Cruise lawyers engaged

| 15/10/2013

(CNS): As Cabinet examined the business case prepared for the cruise berthing facilities in George Town by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday, government officials announced that local law firm Appleby has already been engaged to provide legal oversight of the project. As plans to develop the long awaited facilities move forward slowly but surely, government has set aside another $1 million in this budget to cover the costs of the procurement process and the environmental impact assessment, which will be the next step in the project if Cabinet likes what it hears from PwC. The deputy premier said things were moving forward strictly in accordance with the Public Management and Finance Law.

Partner Norman Klein signed the contract with government on behalf of the law firm at the government building recently, indicating that the government is confident PwC will make a case for the dock. Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, the minister responsible for tourism, said government was setting up the proper oversight to meet all of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility requirements on the anticipated project, which signaled the administration’s emphasis on good governance. The new tourism minister also emphasized his belief that the project was critical to the future of Cayman’s cruise product.

“For more than a decade the country has repeatedly been told that we are fighting against fierce competition particularly from destinations with enhanced cruise berthing facilities,” he said. “At the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association conference, which I recently attended, this was once again confirmed when we received a further reminder of the product enhancements that our competitors have already completed; along with information on new facilities that are under development. If the Cayman Islands do nothing to address the absence of cruise berthing facilities, we will over time lose our cruise business completely,” he warned.

Determined to see the project through, Kirkconnell said that in the meantime improvements to existing facilities would encourage more visits by ships to Cayman, and he announced a significant increase in expected visitors over the next two years.

“These improvements, along with current world events, have given the cruise lines the confidence to continue booking visits to Grand Cayman, which is projecting numbers of approximately 500,000 more visitors for 2014 and approximately 700,000 more cruise visitors for 2015,” Kirkconnell told his legislative colleagues. “This means that in 2015 we are projected to receive the most cruise passenger arrivals ever in the history of the Cayman Islands.”

He said the planned boost to visitor numbers was a testament to the confidence and partnership that the ministry had forged with the cruise industry.

Kirkconnell described the upgrades that have recently been completed at the Royal Watler cruise terminal, pointing to the installation of benches and shading to provide protection from the sun and rain, and designated areas for tour operators, vendors and taxi dispatchers.

“Changes to the way passengers are organized from an embarkation and disembarkation perspective have also been instituted in order to give visitors the best experience possible.”

A budget has also been set aside for a new restroom block and rest area in George Town by the bus dispatch area, he added.

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Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great ! I guess then that we can further reduce the civil service by closing down the Legal Department and ending home their 20+ lawyers since we're now ourtsourcing their jobs…..! Or is it that somebodyout there  just needed help……enquiring minds want to know ????? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Layers???..ask the Sea Captains where piers should go…they will say Red Bay without hesitation.

    Lets look at the location the seafaring folks around us who know what is best have identified…

  3. Anonymous says:

    whats the basis for the increased cruise numbers in the coming years…this is news to me

  4. Anonymous says:

    What garbage to suggest we will loose our entire cruise business without a pier!  Assuming a pier eventually gets built, under the best of circumstances only one or two ships would ever be able to dock there at a time – meaning the other 4 or 5 ships in port will still be tendering as they have been for the last 30 years.  A pier would only alleviate some of the current hassle for a lucky few, and don't let anyone tell you any different.  Sure, we have lost out on the few regional mega-liners from Royal Carribean and Carnival, but obviously we haven't lost all cruise tourism.  As the direct benefactors, those two oceanliners should have been asked to guarantee their interest via the lion's share of the costs of business case, evaluation, EIA, construction, and pledged funds for a 20-30 years maintenance contract.  Wouldn't it also be appropriate for the Kirkconnell Family to chip in (six generations and 113 years of commercial profiting in Cayman), and the other priviledged and conflicted port stakeholders that are positioned to further enrich themselves from this effort?  The CIG should not be paying a dime of this from the public purse!  We cannot and should not subsidize failing tshirt businesses and Rolex shops in town with taxpayer money, particularly when the deputy premier calling the shots is directly conflicted! 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an idiot. Every dollar spent in Cayman is good for all of us. The cruise industry is essential to all of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spending >$100 mln so that only two ships can park is the real idiocy.  We'll forever pay for the error if the liners don't pledge to pay the revised port recovery fees.  They were unable to guarantee before, why would they now, in worse times?  Take a look at the income statements of these companies?  Carnival sold $700mln in 3.95% 7year BBB+ notes in early Oct to bouy itself.  RCL's profit margin hovers at 0.00%  Would you bet the farm on these guys saving the day?

