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Cayman Islands Confidentiality – Secrets and Isles

June 2017 Robert Lindley

Examining the Changes to the Cayman Islands’ Confidentiality Laws


  • The repeal of the Cayman Islands’ Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law (2015 Revision) and the enactment of its replacement, the Confidential Information Disclosure Law, 2016, signals a new era for the jurisdiction’s privacy legislation.
  • The new statute clarifies and modernises local laws regarding the protection and disclosure of confidential information, and is consistent with the global movement towards transparency.
  • Its scope and application are of significant importance to all trustees with a presence in the Cayman Islands.

Concerted efforts are being made both onshore and offshore to implement stringent legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Unfortunately, this can confuse and worry professionals caught in the crossfire, including trustees, who find that identifying exactly what is expected of them in terms of information disclosure is, to say the least, a troublesome task.

In the Cayman Islands, many efforts have recently been made locally to comply with the cross-border information-sharing regulations now in force across the globe, and to refresh the jurisdiction’s so-called ‘secrecy legislation’. Alongside new laws designed to implement and supplement global initiatives such as the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)1 sits another important law: the Confidential Information Disclosure Law, 2016 (CIDL). The CIDL is the result of a number of careful steps taken by the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands to clarify and modernise local laws regarding the protection and disclosure of confidential information, and to promote a greater degree of transparency of dealings with certain categories of such information. Importantly for trustees of Cayman Islands trusts, the CIDL also recasts the statutory protections given to confidential information in the jurisdiction, and provides helpful guidance as to the circumstances in which disclosure of confidential information will be both appropriate and necessary.


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Robert Lindley
Partner, Head of Cayman & BVI Private Client & Trust

British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands   +1 345 814 7360

1 A detailed analysis of these two significant pieces of legislation and their implementation in the Cayman Islands is not within the scope of this article

This article was originally published in Trust Quarterly Review, June 2017.

Bernadette Carey has also authored the following articles on confidentiality:


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