Government retains lawyers for international dealings

| 06/05/2010

(CNS): According to a release from the Ministry of Finance the Cayman Islands Cabinet has retained international law firm, Sidley Austin LLP to represent the country’s interests in its relationships with the public and private sectors in the US, the UK, the EU and in the international financial community.  The law firm has represented Cayman since 1985 on various issues andmost recently, Sidley Austin was counsel to the Cayman Islands government in its $312 million senior note offering in 2009. The premier stated the firm would help take Cayman to “another level” in the eyes of the international community.

The announcement comes in the wake of international news reports that Cayman faces another black-list threat this time from the European Union in relation to hedge fund investors. The statement from the ministry made no mention of this latest development but said Sidley Austin would have an important role in assisting the Cayman Islands government marshal resources such as international communications, government and stakeholder relations and research, using a tailored approach as part of a globally-integrated strategic programme.
“We are pleased to be extending our long-standing relationship with Sidley Austin as part of our global international relations strategy for the Cayman Islands,” said the Premier, McKeeva Bush.
“Our focus moving forward is to take the Cayman Islands to another level in the minds of the international community which will undoubtedly support our long-term business, economic and reputation objectives.”
Sidley Austin’s representation of the Cayman Islands will be led by Joseph Tompkins, a partner in Sidley Austin’s Washington, D.C. office, who has represented the Cayman Islands government in various matters since 1985. Mr. Tompkins will work with a team of Sidley Austin attorneys in its Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, London, Brussels and Asian offices.
The firm has some 1,700 attorneys and offices in 16 different cities around the world, including Washington, D.C., New York, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.
Sidley Austin’s relationship with the Cayman Islands government dates back to 1985 in connection with the negotiation of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the Cayman Islands and the U.S. government. During this period, Sidley Austin has advised the Cayman Islands government on numerous matters, including relationships with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It has also represented the Cayman Islands government in negotiating an Asset Sharing Agreement with the U.S. government
In 2008, Sidley Austin supported the Cayman Islands government’s cooperation with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in that agency’s review of U.S. business interests in Cayman. The GAO’s resulting July 2008 report noted that the U.S. Department of Justice regarded the Cayman Islands as one of its “best partners” among offshore jurisdictions, and the GAO also recognized that the Cayman Islands has implemented a regulatory regime that has been recognized to be in compliance with a wide range of international standards, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF).
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  1. good idea says:

     Retaining intelligent legal minds is not a bad idea.  If only our Govt would listen to these advisors.  Sadly, they re smart and give good advice (stop spending, building, cut civil service, stop paying 100% of health care for 8,000 people) but the fact is….. we pay for good advice and then ignore it.  I’d rather have the country run by lawyers and accountants, but what we have it a country run by self serving politicians.  I would (almost) welcome outside ruling if it meant we would get our house in order.  Clearly our past 10 years has not shown any decent governing by any party or politician.  What next???

  2. Scrooge McDuck says:


    That’s what we need. The subliminal message is ummm.. in the abbreviation.  Until that happens, it will be divide and conquer, and we will be picked-off one at a time.  Ireland, the Channel Islands, Guernsey, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Panama.  A meeting, perhaps here on Cayman should take place where offshore centers will lay down the law.  McKeeva Bush should only be allowed to serve drinks and tell a joke or two.  While wiser heads will decide as a group how they will counter-act these "lists" that keep arriving. Oil has it’s OPEC and Offshore Financial Centers need to group-up and act as one.

    1…2…3….  OFU!!!!!


  3. Beachboi says:

    Oh but the Premier looks so happy and proud standing between those  2 lawyers.  I can’t believe he has the gaul to stand there looking like that knowing that he is openly destroying what so many of our fine legislators have built from a limestone seamount.  All I read in this article was that he is getting ready to head off on a first class trip to try to convince someone somewhere that we will "raise our skirts" and let anyone take a look at our……well whatever they want to see.  This is the same thing that he did right after he got elected.  He rushed off to God knows where because it was so important to get Cayman off the black list.  I really would like to know how much he and his entourage have spent on these trips in the past  year, and most of all I would like to know what good it has done us to be on this "white list".  Does anyone know the answer to this question? 

