No room for local law clerks

| 10/12/2010

(CNS): The question of why, when there are around 550 lawyers licensed to practice in Cayman, there is no room for 11 young Caymanians seeking positions as articled clerks was a point of concern for both sides of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning. Two questions put to the attorney general by George Town MLA Alden McLaughlin raised the issue of why it was so difficult for the young would-be lawyers who had studied at the Cayman Islands Law School, which was now widely respected, to find a law firm to train them. With 368 non-Caymanian lawyers called to the bar in the last five years, the premier said he would act to force firms to train young local lawyers.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said it should be part of a lawyer’s DNA to both train law school graduates and do pro bono work. He added that government should not have to compel the legal profession to undertake this important role as they should be doing it as part of their profession. But he said there were a number of reasons why firms were not taking on clerks, the main one being the economic circumstances.

McLaughlin asked what efforts were being made to put pressure on legal firms to provide the necessary training opportunities for young Caymanians. The AG said his office was speaking with the profession to try and find places for the eleven graduates.

“Overtures have been made to the people who operate the firms and appeals made for them to try and accommodate the people seeking articles,” Bulgin said, adding that over the last six years some fourteen lawyers had articled in the AG’s chambers. He said it was regrettable that the firms would have to be pressured to offer training to new lawyers.

When Miller asked the AG to speak with the business staffing plan board to put a stop on all permits for overseas lawyers with less than ten years experience until these eleven Caymanians found articles, Bulgin suggested that would be difficult.

He confirmed that work-permits were not given to law firms for attorneys with less than three years work experience and that entry level positions were reserved for Caymanians. He admitted, however, there were a few article clerks training at law firms who were not Caymanian but had “Caymanian connections”, such as being married to locals or with parents who were long time residents.

Arden McLean suggested that firms which had clerks that were not Caymanians should be compelled to also take one of the eleven now seeking articles. He said it was a vexing situation and suggested that the “legal fraternity was not so noble” a profession as they would like people to believe.

The AG said he would hold a meeting with the profession as he was also disappointed that these eleven law school graduates were still trying to find a place.

The premier said he had very real concerns that there were some 550 lawyers registered to practice in Cayman but young Caymanians were not being given an opportunity. He warned that he would be looking at some kind of compulsion under the new legal practitioner’s bill that was currently still under discussion, but government would see to it that there was some kind of obligation.

“We have that many lawyers and you tell me that they can’t find room for 11?” he queried. “I will bring government authority to bear on this.”

McKeeva Bush pointed out that it was not a new situation and that from the time the Law School started 27 years ago local law firms avoided taking on young Caymanian law graduates. “The regime must change and I will see that it will change,” the premier stated, adding that it was a very important matter.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Usually I agree that there is somewhat of an entitlement issue in Cayman, especially amongst the younger generation.In this case however, I believe we are going a bit of track and simplifying matters.

    We need to give people a chance to be trained and to gain the experience they need to get ahead. If we do not do this, we never going to break the cycle and we never will be able to draw from our own resources and what is the point of one going to school.

    There is a certain amountof training any lawyer who comes here has to be subjected to as well. After all, they come here to advise on Cayman law and not on US or UK law, so they have to be brought up to speed accordingly.

    I believe this is where the frustration is. If you can extend that kind of training and tolerance towards someone who comes here on a work permit, why can you not extend the training to someone who went to law school here.

    In regards to the posters who go on and on about how law firms only recruit top people etc etc. I must assume that you are either one of those lawyers who has a distorted self image of importance and knowledge or you are someone who has never worked in a law firm.

    I have worked in a law firm for many years, and trust me, a lot of the lawyers who come here have a lot of "fluff" on their resumes and are not always the sharpest pencils in the box!

  2. JTB says:

    As a rule, the offshore law firms operating in Cayman are staffed by people with substantial experience at some of the world’s best firms. They have to be, because the work being done by law firms in Cayman is highly specialised and very demanding.

    As a question of their own personal career development, the 11 Caymanians this article is about would be far better off going to do their trianing with a law firm in the UK, Australia or Canada, where the big law firms offer a full service to their clients and can therefore offer a much more complete and varied training to their articled clerks. A lawyer training in Cayman is going to learn about trusts, offshore funds and cross-border litigation, and that is about it. That will not set them up very well for a rewarding career. If they train in a larger jurisdiction they can decide if they want to specialise in thework that is avilable in Cayman and move back. If they are any good they will be welcomed with open arms.

    From the law firms’ point of view, even as trainees, if these candidates had much about them the law firms would take them on like a shot – they cannot as a rule hire trainees unless they are Caymanian, and trainees are quite useful around the office if they are reliable and competent – they are a good way to increase capacity at reduced cost – the salaries for trainees are lower than for experienced lawyers, and you don’t have to pay work permit or recruitment agents’ fees.

    The law firm I work in has one Caymanian trainee who, after an initial period of demonstrating the caricatured Caymanian characteristics of laziness and a sense of entitlement, has started to work hard and develop as a lawyer, and is now likely to be kept on after qualification. When that trainee qualifies, we will take on another Caymanian as a trainee. We cannot, being the size of firm we are, justify taking on more than one trainee at a time.

    Sadly this article demonstrates the typical anti-expat and ill-informed prejudice, which the politicians pander to and which does so much to hold back the development and growth of the Cayman economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to say that I agree with you about training in another jurisdiction.  Training only in what’s offered in Cayman is incredibly limiting and short sighted. There’s more to law than trusts, funds and litigation…

      But as I’ve said that I realise that’s where the parents claim "the money is" and that’s all that matters isn’t it

    • Anonymous says:

      OK, so realistically speaking, why would one of the top law firms overseas want to take and train someone from Cayman, given that they have probably a bigenough pool of law school graduates availabel locally?

