Cayman Islands former Acting Solicitor General Douglas Schofield has gone into private practice at a time when it would seem government needs his services more than ever.
HSM law firm founding partner Huw Moses confirmed Mr. Schofield’s appointment to his office on Wednesday.
Mr. Moses said Wednesday that Mr. Schofield has “unparalleled experience” from his time at the crown counsel’s office in British Columbia and the attorney general’s chambers in Bermuda. He most recently served as senior crown counsel and acting solicitor general for the Cayman Islands government.
Mr. Schofield has degrees in both history and law and is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Bermuda Bar Association. He was admitted to the Cayman Islands bar in 1999 and has served as an acting magistrate and as acting attorney general during that time. Mr. Schofield has also published two books and has written several screen plays.
Although his name does not often find its way into news stories, Mr. Schofield has been a central figure behind the scenes for the work done by the attorney general’s chambers regarding civil claims over the ill-fated Operation Tempura corruption probe.
Mr. Schofield served as local counsel for attorney Martin Griffiths during a 2011 hearing held in Cayman over a lawsuit filed against the government by former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan. Mr. Kernohan claimed in the suit that he was wrongfully fired from this job in 2008 by then-Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack.
Records obtained by the Caymanian Compass also showed that Mr. Schofield was involved in talks regarding the release of former Auditor General Dan Duguay’s report on the financing of Operation Tempura in late 2009.
Information obtained by the Compass showed that both former Governor Jack and then-Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks sought to delay the release of Mr. Duguay’s report until after criminal trials in the matter were finished. Correspondence also showed that certain government officials were “annoyed” by the contents of Mr. Duguay’s report.
Since the last court hearing held in Cayman two years ago, former Commissioner Kernohan’s lawsuit has faced interminable delays over a side dispute involving the attorney general and Operation Tempura’s former senior investigator Martin Bridger. According to Mr. Kernohan’s attorneys, that dispute has significantly held up the process for Mr. Kernohan’s lawsuit.
According to court records, the attorney general’s chambers has sought to prevent Mr. Bridger from using certain documents in his possession to defend himself against the lawsuit filed by Mr. Kernohan. There has been no resolution in the case, despite a July closed-door hearing with a Cayman Islands Grand Court justice over the matter.
Efforts to find out what occurred in that July hearing, or any subsequent decisions of the judge, have been met with a wall of silence. Mr. Bridger has refused to comment, as has the attorney general.
Questions sent to the attorney general’s office about Mr. Schofield leaving the crown also did not receive a response.