We are a professional association of Caymanian Attorneys

who operate either as sole pracitioners, legal advisers and or are employed by a Cayman Islands law firm of five or less attorneys.
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Our association was formed on the lack of representation of our segment of the legal community.

The legal services provided by our membership are crucial to the administration of justice and to the rule of law in the Cayman Islands
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If you have decided to take the step towards starting your own law practice and making this a viable option for you, please join us.

ALPA
Our Fight

The Legal Services Bill

Today more than ever the legal industry is under threat by the Unity Government's "Legal Services Bill" which mostly benefits big firms and allows for legal assistance to be carried out from other jurisdiction without immigration requirements (work permits) among other things, impacting individual attorneys and small firms.
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WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PROPOSED LEGAL SERVICES BILL 2020?

Our Belief

We believe it is critical to the development of this jurisdiction that ALPA be given a voice and opportunity to assist in creating and maintaining the legal framework in which our membership is required to operate. We therefore humbly request that ALPA be included on, and provide input on any proposed laws, draft bills or any amendment to the existing legislative framework, which may at any time impact the Cayman Islands' legal profession or Cayrnanian attorneys. We are of the view that this will assist with providing a broader perspective on the issues and concerns within the legal community, and access to justice in the Islands.
We find the appointment of the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association ("CILPA") as Supervisory Authority for AML for the legal profession to be illegimate and innapropriate. CILPA's purported creation and empowerment of Cayman Attorneys Regulation Authority ("CARA") for the obvious purpose of creating the optical illusion that AML regulation of the legal profession is proper and legitimate.

We find the appointment of the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association ("CILPA") as Supervisory Authority for AML for the legal profession to be illegimate and innapropriate. CILPA's purported creation and empowerment of Cayman Attorneys Regulation Authority ("CARA") for the obvious purpose of creating the optical illusion that AML regulation of the legal profession is proper and legitimate.


ALPA'S FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS

1. Registrations of All Law Firms and Caymanian ownership/control requirement of Cayman Islands Law Firms

a

All Law Firms/Law Companies/Legal Advices Businesses (including sole practitioners) operating in Cayman must be registered with the Cayman Islands Legal Profession Regulatory Authority (“CILPRA”). 100% Caymanian owned and controlled firms should be granted registration as of right, and partly owned Caymanian firms should have to satisfy CILPRA that they are compliant with Caymanian Ownership/Control requirements.

b

Caymanian participation should be 60% Caymanian owned and controlled, unless temporarily exempted as below

c

Exemptions should only be possible via grant of temporary exemption by Cabinet (after consulting CILPRA) for a limited transitional period for existing firms that do not meet such criteria. Such exemption should be based on justifiable circumstances and upon proof of the firm’s efforts to comply with this requirement by employing and training Caymanians. – 6 years to get to 51%, if less than 51%, and another 6 years to get to 60%, if less than 60% - total of 12 years to get to full compliance.

d

All new “law firms” (of whatever type or entity) after commencement must meet Caymanian 60%/40% requirements.

3. Consultation/Composition of Regulatory Body (Both AML and Attorney Regulation)

a

CILPRA must be properly created, independent statutory authority, NOT a “self-regulatory” private company like “CILPA”

b

Must conform to requirements of Public Authorities Law/accepted standards of good governance, transparency and free of any conflicts of interests

c

Council of CILPRA should be comprised of appointees to Council by the CJ, AG, CILPA and ALPA – ALL Council members MUST be Caymanian.