    He XXXXX that he doesn’t realize that no matter how much he promises that people can see for themselves that Cayman is in trouble and not going to get any better any time soon.  It is of course his XXXX perception that he can fake out these people when they laugh at him behind his back.  What does he know about finance anyway?????  I wonder if he has been watching the news lately and seen what is happening in Greece, and is said to be spreading to Germany and Spain and possible the rest of the EU before this recession is over.

     My favorite quote from the article is this one:

    “Our focus moving forward is to take the Cayman Islands to another level in the minds of the international community which will undoubtedly support our long-term business, economic and reputation objectives.”

    I just love it that he uses the phrase "reputation objectives".  Is he serious???  He needs to work on his reputation certainly and as far as I can see he has only done  damage to the reputation of the Cayman Islands and when he is through you will not be able to publish the word or words for our reputation so………..well I guess he will definitely be a part of our history.


  4. bradley says:

    What has happened to Quinn & Associates, that big lobby firm that represented us last year in the U.S.?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did they work for government or the local financial services lobby? 

      Do you recall the following quote from an earlier CNS posting?

      "Quinn Gillespie helped Travers publicize a sternly worded letter to the president on the subject, and the firm says his views should be taken in context. “He doesn’t know anything about the United States,” says Patricia McMurray, a communications staffer with the firm"


  5. Anon says:

    This expenditure is probably quite necessary – at lease some of it. However, we can all see now what a bunch of rubbish the "country is broke due to the wasteful spending of the PPM" story line really was. As revenues continue to drop/remain low we will now hear other tales.

    • bradley says:

      Yeah but, money in the hand of politicians is not everything. Someone comes to them with bigger bucks and we’re screwed!

  6. peter milburn says:

    I wonder how much this isgoing to cost the people of the Cayman Islands?More wastage Mr.Premier?

    • Married to Caymanian says:

       EVERY Caymanian holding a USA passport should be shaking in our sandals!!!  Thanks CI Govt….you sold us out.

      US taxes on Cayman accounts and Cayman US Dual citizens…Wow, that got passed without us knowing!?!

      Can you hear the money leaving the Cayman bank accounts?  We are DOOMED.  Goodbye financial sector.  These lawyers had better implement a law to not allow liens to be put on a dual citizens assets….as here it comes!

      Obama = 1 Cayman  = 0


      • Anonymous says:

        The HIRE act is a USA construct, so not sure why you blame the Cayman Gov’t.  You will need to renounce your US citizenship if you are a willful non-filer.

        • Married to Caymanian says:

           No I file every year and adhere to the global tax laws of which I was born into.  The Cayman Govt would have signed an AGREEMENT to withold 30% of USA income going into CI accounts. ** It is also not easy to give up your citizenship.  You have to have bring your taxes up to date going back between 6 and 10 years, settle with the IRS if anything is owed on your global income, and pay an exit tax.  I have always been aware of my global tax liabilities, it is the dual citizen Caymanians who will be caught out and filing for many past year’s tax returns if they want to give up their citizenship.

        • Rorschach says:

          Now I have been known to read something and misinterpret what I have read, but it seems to me the HIRE Act  applies to US "residents" who have offshore accounts, NOT US "citizens" living and/or working abroad??

          Can someone tell me if this is correct??

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone with a US passport, including Caymanians with a US passport, are required by US law to file their income tax forms with the IRS on their world wide income (salary, interest, rental income, etc.) every single year.  You must file even if you will not owe anything.  The first US$86,000 of salary income (or a figure close to that, I don’t know it off the top of my head) is exempt but you must pay tax on anything above that.  Other forms of income, such as rental income are not exempt.  I wonder how many Caymanians with US passports file US tax returns?  I am sure a majority want the benefits of a US passport but not the responsiblities.  If you are not willing to shoulder your responsbilities, give up the passport (citizenship).  Americans, like me, who pay what we are legally required to pay greatly resent the parasites that don’t.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And I thought the country was broke! This looks more like friends helping friends at our expense! This is going beyond a joke! The premier has constantly shouted it out loud that Cayman is bankrupt & is constantly blaming the PPM, yet he continues to spend, spend, & spend. If we are bankrupt mr. premier, where the XXXX is the money coming from to pay this unnecessary expense? Isn’t it enough, ridiculous enough, to waste our money on all yours & your deputys special perks? Why are you telling us that the country is broke yet you continue to waste millions of dollars unnecessarily? Please mr. premier, think of your people before you think of yourself.