      BTW – a lot of the lawyers who have been brought to Cayman were junior associates at their previous employer so it is debatable if they can be considered as having "substantial experience". In addition, the experience pertains to UK and US law and not so much Cayman law, but they do end up advising on Cayman law here.

      Surely at some stage they had been given the opportunity to learn, train and gain experience and most certainly there were also some lemons amongst the law school graduates overseas which had to be weeded out along the way.

    • Concerned Observer says:

      I am amazed that you are a lawyer. That being said, you are obviously ill informed and prejudice, unfortunately you are unaware.

      "The law firm I work in has one Caymanian trainee who, after an initial period of demonstrating the caricatured Caymanian characteristics of laziness and a sense of entitlement" , having said that, I am under the impression that all Caymanians are lazy. I’m assuming that you are not Caymanian and no one gave you a chance to prove yourself as a trainee.

      Your law firm should be scrutinize and if found to be discriminating against Caymanians, should be fined or have their business license withdrawn.

      You are a disgrace to your profession.

  3. Anne on a moose says:

    How many grauduated this year?

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is a poster who has stated that anything less than a high 2:1 and law students are not good enough to be a lawyer. I disagree completely. Do you really think that all the lawyers currently working at the top 5 firms in Cayman all possess a high 2:1 grade??? Have a look at some of the grades of those who have even made Partner and I guarantee that some of them have less than a high 2:1. All I can say to those students currently still in law school, I would seriously consider a change in career as it’s not going to get any better and it’s only going to get harder and harder to secure articles. Also, it is a known fact that a particular law firm hired a student as an articled clerk whose grades were a lot lower than some of the current 11 waiting to get articles. And this particular firm interviewed some of the very same 11. It boils down to who you know, who you are, and not necessarily what grades you have!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Where is the Business Staffing Board in all of this?  What about career progression for Caymanian lawyers? Heard about the promotion last week of an expat lawyer (who qualified in Cayman in 2006 and in the UK in 2001) over a Caymanian lawyer (who qualified in Cayman in 2001 and who is also qualified in USA (1997), UK (2001) and BVI (2007)) (I got this information from their website)?   How often does the Business Staffing Board dust off "plans" on file to check for compliance?   Too many Partners becoming Caymanians and not many Caymanians becoming Partners!

    • Alexander Mercator says:

      This typifies entitlement culture run riot.

      Adult Child "I want to be a partner"

      Parent "You are entitled to be a partner"

      Adult Child "My performance is not particularly special and I bill less than my peers but I still want to be a partner"

      Parent "Your performance is irrelevant you are entitled to be a partner"

      Adult Child "I have applied for partnership and they don’t want me"

      Parent "But it is your entitlement to be a partner regardless of ability or talent as long as you tick the minimum boxes of suitably qualified."

      Adult Child "Maybe they don’t want to offer me a partnership because I am not good enough and only a small percentage make it that far."

      Parent "Sue them.  Threaten them with the ‘my Daddy knows people in Immigration’ card."

  6. What do you expect? says:

    Seriously? TOP law firms only want TOP lawyers/ legal personnel. And can you blame them? The most suitable candidate for a job, should be the one who gets it, whether you are Caymanian or not. I am Caymanian, and I’m tired of seeing people with the attitude of "entitlement." If you really want to compete for jobs, get on a global level with your education and work experience for a start.Also, given that we are in a global economic crisis right now, it should be no surprise that firms are not readily hiring.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmmm what are they top in? US law, English law – probably not so much Cayman law? Also, if they are so "top" overseas, why do they want to come to Cayman? I would assume that there are much more opportunities for them in NY, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Tokyo etc.

  7. jurisprudence says:

     Caymanians just don’t get it! There is NO room at the INN

  8. Anonymous says:

    Education alone does not mean jobs when your politicians are not doing there part and creating jobs for the local population. Look at what’s happening in China:


  9. Alexander Mercator says:

    This typifies entitlement culture run riot.

    Child "I want to be an attorney"

    Parent "You are entitled to be an attorney"

    Child "My grades are not very high in law school but I still want to be an attorney"

    Parent "Your grades are irrelevant you are entitled to be an attorney"

    Child "I have applied to the law firms and they don’t want me"

    Parent "But it is your entitlement to be an attorney regardless of ability or talent as long as you tick the minimum boxes of suitably qualified."

    Child "Maybe they don’t want to offer me a job because I am not good enough, after all since I don’t cost anything on work permits fees and come with immigration credit benefits, if I was even marginally lower quality than they would like it would make economic sense for them to hire me."



  10. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s about time Caymanians stopped expecting that they should be successful in their own country.  There are alot of opportunities around the world.  Take them.  Just like the expats are taking the opportunities that bring them to Cayman.  Beat them at their own game and be successful in THEIR countries…. that would be something worth writing about now wouldn’t it?

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t care.  They prefer to be here.  They have the $$ and the weather!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not so easy to pick-up and go elsewhere! It’s easy to come to Cayman but how easy you think it is to go elsewhere and work?

      For example, in the legal profession they can just come here and get a work permit to be a lawyer. No conversion courseetc. Guess what? If we go there we have to do more … sounds balanced to you?


      • Anonymous says:

        If you went "there", you would be expected to show up on time everyday, not talk to your friends on your cell during work hours, and put in a proper days’ worth of work. Is that the "more" you are referring to?

        • Anonymous says:

          I believe to poster was referring to the Immigration aspect of moving to another country and working. Cayman is by far easier to move to than a lot of other countries ie the USA, Canada, England where the majority of our professional expats come from.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmmmm.  Both I and my husband have worked in three countries apart from our countries of birth, and they were all much of a muchness as far as getting permits went.  The processes were different, but they weren’t more difficult to navigate than the processes here.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm… I am overseas so yes I do know what it’s like to be somewhere else…

        I’ve been in 5 countries in various parts of the world and I can appreciate that the immigration process isn’t simple or easy.  All I’m saying is that Caymanians need to take the chance to get out of that little box called "entitled to be in Cayman".  Life is hard, nothing’s going to be handed to you ready dressed and we need to stop perpetuating that expectation.

