Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
Calling it an 'immense improvement' that promotes and
protects the interests of Caymanian lawyers while also addressing
international compliance standards, Financial Services Minister
Wayne Panton highlighted today's gazettal of the Legal
Practitioners Bill, 2016, as a defining moment for the Cayman
'This bill has taken the better part of 15 years to
accomplish', he said. 'I thank and congratulate both the
Caymanian Bar Association and the Cayman Islands Law Society for
their stellar efforts in helping this important legislation to come
closer to passage than ever before'.
Referred to as the LPB, the bill will be debated during the
October session of the Legislative Assembly.
In addition to its importance for legal practitioners, Minister
Panton explained that the regulation of lawyers who practice Cayman
law is vital to our country's reputation and ultimately, our
'The current 16-page law that regulates legal practitioners
was enacted originally in 1969. Things have changed significantly
since then', he noted.
'Today, the practice of Cayman law has become increasingly
more sophisticated, complex and international and as such, the
current law is woefully inadequate', Minister Panton said.
'The LPB represents an immense improvement and is appropriate
for today's reality'.
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said the bill has been an issue
since he was president of the Caymanian Bar Association in
'At least four government administrations have tackled this
legislation', said Mr McLaughlin. 'I know that the failure
to pass this legislation has been damaging to us not only as a
jurisdiction but also to the interests of Caymanian lawyers. I am
therefore delighted that we will be able to present the bill to the
Legislative Assembly at the upcoming meeting'.
The creation of the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners
Association (CILPA) is one of the bill's key features. CILPA
would be a self-regulatory body of eight attorneys-at-law who are
ordinarily resident in Cayman, and who practice Cayman Islands law
in Cayman. At least five of these must be Caymanian and of those
five, at least three must have qualified locally.
Once the bill has been passed in the LA, CILPA would have the
responsibility to promote the qualification, training and
development of Caymanians as attorneys; and ensure that
non-Caymanian persons with foreign qualifications are suitably
qualified to practice Cayman Islands law, Minister Panton said.
CILPA also will have the authority to compel law firms to comply
with strict business staffing plans, including provisions to ensure
that qualified Caymanian attorneys are properly considered for
promotion inside and outside of Cayman.
Besides addressing longstanding issues for Caymanians, the
126-page bill includes provisions to address the Financial Action
Task Force (FATF) Recommendations, which are part of the global
regulatory standard for the financial services industry. In 2017,
the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) will assess
Cayman on its adherence to the FATF Recommendations.
'Passing the bill into law during the October sitting will
allow the legal profession to demonstrate adherence to the FATF
Recommendations, in order for the jurisdiction to achieve a
satisfactory assessment against the international standards',
Minister Panton said.
For the October LA sitting, the Ministry of Financial Services,
the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General's Chambers
will all have bills before the Legislative Assembly that relate to
the CFATF mutual evaluation process.
Virtual currency trading value and volume is soaring globally, but regulating virtual currencies and those who provide virtual currency exchange services (Exchangers) is challenging.
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