Living & working in the Cayman Islands.

Living & working in the Cayman Islands Living & working in the Cayman Islands Location, location, location Overview The Cayman Isla...
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Living & working in the Cayman Islands

Living & working in the Cayman Islands

Location, location, location Overview The Cayman Islands are a small chain of Islands lying 500 miles south of Miami in the western Caribbean. Grand Cayman is the largest and most densely populated of the three islands. It is also the centre of business activity and home to all of the major law firms and banks. The island itself is 22 miles long and is probably most famous for its “seven mile beach” which is bordered by palm trees and a crystal clear blue sea.

Working in the region The Cayman Islands are the most sophisticated and successful offshore business centre, and is the world’s fifth largest financial centre. The legal system is based on English common law, together with local statutes which have modernised and modified the common law to suit an offshore financial centre. The law firms are staffed principally by UK lawyers but also by lawyers qualified in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

The main firms include: • • • • •

Appleby Campbells Conyers Dill & Pearman Maples & Calder Mourant Ozannes

• • • •

Ogier Stuarts Harneys Walkers

Most of these firms have other overseas offices in Bermuda, BVI, Jersey and Guernsey, Hong Kong, London and Dubai. Lawyers still tend to work London style hours in Cayman but benefit from the fact that they are working on the offshore end of the deal. Typically, this means a more predictable day and, with a very short commute, a substantial improvement to lifestyle.

Living & working in the Cayman Islands

Lifestyle The lifestyle enjoyed in the Cayman Islands is unrivalled, combining quality of work with a fantastic way of life. Accommodation is very good, and lawyers tend to live in condominium complexes with shared pools, tennis courts, gardens etc. Rents vary according to size and location. A two bedroom apartment in such a complex costs around US$2,000 per month to rent. The real estate market in Cayman is simple and straightforward. Apart from a one-time stamp duty, there are no property taxes or restrictions on foreign ownership by individuals, and title is granted and guaranteed by the Cayman Islands Government. There are a number of ex-pats who buy property on the island after settling in.

Most lawyers will live within a 15-20 minute drive to work. It may be surprising to learn that having a car is really essential on Cayman. People just do not walk from one place to another and there is little public transport. The cost of living is relatively high, although no more expensive than London. For those with children, the schools up until the age of 14 are excellent. Older children usually attend boarding school in Canada or England.

Living & working in the Cayman Islands

Work permits All non-Caymanians must obtain a work permit and only lawyers with three years’ post qualification experience in a Commonwealth jurisdiction can apply. A permit takes around 6-8 weeks to obtain. Spouses have the right to reside on the Cayman Islands but most obtain their own work permits. Unmarried partners have no right to reside.

Re-qualification A lawyer granted a work permit will be able to obtain admission to the Cayman Bar on simple application to the Grand Court. No exams are necessary.

Remuneration & benefits Remuneration in the Cayman Islands tends to be the highest of all the offshore centres. A number of firms operate a salary and commission style remuneration package. Salaries are completely tax free. The following are approximate salaries for corporate or finance lawyers at an international law firm: 3 PQE – US$150,000 4 PQE – US$175,000 5 PQE – US$200,000 6 PQE – US$225,000+ Please note that when bonuses and commission are factored in these salaries can be considerably higher.

Contact For more information on living and working in the Cayman Islands or if you are interested in relocation to the region please contact: Graham Blyth T: +44 (0)20 7415 2828 E: [email protected] Established in the 1980s, Taylor Root is now widely recognised as being one of the world’s leading legal recruiters. Operating out of offices in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne, we are ideally placed to assist law firms, banks and companies with their legal recruitment on an international basis. Taylor Root has a strong track record in the recruitment of: Heads of Legal and legal counsel; law firm associates and partners; contract/locum lawyers; paralegals; company secretaries and compliance professionals. Taylor Root is a member of The SR Group. The SR Group is a specialist recruitment consultancy dedicated to raising standards in the business environments that we serve. The sectors we cover include tax, legal, human resources, marketing, professional support and executive search, dealing with a substantial number of the world’s leading professional partnerships, multi-national corporations and international banking groups as well as small to medium sized developing organisations.

London 95 Queen Victoria Street London EC4V 4HN T: +44 (0)20 7415 2828

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Taylor Root is a member of The SR Group

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