4. Holding oneself out to be Cayman Attorney

a

Unless being admitted to the Grand Court and holding a current Cayman practicing certificate (OPC or otherwise) it shall be an offence to:

  1. I - claim to be competent in Cayman Islands Law, and/or
  2. II - hold oneself out as being a Caymanian attorney.
2. Overseas Practitioners Certification and Qualifications

a

There should be no “grandfathering in” of current Overseas Practitioners (“OPs”) currently holding themselves out as “Cayman attorneys” who have no current Cayman Islands practicing certificates. The relevant law firm must apply to have any OP in their employ or in the employ of one of their overseas affiliates registered and must satisfy all of the relevant criteria to practice Cayman Law based on all of the same criteria as if they were applying for a Practicing Certificate in Cayman.

b

Overseas Practicing Certificates (“OPCs”) shall be required for each and every Overseas Practitioners, who are employed by, affiliated with or instructed by, a Cayman Registered Firm. All holders of OPCs shall be bound by the relevant Cayman principal legislation and any regulations made thereunder, including the same code of conduct, as if they were practicing in the Cayman jurisdiction. There shall be established a Register of all OPC’s which Register shall be open for public inspection.

c

There must be a quota of OPCs for each firm, based on a sensible, balanced ratio of Caymanian Practitioners (“CPs”) to Ops. (For example, 1:1 Caymanian attorneys or articled clerks to every OPs.)

d

Every OP must, at a minimum, in addition to holding a valid Cayman Practicing Certificate, also hold a valid practicing certificate and any necessary licence or work permit in the jurisdiction in which they are resident so as to ensure they are subject to regulation/sanction by the relevant authorities of the jurisdiction they are operating in.

e

OPC annual fee must at least be equal to CPC annual practicing certificate fee ($2,000) PLUS relevant work permit fee. The basis for this is that anything less than that would obviously incentivized outsourcing (bearing in mind that overseas practitioners do not contribute anything to the Cayman economy).

f

Any holder of an OPC must have a minimum of 5 years PQE and relevant training and other qualifications for ordinary Cayman Islands practicing certificate.

g

Open court admission to the Grand Court and granting of first OPC should take place in the Cayman Islands (video link not permitted).

h

No OP should be permitted to undertake Cayman Islands litigation – OPs shall have no right to appear before any Court, tribunal or board (or the like) of the Cayman Islands.

i

OPs shall be restricted to legal services related to CIMA licensed and regulated entities/Companies registry (such as, Financial Services Division substance) matters..

j

OP shall have a supervising Cayman registered attorney based in the same jurisdiction as the OP, who is either Caymanian or a permanent resident/RERC holder with 10 years PQE within Cayman. They must countersign application for OPC and commit to being within the jurisdiction for the same period of the OPC. Supervising attorney shall be limited to 10 OPs.

k

OPC limited to 5 years renewable yearly with payment of fees and statutory declaration. A new OPC shall only be issued to a previous holder if the relevant law firm can demonstrate that there is no similarly qualified Caymanian to take his place and that all due diligence has been exercised in that regard by the law firm.

l

OPC shall cease if employment ceases – obligation on both “law firm” and OP to notify WORC/Immigration, Court and Regulatory Body of ceasing employment. OPC non-transferrable to new employer. If change of employment must apply for a new OPC.

m

Each OPC application shall take place in the Cayman Islands with the applicant being physically present in jurisdiction in order to obtain grant of OPC and to collect certificate.

n

Any OP shall be automatically struck from the OPC Register if for any reason he ceases to be competent to continue to practice Cayman Law.

5. Whitstleblowers

a

No person may be subject to any legal, administrative or employment-related sanction, regardless of any breach of a legal or employment-related obligation, for releasing information relating to a contravention of this law.

6. AML/CTF to apply to OPs and Law Firm overseas offices

a

All AML/CTF laws and regulations that apply to legal practitioners in the Cayman Islands shall apply to OPs and overseas offices.

7. Offence – knowingly deal with a person/entity in breach of legal practitioners law

a

It shall be an offence to knowingly deal with a person or entity acting in breach of this law.

8. Funds derived from breach of this law shall be proceeds of crime – shall be an offence

a

It shall be an offence with moneys derived from a breach of the legal practitioners law.

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Who we are

Our Council

Sammy Jackson
President
Stephen Symons
Vice President
Selina Tibbetts
Secretary
Phillip Ebanks
Treasurer
Mark Beckford
Member
Theresa Pitcairn
Member