US law students learn to dispel island myths

A group of 21 law students from the University of Alabama spent last week in the Cayman Islands to better understand the workings of the territory’s financial market. 

Alabama Professor Andrew Morriss started the course, “Special Problems in Corporate Law: Offshore Financial Transactions,” 10 years ago to educate people about the island’s financial industry and how it works.  

“First, they [students] learn how transactions like captive insurance or investment funds are done and meet the professionals and regulators here that they will need as contacts to do them. Second, they learn what goes on in Cayman rather than the U.S. media image,” Mr. Morriss said. 

He said the course had been designed to rid myths surrounding the island. 

“When I tell people I teach a course in the Cayman Islands, they laugh and say, ‘Are you teaching money laundering?’” Mr. Morriss said. “It is not a John Grisham novel.” 

Student Ruth Lichtenfeld, who has a law degree and is studying for a master’s in taxation, said the course provided a good overview of the island and its financial industry. 

“It’s dispelled any myths I had heard about the Cayman Islands’ financial market and how highly regulated the market really is,” Ms. Lichtenfeld said. “It’s really been very impressive.” 

Student Peter Viles, who is studying taxation and immigration law, said he was “very impressed” with the amount of regulations on the island. 

As part of the course, students heard from a number of speakers from across the islands’ financial sector, including from Walkers, Stuarts Walkers Hersant, Maples, Butterfield Bank, BDO, CIMA, the Tax Information Authority, Kane, UCCI, Solomon Harris, Liberty Consulting and Atwater Ltd. 

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Mr. Morriss
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