Rent for a conference room at a Seven Mile Beach resort is not being paid for out of the courts budget, even though Grand Court is being held there this week and next week.
Justice Nicholas Segal is presiding in a “special designated court” on the third floor of the Marriott Resort. The matter being heard is a trial of petition in the Grand Court’s Financial Services Division.
Although the facility was rented by the Judicial Administration, Court Administrator Suzanne Bothwell explained, “costs have been fully reimbursed by the parties – no related expense has been borne by the courts.”
The court was designated by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie and a notice appeared in the Cayman Gazette on Monday, Aug. 1, for this trial only, Ms. Bothwell said. “The Chief Justice and the Court Administrator’s permission for the specially designated court at the Marriott’s facilities was granted to enable the timely hearing of that trial.”
At the 2011 formal opening of Grand Court, Chief Justice Smellie reported that the Financial Services Division, which was established in 2009, had handled 419 cases by the end of the previous year. The advantages of having a separate Financial Services Division “impact upon the choice of Cayman as a forum for the resolution of complex commercial disputes,” he said.
“The public of these islands would also no doubt be interested to know that these benefits brought by the FSD have come with little additional costs to the public. This is due to a large extent to the special terms and conditions under which our additional judges have agreed to serve and to the fact that the reasonable fees that are charged in relation to FSD cases largely offset any additional costs,” Chief Justice Smellie said.
Attorney Charles Jennings, speaking at the Grand Court opening in 2010, made the distinction between “local litigation” which he said affected the lives of people in the community, and “international work” that was vital in maintaining Cayman’s position as a leading financial center.
Four years later, attorney Alasdair Robertson pointed out that “the financial services sector is the single largest contributor to the economy of the Cayman Islands and represents 49 percent of the gross domestic product.”
Last year, 255 cases were filed in the Financial Services Division.
The kinds of cases heard have been diverse. Attorney Colin McKie reported that for one recent year, the judges sitting in the Financial Services Division “delivered judgments on complex issues arising out of investment funds; duties of directors and other fiduciaries; professional negligence; tracing claims and restitution; confidentiality; insolvencies, bankruptcies, and receiverships; cross-border judicial cooperation in insolvencies and in the exchange of tax information.”