Bush aims for new “lawyers’ law” before year end

| 21/09/2011

(CNS): The current situation regarding the failure of the legal profession to agree on a revised legal practitioners’ bill is an unhealthy situation for the economy, the relationships between Caymanian and non-Caymanian lawyers and the legal profession as a whole, the premier said recently. The goal of crafting a law which protects Caymanian lawyers and meets the needs of the profession has proved difficult but McKeeva Bush says he has instructed local lawyers Sherri Bodden-Cowan and Theresa Pitcairn, who have been conducting research on the issue, to help draft a new bill.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly earlier this month, Bush said he hoped to have a Bill available for circulation by November this year and further revealed that an alternative system for articles enabling local students to be called to the Bar without having to go to firms, was also being examine to address the issue of training in a more equitable and effective fashion.

For some time now local students have been complaining that securing articles with local firms is almost impossible and local lawyers continue to express concerns regarding promotion and training in the sector.

“It is important for law firms to continue to succeed but equally important for our Caymanian professionals to succeed,” Bush told parliament. “What I can guarantee young Caymanians who are needing to be articled and deserve a chance to make it as a lawyer in these Islands, a system will be put in place by my administration to make it happen.”

Bush said that for years Caymanian professionals have expressed their woes about lack of training, unequal treatment, victimization, glass ceilings and their inability to obtain articles.

“There is a draft report prepared by a subcommittee of the Bar Association which suggests that everything that Caymanian lawyers have told us for decades is true.  There is a perception among Caymanian lawyers that only foreign lawyers reap the economic benefits and successes from the offshore business, and that when the firms get a chance, they outsource jobs,” he stated.

There are also numerous concerns being expressed by the profession itself, in particular regarding the practice of Cayman law outside of the Cayman Islands. It is estimated that more than 132 attorneys currently practice Cayman law from overseas offices, as well as those in a number of foreign law firms with no connection to Cayman who hold themselves out as practicing Cayman law.  The legal profession has expressed concern that the “practice of law” is not adequately defined, which makes it difficult to claim any breach.

Bush explained that the larger law firms and the professional associations have been requesting that a modernized law be introduced to also regulate the issue of practicing certificates (where lawyers are located, and are ‘licensed to practice’ Cayman Islands law abroad), generate revenue in the Cayman Islands, and properly regulate the legal profession.

He said work had also been done on the concept of a “recognized firm” and an “affiliate” to ensure that effective control is maintained in Cayman over the global network of practice in Cayman law.

Bush said government intended to provide around six months from the date of passage of the new law so that every firm will have time to restructure in accordance with the new requirements.

“It is hoped that this process can be concluded on a timely basis, to enable us both to address acknowledged issues in the practice of Cayman law – both of a professional and an economic nature,” the premier stated, adding that Cayman must not overlook the prospects for better public governance and enhancements of the regulatory regime and revenue base.

See premier’s full statement delivered in the Legislative Assembly below.

Category: Local News

Comments (87)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is the problem with the British vs the US system of education.

    If there are law school graduates not up to par, then they should be given an opportunity to upgrade their skills.

    The US system of education is based on multiple opportunities to succeed, whereas in the British system it is sheep or goats which is ALL or NOTHING.

    It seems in Cayman it is all too frequently the latter for Caymanians.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How can a foreign lawyer come here an simply be admitted to practice, when he has not studied Cayman law? As well as those who practice overseas Cayman law?

    Why do we have hundreds of overseas lawyers on work-permits yet we have qualified Caymanians who cannot secure articles?

    Is it a new and modern replacement type of the old plantocracy?

    Remember Bob Marley's song……..Emancipate yourself from Mental slavery!

  3. Anonymous says:

     

    What other country allows foreign lawyers to claim to be experts in their law simply because did a little visit to get admitted, There is an easy solution, make it illegal to practice Cayman law outside Cayman unless you are Caymanian you have PR or have a permit here otherwise your license is cancelled. 

    • Legal Seagull says:

      You don't have much direct experience of the function of limited admissions do you?  Knowing virtually nothing about a topic does not debar anyone from expressing a view on CNS.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't see that the post has anything to do with limited admissions since the practitioner will be practising within the jurisdiction for that purpose.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Its all a consiracy I tell you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If this happens there will be even less respect for caymanians – 'oh he's only a lawyer because he's caymanian'  There will be little respect for the hard work, dedeication and expense that goes in to being a lawyer.

