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While the Cayman Islands may conjure up images of sandy beaches and pricey resorts, the sunny tourist paradise is also synonymous with money laundering and tax evasion. The Cayman Islands is a key jurisdiction for international business and tax law-a fact that hasn’t escaped Case Western Reserve University School of Law, based in Cleveland. The school has started what it claims is the first legal course in the island nation for a U.S. law school. The course focuses on captive insurance, hedge funds, tax and regulatory competition, and the general regulatory environment in the Cayman Islands, according to Andrew Morriss, the Galen J. Roush Professor of Business Law and Regulation and director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western. Morriss conceived of the program along with fellow Case Western law Professor Craig Boise. An unusual spring break The course is in its second year, with 27 enrolled last year and 21 this year. It includes class sessions in Cleveland throughout the semester, and classes in the Cayman Islands during the law school’s spring break. The island portion features guest lecturers from local firms and the local law school, Cayman Islands government economists and attorneys, bank executives, and the head of business development at the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. “Increasingly, business is flowing there,” Morriss said. “U.S. entities are definitely getting involved.” “It’s not about money laundering or terrorists smuggling money into the U.S.,” said Morriss. “But it’s the popular image; it’s hard for the Cayman Islands to escape that,” Morriss said. “It’s a tax-neutral jurisdiction,” he said further. “But Americans are taxed on worldwide income, so there’s no real savings for us.” With such a diverse code of business regulations, Morriss said, the system makes for an interesting comparison with the United States. “It helps American companies, not to not pay taxes, but to structure business transactions to reduce the cost of the transaction,” Morriss said about relaxed insurance and interest regulations.

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