Offshore lawyers shape laws to boost earnings

| 20/01/2015 | 1 Comment
CNS Business

Alasdair Robertson, President, Cayman Law Society

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands Law Society has continued its “constructive engagement” with government and has had a particularly busy year in 2014, the president said last week. Although lawyers are involved pro bono in reviewing and contributing to laws across the board, Alasdair Robertson said the work of the Financial Services Legislative Committee (FSLC) was some of the most important because it helped to generate new products and revenue for the country.

Speaking at the opening of the Grand Court last Wednesday, Roberston said the society had also been involved, at the request of the Law Reform Commission, on proposals over directors duties, which he said had become a relatively hot topic in recent years. Providing input on the need for statutory codification of such duties, Roberston revealed that the profession has, despite the controversies surrounding this issue, rejected the idea.

“The essential conclusion was that such duties are well established; clearly articulated, easily understood and capable of development by the courts and that this Court has taken and will no doubt continue to take a leading role in developing that jurisprudence if required,” he said.

The flagship of the laws reviewed by the FSLC last year, Robertson said, was the substantial revision to the Exempted Limited Partnership Law and the introduction of the Third Parties Rights Law.

“We note that there is a substantial number of draft legislation prepared by the FSLC, including amendments to the Trust Law, a law introducing limited liability companies or LLCs as well as limited liability partnerships and further enhancements to the Companies Law that are in process and we very much hope to see enacted during the course of this year,” he said.

On the issue of beneficial ownership, Roberston said the Law Society had prepared a detailed report to the government during the consultation period highlighting in particular the value of their current licensed service provider scheme in meeting the objectives set out by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron. The membership was happy, he said, that their views had been taken on board.

Touching on another thorny issue, he said the Law Society members “still struggle to understand the necessity to bring in any form of data protection legislation to our jurisdiction in any form, which does not lead to added regulation, bureaucracy and material cost to the people of the Cayman Islands in a time where government is trying to tighten its belt.” Robertson said, “Data Protection in the EU with a population of over 500 million people and a very large and diverse economy is one thing, the Cayman Islands with a population of around 60,000 and a much narrower economic focus is quite clearly another.”

Many of the members supported the adoption Daylight Savings Time, the president said, “for many good reasons but if for nothing else to avoid the now numerous conference calls that get missed due to the confusion over daylight savings and that fact that Microsoft Outlook in particular does not seem to be able to handle the time change very well.”

See all the speeches from the Grand Court Opening

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Category: Finance, Financial Services, Law

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lawyers drafting laws. Lawyers arguing over laws. I maybe a simpleton but is this not a conflict. It is about time common sense and commerciality was introduce to the legal system. Lawyers will never deliver this

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