    There is plenty of work out there, Caymanians need to compete, just like everyone else in the world does, to obtain these opportunities. Its not easy, why should anyone be constantly spoon fed things?

    Caymanians or otherwsie have to start at the bottom like every other lawyer did, and articles are great because the experience you obtain is invaluable.

    It is not in the interests of justice to just have anyone appear before the court, being Caymanian is not a qualification or justification.

    Many caymanians don't want to go in to criminal law because they know too many people, they would also be conflicted in too many cases. Many don't want to because they don't want to work for the measly $135.00 they are paid. They feel entitled to a piece of the bigger pie.

    If i were locked up i would want a suitably qualified person to represent me – i don't care what gender, colour, race or religion. its totally irrelevant.

    Caymanianssadly have such bad reputation for being lazy, being expected things, being handed things. Being a lawyer is no picnic, it wasn't easy for any lawyer here so why should it be easier for caymanians?

    Stand up young Caymanians, make it be about you, your talent, your effort and your work – being Caymanian should be secondary to that.

    • Subway Cookie says:

      This is precisely where the Caymanian entitlement issue comes from.  Why should a Caymanian be afforded an easier route to qualifying based solely on immigration status?  Becoming a lawyer is very difficult and takes time, perseverance and a heck of a lot of dedication and hard work.  It is not supposed to be easier, those who want it most will have it.  If you make it easier for us you will only diminsh us in the eys of our foreign counterparts who already give little credibility to the Cayman Islands Law School.  With all due respect, not all persons who can article should article.  Not all persons with a law degree are fit to become attorneys.  Firms do article, and yes it is very competitive.  We need that to make us strive harder and weed out those who are not up to it.  Not all of the 12 persons who remain unarticled are necessarily candidates law firms want or need.  Once particular candidate has more than burned her bridges and we ALL know it.  No more entitlement, you want to be a lawyer?  Buss your a%& studying, get all the mooting and non-paid experience even if you can.  Force the doors of those law firms open and take into serious consideration OTHER firms besides Walkers and Maples.  This is a load of crap and a slap in the face to all the Caymanians who went the hard way and persevered til they qualified.  You are not equiped with the tools needed to practice if you have not articled.  You would not send out a driver who only passed the theory part of their driving test.  You are doing a great disservice to aspiring Caymanian lawyers.  You are also insulting them by assuming they cannot compete with foreign lawyers and need an easy route.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians should be provided preference here for the same reason the English are in England, Canadians in Canada, Australians in Australia etc etc. It really not that hard to understand.

    • Anonymous says:

       'entitlement' is defined and evident in workers demanding end to rollover, no immigration policy for them etc………now that's feeling ENTITLED!! getting off a plane entitles them to demand our leaders to 'appease' them.

      We are constantly changing our laws to satisfy their whining……compare how often we change immigration laws to accommodate loudest voices (the expats, status holders) yet we cant get a current Employment Law passed.

      only country in the world where expats can use stories of entitlement by a few and usually these Caymanians are status holders to demand what our immigration and labour laws should be and that is to make it easier for them

       

      when will people understand there is a difference between entitlement attitude versus expecting best opportunity in country of birth?

      telling native Caymanians we could move to other countries to get a job????? Really, so their entire communities could relocate?

      • Anonymous says:

        Although I can sympathize with Caymanians who feel dissatisfied with their prospects in the workforce, I find it naive in the extreme to assume that immigration policy would be changed because expatriates demand it.  Immigration policy is changed when your Caymanian leaders feel it is necessary to do so for the good of the country.  They may be influenced by the advice of leaders in the business community (which is made up of successful expatriates AND Caymanians), but their ultimate goal will always be to bring the maximum possible profits to the Cayman Islands.  There is little or no political correctness involved, and government is certainly not rolling over to please expats.  Like everyone else in the world today, they follow the money.  

         

         

         

         

      • Anonymous says:

        you live on a little island. if the jobs don't match up with what people want you have to go look somewhere else or take a different job.

  6. biker says:

    Hey Premier, with your obvious choice of career, why did you never attend Law School?

    • Anonymous says:

      He didn't want to be handicapped by the high ethical standards. Would never have made as much money as he has as a politician/real estate company owner/developer.

