I joined Maples and Calder in 1995 after almost six years in London working in the banking department of Denton Wilde Sapte. The opportunity to return to the Caribbean, where I was born and grew up, and still carry on working for a law firm with an international client base and high quality work was the main attraction of coming to Maples and Calder. The cold wet winters of England and the long commute into London made the decision an easy one.
The firm has grown rapidly and matured since I joined. This growth, fueled by the increase in offshore business and the firm's reputation, has allowed the firm to recruit the very best lawyers out of London and various Commonwealth jurisdictions. The resources available to our lawyers in the form of training, precedents, know how, information services and partner supervision are substantial and are far superior to when I originally joined the firm. New lawyers are initially placed with a partner or senior associate and within a very short period of time given the level of responsibility which their abilities and experience can support and then allowed to build their own client relationships and practices. Their progress is kept under constant review through our fully transparent appraisal process and lawyers kept aware of their partnership prospects.
Being a partner in our company commercial group means that I am involved in a variety of work on a daily basis. This may include anything from establishing private equity funds to advising on syndicated financings, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, bank and trust company licensings and other regulatory matters. The work is always interesting and challenging which means the job never gets stale. The quality of the work, although you come at it from a different angle to that when working for an onshore firm, is the same as that of the major onshore firms and our clients include a large number of major financial institutions and corporates.
The team structure within the firm leads to a relaxed, friendly working atmosphere. Our lawyers have open access to the partners on a daily basis. I run the team of lawyers and staff working with me in such a way that we produce high quality work within the time frame required by clients and yet maintain an enjoyable lifestyle outside the office. Living in the Cayman Islands certainly assists in this regard, particularly for me as I enjoy such outdoor activities as scuba diving, football, cricket and golf. It is also a fantastic environment in which to raise a family.
Over the last few years the firm has taken a greater interest in providing assistance in the local community, with a focus on youth education and sports. Over the last couple years our sponsorship has included a community program to introduce rugby into the local schools and a music program for children, legal and non-legal scholarships and funding for the Caymanian candidates to the United World Colleges, support for the Cayman Islands swimming team, the Special Olympics athletes and Islands Games team and funding for the new George Town Library and the Cayman Islands National Gallery. I have found it a privilege and a pleasure to be one of the partners within the firm responsible for this initiative.