Topic Archives: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

This Wednesday will see 400 continuous years of sitting of the Supreme Court in Bermuda since it first sat on the 15th June 1616.

Congratulations on behalf of the legal team, managers and staff at MJM Limited!

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The Court recently set out an interesting ruling on costs relating to an application for indemnity costs and a third party costs order. The First Defendant (the “Defendant”) applied to have the Plaintiff and any third parties who may have caused, controlled or funded the Plaintiff’s claim, pay the Defendant’s costs on an indemnity basis and an order for the third party funder to be liable for costs. In the present case, the Plaintiff had commenced a derivative claim against the Defendant in January 2015 but the Ex Parte Order granted on 21 January 2015 for injunctive relief and leave to serve out of the jurisdiction (the “Ex Parte Order”) was subsequently set aside in the Chief Justice’s ruling on 4 December 2015. In this ruling, the Judge held that the Plaintiff lacked standing to commence a derivative claim as the Plaintiff was not the registered shareholder and had failed to establish that there was a serious issue to be tried against the anchor defendant company as it no longer was in the control of the wrongdoer.

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In The Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Ltd v Attorney General and Minister for Home Affairs [2015] SC Civ (Bda) 61, dated 24 August 2015, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favour of our client, the Minister of Home Affairs, and struck out a constitutional claim made by the Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Limited (the “Applicants”) in relation to the voiding of the Waterfront agreements. Following a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal filed in September 2015, the Applicants were granted leave to appeal by the Chief Justice on 20 November 2015.

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As of 29 February 2016, same-sex partners of Bermudians will have the same right to reside and work in Bermuda as spouses of Bermudians. This is following the landmark decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ian Kawaley, in Bermuda Bred Company v The Minister of Home Affairs and The Attorney-General handed down on 27 November 2015. The Chief Justice held certain provisions of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (the “Immigration Act”) to be inoperative to the extdent that they discriminate against same-sex partners of Bermudians in stable relationships on the right to reside and employment rights when compared with spouses of Bermudians under those provisions.

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A recent decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bermuda given on 23 November 2015, illustrates the importance of adherence to Human Rights’ provisions in the employment context. In what has been referred to as a landmark decision, the Chief Justice upheld a decision of a Board of Inquiry that Mr. Harkin (the “Appellant”) “was discriminated against on the grounds of his place of origin in that the promotion procedure was applied to him a prejudicial manner by virtue of his being a contract worker”.

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