        There’s nothing shameful about working for your money!

  11. nina lucas says:

    A country divided among itself will not stand. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Name one country that is not divided.

      Is Cayman the only country standing?  That’s why everyone expects to come here and keep a job forever!  Whoa!

      Guess what, the people who cause division came here and they expect to crush the natives who must submit, because as expats or residents or status holders – we are entitled to the jobs but Caymanians have no entitlement.

      Guess what. Facts are:  Things will change

      • Judean People's Front says:

        We salute you and will join you in your cause brother.

        If it is possible, could you make the civil upsurge and the changes in the new year? one of us has a bad back and the others are all on the road clean up crew, apart from that, we are ready to march.

        • Peoples Front of Judea says:

          In your Cause?

          You forget all the Expat has done for us: the roads, the sewage works- remember how Hogsty Bay used to smell?; and the wine, don’t forget th wine

          • Campaign for Free Galilee says:

            Don’t forget the law and order too … if you cant keep law and order round here then nobody can.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bad Back you need to get a job

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to see CILS compared to some of the other Law schools in the World. How does it rank? If you get the highest score in CILS does that equate to middle of road for one of the lower ranking schools elsewhere.

    What about the CILS professors — how do they rank?

    Frankly – there are too many lawyers (and politicians) in the world anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      The degree comes from Liverpool University and is graded externally by them. So how does Liverpool rank?

      • Kung Fu Iguana says:

        Liverpool is ranked towards the bottom end of the "old" universities – usually between 35th-40th in the UK. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I really dislike when people post comments on here as factual and they have NOT done the research. Don’t make yourself and those who dared to put thumbs up look so stupid:

          In the Times Good University Guide 2011, the University of Liverpool was ranked 28th.[29]

          In the Complete University Guide 2008, published in The Independent, the University of Liverpool was ranked 42nd out of 113, based on nine measures,[26] while The Times Good University Guide 2008 ranked Liverpool 34th out of 113 universities


          • Kung Fu Iguana says:

            I stand by my comments, which you obviously were too ignorant to understand.  In terms of rankings, your research agrees with mine.  The point is that Liverpool IS towards the bottom end of the "old" universities.


            • Anonymous says:

              Kung Fu Iguana, perhaps you were laid off from a firm and hence your bitterness but your assertions are patently false go to

              tell me how many old universities are ranked behind Liverpool.

              • Kung Fu Iguana says:

                Bitter moi?

                Thanks for your list.  It really helps prove my point.  From a quick review, there seems to be 29 "old" and 2 "new" universities ranked ahead of Liverpool and only 9 "old" universities ranked below it.  So that would make Liverpool towards the bottom end of the old ones.


        • Anonymous says:

          kung fu iguana in your rush to give to tear down an institution you misrepresent the facts, University of Liverpool is ranked 32 out of 115 Universities according to the league table sponsored by the Independent.

          • Kung Fu Iguana says:

            I think I got it absolutely right.  You obviously don’t know what "towards the bottom end of the old universities".  Most of the lower end of the list are the "new" universities – ie the Polys.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am so glad that this issue is being raised.

          Going to the best schools or colleges will not make you the best of anything, it is all about the method of course delivery, teaching, personal application and the right conditions.Although grades are an indicator, it is also circumstances under which grades were achieved.

          In general, the English system of education is usually heavily skewed towards the performance in a single exam, and does not give a second chance to people like other systems such as the US.

          Can one really compare a full-time 23 year old student with a part-time more mature student’s grades who also works full-time and has a family?

          The system needs to look into all factors and not just one aspect.

          If Caymanians cannot have legitimate expectations of progression in their own country, where else can they go?

          • Hallowe'en Jack says:

            There is no place in the world where it is easier to qualify as a lawyer than Cayman if you are Caymanian.  If they can’t make it here they were nowhere near good enough.

    • nauticalone says:

      Especially too many Lawyers and Politicians who fit into the variety whom are unwilling to act in the interest of ethics.

      Too many are only interested in themselves….and to hell with the many.

  13. Anonymous says:

    suggested that the “legal fraternity was not so noble” a professionas they would like people to believe.


    I’d say the same for politicians!  Kettle — met Pot.


  14. Hassle free says:

    Lets rephrase the title of this post NO room for Caymanians in the Legal field. Cayman has just a few token people "placed" their by the bosses to get pass the Immigration hurdles. Do some of you honestly believe they consider us Caymanians lawyers with that "rinky dinky" law certificate their equal. You could attend the highest courts in the UK and you still wouldn’t make the grade old boy & girls.

    Its not all their fault either their arrogance and low tolerance for the locals has had the assistance and encouragement from some of our very own in the Political establishment who themselves were attorneys with serious racial bias and prejudices which by the way still haunt us today.

    These pioneers and visionaries have enriched themselves and their resident partners now Caymanians at the expense of our entire Legal & professional society here in Cayman. Yet we never hold them responsible for their actions or this very unfair situation and legacy they have left our children to face.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well Alden’s inability to protect Caymanians have come home again. He was the one who moved the motion to change the law a few years ago, which in effect made it more difficult for Caymanians to be lawyers.

    I for one will not be giving him any more votes in George Town especially after his performance with the schools projects.

    • Michel Lemay says:

      I have to disagree with 09:26. Alden himself an Attorney at Law always had his Caymanians at heart specially when it came to the school system. He accomplisshed a lot while Minister of Education. If you wish to blame him for something is that he may have cared too much. From the get go he became involved and please tell me what the New Minister of Education in which I will not be voting for again as accomplished so far since in office. Remember Alden was Not alone in the passing for building the many new schools that were needed but the timing along with the recession was wrong. If someone CARE for his fellow Caymanian’s he does. He would have my vote if I was in Georgetown but I am not far and I do have children who live there.  And I sign Michel Lemay.

