Cayman firms face beefed up pro bono rules

By Jonathan Ames

10 December 2012 at 14:08 BST

International law firms with offices in the Cayman Islands could soon face a raft of pro bono requirements as the local authorities legislate to involve lawyers in the social fabric of the leading off-shore financial centre.

Cayman Islands: Pro bono requirments

Cayman Islands: Pro bono requirments

Cayman Islands ministers have put out to consultation a Legal Practitioners Bill, which aims to integrate the legal profession more closely with the ordinary population.

Youth programmes

According to a report on web site Cayman Net News, if implemented the legislation would require law firms registered in the jurisdiction to provide pro bono advice to the poor, as well as assisting in youth programmes and offender rehabilitation schemes.
The bill also includes provisions that would require registered law firms to award scholarships to local law students. And it will create a monitoring programme to assess how many local associates are employed at law firms.

Striving for balance

As the proposals went to public consultation at the end of last week, the island’s premier, William McKeeva Bush, maintained they would benefit international law firms: ‘The major offshore firms have lobbied my government and previous administrations as far back as 2003 to modernise the Legal Practitioners Law so that the profession can be regulated and policies can be developed to facilitate the continued growth and prosperity of the industry,’ he told the web site.
Mr Bush continued by saying his government would ‘seek to protect young Caymanians and their future; we have to strive for a balance, and make sure business is also sufficiently protected, for Cayman to survive.’


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