Maples celebrates golden anniversary

Premier Alden McLaughlin, left, and Maples and Calder Global Managing Partner Alasdair Robertson attend Maples and Calder’s 50th anniversary celebration Thursday night at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. - PHOTO: MAGGIE JACKSON

From humble beginnings as a one-man show in the back of a Volkswagen camper van, the law firm of Maples and Calder has grown, over five decades, into a global industry leader, employing hundreds of people across 15 locations.

The firm celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman resort. Among the more than 200 people in attendance were former partners, financial services industry leaders and Cayman’s political leaders, including Premier Alden McLaughlin.

Global managing partner Alasdair Robertson detailed the firm’s extraordinary journey to become the global legal and financial services leader that it is today.

The firm was founded in 1967 by Jim McDonald and John Maples, swiftly moving from Mr. McDonald’s camper van to set up shop in a single room at Dr. Roy McTaggart’s house on South Church Street. Douglas Calder joined the following year and after Mr. McDonald’s retirement in 1969, Maples and Calder was born.

The firm grew over the decades and rapidly expanded in the 1990s, opening offices in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, Singapore and the British Virgin Islands, Mr. Robertson said.

The Maples group now comprises law firm Maples and Calder and its affiliate MaplesFS, employing more than 1,500 staff worldwide.

The firm, which specializes in finance, corporate, investment funds and litigation, employs almost 600 people in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Robertson said, “Over the course of five decades, we have experienced tremendous progress and embraced opportunities that have helped to set the Cayman Islands apart in the industry by attracting the brightest and highest calibre of people – an ethos that has remained a cornerstone of our success ever since.”

In a speech at the outdoor gala event, he raised a toast to all those who had helped make the firm and the financial services industry a success.

He said, “We have supported and challenged each other to develop and refine the Cayman product, to improve and sharpen our services and to offer the world a jurisdiction that continually strives to be the leading international financial centre of excellence. No small feat. Thank you for growing with us and sharing the vision that continues to put Cayman on the map.”

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