  16. Legal Beagle says:

    The picture is annoying.  It is exceptionally bad form for a barrister to be robed or wigged outside a Court building.  You just would not see people walking around like that in the Inns.

    • Anonymous says:

      Er…isn’t that exactly where the photo was taken?

    • Anonymous says:

      To continue to hold on to an ancient tradition of divided legal profesional lawyers in the 21st century is ridiculous. Barristers and Solicitors , bah!. Only Uk hanging on to relics of the past.

      • AdamSmith says:

        In terms of economics the UK system can deliver cheaper resolution because barristers have far lower overheads the solicitors so specialisation can be brought into a team cheaply.  In fact every common law system still has the distinction between general litigators and trial advocates, but it is less obvious and more expensive when they are all in one firm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks more like London than Cayman!

      • Legal Beagle says:

        The point of my post was predicated on the photograph being in London – it is obviously taken inside one of the Inns, the south side of New Square by the looks of it.  But it looks like a staged shot set up by someone who does not know better.  I have never ever seen a barrister walk around an Inn quad dressed like that.

        • Jarndyce and Jarndyce says:

          Jesu Christo, Legal Beagle: Please remember there are some of us British who live in the real world who don’t give a flying legal brief about how barristers walk and dress at whatever Inn/inn they visit. Or are you in your pompous post being deeply ironic? Please say "yes".

          • Legal Beagle says:

            Well for a start anyone who holds a view I would listen to would have put "v." instead of "and" between the Jarndyces, but said "and" not "v" or "versus".  And to be honest I don’t care what you think, traditions are important and I found the photograph an annoying and inaccurate cliche.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I do not see why the private sector law firms should have to , forcebly, employ those who could not get placement.

    The Law firms have their own reasons why they did not take them on board.Probably they were not found suitable and hence their decision.

    It is easy for Mr Alden to say they that this unemployed group should be employed by these firms. He does not have to pay for them and the Government does not subsidise the law firm.

    It is a very competitive in the private sector- they have to get the best and also keep costs low to do business cost effectively. The private sector is not a welfare body and my advise is that the Government and Politicians keep out of it. It is already tough out there to succeed in the private sector.

    So let us keep Government and politics out of employment matters


    • Anonymous says:

      "So let us keep Government and politics out of employment matters". 

      Absurd.  How did you get a work permit in the first instance? How did you become a paper Caymanian?  Government and politics!  

      When Government and politics are helping the expats, it’s fine & dandy BUT when tables turn and they say they are going to help Caymanians then these expats want to dictate (as usual) to our politicians.  They will get their way as usual because they threaten and do whatever it takes to stay on this rock.  They are not going to be like the natives – run up their mouths and do nothing AND if they can’t get it, they will not just spoil it, they will destroy it.  The Bahamas is the example.  When the expats couldn’t have their way, they left and took the business with them.  They came here and are still here doing the same thing they were doing in the Bahamas – but now they are "Caymanians"

      Anyway, the Bahamas survived and pulled through.  Will we?


      that give work permits – so let us keep them out and cancel all work permits, Immigration (Govt.) cancel all ‘time’ on work permit holders’ passports, Labour Board make sure all jobs are held by natives – then you can talk

    • Anonymous says:

      or – they were just not as well connected as some of the ones who got placements are…

      come on – we all know what makes the world go round – money and connections!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think this might be the only country in the WORLD whose Legislative Assembly will raise such an issue as important and necessary to table on the agenda when there are so many other pressing economic and criminal issues facing their nation.

    Further, for supposedly educated people to make the assertion that once you are Caymanian, the law firms should automatically ignore your passing grade from law school, your failure at the interview process and other usual considerations companies take into account when hiring is amazing!

    What I want the AG to tell us is out of these 11 unemployed Caymanian wannabe lawyers, how many did he interview and state the reason they were not employed. The Government is the largest employer and therefore should automatically take on at least 5 of these stellar unemployed wannabe lawyers! Or is it that these 11 only want the cushion jobs at Maples and Appleby?

    The legal profession is extremely competitive, it is usual for top firms to only take the top graduates! For you to force firms to take the barrel sweepers is not only wrong but certainly does an injustice to your other potential graduates of the local law school, who will figure they only need to be present in class in order to get a job and not work at being their best. And what happens after they finished their period of articles with the firm, will the forms then be forced to offer them a position? Are we living in a democratic society or Cuba?

    If you wanted to table an important issue, deal with the 10 Caymanians who were just made redundant by Butterfield Bank 2 1/2 week before Christmas rather than these wannabe lawyers who cannot get hired.

    Very interesting…

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound bitter but it isn’t just about you or the 10 Caymanians; it is also about the 11 Caymanians and all the other hardworking Caymanians who are suffering.  All the sufferers need help.

  19. Mr Joe dirt says:

    Cayman you need to eat cool j cookies these are the untouchables they make the rules in this town and in our society turn up their noses to us the local vagabonds and that just how it is ,they are so out touch with reality yet our leaders always seek them out for advice and councils and chairmanships and to keep the ignorant locals in their place. because only them know whats best because they made it by destroying others without touching them The distain for the ignorant poor is always clear and very clinical except when interaction is unavoidable and it appears they have smelt the stench or odor of poverty. We need to take this place back from these parasites.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the thumbs down.  We are so outnumbered!

    • Voice of Reason says:

       This post reeks of Jamaican sentiment. The mess that is Jamaica. The mess that is the Bahamas.

      I loved the huge Jamaican independence day celebrations that were being held HERE in the Cayman Islands. Independence was so successful for the country, clearly….