    • Anonymous says:

      What I would like to know is if the legal services were engaged following an open, public request for tenders to be submitted to Gov, and if so, where was the Gov's invitation published, on what date, and what was the published criteria for submissions of bid for legal services, which other law firms submitted a bid, and finally on what basis was Appleby chosen?  I surely hope there was no conflict of interest and political cronyism factors here that influenced the decision?  The public needs transparency into how these sevices are awarded, because at the end of the day, we are all paying for this in some way or the other.  Over to you Minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, but you see, we have a cunning plan. When the tender-ships start complaining we'll have to build more docks from them as well. Construction for years and the best part is the government's bottomless coffers will pay for not just the construction companies but the lawyers who will (not) be laying bricks.

      Mwa-ha-ha-ha

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    Q: How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    A: Four: one to climb the ladder, one to hold the ladder, one to shake the ladder and one to sue the ladder company…

    • Anonymous says:

      And an accountant to write the ludicrous bills

    • Anonymous says:

      dont forget the 5th attorney who is sitting in the same room buiding another Chinese Wall to separate/hide/legitimize these 4 guys in their new lucrative money-making light bulb insertion business venture 

  6. J Salasi I. -111? says:

    Well Moses did do some good work back in the day, without Appleby,and PWc. It seems that all CiG does is pass it around eje, the last govt used KPMG to do a business case and Maples. For Law works,wonder what happened to that study. We gonna study Cayman outa de market people, remember Bible Moses parted the seas with a rod, he never had no accountant or lawyer to help him. Wa go on people. Jahhhh.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is great news about the increase in bookings for the next two years.   I work in a GT restaurant and we really need the business.

    • Anonymous says:

      Make better food. Tourists want to go where the locals go. Take the opportunity to improve your offerings, get local business in and the tourists will come too when the ships return. Don't just sit there wondering why no one wants your frozen coconut shrimp, begging for the return of the most exploitable patrons.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why Appleby? Seems like a very strange choice.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Where was the tender for this contract?  How can Moses claim to be wanting to comply with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility?

  10. Anonymous says:

    So, 2015 will be the biggest ever year in history for cruise arrivals…..why are we building a dock then? Only in cayman can we ignore a problem for 10 years, and then once it's solved, we'll fix it!!

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lol at that headline. Did you commenters do a double take on that too? Weird one that was. But moving on to the subject. I say if anybody can pull tourism around for us, it’s Moses. Marco and Moses are the real visionaries in cabinet. I trust them and feel safe with them in charge. The others? I not feeling it.

  12. Whodatis says:

    I would be more impressed reading a story about forthcoming expansions to our airport facilities.

    Stayover tourism benefits more Caymanians as it results in a wider disperse of the tourist dollar in the economy.

    Cruise tourism has become a funnel-structured, generic format of pop tourism which disproportionally benefits the owners of the cruise lines along with a few carefully and politically chosen minority partners (companies).

    • Anonymous says:

      For the first time in history, I have to agree with whodatis. Bad form, will try not to do it in future.

      • Anonymous says:

        Me too.  But you gotta give credit where credit is due.  Props to Mr Whodatis for this one 🙂

      • Whodatis says:

        Don't fight the feeling baby … give in to Whodatis.

        🙂

        • Anonymous says:

          I will never give in Whodatis, to you or anyone else and why would you want to subject people to your opinion and only your opinion which is what you are suggesting…I have my own mind and am free to agree or disagree with your opinion, as you are with mine. Thanks God for democracy. I do not have the right to force my opinion on others, only to argue for a point of view. But it was weird agreeing with you, that is for sure. Spooky almost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis is so right on this one.

    • pmilburn says:

      With you on this one.Been saying that for years BUT will still need some cruise ship business say 3-4 max per day to keep a nice balance.Any more than that creates TOTAL chaos.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good governance and Good business judgment, thank Mr. Kirkconnell!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, sign a deal for the next stage before the first report is finished. I guess now we all know what marching orders PWC were given. "Don't show us facts, show us what we want to see." But its all good since private companies are truffling at the Government trough again.

    • Anonymous says:

      'In 2015 we will have more cruise ship passengers than ever before' said the Minister. Who then didn't realise that they would all be coming here without a dock, as he decided to pay lots of money for a dock (well, actually not for a dock but for lawyers to do something related to a dock) that he had just shown is not needed in order to bring in lots of turists.

