The motion for the opening of Grand Court Wednesday was seconded by Charles Quin QC as president of the Law Society of the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Quin said 2006 was a busy year for the Law Society as members tried to provide reviews and assistance to new draft legislation.
He identified as one of the platforms for the success of Cayman’s economy the excellent working relationship between Government and the private sector to produce clear and practicable legislation.
The Law Society stands ready to review all draft legislation produced by Government.
In 2006, comments were provided to Government and to the Law Reform Commission on a number of pieces of draft legislation, namely:
The Trade and Business Revision Sub-committee, chaired by Orren Merren and consisting of Andrew Reid, Sarah Priaulx and Sophia Dilbert. They met several times earlier in the year and provided constructive and helpful reports to the Chairman of the Trade and Business Licensing Board on the Law and Regulations.
The Law Society Freedom of Information Bill Sub-committee, consisting of Chris Russell, Simon Dickson, Sandie Corbett and Robin McMillan, spent many hours of their own time in preparing and providing a helpful analysis and report for the Leader of Government Business.
In April last year the Law Society wrote to the chairman of the Immigration Review Team setting out its concerns regarding the impact the rollover provisions may have on the profession and the economy of the Cayman Islands and offering suggestions.
Following publication of the draft amendments to the Immigration Law in October, a joint sub-committee of the Caymanian Bar Association and the Law Society was formed.
The subcommittee submitted an analysis and report focusing in particular on constructive technical comments and the need for there to be a reasonable implementation of the rollover provisions by the respective boards in such a way that maintains Cayman Islands as one of the leading offshore jurisdictions, Mr. Quin said.
Members were Nick Joseph, James Bergstrom, Wayne Panton, Paul Lumsden and Alasdair Robertson.
In November a Law Society sub-committee consisting of Hector Robinson, Sonia Starvis, Daniel Priestley and George Loutas provided a review of the draft Residential Tenancies Bill to the director of the Law Reform Commission and to the attorney general.
Mr. Quin said he deliberately named attorneys involved because of their selfless efforts.
He said the Law Society is a vibrant and constructive force determined to ensure that Cayman maintains its position as the leading offshore jurisdiction.
He also cited Alasdair Robertson, who served as both treasurer and secretary of the Law Society.
Mr. Quin commended the judges and magistrates for diligently and efficiently disposing of court lists week after week and in particular for ensuring that the majority of cases are dealt with in a timely manner.
He also commended the chief justice for commissioning a report that is likely to result in the creation of a commercial division of the Grand Court. He predicted it would help save time and costs.
‘The Cayman Islands have established a reputation where international investors can have confidence in the rule of law and a commercial division to deal with complex insolvency, company and trust matters will ensure that our reputation is maintained,’ he said.
He welcomed the introduction of a legal/judicial website and the fact that computerization of the Court Registry is also well under way.
Mr. Quin also spoke of the importance of legal aid. He expressed thanks to the many practitioners who undertake cases on a legal aid rate, which is significantly lower than the commercial rate.
Chief Justice Anthony Smellie told the gathering that Attorney Wayne Panton, president of the Caymanian Bar Association, had sent his apologies for being unable to attend or send a representative.