Following hard on the heels of the recent opening of a Cayman office by Irish law firm Dillon Eustace, news emerged this week that Carey Olsen, one of the leading firms in the Channel Islands, are going to be opening an office in Cayman in September. Carey Olsen have pulled off something of a coup by hiring 2 partners and an associate from the Cayman office of Maples and Calder, all of whom are going to be joining Carey Olsen as partners. All three are ex-Magic Circle lawyers with considerable experience of Cayman funds work and are well-respected in the Cayman market, thus presenting a very strong offering by this new office. Apparently further hires by Carey Olsen for its Cayman office have been made but the identities of these hires have not yet been revealed and it is not certain whether they are also in funds or in another practice area.
According to the Cayman Managing Partner of one of the other major offshore firms, this increase in competition in the Cayman market is ultimately likely to lead to consolidation amongst the existing players. He also feels that greater movement of lawyers between firms on island is likely to be another by-product of the change in the Cayman legal landscape, pointing out that it is increasingly recognised that the the onerous restrictive covenants found in offshore contracts of employment are not enforceable.