For a number of years, the international financial services sector has contributed the greatest amount to the Bermuda economy. According to the National Economic Report published by the Ministry of Finance, international business provided $1.68 billion in total output or 27.3 per cent of total GDP in 2016. It is critical for Bermuda’s economic well-being then, that the Island remains in step with international standards set by supra-national regulatory authorities to protect the jurisdiction’s financial system from abuse.
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The Digital Asset Business Act 2018 (the “DAB Act”) became operative on 10th September 2018, creating a legislative framework for digital asset business and services to operate within a regulated environment in or from within Bermuda.
Digital assets are defined as anything that exists in binary format and comes with the right to use it and includes a digital representation of value that:
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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.
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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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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