September 23, 2020

Premier promotes Cayman Islands at London Law Conference

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LONDON – Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin took a room filled with leaders of law firms, financial institutions, government departments and journalists on the journey of how the developed from the ‘Islands Time Forgot’ to the financial services powerhouse it is today.

Throughout his narrative Friday afternoon he touched on how the decision to remain with the as a crown colony rather than going with Jamaica into independence was key to helping lead the country forward. With this decision, the agreed to Cayman’s first Constitution that, along with early companies and banking laws, became the legal foundation for Cayman’s Financial Services Industry and, consequently, its strong economic and financial position of today.

“What might be described, albeit with a touch of artistic license, as Cayman’s Brexit moment – the point at which regional integration fell apart and the Cayman Islands opted to forge a future that bucked the prevailing trend – was in fact therefore more of a “Br-entry” than a Brexit,” he said.

Mr. McLaughlin was the keynote speaker at a Blackstone Chambers Conference in London titled “Current Issues in Rule of Law and International Trade and Development”.
Blackstone Chambers is a leading set of barristers chambers that offers a variety of practices including commercial and public law as well as human rights, employment, law and financial services.

“With our own constitution in place, and the stability of our new Crown Colony status, the Cayman Islands set about to construct a financial services regulatory system that enabled the territory to achieve more economic development and diversification than its peers,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “Between 1960 and 1980, both legally and economically, the Cayman Islands went from being one of the least developed jurisdictions in the region to surpassing the United Kingdom in GDP per capita terms and, during that same time, affecting a sophisticated body of financial law.

“As a jurisdiction, Cayman has always ensured that it kept, and keeps, up-to-date with emerging trends, reacting swiftly to ensure that the legal framework evolves accordingly and institutional confidence is preserved and always operating based on ethical principles,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Throughout my presentation I sought to demonstrate the symbiotic nature of our constitutional and economic development and the importance of the rule of law to Cayman’s success as a country.”

At the end of the conference Mr. McLaughlin appeared on a panel to discuss “Brexit: Constitutional and Economic Consequences”. He said the loss of the UK’s moderating voice around the EU table is a matter of considerable concern to the Cayman Islands and other Overseas Territories, especially as it relates to financial services matters.

Consequently, he said, the Cayman Islands will have to seek even greater engagement in international discussions relating to issues that affect its most important industry. Joining him on the panel were Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Lord Pannick – both of Blackstone Chambers – and Michael Llamas, Attorney General of Gibraltar.

On Monday Mr. McLaughlin will meet again with Baroness Anelay and FCO Officials to provide an update on Cayman’s progress with respect to implementation of the necessary supporting legislation underpinning the searchable register for the enhanced exchange of beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement authorities.

He will also attend the first meeting of the Cayman Islands All Party Parliamentary Group, which will be hosted by MP Graham Brady. Members of the APPG help champion Cayman’s cause in the halls of Westminster.

Traveling with the Premier are Attorney General Sam Bulgin, Senior Political Advisor Roy Tatum, Senior Legislative Policy Advisor in the Department of Financial Services Policy and Legislation Andre Ebanks and Press Secretary Tammie C. Chisholm.
They return to Grand Cayman on Tuesday, 8 March, 2017.

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