Cook Islands News covers attorneys visit to the country

Attorneys Patricia Donlevy-Rosen & Howard Rosen often receive media attention in the US as a result of their prominence in the field of offshore asset protection planning. However, their recent trip to the Cook Islands (where they consulted with officials on new legislation) was covered in detail by the Cook Islands News – a first for the attorneys!

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US Lawyers Visit Cook Islands

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A pair of United States lawyers working in the offshore finance sector recently returned to the United States after visiting the Cook Islands, where they met with industry officials to discuss possible changes to trust legislation.

Patricia Donlevy-Rosen and Howard Rosen – partners of the law firm Donlevy-Rosen & Rosen, P.A., whose practice focuses on offshore asset protection planning – returned from their 15th trip to the Cook Is­ lands, which they describe as the “premier asset protection trust jurisdiction” in a press release issued by the law firm. According to the release, the lawyers engaged in discussions with trustee companies regarding suggested amendments to the International Trusts Act (ITA). Additionally, they presented a continuing legal education programme on offshore trusts and asset protection to the attorneys at Southpac Trust Company, described as the oldest and largest trust company in the country.

“We feel that is very important to visit the Cook Islands regularly,” said Rosen. “As this country is integral to our business, we like to stay personally connected and update ourselves on the country’s latest developments so that we can best serve our clients.”

Chief Executive Jenner Davis of the Financial Services Development Authority said she has known both lawyers for a long time, adding they visit the Rarotonga every other year to take in the nation’s Constitution Day performances.
“We have been in the process of looking at possible amendments to the ITA and as with any piece of legislation, there is wide consultation, including with intermediaries (like the Rosen’s) to gauge the impact of any changes to the legislation on the market,” Davis wrote in an email.

Earlier this year, Rosen was a featured guest on popular American television show, ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, where he participated in a satirical skit that took a stab at the local offshore finance industry, and referred to the country as the “Crook Islands”. “The five minute segment, titled “Tropic Plunder”, correctly identified the Cook Islands as the top jurisdiction for offshore asset protection trusts. But the piece focused heavily on the concept that the jurisdiction is a haven for criminals and tax avoidance – which is categorically false,” reads an earlier release issued by Rosen’s firm.

By Emmanuel Samoglou

August 26, 2014