The different nations of the Caribbean have for many years welcomed lawyers and finance professionals. These tropical and subtropical islands are underpinned by their tourism, banking and finance industries and offer both an idyllic lifestyle and dynamic working environment.
The Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, are sophisticated offshore financial and business centres with established international financial institutions and law firms. As a lawyer or finance professional working in the Caribbean you will enjoy the access to hundreds of islands within easy reach, and be well remunerated at either zero or minimum tax rates.
The Cayman Islands are a small chain of islands lying 500 miles south-east of Miami. Grand Cayman is the largest and most significantly populated of the three islands. It is also the centre of business activity, home to all the major law firms and banks and a common law jurisdiction.
The islands are recognised as a leading off-shore centre which houses major banks and trust companies. 80% of all global hedge funds are registered on Grand Cayman.
Both lawyers and finance professionals will be exposed to the “offshore end” of cutting-edge transactions which are often large, complex and involve multiple jurisdictions and key areas of focus is corporate and structured finance, capital markets, securitization, funds and trusts.
Bermuda consists of eight major islands and approximately 120 smaller ones. Located about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina with a year-round population of 62,000, it is one of the oldest British overseas territories and is self governed.
Bermuda has become the jurisdiction of choice for a host of financial services companies and is arguably one of the largest insurance centres in the world after London and New York. There are approximately 1,600 insurance companies managing insurance assets with a value of more than US$150bn. plus holding companies, trading and shipping companies, and trusts. It is also a world-class centre for hedge funds, private equity funds and asset finance.
There are three commercial law firms with the largest having overseas offices in London, Asia and the Caribbean and while Non-Bermudans may not become a partner at a local firm there is a strong demand for junior and senior lawyers.
Bermuda thus offers a broad range of opportunities for lawyers and finance professionals.
British Virgin Islands
The BVI are a collection of 40 islands located 60 miles east from Puerto Rico and a 2 hour flight from Miami. The BVI economy is now one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean. The centre of business activity is Tortola, the largest of the islands. The success of the financial sector of the BVI is due almost exclusively to it being the world’s leading jurisdiction for international business companies (IBCs), which are exempt from BVI taxes. The BVI is now a premier offshore jurisdiction.
The BVI’s status as a business centre has significantly increased over the last few years and has become increasingly popular as a domicile for the incorporation of funds. As a result, there is a high demand for qualified professionals to work in funds, banking and finance, trust account management firms and the Big Four consulting firms. All the major international offshore law firms have offices in the BVI and consistently hire top quality lawyers from commonwealth jurisdictions.