      If you act like children, then you get treated like children. It’s that simple.

      When do we get the Caymanian Mugabe who is going to push these changes through as demanded by so many of the self-proclaimed "natives" posting these simply ridiculous comments?

      You don’t take an industry of excellence and dumb it down. It’s a global market. Go out and fight in it like everyone else has to.

  20. Anonymouse says:

    Thank you Mr. Mc Laughlin for raising the issue, but are you not too late on this.

    The Minister of Education answered your question long before you asked it when he said that Caymanians had an Employability problem.

    Dont get me wrong. I am the father of a Caymanian Attorney who is struggling to survive in the field because several Law firms have simply passed the buck on him in favour of expats.

    One question Mr. Mclaughlin. How many young caymanians have you articled in your Law Firm???

  21. Gekko says:

    Wow.  You’re all a bunch of nuts.  LIFE IS NOT FAIR, DEAL WITH IT.  With people dying of hunger in Africa and other continents around the world, and with people struggling around the world, you complain about these 11?  Hello, they are the fortunate ones.  They look as though they have no food issues, no shelter issues, no lack of education, even dress well.  They also have a law degree.  There are millions around the world that do not even have ACCESS to education, technology, etc. 

    So they didn’t get hired.  Boo effin’ Hoo!  Get over it.  They’re obviously smart and have money and a degree, let them struggle a little bit to search around for a job wherever they can find it.  I’m sure they will, given their obvious advantages over the common folk.  Besides, it’ll help them BUILD CHARACTER! 😉

    You all act like these are little tiny dirty, poor, uneducated children that have been abandoned cruelly on a doorstep.  Thanks for offering stunning proof of being clueless in support of Big Daddy Government doing everything including wiping your #sses for you.  What a joke.  (i.e. pathetic).

  22. Joe Average says:

    You can buy me a sports car

    fill up the tank

    Tell me a boatload of lawyers

    just sank

    Ain’t nothin’ but a woman …..

    – Robert Cray

    That’s my humble opinion of lawyers British, Caymanian, Ukrainian, whatever.

    • Degreed and married to a Caymanian says:

      A few reasons why qualified Caymanians are unemployed:

      1.) No resumes to accompany college diploma- ie, working as a waiter or hotel night desk to get through school  – companies want to see work ethics and not just degrees.  

      2.) Work permit fees fuel our economy.

      3.) The big companies get away with NOT hiring qualified Caymanians due to cronyism.  

      CNS, please do not censor the names:  XXXXXXX …I’ve applied to all of the above and I’m an overseas edcuated North Amercian married to a Caymanian with a BETTER resume, backed with a long list of community involvement, and excellent references than the ex-pats currently holding the jobs, but since they are already "in" the position, the ex-pat gets to stay… sad.

      I hope the ex-pats can pay my mortgage and house insurance….oh wait, NO, they are living in a cute 2 bedroom on SMB for a fraction of MY real INVESTMENT.

      Until we get back to zero unemployment like when I got here nine years ago, I’m on the side of the Caymanians with this one.

       please do not censor the big companies names.  

      CNS: And yet, you have chosen to censor your own name.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are entirely right of course. Thank you for being honest about the issue. Very few expats are.

      • O'Really says:

        I’m just curious to know how you know your resume was better than the ex-pats currently holding the job? Unless you have inside knowledge by reading the individuals’ HR file, you can’t of course and therefore, in keeping with all the complainers on this thread, you assume you are both better than the incumbent and prejudiced against  by the employer. Is it possible neither of these are true?

        There has never been zero unemployment here. You can research this yourself by looking at the ESO reports. You may be surprised at how many have chosen not to work, even in the very best years for the Cayman economy.

        One final point. If you were employed by any of the firms you have applied to, I can assure you that none of the true borns moaning on this thread would ever consider you Caymanian. You would be just a part of the problem, blocking the career path of another who believes nationality is more important than ability.

  23. Anonymous says:

    can some body tell why should these firms employ these eleven people.  the minister  for labour just told the world that we have a employability problem in cayman.  now if he can say this ,this is the same excuse that the firms will use,  after all it is coming from our govermenrt.  i hope that one day he has to eat his words

  24. Anonymous says:

    These 11 should be grateful. Right now at least they are not exposed to the risk of being misled or even lied to in their attempts to advance their careers, before ultimately hitting an artificially imposed ceiling.

    Try and get a different job.



    Do not worry, you can do a roadside clean up next week.



  25. Anonymous says:

    100% Caymanian soon  How?  They will all be granted status.

  26. Foxtrot Oscar says:


    Just because you have a law degree does not make you suitable to be a lawyer.  And for the higher end international work only a small proportion of lawyers have the skills to do the work.

    As a simple matter of statistics and bell curves, Cayman can only produce a handful of top end lawyers a year.

    The big firms already taken on more article clerks than they should and employ too many Caymanians after articles to appears immigration and the government.

    Law firms are not a social service for entitlement driven wannabees who never will be.  For many I have come across here, the best career advice would have been "don’t bother".

    If this was pushed I would recommend that those using our excellent firms specifically ask that article clerks do not work on their files, because there will no longer be any guarantee of quality control.

    • Anonymous says:

      So my dearest, do you think those brilliant lawyers didn’t start as articled clerks? They just went straight to the top.  Ya right!

  27. Annonymous says:

    I am Caymanian to start with. What I want to say is of both for and against this.

    1) Why should they hire them? If they finished high in their class with exceptionable grades, then yes hire them. But you cannot force a company to hire someone just because he/she is Caymanian. Again, I’m not saying don’t hire them. I am simply saying that they need to be off quality. Let me put it this way, If I owned a business that made wedding cakes,and a Caymanian ‘just got a pass’ in college, should I hire them? Well why would I and have quality that I don’t approve of go to the customer. I would receive a complaint from the customer and probably that customer would move to another company. So I’m trying to say that yes hire them if they meet the quality. I’m trying to see both sides of the picture here. I do agree that companies need to show that whomever they hired surpassed the Caymanian with a resume that makes them look like a child. I don’t believe they should hire ex-pats because they went to a certain school anywhere else in the world.

