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14 Aug 2009

OECD Puts Cayman Islands on Tax 'White List'

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) added the Cayman Islands to its ‘white list’ of jurisdictions that substantially implement international tax standards.

The Cayman Islands recognition came about after the country signed its twelfth Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with New Zealand, on 13 August 2009.

“For over four decades the Cayman Islands has steadily earned its place as a world-class international financial services centre." Leader of Government Business/Premier Designate, the Honourable McKeeva Bush said, "The Cayman Islands Government sees the OECD’s recognition as a natural outcome of the country’s substantial commitment to uphold an equally world-class international cooperation regime in the exchange of tax information.”

Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, welcomed the signing which puts Cayman Islands “alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.”

The Cayman Islands’ maintains 12 bilateral tax information arrangements with the following countries: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

SEC Amends Rules to Issue More Subpoenas

Off-shore hedge fund law firm, Sadis & Goldberg LLP, sent out a letter to their clients announcing that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears determined to issue more subpoenas and give people more incentives to cooperate with investigations as it works to enhance its oversight of the financial markets.

The letter, obtained by HedgeCo, explains, "Don't be surprised if you receive a subpoena or are contacted by the SEC." Daniel G. Viola, spokesperson for Sadis and Glodbrg, said, "The SEC has significantly increased its enforcement efforts since the recent discovery of certain high profile Ponzi schemes."

Effective August 11, 2009, the SEC has also made it easier for its staff attorneys to issue subpoenas. Thus, the SEC staff attorneys will no longer have to obtain formal approvals to issue subpoenas; instead, they will simply need approval from their senior supervisor.

"If you receive an inquiry letter or subpoena from the SEC, remain calm." Viola said, "This is not uncommon given the current regulatory climate. Above all, do not respond without first contacting legal counsel."

The The SEC generally has broad powers to conduct investigations of potential violations of the federal securities laws and often works with the Department of Justice in connection with joint proceedings, often known as "parallel proceedings."

The law firms Regulatory Practice Group consists of former SEC personnel and litigators with experience regarding civil and criminal proceedings.

Contact info:
Daniel G. Viola at 212.573.8038 (or
Christiaan Johnson-Green at 212.573.8169 (or