Doing Business in…

Doing Business in…

About Jeremy LeeseJeremy Leese

Jeremy’s practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and restructurings, banking and international real estate finance, structured finance, as well as regulatory and legislative compliance.

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Bermuda had a very good 2019 – business was on the up, tour­ism figures were promising, and there was a general feeling of optimism in looking to 2020. We all know what happened next.

No one could have planned for what transpired, but the restric­tions imposed out of necessity are now being slowly eased, and remote working has succeeded in keeping, at least, the interna­tional business sector ticking along (tourism has, as one would expect, fared less well), so we can once more put our heads above the parapet and examine what the future may hold.

Particularly in the tourism sector, COVID-19 restrictions have had an impact on employment for many in Bermuda, with redundancies and lay-offs an unfortunate, but somewhat inevi­table, part of the response. Below we examine what options an employer may have under Bermuda law in this area.

Another impact of the COVID-19 restrictions has been the move to remote working, not just for offices, but also for the Bermuda courts, which have been keeping pace with the latest developments in holding virtual hearings whilst physical hear­ings have not been possible.

Away from the responses to the pandemic, we now have an economic substance environment fully laid out, with legislation, regulations and guidance notes clarifying the requirements to demonstrate compliance. Most clients seem keen to comply and retain their Bermudian status, with the potential for many to set up offices and add employees on island to justify substance. Tax and work permit breaks are also on offer to stimulate these moves. On a positive note, there is a proposed change to the “60:40 rule” designed to encourage more foreign investment in Bermuda, with overseas control of local companies now to be enshrined in legislation and not subject to specific governmental approval. Read more here…