    And my second point is more important than the first!!!!!

    2) Why is it that he is making a BIG deal of 11 ppl. Hold on! I’m not putting them down. I’m saying that what about all the rest of our fellow Caymanians out there with no work. I did not hear Mac comment about the lady that had a placard in town square. What about the ‘small’ people that cannot afford law school? What about the people that got work for ‘just’ the christmas holidays to clean streets? They have to go home knowing that after christmas that they have to go back to square one and look for a job.

    Seriously Mac, do us all a favour and quit. Quit while you are ahead(hahahaha). You have done enough damage. Let young people take over, they will probably have a better chance than you. I’m sorry but you do not cut it. Go back to being a janitor or gardener or whatever you did better than a politician.

    I believe that in politics, parties do not work. We need to work together in this and help each other. All politicians are mostly good at is having an investigation into each other. Thats the only thing that they can follow thru on.


  28. Durrrr says:

    The Clerk of the Court maintains a register of articled clerks, so it should be pretty easy to determine which firms are pulling their weight and which are not.


    But as several posters below have already said, you surely need to see details of the grades that these individuals have obtained before you can demand anything on their behalf.

  29. anonymous says:

    What will surprise me is if Big Mac takes on these law firms that means he will again have my admiration and may be even my support  he has got to prove us all  wrong that he  CAN AND WILL INDEED TO THIS!


    Use your dictatorship powers and MAKE THESE LAW FIRMS HIRE OUR PRECIOUS LAW SCHOOL GRADUATES. Don’t let them throw our children to the dogs!

    Pirates have taken over this country and they are blatently feisty

    McKeeva did you tell these people that they could come to out country and DO AS THEY BLOODY WELL PLEASE?

    If not.


    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva , remember you wanted to be a lawyer too and did’nt get a chance, so you need to at least protect the indigenous Caymanians.

  30. Anonymous says:

    There is probably a reason why they were not hired as most of the people who graduated from the PPC this year have obtained article placements

  31. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke, you can’t force a firm to hire Caymanians just because there are a few Caymanians that are not working in the field.

    They should be hired solely on merit, not to fill a ‘quota’.

    They are not hiring because times are tough, plain and simple.  If that is not the case, surely there are other justifiable reasons why these people have not been hired. I doubt it would be fare to say that every law firm in the country is racist.

    I would hate to be the person who’s employer has been forced by the Goverment to give them a job.  How could they possibly integrate into the firm. 

    This could only further reinforce the notion that Caymanians are entitled to jobs, without being hired on merit alone.


    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians are entitled to jobs when they are qualified to fill them, and there are expatriates filling the roles. This is subject to only a few rare exceptions, and is similar to restrictions in place in other countries including the US and UK.

      The problem arises beacause some overseas lawyers came here and thought they would be clever with the law. They agreed to conditions on their permits that required them to adequately train Caymanians. They pretended to comply and confirmed to the authorities how x Caymanian was advancing and even persuaded x to confirm all was well. Then as quick as a Cabinet status grant,  the promises are forgotten, and the Caymanian discarded.

      This was chuckled about by some but they stopped laughing when they finally realised that  the scheme involved misleading the local authorities and local practitioners, and brought a possible consequence.  It required a fraud of sorts to take place, and although it was possible to bamboozle immigration and labor authorities for a while the professional bodies where they come from understand the issue a little better. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think you’re qualified, then correct these:

      fare – FAIR

      who’s – WHOSE

      and yes racism prevails in the law firms

      • Dick Shaughneary says:

        "And yes, racism prevails in the law firms."

        Note the punctuation.  It is as important to express as spelling.  Even crass generalisations without any specifics to back them up deserve decent punctuation.

  32. My2cents says:

    Unless I am missing something, it seems to me the law firms are voting with their feet when it comes to the quality of articled clerks being turned out by the local education system.

    Perhaps we should be looking at the quality of the applicants and the quality of their education rather than forcing the local law firms to take them.

    Or some acknowledgement that we are in a recession might not hurt either.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the recession has anything to do with it, no native Caymanian who is qualified should be without a job while there are so many work permits.  Caymanians must come first! If steps are not taken to correct this situation, then it’s only a matter of time before resentment is going to explode and the silt will hit the fan.  With their backs against the wall – they will face the foe…..

  33. Anonymous says:

    Another good question is why are there really not Caymanian partners? I do mean equity partners which are the ONLY kind of partnership that exists. The rest are high paid administrators who do not share in the profits of the firm but are called "partners" to make us all feel good.

    The sole Caymanian one at Maples has just retired. Now what?

  34. Thank you Gentlemen says:

    If PPM and UDP can work together to correct this injustice it is at least a start and all is not lost!

  35. Anonymous says:

    They tell us we need education we do that. They tell us we need experience we do that. They tell us to go abroad we do that. Yet, we can get no further ahead! They are always looking for excuses to not take on Caymanians!

  36. Anonymous says:

     I have always thought that the logic behind not allowing permits for lawyers with 3 years experience was a trap.   Fatally flawed.  It is exactly those lawyers who should have permits, and no one else.   When you reserve the junior levels for locals, then you by implication protect the senior positions for expats. This is why thereis no room for us.  The legal profession here is not only segregated, but devious.  They simply do not want locals.  When they say they do, they LIE!