    • Perhaps says:

      They required one GCSE at grade C or above?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the commentator that points out 1000s are looking for articles in the UK, 11 whocannot secure articles here is proportionately about correct.  The situation is the same in other commonwealth countries.  It is a given when you enter law school that everyone warns you while studying to get the best marks possible or you won't secure articles.  The law is challenging and you have to work hard to get a job.   Those who don't win articles are certainly not unemployable, they can and do win good jobs in the civil service, trust industry, banking industry, journalism, can act as compliance officers, professors etc.  Not everyone who finishes law school is suited to becoming a lawyer.  The main problem though here in Cayman is it is just too easy to get into the law school, in other jurisdictions you have to have top marks and preferably a post-secondary degree before you can even APPLY to go to law school, and even then are only considered for admission if your high marks are combined with a high LSAT score.  As a result they are admitting some people to law school who have a low chance of success right off the bat and that is not fair to them at the end when they struggle with exams and have to find articles with low test scores.  In top law schools abroad many even have so many bright students that pass the admission process that they have to implement a grading curve where, for example, if the entire class scores between 95-100% on the exams those that get 95% will receive a D and only the top 1-3% get the As! If they didn't have the curve everyone would get As and it would be difficult to assess the brightest.   Its incredibly competitive.    Yet another problem is some students expect the big money to be paid to them as soon as they graduate law school, which is unrealistic.  They turn down jobs paying small salaries because they feel they deserve more.  However articling students and new lawyers abroad make very little money, much less than senior secretaries, until 2-3 years into their career unless they graduated at the very top of the class at the very best law school and/or clerked for a judge.

     

  8. At long last says:

     

    It seems as if the Premier is listening to the right person(s). It is a bit disappointing however that it has taken so long to finally acknowledge the hardships faced by our Caymanian Lawyers. I can name at least 20 Caymanians who, through their own personal experiences, have the same or very similar concerns. 

    1. The inability of our local law school graduates to find a firm willing to offer articles is a travesty and symbolic of the attitudes of our so called Caymanian Law firms with regard to Caymanian lawyers. Some of these larger firms earn 10's of millions each year, can afford to invest in new buildings which sit empty for years, open offices around the globe, make significant political campaign contributions every 4 years, but they cannot take on a few law students ? This illustrates the lengths they will go to in their attempts to keep the Caymanians out of the practice. I would like to see how many Caymanian born and bred partners each of these firms have in contrast to the non-Caymanian born and bred partners. I make this distinction because it seems to be a mere formality for them to receive Caymanian status.

    2. The situation with Cayman Law being offered from other jurisdictions has been the driving factor behind these firms opening offices across the globe. Bear in mind that these offices are not branches and operate as seperate legal entities that are only loosely associated with the Cayman office for convenience. The profits earned in those offices do not necessarily find their way back to Cayman. Other jurisdictions do not allow this practice and neither should we! If you are a Cayman Law firm then offer Cayman Law from your Cayman office, not some serviced office in Dubai, Hong Kong, Mauritius etc

    The legal industry here in Cayman is supposed to be considered one of the most ethical considering the abundance of legal professionals and the "assumed" code of conduct, but it really appears as if they are actually the source of much contempt, unhappiness, greed, malice, prejudice, hatred, abuse and unethical behavior. 

    It is time to clean house, and I know Theresa Pitcairn can draw on her personal experiences as a lawyer and the abuses she has had to endure as motivation for correcting these wrongs!

    There have been many Caymanians who were in positions of power within these firms who sat by and did nothing to level the playing field for Caymanians. These individuals should now take a back seat and not even bother to comment. 

    I support the Premier and Mrs. Pitcairn in bringing this to the forefront and look forward to the changes. they are well over-due!

    • Dying : One Golden Goose says:

      I want my lawyer to be recruited and promoted on the basis of talent not nationality.  So do the world's financial services companies.  Being forced to recruit or promote the less able because of state enforced discrimination either increases costs, decreases service quality or more often both.  Our customers in Cayman already are worried about costs and fees and yet more fees.  Nonsense like imposing a "nationalism tax" by forced recruitment will only help drive more work away from Cayman.

      • So says:

        So then you agree with the points I have made. The Firms discriminate against Caymanian Lawyers and do not choose their staff based on talent but rather based on who is not a Caymanian.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Now why on earth would they do that? Name me just one good commercial reason, if you understand what "commercial" means. Employers don't think in terms of who is Caymanian and who isn't, they think in terms of who they feel can do the job and who can't. My suspicion is that you're just another person in the latter category and you're bitter about it and want to find a reason for it other than your own shortcomings. Don't: no such reason exists. There are plenty of you out there, whether or not Caymanians. It's called life.

