The Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law: the Cayman Islands’ Confidentiality Legislation

Much has been made in recent times of the need for transparency in offshore financial centres. A variety of factors, including globalisation and the tumultuous state of international financial markets following the advent of the recession in 2008, have led to calls for accountability and greater access to information regarding offshore affairs.

Legislators and courts in the Cayman Islands face the daunting task of balancing Cayman’s need to be financially transparent with its duty to protect the confidentiality of lawful business activities connected with the Islands. The Cayman Islands performs this balancing act by upholding the common law duty of confidentiality and by the statutory framework of the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law (2009 Revision) (CRPL).

The CRPL dates back to 1976 and was enacted with a view to maintaining the confidentiality of commercial activities that take place in or in connection with the Cayman Islands. The CRPL applies to certain categories of individuals and sets out what constitutes confidential information, the circumstances in which such information can be lawfully disclosed, and prescribes penalties for unlawful disclosure of confidential information…

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