Archive for March 26th, 2012

Officials seek input on creation of new public office

| 26/03/2012 | 2 Comments

legal-wills.s600x600.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands’ government is examining the possibility of introducing an Administrator-General to protect the interests and represent children and those with mental health problems in connection with the estates of persons who have died intestate. The Law Reform Commission was asked to provide recommendations on the introduction of the office, which is similar to that of a public trustee, by the attorney general last year and it is now looking for public comments on the issues. The commission has released a discussion document and a draft bill. The Law Reform Commission warns that if such an office is to be created it must be properly financed as well as accountable.

The draft bill sets out the broad parameters of the office, which would include the administration of small estates under $20,000, the administration of estates with no next of kin to act as trustee or executor of wills to act as a court appointed receiver or liquidator and to act as a "friend, guardian or legal representative" for the vulnerable as well as an investigator and auditor of affairs under power of attorney.

Currently, a guardian can be appointed by the court or the solicitor general can act for vulnerable individuals when there is no other person able to represent them but this has its limitations and officials hope to create a specific new public office to take on the role.

Anyone who wishes to comment should send their submissions in writing by 3 May 2012 to the Director of the Law Reform Commission, 3rd Floor Anderson Square, or mailed to the Law Reform Commission, P.O. Box 1999 or sent by e-mail to Cheryl.Neblett@gov.ky.

Relevant documents are posted below or visit www.lawreformcommission.gov.ky

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New director of immigration boards and work permits

| 26/03/2012 | 0 Comments

KimDavies1.jpg(CNS Business): The newly appointed Director of Boards and Work Permits, Kimberley Davis, says her top overall aims are improving efficiencies and decreasing processing times. These key initiatives will entail collaborating with the respective chairpersons to enhance the productivity of the Work Permit Board, the Business Staffing Plan Board and the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board, according to a GIS release, which notes that her office also works closely with the Department of Employment Relations (DER). Davis takes up the position within the Department of Immigration today (Monday, 26 March) and now manages over 40 staff members in this section. Read more on CNS Business

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Ritz developer sued over loan

| 26/03/2012 | 57 Comments

30124_4320_l.jpg(CNS): Updated with court document — Having lost control of the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, local developer Michael Ryan (on right of picture) is now being sued by the same company that has taken over the resort against a loan of almost US$234 million used to build it. According to documents filed in the Cayman Islands Grand Court last week, the current owner of the loan, RC Cayman Holdings, is seeking payment from Ryan as the company states that he is the guarantor for that loan. According to the suit, the US registered company is seeking from Ryan the amount of the loan, plus interest on the principal amount of over US$1 million, which it says is already outstanding, plus dailyinterest of over $48,000 until the loan is paid.

The writ states that Ryan was required to pay RC Cayman Holdings the outstanding cash by 15 March, just a few days after KPMG had been appointed as receivers for the various companies owned by Ryan that were involved in the development of Cayman’s only five star resort. The company states that Ryan signed as guarantor of the original loan in April 2007 and had “irrevocably and unconditionally” guaranteed the payment of the full amount of the debt but  failed to do so on demand.

RC Cayman bought the loan in question from Column Financial in May of last year. On 17 February the company filed a writ of summons in the Grand Court to prevent Ryan and various other defendants from interfering with its efforts to seize control of the Ritz. Some days later KPMG issued a statement revealing that two of its auditors had been appointed as joint receivers of the hotel.

Meanwhile, as Ryan faces mounting legal problems with the owner of the loan, his various companies still owe the Cayman Islands government $6 milllion in outstanding duty payments. According to correspondence between the financial secretary’s office and Ryan released to CNS following an FOI request, the developer had ceased making payments on the outstanding debt in the immediate wake of the 2009 election.

Although he had made regular payments from 2007 until the first quarter of 2009 during the PPM administration, on the appointment of a UDP government Ryan immediately stopped the payments and attempted to tie the money owed to the public purse with his desire to buy the land at Safehaven.

See related articles:

Ritz-carlton-faces-takeover

Ryan-tied-debt-dragon-bay

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Activists plan West Bay rally

| 26/03/2012 | 97 Comments

IMG-20120310-00044 (1).jpg(CNS): UpdatedSaturday's Rally has now been cancelled as a result of a funeral. The various local groups that are opposed to the closure of the West Bay Road and the relocation of Grand Cayman’s landfill to Bodden Town are not giving up on their campaign and are planning a second motorcade followed by a rally in West Bay next Saturday. In an effort to try and stop government signing the deal with the Dart Group, known as the ForCayman Investment Alliance, activists are stepping up the opposition. Following the success of the first motorcade on 17 March, which attracted considerable support, the activists hope there is still a chance to preserve the road, despite the recent preliminary agreement signed between the NRA, government and Dart.

Activists have persistently raised concerns that the alliance is heavily tipped in favour of the developer and that, despite claims to the contrary, the road closure will limit access to the last remaining open and undeveloped stretch of Seven Mile Beach. The plan to open a new landfill site in Bodden Town instead of dealing with the dump at its current location in George Town, as originally proposed by government, has also raised concerns, not just in the district but among the wider public as well.

Government has not yet moved to a final agreement with Dart on the project, but it has signed the deal for the developer to begin the Easterly Tibbetts Highway extension and eventual closure of around 4,000 feet of the West Bay Road, which included a cash donation to the government of $5 million.

The controversial pre-deal was signed before government completed a value for money study, currently being undertaken by KPMG, or before the legal processes regarding the sale of crown has been completed.

Activists hope that in spite of the pre-deal they can still prevent the ultimate closure of the road and the moving of the dump and are calling on the community to join them this coming weekend.  The motorcade will begin at the cricket pitch in George Town at 4pm and travel to West Bay. The main rally will then take place at the lot opposite Foster’s Republix at 7pm.

For more details see flyer posted below.

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