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Ex-CIG finance expert joins local law firm

| 28/04/2015 | 1 Comment
CNS Business

Deborah Drummond, Senior Associate, Travers Thorp Alberga

(CNS): The former deputy financial secretary, who was given an undisclosed government pay-off after some five years on gardening leave during McKeeva Bush’s premiership, has joined the local law firm that represented him at trial. Deborah Drummond was one of three high-ranking female public servants left out in the cold after a ministerial reshuffle when Bush and the UDP took office in 2009.

The finance expert has now joined Travers Thorp Alberga, a release from the firm’s London based PR Company said. Drummond, who qualified as an attorney in 2006 when she was serving as the deputy financial secretary, has joined the firm as a senior associate.

Drummond was part of a long-running government controversy when she, the former health ministry chief officer Diane Montoya and the education ministry’s CO Angela Martins were all placed on leave with full pay after the UDP changed the ministerial portfolios when they took office and left the women without jobs and no explanations.

With no allegations of any wrongdoing but no work, the women remained on full pay for several years. Martins was the first to settle with government when she retired after just over a year on leave. But Montoya and Drummond remained on the payroll, drawing benefits and salaries that were between CI$125,000 and $150,000 per annum, according to civil service pay scales, until May of last year, when the deputy governor announced that a pay settlement had been reached with the former top civil servants.

In the release, Travers Thorp Alberga said that Drummond “enjoyed a highly successful career in government” where she had responsibility for policy on legislative development and international issues in relation to the financial services sector. She was also a member of the Cayman Islands Government negotiating teams, dealing directly with the OECD and the FATF and on the Tax Information Exchange Agreements. In addition, Drummond was formerly the vice chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, having spearheaded the initiative and the legislation in setting up the exchange.

Also joining the firm is Denise Owen, who is now a senior associate in the litigation group after nine years in the UK practicing as a barrister and two years in private practice as an attorney in the Cayman Islands; and Louise Freestone, a corporate and funds lawyer with over 20 years of legal experience in the City of London and experience in mergers, acquisitions, balance sheet restructurings, schemes of arrangement and reductions of capital, joins the firm as a partner.

The law firm’s head of finance, Nicole Pineda, said, “There are no glass ceilings at TTA. I am pleased that the firm continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversity.”

Anthony Travers became senior partner at Travers Thorp Alberga in December 2012 at the conclusion of his six-year restrictive covenant, having formerly been senior partner at leading offshore law firm, Maples and Calder.

When Travers joined TTA there were nine lawyers, including six partners. Today there are 23 lawyers, 11 of whom are partners. The gender breakdown is 14 women to nine men.

“When I joined Maples in 1975 we only had five lawyers and so the current rate of progress at TTA is most encouraging and no doubt entirely reflective of the quality of lawyers we have at the new firm,” he added. “We lead Cayman in diversity, all our relevant metrics are very positive and I’m now focussed on the next stage of  our development. To date we have concentrated on Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Mainland China and now we have developed sufficient traction we are ready to bring our very particular expertise and value proposition to the more traditional markets,” Travers added.

TTA is an offshore boutique firm which, according to its website, deals with all types of offshore structures, including hedge funds, private equity, corporate and partnership vehicles, asset and structured finance, capital markets, and general corporate and commercial matters. However, Michael Alberga, a managing partner, was the instructing lawyer for McKeeva Bush’s abuse of office case.

Alberga worked alongside Geoffrey Cox QC, the leading UK barrister and backbench Conservative MP who represented Bush and secured his acquittal after trial last October for misconduct in connection with the use of his government credit card in casinos.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please tell me how I can get one of these jobs? I promise I won’t make the government settle my claim.

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