          • Anonymous says:

            “pedigree” is one of the reasons described to me by an expatriate partner.

        • Anonymous says:

          You must be right.  I'm sure these firms, working in the cut-throat world of financial law, have no need to be competitive by hiring the best people they can.  No, I'm sure they routinely overlook the best candidates — the ones who will make them the most money — simply to annoy Caymanians.  

        • Legal Seagull says:

          You are an idiot who can't read.

    • Anonymous says:

      "I can name at least 20 Caymanians". Then do so. The truth is of course that  your sources are non-existent, and you can get away with that by claiming that "persecution" will rain down on them if you disclose who they are – the cherished myth of the incompetent, trotted out time and again. You can say anything you like and pretend it's fact.

      I hope you're not a lawyer, because lying like that will get you struck off.

      • Ha ha haaa says:

        Hit a nerve didnt I? I cannot name names without their permission. Do you think I would be so reckless? Dont worry the time to name and shame is drawing near my friend, so keep sitting in your ivory tower and pretending. I can name more than 20 as a matter of fact. Nearly every Caymanian Lawyer I know has made comments about the discriminatory practices employed by these firms and the time is coming near when we need to expose them. I promise you that you will have your 20 names just prior to the next elections.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Did Bush tell you to say that?  We're in Cayman so I'm sure you won't mind if I just say right, I belive you and we will both be happy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don't know where Bush is getting his information from.  A Caymanian law graduate can become a qualified lawyer and Partner within 3 years (unheard of anywhere else!).  Go Walkers!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'm not sure where this magic number '11' has come from – but it is sure as hell a lot more than 11. 

    Articles are not the main thing to be worried about anyways- it's after one completes their articles – these firms are having 'lawyer's called to the bar in a court room saying they are fit and and proper to act as an attorney at law in the Cayman Islands – when they aren't because of inadequate training.  Isn't that contempt of court for these law firms… lying to the courts?   enforcemeant is a problem and needs to be addressed. 

    Caymanians are only a statistic to these firms which is why they razzle and dazzle all these applications to the courts…  and then put them all in the paper 'look look we hired a Caymanian'. 

    Things couldn't have been that bad 30 years ago that we ende dup with a 90% expat to 10% Caymanian ratio in our law firms…  some people forget the reason they are here.

     

  11. Hurt in a Car? says:

    The hard working, intelligent Caymanian lawyers generally do quite well for themselves.

    The "Truman Bodden Law School" gets the level of respect it has earned and it deserves.

    Go chase some ambulances.

     

     

    • Firefly says:

      If I were a Caymanian Wannabe lawyer I would start concentrating on criminal law. The way the Country has gone [not going ] there will be no financial centre in the years to come. For those with memories look what happened to the Bahamas in the late sixties and early seventies. They lost a lot of work to Cayman. Tourism will suffer; they will be less real estate projects and consequently less legal work in the real estate industry. There will be less permanent resident applications to submit. So all need concentrate on defending the guilty who almost overnight are hellbent on destroying our community.

  12. Legal Defender says:

    Scrooge,

    How does your comment make any logical sense in light of the fight that earlier up there's a post saying  how people in those jurisdictions can hardly find training contracts themselves?

    How would an ex-pat person in over in the UK etc. have much success finding Articles?

    I really wish you people would think before you open your mouths and write pure nonsense on this website. My gosh … a little common sense goes a long way!

    Legal Defender!

    • Common Sense says:

      "If I was a Caymanian law graduate I would be on the first plane to another common law country to get some experience. Go do articles or a couple of years working in London, ….."

      69% of the juniors lawyers answering the below Law Society poll said they would not have taken their LPC's had they realised how few training contracts there are:………."

       

       

      • Welcome to the real world... says:

        Well lets just say then, had Scrooge applied some common sense, he would have checked his facts as I did before posting a comment based on pure speculation.  I thought I was right, but checked my facts and quoted sources before posting.  Its a pity many of the commenters on here don't think and research what they're about to say before they post what is, with all due respect, crap!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I support Mac on this one and No I am not UDP.

    Here's the bottom line: let the marketplace sort out whether they are capable or not. If they are not they will not have any clients and will have to find another profession. However, allow a few ex pat firms to decided who will obtain the honour of getting articled and therefore enter the profession is just not right!

    The Americans have the right idea! Pass the bar and get your butt out there practicising and establishing a clientele. If you are any good it will soon be put on display!

