Local lawyers talk information exchange

| 21/05/2010

(CNS): In contrast to persistent beliefs around the world Cayman reveals a considerable amount of information and has done for a long time, a local senior litigation lawyer explained at a recent conference.Explaining how information is released under its Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), Hector Robinson, Partner at Mourant de Feu & Jeune in Cayman, set out the legal framework to a seminar audience of finance professionals recently. Advising delegates what to do if served with a request from the regulatory body relating to Cayman’s 17 TIEA he pointed out that Cayman had been exchanging information with the US since 2005.

The country’s first TIEA Was with the United States which had been negotiated in 2001 and brought into law in 2005 through the Tax Information Authority Law. He said that Cayman had received regular requests for information from the US since that time, and that all requests had been satisfied without any legal challenge to any individual request.
Robinson was speaking at the Westin Casuarina Resort on the theme of ‘Cayman Prepared: Adapting to the Demands of New Financial Regulations in the US and Cayman’. He stressed that when TIEA requests were received, no ‘fishing expeditions’ were permitted and he set out some of the features of the legislation. He spoke about the type of information that may be exchanged, the protection given to the individuals in respect of and from where the information is sought and the procedures which must be followed when a
request for information is made.
He added that other safeguards had been built in, such as the requirement that the information provided had to be kept confidential both by the Authority and the requesting country, and that the requesting country could not, without the consent of the Cayman Authority, use the data for any investigation or proceedings other than that stated in the request. However, he also noted that Cayman’s confidentiality law does not apply to TIEA requests.
Hector Robinson, who has nearly 20 years’ experience as a litigator, shared a platform with a team of specialist lawyers from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, visiting Cayman from their offices in New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco, and by Mourant litigation colleague, Nicholas Dixey, who summarised the rules governing civil recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Law for delegates.
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