The Cayman Islands is one of the leading international centers for the creation and administration of Trust structures. Over the last 40 years, Trusts law in the Cayman Islands has consistently evolved in order to give Cayman a competitive advantage in attracting Trust related business over other offshore jurisdictions. Another part of the competitive advantage is the fact that Cayman has some of the leading Trusts professionals in the world.
Almost all of the major international law firms in the Cayman Islands have a dedicated Trusts practice offering legal advice on both contentious and non-contentious Trusts matters. In terms of team size, the typical Trusts team in Cayman will be 1-3 lawyers. From a recruitment perspective, traditionally, there has been very little movement in the Trusts legal space. I have been an offshore legal recruitment specialist for 6 years now and in the first 4.5 years, I can only recollect a few new hires. However, in the last 18 months, Trusts legal has arguably been one of the most active recruitment sectors. To illustrate this, here is a snapshot detailing some of the more senior moves/appointments in the Cayman Islands;
- Former Partner and Head of Trusts with Ogier Cayman, David Cooney, moved to onshore firm, Charles Russell Speechlys in Switzerland.
- Former Snr Counsel at Walkers Cayman, Anthony Partridge, moved to Ogier Cayman as Partner
- Former Partner and Head of Trusts with Mourant Ozannes Cayman, Morven McMillan, moved to Maples Cayman.
- Former Snr Associate with Appleby Cayman, Robert Lindley, moved to Conyers Cayman as Counsel.
- Former Snr Associate and head of Trusts with Higgs & Johnson Cayman, Tom Mylott moved in-house to a management role with Sterling Trust
- Former Partner and Head of Trusts with Conyers Cayman, Ray Davern, moved to Maples London.
- Former Snr Associate with Appleby Cayman, Robert Mack moved to Mourant Ozannes and then again to HSM to launch a Trusts practice.
- Former Managing Associate with Ogier Guernsey in Trust Litigation, Sally Peedom, moved to Appleby Cayman.
- Former Counsel with Mourant Ozannes Guernsey in Trust Litigation, Andrew Peedom transferred to the Cayman office.
- Former Partner and Head of Trusts with Maples Cayman, Nigel Porteous has left the firm.
- There have also been a number of junior Trusts associates hired in Cayman in the last 12 months.
To summarise, the Trusts legal market in the Cayman Islands is in very good shape and there is confidence amongst the major law firms that their Trusts practices will grow in 2017/18. With the annual STEP Caribbean Conference taking place in the Cayman Islands this May, the jurisdiction is very much front and center in the Trusts world.