  14. Legal Seagull says:

    Come on Mac, let's see the qualifications and transcripts of these famous 11 wannabees so cruelly cast aside by an evil profession that perhaps has standards to uphold.  Once you give us that information then we can really decide if the nation wants these people as our lawyers.

     

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    So you suggest that no adequate training is available locally. Do you also accept that the very opposite has been promised to immigration for a generation, and that the inevitable failure of the feigned training was a secret known to skilled expatriate lawyers but concealed for years from those who thought they were being trained?

    This is the conduct of professionals?

    And what about the training in those areas where excellent experience is available locally? Where is the transfer of knowledge in those? Someone is being dishonest – and those who may falsely claim to have been providing top level training are hardly impartial.

    • JTB says:

      You don't trian lawyers in a classroom, you train them by giving them work to do and supervising and mentoring them as they do it. The offshore firms only do a particular kind of work, which is narrowly focused and highly specialised. It is not a case of dishonesty, it's just economic reality.

      • Anonymous says:

        So give them work and supervise and mentor them while they do it! Pretending to do so is dishonest.

  16. Anonymous says:

    McKeever opening his mouth about crap he know nothing about. SMH

    Why don't the work firms just send the Caymanians to their overseas offices to get some experience? 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Whoa, that's guaranteed to rile upthe  legal boys! Articles are a crock anyway, just let them go to it and the market will sort them out.  The lawyer comments about there not really being any work available for training in Cayman is also a crock.

  18. Tiny Briefs says:

    How tragic.  A law degree does not mean you can get articles.  Only a fraction of those with a law degree have what it takes to be a lawyer.  No-one with less than a 2:1 can expect articles. 

    I am sure that any research by Theresa "suing a leading law firm for alleged bias against Caymanians" Pitcairn is going to be unbiased.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally know of a person who obtained articles within the last 2 years with a Third Class Pass, when there were others, who applied to the same firm for articles, with 2.1 and 2.2 grades…..go figure!

      • Legal Seagull says:

        Let us all hope this "personally known person" is never our attorney then! 

        "I personally know of a person who" is the opening of many posts on CNS which are pure BS.  "I know of one expat who got their PR by", "I am aware of one employer who does [x]", etc, etc, etc.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is indeed ironic that the lawyer Ms Sherry Bodden-Cowan who is the principal of the law firm which performs the lion's share of PR applications and Immigration Board appeals is now framed as a supposed champion of Caymanian attorneys. It would be much wiser to trust the judgment of the individuals that led the Cayman legal arena to have the reputation it currently enjoys when it comes to preparing legislation that affects the profession. Beware of the consequences of any legislation that encourages mediocrity instead of a merit based approach.

    • Anonymous says:

      XXXX

      how many Caymanian lawyers have trained their own people? XXXX…..excluding their close relatives

      this 'christian' society would do well to remember, charity begins at home, so the excuse that 'your services are limited' is just as pathetic as a foreign lawyer saying caymanians should go to london for initial training

      sad that great part of mentality is "I had to struggle to get where I am so wont be showing you anyway to make it easier" and not that "I will gladly pass on what I learnt and help my people move forward, or simply try to catch up'. Nope, greed is serious.

       

      very confident that the new laws will assist the entitled status holders who couldnt get articles and the caymanian lawyers seeking to secure their niche………trouble around the corner, in 3-5 years, I'll be back!

       

  20. Welcome to the real world... says:

    69% of the juniors lawyers answering the below Law Society poll said they would not have taken their LPC's had they realised how few training contracts there are:

    http://juniorlawyers.lawsociety.org.uk/node/1213/results

     

    The  Guardian, 21 June 2011:  "…the more pressing problem of too many students and not enough training contracts for them to go on to." 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/jun/21/legal-profession-aptitude-test-surplus?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

     

     

    Law Society Junior Lawyers Division  Current Policy Issues, July 2011:  
    "…The harsh reality is that the search for that elusive training contract is increasingly difficult and law firms are receiving unprecedented numbers of applications.   The added difficulty is that there are more students embarking on the LPC than there are training contracts available…"
     
    "…As the numbers of LPC gradates without training contracts annually increases by 
     
    The situation in Cayman is not unique, 11 seeking training contracts here compared to literally thousands in the UK.
    • Anonymous says:

      Why would a law graduate spend 1000s of dollars on the Legal Practice Course knowing that it will be unlikely they will obtain a training contract afterwards?   They should do their homework before embarking on such an expensive route and ending up in debt.   It has been the same story since the late 90s here and in UK.   Now that the lower/middle classes have access to law school, there are always way too many law graduates for the amount of training contracts available.  Only graduates from the top universities and graduates with connections will get a training contract. 

