New faces join Grand Court financial bench

| 27/11/2009

(CNS): Andrew Jones QC and Acting Justice Angus Foster have been sworn in by Governor Stuart Jack to serve in the new Financial Services Division (FSD) of the Cayman Islands Grand Court, which commenced operations this month. The appointments to the FSD had to be made before the Judicial and Legal Services Commission could be established under the new Constitution but the government said that, in the spirit of the new commission, a panel was establish to advise Jack on who should be appointed.

Justice Foster, who has been serving in the Grand Court as an acting judge over the past two years, and Jones, formerly of Maples and Calder, join Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, Justice Alexander Henderson and Justice Charles Quin as judges available for dealing with cases which come up in the FSD.            

“There are increasing numbers of financial cases, and their continued speedy disposal is important to the Islands’ sustained competitiveness in international financial services,” the governor said. “I am therefore pleased that the court has now formalised its work in the financial services area with the new division and the appointment of additional judges who have considerable expertise in this area.”

The sitting fees of the new judges, who may also serve in other divisions of the courts’ work as required, will be less than the hearing fee paid by litigants. They have been recruited on the basis that neither salaries nor pensions will be offered. Complementing the current corps of Grand Court judges, who will continue to preside over international financial matters as well as domestic matters, the new judges will be remunerated on a per diem basis. 

“The new judges obviously see this as a chance to serve the Cayman Islands and its people. I welcome and thank them for joining our other judges in carrying out this important service,” Jack added.     

The panel which advised on their appointment was chaired by Brian Bothwell, prominent retired professional from the local financial industry. The other members were retired Chief Magistrate of the Cayman Islands and former Chief Justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Justice Kipling Douglas, and Andrew Moon, retired partner of Maples and Calder. The committee’s selection followed local and overseas advertisements and consultation with the CJ.

The Financial Services Division of the court began operations on 2 November, following the implementation of the relevant Grand Court Rules on 1 November. 

The division’s introduction follows years of planning and infrastructural development by the Judicial Administration. This includes redeployment of personnel to facilitate dedicated administrative and registry staffing, and the development of courtrooms wired for technology to assure speedy resolution of trials, an outcome critically important to the financial industry’s success. Another important outcome will be the consequent reduction in costs to litigants and to the Government.

The court’s financial service’s case load has an intake of about 200 per year, with an average disposal rate of within twelve months. The standard period of resolution for complex stages of these cases is six months. “This is a highly competitive rate of disposal and it is with the objective in mind of ensuring, or even improving on, this rate of disposal, while maintaining the high calibre of decisions for which our courts are known, that we have established the Financial Services Division,” said Smellie.

The dedication of other divisions will also, of course, enable us to ensure that the domestic business of the court continues to be dealt with in the timely and efficient manner that it also deserves.”

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  1. Sue says:

    Finally some good news from the Court and Governors office. I offer my Congratulations to both Mr Jones and Mr Foster who are great examples for others to follow.

    Both men have contributed to the success of our financial industry and I am so happy that they have agreed to bring their extensive knowledge to the beach.


    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve never seen Andrew at the "beach" but he will be a colossal asset to our Judiciary!