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Cabinet Approves Preliminary Commencement of Legal Services Act

Yesterday,Cabinet approved the commencement of Parts 1 and 2, as well as sections99 and 101,of the Legal Services Act (LSA) effective Friday,14 October 2022.The Legal Services Act was passed in Parliament in October 2020,but was not yet commenced.

Commencing Parts 1 and 2 allows for the establishment of the Council and appointments to be made to the Council; and the Council would then be able to make the preparations and administrative arrangements necessary to facilitate the orderly commencement of the remaining LSA sections in due course.

Commencing Section 99 allows Cabinet to make necessary regulations and Section 101 sets forth the savings from the existing Act, facilitating the transitional provisions necessary to move from the current Act to the new Legal Services Act.

“The Commencement of Parts 1 and 2, and Sections 99 and 101 is an important preliminary, step which essentially brings the Council to life and allows the Council to begin the substantial amount of work still to be done to facilitate an orderly commencement of the remaining aspects of the LSA. This includes the regulations, fee structure, the immigration requirements, operational procedures and disciplinary rules,amongst other things,” said Premier Panton.

This step helps members of the legal profession,including members of the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA) and non-CILPA members,to collaborate on methods to assist the Council in commencing the remaining LSA sections, accompanying regulations,and other practical matters.

In addition,members of the legal profession will need to provide input into how the work of the Cayman Attorneys Regulatory Association (CARA)will be subsumed by the work of the Council and eventually, CARA will cease to exist.

The controversial sections have not yet come into effect.

“Once the Council, supported by members of the profession, do the foundational work, they may identify aspects which can be improved upon and the process still offers us an opportunity to make adjustments before full commencement of the LSA,” added Premier Panton.

“We have struggled with the issue of trying to regulate the modern dynamic practice of Cayman Islands law using a 1969 legislative framework,which has been wholly inadequate. The status quo is an injustice to the profession, the jurisdiction,and the interests of Caymanian lawyers and we must move forward with the commencement of the LSA. If further amendments appear necessary over time,in the interests of all stakeholders then we must be committed to those as well.”

The Legal Services Act, 2020 can be found here.