      A law degree is certainly one of the best degrees to have and it will open doors foryou in many areas of the corporate world.   The reason mosst people want to be lawyers is because they want to make stacks of dollars.  Think about your career path carefully before you spend on the LPC.  I bet you will find that most lawyers hate their job and wish they had chosen something else to do.  They wish they hadn't missed out on their children growing up because they were too busy working long long hours.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the Law School should just close its doors then…..

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend you are trying to draw a comparison that is most unfair and indeed far fetched.

      The issue is that compared to the UK, we have hundreds of expatriate lawyers on work-permits, who should be replaced. There is no valid reason why a lawyer who graduated with the same class of degree that allows entry to the LPC in the UK and subsequently passes the PPC locally should not be treated as equivalent.

      These should be the minimum standards which the revised Practitioner Regulations has now incorporated. It is therefore now a supply and demand issue nothing more nothing less.

      Anything else is pure shyte on the part of the firms.

  21. Bueller says:

    McKeeva needs to realise that not all Law School graduates are capable of being lawyers. The jobs are there if you're good enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      And give the crass laws that exist to force the barely able into articles already, there are plenty of jobs available for quite a few who are nowhere near good enough too.

      • Welcome to the real world... says:

        Yuh know!

        There's a few law firms here withtheir 'token Caymanians' who in their first few years of articles or work are acting like they're equity partners, priorities all wrong, barely turn over a page or two in a file each day,  take hours to do straightforward tasks that could be done in 5 minutes by a competent legal secretary, and can't multitask to save their lives.  They're constantly making mistakes exposing the practice to law suits for negligence and when you try to coach them through the error of their ways get all arrogant and righteous on you rather than admit they are wrong, and try to get it right.  Same attorneys use up their full 10 days sick leave each year, roll in late, take two hours for lunch, are constantly on facebook, surfing the net and popping out of the office on personal errands.  And god help you if you ask them to work late (which is usually a prerequisite for any successful lawyer), they'll throw a huge tantrum.

        I hasten to add, that there are also many very admirable, very talented Caymanian attorneys in our law firms too,:articulate, motivated, hardworking individuals with a keen grasp of legal and client care concepts.  They set an example that others should follow. The latter type of attorney are the ones who got their articles and have successful jobs now, with a fast-track possibility of partnership in comparison with partnership prospects in other countries.

        I know, I've worked in law for almost 30 years and have seen both types first-hand.  Its all about attitude, productivity and work ethics, its not about being Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      EXACTLY!!! I know first hand that there are plenty of people with law degrees who should never touch the responsibility of actually being a lawyer! Lawyers are no different than any other profession.. I also don't want a doctor who marginally passed med school. We have enough bad lawyer, thanks! 

  22. Anonymous says:

    JTB: Amen! Amen! Amen!

  23. Anonymous says:

    this is ridiculous.  everything should be based on merit, not on the fact you are caymanian are not.  somewhere along the way, we have allowed this entitlement culture to breed.  being a caymanian is not a qualification and does not demand that you get a job.

    in the UK there are many students who pass with excellent marks and still cannot get jobs.  it has nothing to do with you they are, just the fact that there is no jobs.  no opportunities for training contracts.

    as far as i understood you can complete your studies at the law school on island and not even get a passing mark.  why would firms want to employ these students?  why would you want to be forced to employ someone who feels all they have to do is be a caymanian in order to work at your firm. 

    albeit i agree, that caymanians need some protection.  but this is absolutely absurd.  this sort of legislation will only further serve to keep the divide between caymanians and expats.  we have some of the greatest people working in cayman.  do we really want to turn them away. 

    do you really want the lawyer representing you in a criminal case, to only have gotten 40% on his mark.  wouldn't you rather know that your divorce lawyer got top marks or that he's been working in the field for 10+ years.  absolutely ridiculous.  i hope the other members of cabinet see the issues that will arise because of this asinine piece of draft legislation.

  24. STOP LEGAL APARTHIED says:

    This is a good thing to stop legal apartheid by foreign lawyers against our native born attorneys. Praise be to Mac for having enough backbone to stand up to these “greedy hold them down & back and no partnerships. Who do these foreigners think they are? Thanks Premiere for allowing our lawyers to get their beaks wet. This is long overdue.