  37. Anonymous says:

    This is not just happening to lawyers.  There is a concerted effort to keep out Caymanians at all levels.  Why does the government not step in and start reducing the work permit approvals? Employers are doing all kinds of underhandedness to get away with turning down Caymanians.  They don’t give you a reason for turning you down nor tell you if they hired a Caymanian.  If they can’t turn you down because you meet all experience and educational requirements, they even tell people that they have decided to reorganise their department and that they no longer need to fill the post!  PEOPLE WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR OURSELVES!  IF WE HAVE TO START MARCHING WITH POSTERS THAN LET’S DO IT.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is just so much rhetoric.  There are many, many responsible and well educated Caymanians in positions in firms all over this Island.  But there are also a lot who are not employable.  Please do not lump all Caymanians together.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many expats have a sense of entitlement – cheating goes on from top to bottom.

        There are alot of paper Caymanians who are not employable.  Too bad ‘being employable’ wasn’t a criteria to be met with the masses of status grants.  Being able to mark an X was ok – now we talk about unemployability.  Just increase the social services’ budget otherwise Caymanians will soon look like those Haitians.


    • Anonymous says:

      What is your evidence for this? I t makes no sense to refuse a Caymanian  a job if they can perform. Why go to the extra expense and suffer the stress of dealing with Immigration, when there is a Caymanian on your doorstep who can excel? From the point of view of an expatriate employer who has always tried hard to employ locals, these rants sound as if they are based on emotion rather than reality. Please give your readers just one concrete exampleof a competent, qualified, willing and reliable Caymanian, who has been  turned away from a job, only  to be replaced by a permit holder. I’d love to meet one, because I never have.

      • Anonymous says:

        It makes sense to refuse a qualified Caymanian a job.

        He poses a threat to an expat’s job.

        He would take the job of an expat’s friend or countryman.

        Jobs are too hard to come by back home, so WE are going to fight like hell to keep Caymanians out. They are passive and few so WE are in control.

        WE just don’t like working with natives.  They should be living in huts.

        UK, Canada, US – at the top.  Specific Caribbean – mediocre. Others – bottom.  Caymanians – ??? SAD


      • Anonymous says:

        ‘You haven’t met one’. Then you’ve only met Caymanians and a handful of expats or very gullible or naive.

      • Anonymous says:

        One!? Are you kidding? There are literally scores. It happens very often. Obviously no one is going to embarrass anyone by listing their names here. Also, you know perfectly well that employers have all sorts of reasons for not wishing to employ Caymanians that do not relate to the competence of the Caymanian applicants, e.g. 1. we have to keep the ratio of Caymanians to expats low because of the risk of the perception by our clients that we have lowered the quality of our firm, 2. an employer can control an expat employee more effectively and in some cases exploit them, 3. cronyism. Well this candidate is the son of Mr. X a partner in Y firm, my golfing buddy, 4. employees from the manager’s home country will be a "better cultural fit" within the office so if, e.g. a Canadian is the manager he tends to prefer Canadian candidates, 5. the expat has already been employed on a temporary permit (which required no local ad) and is working out fine so the employer is now just going thru the motions because it would be disruptive to his business to employ someone new in that role. I can think of at least one case in each cateogory. No doubt the deniers will respond with thumbs down but if they are honest they will recognise that even within their experience one or more of these "reasons" have been the cause. Facts are stubborn things.     

  38. Subway Cookie says:

    I know how difficult it is out there to get training.  Please stay motivated and do not give up, keep putting yourselves out there and force them to look at you.  DO NOT wait for the Government to pave this road for you, it will not happen that way. 

    Also, my advice would be to take those two law firms OFF your radar.  There are several wonderful firms out there, smaller, more open and willing to train and less likely to have you burn out and leave the field in 7 years!

    Articled clerks are regarded, from a business perpective, as liabilities.  Often times your work is not billable and yet you still receive a salary (albeit meager!).  That said, I think the law school needs to step in and actively introduce potential clerks to firms as early in the degree stage as possible.  Some firms have locked in to take on clerks who are now only in 1st or 2nd year of their degree.

    Like I said, its not easy but keep pursuing.  I sincerely hope you 11 graduates get your opportunity soon.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Simple, many international papers have been commenting on the glut of recent law school graduates worldwide. There are simply too many of them, competing for very few spots.

    If you are not the very best, you will not get a position right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. There are Caymanians with the highest possible grades that are amongst these 11 while some firms hire less qualified expats and call them secretaries or paralegals to get around immigration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that the reason why we have so many on work permits?

  40. Waddles says:

    It’s so sad to learn that after our Government, the parents and these students have invested so much to reach this far, our children are not afforded the opportunity to be placed in one of our many law firms.

    Maybe it’s time for our Labour and Work Permit Boards to further scrutinise the work permit applications for these law firms.

    I have a child studying at the CI Law School and he’s concerned that he may not get articled at home. I keep encouraging him to pursue his dreams of becoming a lawyer, but after reading this article I am somewhat disillusioned as well.


    • Alexander Mercator says:

      He should be very concerned.  Only a fraction of law students make it as lawyers.  A law degree is necessary but not sufficient part of the process.  If someone is not in the top 20% of the law school here I would not expect the best firms to hire them for articles.

      From my experience the law firms employ more Caymanians, especially younger ones, than they would in a free market environment.

      Bottom line – if someone can’t get articles here they would not get articles anywhere.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I’ll begin by stating that i’m Caymanian. It would be a grave mistake to force firms to hire these 11. Because you obtain a law degree does not mean that you have the skill set to become a lawyer. It is hard enough trying to earn respect as a newly qualified Caymanian attorney in a firm dominated by ex-patriate workers where your employment at that firm is based on merit. If you take the merit based approach and legislate the hiring of Caymanians you do no-one a favour and take a step down the slippery slope of socialism.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s socialism if you try to help the natives but can you put a name to what expats are doing to Caymanians?  It’s OPPRESSION. 

  42. Anonymous says:

    Honourable Mr. Rolston Anglin. Are these 11 the "unemployable" that you were referring to earlier?

