Sidley Austin, which has served as counsel to the government of the Cayman Islands in the past, will now lobby the United States government for those Caribbean islands.
A team led by Sidley Austin partner Joseph Tompkins Jr. will represent the Cayman Islands' interests in Washington, according to an engagement letter filed with the Justice Department earlier this month. The letter says the firm will also represent the Cayman Islands in Europe and will assist the island government "in analyzing and addressing proposals made in the United States Congress and the Executive Branch that may have an impact upon the Cayman Islands."
The disclosure filing notes that the firm will seek to "correct any misinformation or misperceptions" about the Cayman Islands and monitor legislation that could "affect the ability of U.S. businesses and individuals to conduct business” there. The Cayman Islands are among the nations commonly referred to as tax havens.
The letter of engagement says Sidley’s billing rates on the contract will range from $200 per hour for new associates to $950 per hour for senior partners. Nonlawyer professionals charge between $100 and $315 an hour, the letter said.
Tompkins said he has represented the Cayman Islands government in different matters since the mid-1980s, when he worked on a mutual legal aid treaty between the Cayman Islands and the United States. "Our relationship with them is just very special in the sense that they have relied on us for this 25-year period," he said. Tompkins said the new work involves "acting on their behalf broadly" in Washington, as well as in New York, Europe and Asia.
In a 2006 piece about the Cayman Islands for the publication Managing Partner, which can be read here, Tompkins mentions his long professional relationship with the Cayman Islands government.