According to several partners at Cayman’s leading law firms, the global financial crisis and the subsequent collapse in demand for fund formation work have caused the landscape for offshore funds lawyers dramatically.
Although there has been a gradual re-emergence of instructions filtering through over the last two years, the workflow level is still well down from the dizzy pre-GFC highs. In addition, Maples & Calder and Walkers, the two historical stalwarts of the Cayman Islands funds scene, have seen their major competitors expand their Cayman operations in a determined effort to play catch-up and increase their market share.
The Effects on Candidate Funds Lawyers
A decrease in the amount of work and increased competitiveness for winning that work has in turn, caused a number of the major law firms to more sharply define the profile of the lawyers they wish to employ in this key lucrative area. As well as being able to demonstrate either outstanding or very strong academics, candidates wishing to make a move to the Cayman Islands will almost always need to have undertaken their training and gained their post-qualification experience at a top 10 London law firm, a major US firm in London, or a top 3 Australian or New Zealand firm.
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What are Law Firms Looking for?
We have observed that candidates with experience from the regional offices of the major UK national law firms struggle to get interviews. Many law firms seek candidates at the 3 – 4 PQE level as many firms are already well-stocked with senior associates and keen to bring more junior associates through the ranks. And an aptitude and willingness to go out and win work have become ever more crucial in this new landscape. And as Brazil’s importance as a global economic power develops, many offshore law firms are increasingly looking for candidates with Spanish or Portuguese language skills to take with them on their marketing trips to New York and South America.
Discover whether your experience and skills meet the requirements for Cayman’s law firms. CML Offshore Recruitment’s legal team would be happy to review your resume and guide you on your career path. For more information about becoming a lawyer in the Cayman Islands, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.