  43. A Concerned Young Caymanian Father says:

    The problem: Caymanian

    The solution: Not always as simple as we think, but gov’t. needs to pretty much tell the companies/organizations that are here "Hey, you WILL make space for Caymanians…even if it means getting rid of some of your expat workers."


    This is probably the only country this kind of foolishness is so pervasive.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It would be useful to see the grades these students obtained before we start demanding anything on their behalf.


    • Anonymous says:

      Some of these students have passing grades of 2.1, 2.2 and some third class passes for the LLB. Some students graduated the PPC with commendation and others just a pass. In addition, some of these students possess over 10 years experience working in a law firm previously. Some have dedicated their lives religiously over the last several years to getting their education and are now up against a brick wall. So don’t sit and think the reason why these 11 are not articled is because they don’t possess good grades.

      • Patricia X says:

        I would not want someone with a Desmond or a Douglas for a law degree as my attorney.

    • Foxtrot Oscar says:

      Anything less than a high 2:1 and law students are not good enough to be a lawyer.

      • Anonymous says:

        You just called for most expatriate lawyers, including many partners, to have their permits cancelled on the basis they are not qualified for their positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you ask to see the grades of the expats.

      Anyway some expats have all kinds of grades & certificates which they concocted!

  45. Frank says:

    Finally one thing that i actually agree with Mckeeva doing! Hopefully its not all hot air as has been the case with the last 389 promises he has made!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Folks this is nothing new. What alarms me is that the politicians seem to be acting like this is a recent problem. NEWS FLASH!! This is happening across the board for a decade if not two. These companies claim lack of financial resources yet they build $50 million dollar buildings, maintain private jets to travel to their global offices and pay out tens of millions in bonuses. I think you get the picture by now.

    Keep in mind that no one can do anything to us unless we let them!

  47. Anonymous says:

    He is finally getting the picture!

  48. TennisAce says:

     The point that should also be made is how come the local law firms, those who are operated by  Caymanians are not offering articles to these Caymanians.  Is it that we are relying on the larger law firms to provide articles.  There are many sole practitioners out there, have any of them approached the Law School and informed them that they can offer articles to persons who are so desirous of obtaining them. 

    Giving articles to a law clerk is not as easy as it sounds.  For one thing these people do not earn  any money for the firm and you have to take significant amount of man hours to train them, provide guidance and oversight.  That is billable hours lost.  

    A law firm is like any other business.  They are in it to make money.  That being said, I know of many firms who do provide articles and you would be surprised at the ones that do offer articles and the ones who do not.  Perhaps before everyone starts thinking that the big firms are not providing articles to law school graduates, we should look at the ones who are doing this as against the ones who are not. 

    • Anonymous says:

      First, you want to know why small Caymanian firms and sole practitioners have not offered the CILS graduates articles then you point out that it takes a significant number of hours to train graduates and they earn no money for you. Surely this argument is far more potent for small firms and sole practitioners. Did you think that it worked better for large expat firms which earn millions of dollars and have the wherewithal to do it?  

  49. anonymous says:

    Good Mr. Bush I’m an independent but if you take care of this one, you’ll win me back some how.  I might stop raising  so much hell. We need to send a clear message that we will NOT ALLOW CORPORATIONS TO SET UP HOUSE, AND COME TO THIS COUNTRY AND DO AS THEY PLEASE!

    Not  now, not tomorrow, not ever!


  50. anonymous says:

    Yes, are you all convinced now that the door is indeed slammed in the faces of our Caymanian Professionals just like the unskilled and skilled worker?

    Caymanians wake up. Not even our law school graduates can get articled at these law firms in the Cayman Islands. We need to elect people that will put a stop to this prejudice.


    oh I forgot they only think about themselves and competition. ‘ they don’t realize one day their child may need representation from  one our young Caymanian Lawyers .

    Give us a list of the Caymanian owned Law firms and BOO them for not helping their own!




    A clear indication  there is a strong element determined to to KEEP CAYMANIANS DOWN!

    I guess afer this article is read we should see No More comments about Caymanians not being educated and not qualified.

    These are our Elite for heavens sake!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Please start with the Legal Department….how many applications from ‘native’ Caymanians have they rejected? To the best of my knowledge thet only have one native Caymanian Crown Counsel now too. There are some who have obatined status but if we are going to address what is happening to recruitment in the legal profession, the AG and SG should also monitor what the HR Manager there is doing….or not!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Legal Dept has quite a few born Caymanians in it. It is generally considered (including, frequently,by posters to this site) pretty useless. When did you last see the native Caymanian Crown Counsel do any serious work in court – ie the sort that matters to the nation? If you were a terrific Caymanian lawyer earning $80k in the Legal Dept, would you stay there or go in the private sector where that salary would be a para-legal’s?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please. We all know that the legal dept. is dominated by a certain nationality which is not Caymanian. You can lay the charge of incompetence squarely at their feet as well.

        As if "born Caymanian = incompetence". Cheek! 

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not sure what your point is. You state that there are "quite a few" born Caymanians at the legal dept., that you don’t see them involved in any "serious work in court" but then apparently you are holding them responsible for any perceived incompetence at the legal department. The legal dept is run by the Attorney General and the Solicitor General neither of whom is a born Caymanian. They are responsible for the quality of the output of the legal dept.  Having had to obtain advice from various members of the govt. legal dept. there is plenty of incompetence to go around and the funny thing is not once was the person I dealt with a born Caymanian.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone did an FOI on the Legal Dept. to ask the same question and I think the figures were like 6:17 that’s caymanian: expat! That’s pretty poor and they can do much better.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think the top 11 law firms on-island should do the right thing and take one one articled clerk each. 

  53. NOYT says:


  54. Anonymous says:

    Does this surprise anyone?