      Hmmm, must be Bracanomics. "Good governance and Good bussiness judgement" its clearly not.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good to see the Government help Bermuda. God knows they need it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Major issues with this dock out in GT harbour:

    1. Totally exposed during the northwester season (Which happens to be cruise ship season also)

    2. Traffic comes to a halt when Oasis empties her passenger- Harbour drive blocks

    3. Major damage to inner reefs of GT harbour…..no more cheeseburger or eden rock reefs,..etc etc.

     

    see: http://www.caymancruiseport.com  

    Download "Pros & Cons" Document at bottom of page.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Is Alastair Patterson with his extensive experience (and huge money paid to him from the public purse) with all of this under the last Government involved?

  17. Anonymous says:

    another 'soon come' update…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:
       
       
  18. Anonymous says:

    What exactly do Applebys know about cruise docks? They could have supported a local firm.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was put out to bid and they were the lowest bidders in the tendering process.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why the thumbs down? Why not use a Cayman firm? 

    • Anonymous says:

      More to the point, in the spirit of good gvernance, transparency and accountability, was Appleby's selection aftter a competitive tendering process? if not, why not?

    • Anonymous says:

      appleby is a local law firm, they have a quite big presence here in Cayman (on the intersection of fort st and mary st)

    • Anonymous says:

      what exactly does any law firm know about cruise docks? Nothing, nor many other business come to that. But they do know the law including on procurment and are there to adivse the government on how to meet it properly. One would hope Appelby's won some kind of tender?

    • Anonymous says:

      What do "local" firms know about cruise docks?! You're more likely to find someone with experience on large commercial projects such as this in one of the bigger firms on island as opposed to engaging Steve "the Sacred Vessel" McField!!

    • Come Now... says:

      Seriously, you don't get much more "local" than Appleby.  The Cayman office of Appleby is the Hunter & Hunter firm, probably the oldest firm on the Island.  From Appleby's website: "In 1945, Clifton Hunter began practising law in Bodden Town and in 1965 formed the firm of Hunter & Hunter with his son Arthur Hunter. That firm (the first law firm in the jurisdiction) grew steadily and was instrumental, alongside other Cayman firms, in the development and marketing of the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands and the creation of the Cayman Islands as a leading international financial centre."  The fact that Hunter & Hunter went multi-jurisdictional with Appleby is a sign of their great skill and success.  I'm pretty sure the CIG names a school after Clifton as well.  You should know all this "local" stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        Knowing local stuff means you know Appleby is a Bermudian controlled law firm with token Caymanian or recent status holders at the helm…Hunter and Hunter it ain't.

    • Anonymous says:

      Appleby is a local law firm. It used to be Hunter and Hunter which was the first law practice in the country. It would be good if you would try to educate yourself before you make certain statements. What do you know about cruise docks?

      Please see this link if you wish to educate yourself just a little bit more.

      http://www.applebyglobal.com/locations/cayman-islands.aspx

      • Anonymous says:

        Used to be. Not anymore. Solomon Harris have as much claim to the Hunters connection as Applebys.

        • Anonymous says:

          How exactly? Pray tell? Bryan Hunter, son and grandson of the original partners, is the managing partner of Appleby.

    • Will Ya Listen! says:

      Ask Arthur and Karen Hunter to define a "local law firm".

      Then ask yourself  "Am I an idiot?" 

      Hint: Yes

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        A local firm is a firm without a significant overseas presence. It is a firm with its centre of gravity and attention unquestionably located in the Cayman Islands, without a network of offices and touts feeding it work driven by the whims, wants and needs of commerce and the professions in other financial centres. Oddly enough this also makes a local firm one which is best placed to handle local work, being likely to have loyal, long-staying, often local attorneys, who know the background to government policies, the politics and personalities inside and out. Such firms could use the confidence and support of their national government in difficult economic times. Instead we have CIG adding its money to the great pile on top of the Appleby Mountain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask yourself "do I know what background knowledge went into this person's comment?"

        Then ask yourself "how can I assume they don't know about Hunter and Hunter?"

        Then ask yourself "how long ago was Hunter and Hunter anyway, where is its current iteration based, and how many offices does it have?"

        Then ask yourself "Have I shown my prejudices? Am I the real idiot?"

        Hint: Yes, you have and you most certainly are!

         

      • Anonymous says:

        They would probably define it as controlled locally and owned by people here.

    • Buggy says:

      What a maroon…