Down, but not out. Premier Alden McLaughlin said his administration is not giving up on an overhaul of the legal practitioners law.
While the contentious bill is on the back burner for now, he said getting it passed in the next meeting is still front of mind.
“This government is determined to pass an effective law to bring the practice of law in the Cayman Islands into the 21st century,” said Mr. McLaughlin from the podium at Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.
He spent just 30 seconds reiterating his commitment to the legal practitioners bill during his speech at the Chamber Luncheon, but when the plates were cleared, he elaborated on the decision to kick the can down the road to January’s meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
“The government did what I think was the right thing, I always strive to do that, and delayed dealing with the bill at this meeting to provide another, effectively three months for these matters to be talked through and hopefully worked out,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
He told Cayman 27 an overhaul to the current law is long overdue and badly needed.
“The law we were operating on was passed in 1969 when there were 30 lawyers. There are 675 now. What lawyers do in Cayman now bears no relation at all to what lawyers did in 1969,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
But more importantly, he said the change is needed for the country’s Caribbean Financial Task Force risk assessment, scheduled for next year.
“Cayman is going to find itself on the wrong side of some international evaluations about our financial services industry if we don’t have in place, by the time that evaluation occurs in July of next year, proper legislation that governs the regulation of legal practice in these islands,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
He said an additional three months will give interested parties time to consider the bill before proceeding.