Maples helps grow CI attorneys

Maples and Calder has been a major factor in the development of the country’s financial services industry for some 40 years.

Providing scholarships, training and employment for Caymanians who wish to become attorneys are important aspects of the firm’s commitment to the local community, states a press release.

Over a term of 18 months, trainees (known as articled clerks) rotate through the firm’s main departments, working directly with different lawyers to gain valuable hands-on experience, leading to admission as Cayman Islands attorneys-at-law.

Maples and Calder employs six articled clerks – Nedra Ebanks, Stephen Watler, Shari Seymour, Tricia Cacho, Bruce Blake and Shari McField-Bell.

Nedra Ebanks, from West Bay, attended the Cayman Islands Law School and obtained her LLB (Honours) from the University of Liverpool in 2004. Nedra completed the Professional Practice Course in 2005. Since joining Maples and Calder, Nedra has worked in the Asset Finance, Structured Finance and Commercial departments and is currently working with the Litigation department. She also hopes to gain international experience at one of the Firm’s offices outside the islands.

‘It is great that young Caymanians have this opportunity,’ commented Ms. Ebanks. ‘I am truly grateful and honoured to be one of the persons selected to be trained by the most prestigious firm on the island and each day I continue to do my best to prove that I am deserving of this position.’

Stephen Watler from Savannah received a BBA (Honours) from York University in Canada in 2002. He obtained his Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies from the University of East Anglia in 2004 and completed the professional practice course in 2005 at the College of Law in London. Stephen has completed seats in Litigation, Trusts and Structured Finance and is currently working in Mutual Funds.

Stephen, a recipient of two Maples and Calder scholarships, applied for articles at the Firm because he felt it was the best law firm on the island. ‘The quality of work produced by Maples and Calder is unrivalled by any other firm on the island. Moreover, with offices spread throughout the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East, the ability to gain international experience made it an obvious first choice’, he said.

Shari Seymour from Bodden Town graduated from the University of Manchester in 2004 with an LLB (Honours) and went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School in 2005. Shari first worked with Maples and Calder in 2001 while attending Sixth Form at St. Ignatius High School. Subsequently, she returned to work for the Firm during her summer breaks from university. Shari has completed her seats with the Commercial and Asset Finance departments and is presently working with Trusts.

‘Maples and Calder is the world’s leading offshore law firm and along with that comes a wide array of stimulating work and a developing environment, one which is helping me to achieve the pinnacle of excellence,’ said Ms. Seymour.

Tricia Cacho of George Town attended CILS and was the Valedictorian of the 2004 graduating class. After obtaining her LLB (Honours) from the University of Liverpool in 2004, she went on to complete the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in London and was later admitted as a barrister in England and Wales. Tricia has worked with the Structured Finance, Asset Finance and Litigation teams and is presently working with the Commercial department.

When asked how she viewed her training, Tricia responded ‘I see this as a great opportunity as well as an investment in Caymanians. Through my experiences at Maples and Calder, I have realized that there is more to learning than just through a classroom. The diversity in the work that I do and the quality that is expected to be produced continuously drives me to keep reaching above and beyond.’

Bruce Blake, also from West Bay, obtained a BA in Accounting from the University of South Florida and later became a CPA. Bruce began working with Maples and Calder as a Financial Controller in 1998, but subsequently decided to pursue a legal career and enrolled at CILS. In 2005, he received his LLB (Honours) from the University of Liverpool and transferred to the firms Mutual Funds department as a paralegal. After completing the Professional Practice Course in 2006, Bruce commenced his articles with the firm’s Mutual Funds department.

‘I am an individual who strives for perfection and I thrive off of challenges,’ commented Mr. Blake. ‘Maples and Calder sets high standards, the competitive environment forces me to always look at myself and think of ways to keep learning and advancing.’

Originally from George Town, Shari McField-Bell, obtained her BA (Hons) from the University of Tampa and worked in the Department of Children and Family Services for ten years, rising to the position of Adoptions and Foster Care Coordinator. Shari’s time as a social worker and her involvement with the family courts led to her decision to become a lawyer and she enrolled at CILS in 2001. Shari received her LLB (First Class Honours) from the University of Liverpool in 2005, and then after being awarded the Chevening Scholarship, she went on to obtain her Diploma in Legal Practice from the Inns of Court School of Law in June 2006. Shari joined the Firm in August 2006 and is working with the Structured Finance team. When asked what appealed to her about being a lawyer, Shari responded that laws affected everyone and that she wanted to be in a better position to help guide individuals.

‘I chose to do my articles at Maples and Calder because of their reputation, I felt that I would receive top-notch training with them,’ she said. ‘The environment is a challenging one, but all staff are genuinely interested in helping me develop into the best lawyer that I can be.’

Andrew Reid, a partner at the firm with responsibility for recruiting Articled Clerks (who also started his career with the firm as an articled clerk in 1984), observed, ‘This is the largest group of Articled Clerks that we have had at any one time and is representative of the excellent opportunities available to Caymanians within the financial industry. As the major law firm on the island, the Firm is pleased to continue its long standing tradition of offering the best possible career prospects for local attorneys’.

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