Resolving financial disputes in the Cayman Islands is the exclusive prerogative of the Supreme Court’s specialized department. Disputes are almost always adjudicated by a single judge. For civil claims in which the contested amount is less than twenty thousand dollars summary judgments can be issued.
Judge’s Role in Settling Disputes in the Caymans
Proceedings are usually adversarial & judges do not normally perform an investigative function. Their job is to review the evidence & documentation submitted by parties, making an informed decision (frequently in written form) based on it.
Initiating dispute resolution in the Cayman Islands requires filing a statement of claim containing the facts on which a claim is based. Confirmation of the statement can be done by either submitting a separate document (aka a petition) or.issuing a court order.
After being served an order, defendants must acknowledge its receipt within a 2-week period by making a corresponding entry in a court register. Once a confirmation is made, defendants are given two weeks to prepare for their defence or come up with a counter statement. That’s a point in time when all applications are assigned the “closed” status & plaintiffs are given thirty days to submit a subpoena. Normally, preparing for simple cases takes from six to nine months, while complex ones (particularly the ones involving multiple parties & jurisdictions) may require a lot longer than that.
Common law cases are used as a basis for litigation in the Cayman Islands, with relevant documents being an integral part of the proceedings.
The general assumption is that a party that has lost their case covers all litigation-related costs. If there’s no agreement between parties as to who covers the costs, they get transferred to a court’s clerk for assessment. Covering costs is done either on the basis of a court decision or under standard procedure whereby a party that has won has to prove that their costs were within reasonable limits. No refund is given on insignificant cash expenses & solicitors’ fees.
Unless it says nothing about appointing arbitrators in an arbitration agreement, parties are free to agree among themselves on their number & identity. Should they fail to reach an agreement, an arbitrator will be appointed for them as per the Arbitration Law. Should they fail to reach a deal on an arbitrator’s identity, arbitrators will be appointed for them by a relevant regulator. When appointing arbitrators, a regulator takes into consideration the following criteria:
- issue at stake;
- parties’ suggestions;
- qualifications requested by parties;
- whatever other factors capable of ensuring appointment of impartial arbitrators.
Appealing arbitrators’ appointment requires taking into account their impartiality, poor health conditions or refusal to carry out their duties.
The Cayman Islands: Arbitration
Pursuant to the Arbitration Law, arbitration tribunals must be fair & impartial, providing parties with an opportunity to present their case. They must also ensure that an arbitration is administered without delay & incurring unnecessary costs. Parties have freedom in selecting a procedure to be used by tribunals.
As of now, parties are under no obligation to seek an amicable settlement of a dispute prior to or during arbitration or litigation. No regulators can compel them to do so, either.
Looking to settle a dispute in the Cayman Islands? Require an individual consultation on the resolution of a dispute in the Caymans? Why not reach out to IQ Decision UK? Our team of professionals will be delighted to lend you a jhand with whatever issues you might be facing in this regard.