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Cayman Islands legal associations to merge

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Press Releases October 22, 2018

Cayman Islands legal associations to merge

The two legal professional associations, the Cayman Islands Law Society (CILS) and the Caymanian Bar Association (CBA) are due to complete their merger later this month following approval by both memberships in June.

Under the plan approved by membership, a new body, the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA) will assume the functions of the CBA and the CILS. The establishment of CILPA marks the first time that the entire legal profession in Cayman will be represented by one association.

CILPA will continue the current objectives of the CBA and CILS following the merger. Its mandate will include:

  • To support and protect the character, status and interests of the legal profession;
  • To support the judiciary in upholding the rule of law and the administration of justice;
  • To maintain and protect the independence of the legal profession;
  • To encourage legal education, and the promotion of the study of jurisprudence;
  • To promote the qualification, training and development of Caymanians as attorneys-at-law;
  • To promote proper etiquette and professional conduct of attorneys by regulating its members pursuant to a CILPA code of professional conduct;
  • To encourage public rights of access to the courts and the right of representation by attorneys before courts and tribunals;
  • To encourage improvements in the administration of justice;
  • To encourage the provision of law reports;
  • To encourage and support law reform;
  • To further good relations between members and non-members of CILPA and attorneys of other jurisdictions and between CILPA and other similar associations in the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions.

Where authorised by the Cayman Islands Government, CILPA would also act as a Supervisory Authority under the Anti-Money Laundering (Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions) (No.1) Regulations 2017, for its member firms.

A transitional council consisting of members of the executive of the CILS and the council of the CBA have been working to form the new body, create a new website and form the first council for CILPA.

The members of the first council of CILPA are David Collins, Alasdair Robertson, Neil Timms, Kendra Foster, Huw Moses, Erik Bodden and James Bagnall. The first council will look to organise elections in early 2019.

“For the CBA, the merger with CILS into CILPA is both poignant and a moment for renewed optimism. CILPA will be democratic, transparent and with adequate resources to meet the challenges we face, as well as being committed to the training and development of Caymanians within the profession,” said Neil Timms Q.C, outgoing CBA President.

“Both CILS and the CBA played crucial roles for the legal industry in Cayman, representing legal professionals as a whole, encouraging the study of law and promoting honourable practices for a number of decades. Both associations were essential and important in their own right, however, the time has come for us to merge our knowledge and experience in the creation of an association designed to progress and protect the objectives of both,” said Alasdair Robertson, outgoing CILS President.

“The future is bright for the legal industry in Cayman. This merger is a hugely positive step for our profession and we are looking forward to the growth and development of Cayman’s legal sector. The creation of CILPA allows us to bring together an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and resources from both previous bodies, allowing us a larger and more accomplished platform to ensure the continuation of service to Cayman’s legal industry,” said David Collins, Interim President Elect of CILPA.

The composition of the council both initially and going forward is on the basis that (a) no less than two CILPA members are sole practitioners or from a law firm or law firms employing less than ten attorneys-at-law; and (b) up to five CILPA members are from law firms employing ten or more attorneys-at-law. No more than two members of council may be practicing law with the same law firm. All members of the initial council are Caymanian and going forward at least a majority must be Caymanian, with the President being Caymanian.

Membership is open to all attorneys-at-law with Cayman Islands practicing certificates.