interest in the Post .

    Yes I am a proud Civil Servant who has benefited greatly from Ms Sharma legal advice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Numbnut your argument makes absolutely no sense.

      FFFS if the Chief Officers and their like so deserve 300+k per year then that is what you should argue for.

      Geezzz…..

  2. Trying to say says:

    What are you trying to imply? Speak or forever hold your peace.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is surely the land of opportunity. Where else on the world can one come in as a relatively junior crown counsel and proceed up the ranks to this level? Why has there been no Caymanian ever appointed to even Deputy Solicitor General?

    The QC is next based on the trend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry, the CIG’s grand globalization experiment is imploding right now as we speak and will meet a bitter end very soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because Caymanians opt to work in private firms rather than for CIG .. do your research

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense. Government service is a closed shop. Maples et al, for the most part, do a much better job at the recruitment, training and promotion of Caymanians.

        • Anonymous says:

          You do talk nonsense.

        • Anonymous says:

          because that is where the brightest and best and other Caymanians go as they can earn 3 times or more the salary than for the government.

          S to rise in Gov, you just have to not be to bothered about money and be better than all the remainder

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you even read the article? ….”Where else on the world can one come in as a relatively junior crown counsel and proceed up the ranks to this level?”

      As she was called in 1997… in 2005 when she came she had 8 years PQE now she has 22 years PQE … where do Caymaninan lawyers work with 22 years PQE certainly not for CIG !!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why would a 22 year PQE Caymanian not be in government service? Could the issue be with government service? Is seeing your country needing change but being surrounded by bureaucrats unwilling to implement it too much to ask of any patriot?

        • Anonymous says:

          @2:11pm Please don’t try to speak sense to the ignorant. You are wasting your time.

          When will people accept that the vast majority of Caymanian attorneys do not view the civil service as a long term career option- especially as a lawyer.

          For the stress, the work, the pay, and the general lack of respect, it isn’t worth it. It’s not Government’s fault, it’s just the general nature of being an attorney and the grand options available to Caymanians in this country. Far better to get paid easily double or even triple the salary of a crown counsel than stick around and do the tenure thing…

          Just look and see how many Caymanians are actually litigators these days. How many at the DPP, or even criminal defense attorneys these days?

          Most are gravitating to the much better paying, more glamorous and far less brain work of corporate law. Facts are facts.

          Forcing people to do work they don’t want to do is a bad idea. If you know a qualified and capable lawyer and not one who just scraped through articles and is looking for a job call the Deputy Governor or send him an email.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you read the original post?. it is not a personal attack on Ms Sharma but an indictment on the system if there is one for the upward mobility of Caymanians. But your usual nitpicking takes over by zeroing in on a few words. Look at the big picture for a change if that is possible. The system shows that anyone can come her and rapidly acquire experience and development because none is afforded to Caymanians, and also gain management and financial skills along the way.
        What a farce this place is.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, the only farce is your bewildering and uneducated logic.
          Don’t try and hide the racism- we know that’s what drives this…

    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, everywhere?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bigotry in action again.
      U mean progress through the ranks like all the Caymanians in top positions did???!!!
      You people will never change. If there was a qualified Caymanian who was interested in the job then they would have applied- and they didn’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        “You people”. Those words smacks of an imported air of superiority, totally unjustified in today’s age. People come here because of opportunity plain and simple. They are dime a dozen where they come from, and that is a fact and see more possibilities here financially and otherwise and play the system to their benefit. Guess you would have to play the race card though to justify your statement.

  4. Anonymous says:

    She has done an amazing job. Congrats Ms Sharma. I keep saying it. I am very impressed with the promotions in our much improved civil service. Gone are the days of promoting based on tenure, political patronage and friendship.

    Performance counts!!

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