  25. scrooge says:

    If I was a Caymanian law graduate I would be on the first plane to another common law country to get some experience. Go do articles or a couple of years working in London, Sydney or Dublin.  If you can make it there without the protection of positive discrimination laws every firm in Cayman will want you when you get back.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the laws of most countries preserve limited jobs for their own nationals in preference to Caymanians. Even some Cayman firms discourage Caymanians from going to their own overseas offices.

      • Anonymous says:

        All British Overseas Territories citizens were automatically granted the right of abode in the UK in 2002.  If you became a BOTC after 2002 and have not registered as a British citizen, you can still do so, and in practice, all such applications are approved.  Caymanian lawyers (and Caymanians generally) have the right to live and work in the UK due to fair and impartial immigration laws.  

        • Caymanians are so easily conned says:

          Are you going to have a word with the Managing Partner of a firm in London and insist that he give me articles? the wait list to get articled at a good firm in the UK is hundreds of people long. We have enough firms here to take care of our own. Whey should a Caymanian have to go overseas for somethign we are capable fo offerign right here? 

          I really hope none of the people opposing this idea are Caymanians because if you are you are seriously misguided. We need all the help we can get and everyone knows it. There is no entitlement culture problem, what we have are firms who have no intention of letting Caymanians past that glass ceiling. 

          Please show some pride and stop believing every damn thing you hear some sell-out Caymanian preaching. The only Caymanians I hear talking about entitlement culture are those who have a bag of money in the bank and made it off the backs of expats and now they feel obligated to keep those expats working!

           

           

          • Anonymous says:

            "Are you going to have a word with the Managing Partner of a firm in London and insist that he give me articles? the wait list to get articled at a good firm in the UK is hundreds of people long."

            Look, I wish I could help you.  My job today is limited to clarifying immigration law for those too lazy to google it themselves.  

            • Anonymous says:

              The issue isn't really the immigration law. It is the fact that there is a great deal of unemployment in the UK and Brits will be given preference over non-Brits.

              • Anonymous says:

                Sigh.  Once again, you will note that I made no mention of unemployment, racism or other impediments to employment that everyone and their uncle needs to face in this day and age.  I was merely pointing out an inaccuracy in the original poster's comment to the effect that immigration laws in the UK would prevent him or her from seeking employment there.  

                I'm afraid the rest of reality is for you to do battle with yourself.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Actually the immigration laws in the UK do prevent many Caymanians from working there. Thousands of Caymanians are not BOTC citizens. Also, Caymanian lawyers must article in the UK before being able to practise there.

        • Gilly says:

          Spot on! It always amazes me when people comment that other countries have similar protectionist immigration policies to Cayman when in fact most developed countries do not – it would be good if people did some research on this before making up their fiction. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Hi Gilly, this is Sanjay. I am amongst the top 5% of my class at university in Delhi. I am a commonwealth qualified lawyer. I was offered a job with a major firm in London but the UK is no longer giving any work permits to junior Indian lawyers. It seems there are too many English lawyers being displaced and so the door has been closed.

            My brother was supposed to go to silicon valley to work for google but the US government has put a very strict quota on visas for computer engineers.

            We hear we can work in Cayman though.

            • Anonymous says:

              Geez, Sanjay.  It's too bad you're not a British Overseas Territories Citizen…

              • Anonymous says:

                Geez anonymous, it’s too bad you are not Caymanian.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Think so?  I am actually eligible for status now.  I wasn't going to apply, but if you think I should, maybe I will.

            • Anonymous says:

              Sanjay you are right to identify that the employment market in the U.K. and the U.S. are not so open as represented by Brits on here. If you are entitled to practise in any court of any Commonwealth jursidction and possess a qualification comparable to standard law, practice and procedure in England then you are qualified to practise here. However, you will need someone to employ you. Many of the partners in the big firms are English, Scottish, Canadian or Australian. They tend to look out for their own.  

        • Anonymous says:

          I realise this is true, and I never could understand why we couldn't offer a reciprocal arrangement by granting UK citizens a similar right of abode here… I couldn't believe it when I discovered they rolled over the English.

          • Anonymous says:

            Well, it is really quite obvious if you think about it. There are some 60m Britons and only about 25,000 Caymanians. If you think the unemployment rate for Caymanians is high now can you imagine what it would be if we were stupid eough to do such a thing? There are tens of thousands of qualified persons in the UK unemployed.

