There have been some important changes in the Supreme Court of Bermuda in the months of June and July of this year. Chief Justice Ian Kawaley stepped down in mid-July and was given much praise for his contributions to jurisprudent in Bermuda at a Special Sitting of the Bermuda Bar on 13 July.  Mr Justice Kawaley was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003 and was a founding member of Bermuda’s Commercial Court. He was appointed Chief Justice in 2012. Just before his departure as Chief Justice, Mr Kawaley, also issued the second edition of his book Offshore Commercial Law in Bermuda published by Wildy Simmonds & Hill.

Kawaley’s successor, now Chief Justice, Narinder Hargun was sworn in on 16 July 2018. Mr Hargun has over 35 years of professional legal experience, appearing as Counsel in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council as well as serving as an Assistant Justice of the Supreme Court since 2011.

In addition, at the beginning of July, former Registrar Shade Subair-Williams, was appointed as Puisne Judge in the Supreme Court. Justice Subair-Williams held the position of Registrar for two years during which she often sat as an acting Puisne Judge.

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In a post from 2017, we discussed how it was expected that Land Title Registration would go live in 2018. Since then, several important steps have been taken toward bringing the land title registration regime to Bermuda. The Land Title Registration Amendment Act 2018 has been passed both by Parliament and the Senate and is expected to be given Royal Assent very soon. This will then enable the Land Title Registry Office to begin accepting applications for voluntary registration.

In this post, we have taken the opportunity to interview Land Title Registry Officer, Tim Stewart, to ask him all about voluntary registration, what the application procedure is, how long it is expected to take and cost, etc. See below our questions and Tim’s answers.

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The Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”) became operative on 9 July 2018 and the underlying Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Regulations 2018 (the “ICO Regulations”, together with the ICO Act, the “ICO Legislation”) were published on 10 July 2018.

The ICO Legislation governs all aspects of offering digital assets to the public in or from Bermuda. A digital asset covers anything that exists in binary format, including all forms of cryptocurrencies, digital coins and tokens issued in connection with an Initial Coin Offering (an “ICO”), which themselves are fundraising mechanisms similar to Initial Public Offerings, or IPOs, except that tokens, rather than shares, are issued.

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The General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) came into effect on 25 May 2018 and is designed to harmonise national data protection laws across the EU, while at the same time, modernising the law to address new technological developments. As a regulation, the GDPR is directly applicable, and therefore enforceable, in all 28 EU Member States. For an interesting summary, check out this infographic from the European Commission’s official website.

However, for those entities based outside of the EU, but who may do business within, or market to, the EU, or have EU clients, you may be asking: how will the GDPR affect you?  This question is the focus of this post, as entities based in the EU will, no doubt, have obtained advice locally with regard to their compliance requirements.

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In a recent announcement, the Premier of Bermuda, David Burt, who is also Minister of Finance, made it clear that his intention is for a “new class of bank” to come to Bermuda, with legislation on the way to create new services to cater to Bermuda-based FinTech companies. This was due to the island’s fledgling FinTech sector facing “understandable resistance” from banks, as their business model “does not fit the mould of what we have come to know as Bermuda’s traditional model.”

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