            For decades the UK made a deliberate decision to deny BDTCs (as they then were) right of abode in the UK. The argument that we are all British nationals didn't fly with them. Of course those from the "white" territories and dependencies (e.g. Channel Islands, Falklands) were granted right of abode. Britain made a calculated decision not to put the offer on the table under after Hong Kong (with its millions of residents) had been returned to China and was no longer a BDT.

            BTW when Britain first proposed this in its White Paper Partnership for Progress and Prosperity it was made abundantly clear that it would be on a non-reciprocal basis. If it were otherwise we would simply have refused.   

        • Anonymous says:

          What rosy picture you paint. You conveniently leave out the fact that there is high unemployment in Britain including 20.8 percent unemployment among 16-24 year olds as well as racist discrimination even against people of colour who were born there. Here's an old but still relevant poll.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk/2002/race/1998159.stm

          • Anonymous says:

            This is quite irrelevant to my post or the one I was responding to.  The poster suggested that the *immigration laws* of the UK would prevent him or her from seeking employment there, which is untrue.  

  26. Anonymous says:

    All this because 11 lawyers can't get articles???  Madness!!  We'll end up with the same situation we have at the John Gray High School where we graduate kids who are unable to read and write.  Surely we should ensure that we give law school graduates a period of training in real world situations before we throw them to the wolves where they will face mal-practice suits.  I would suggest that instead of doing away with the requirement for Articleship that we require each practicing lawers to provide, unless exempted, an articleship every 3-5 yrs.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Jesus Christ!  Another article about the law and McKeeva Bush and another assignment for Theresa Pitcairn!  What?  Was Steve McField too busy? Maybe Therese and Steve have some of the answers to the problems we face but if Theresa and Steve had all the answers, I suspect some of the problems would have been solved by now.  Why oh why oh why does McKeeva Bush only assign important work to members of his posse?  Political inbreeding is very probably as bad as the biological kind. 

    • Time Machine says:

      I would love to comment, but I will have a big laugh, because Time is longer than rope.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened to the Legal Defense fund money that was supposed to provide for a legal defense for those who could not afford it?

     

  29. JTB says:

    I am not sure about the report which "proves" the complaints of Caymanians about their treatment by expat firms – the people who wrote it were hardly impartial…

    The real problem for Caymanians wishing to practise law here is that the Cayman economy is so tightly focused. Expats working here as lawyers have generally put in years of experience in a very specialised field (trusts, funds, multi-jurisdictional litigation, fraud etc) which means they can service the needs of clients here. Sadly, that kind of work does not really throw up much opportunity for training would-be lawyers in the whole range of legal work.

    A Caymanian who wants to build a career in the law would be far better advised to go and do their training in a commonwealth jurisdiction (London for preference) and then come back here in 3 or 4 years time.

    The lack of opportunities to train Caymanians up as lawyers in Cayman is not about a lack of willingness, it's about a lack of work for them to do here. They can train and qualify with "high street" firms and have a career in divorce, probate, civil litigation and conveyancing, but if they want to get into the offshore finance field, the lowest step of the ladder is not in Cayman.

     

    • Anon says:

      JTB, as a Caymanian attorney I think that is fair comment. I appreciate the fact that you did not lace it with insults to Caymanians which only causes further division.   

  30. Lippy Lawyer says:

    Lawyer fees needs regulating, everyone charges a different consultation fee for the same work.

    More Legal Aid lawyers need to be added.  It should be mandatory that every firm big or small contribute to Legal Aid and provde their services to the country as well.

    Caymanian lawyers should also not be given better opportunities when it comes to being made a partner.  Too many of our good Caymanian lawyers keep getting passed over for work permit holding lawyers.

    Do something good for Cayman and our Caymanians.

    • Anon says:

      Lawyers fees are regulated, but they are regulated by the market as they should be. Clearly differences in skill, competency and efficiency dictate that there must be differences in fee rates. If a lawyer's fees are excessive relative to the quality of service he is providing he simply won't get many clients and will be forced to lower his rates.

      Lawyers are currently the only people who do contribute towards the provision of legal aid. Many give generously of their time for far lower rates than they can charge their clients. Accountants, bankers etc. contribute nothing. Legal aid is not a lawyers' problem, it is society's problem.  

       I think there is unintended not in this sentence:  "Caymanian lawyers should also not be given better opportunities…"