The Incentives for Job Makers Act 2013 and the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment (No.2) Act 2013 came into operation in December 2013. These two acts effectively introduce various changes to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“BIPA”) and the Economic Development Act 1968 (“EDA”) which seek to make it easier for companies to obtain work permit exemptions for certain senior executives and for certain senior executives to be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident’s Certificate (PRC).
There have been a number of developments in immigration laws and policies this year which have and will impact international and local businesses in Bermuda.
The Incentives for Job Makers Act 2011(59 KB PDF) came into force in 2012 which introduced changes to the Economic Development Act 1968 (“the EDA Act”) and the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“the Immigration Act”). Essentially, under these amendments, a qualifying company is able to apply for section 3(B)(2) designation under the EDA Act. If granted such designation, the company is able to make application(s) under section 5 of the EDA Act whereby senior executives can obtain exemptions from work permit requirements as set out in the Immigration Act. Thereafter, if various requirements and qualifications are met by the company and senior executive, the senior executive can apply for a permanent residency certificate under the Immigration Act.
The Privy Council gave judgment this year on an appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal of Bermuda in Mutual Holdings (Bermuda) Limited and others  UKPC 13 (97 KB PDF). The major issue concerned an allegation of fraud made against three corporate and four personal defendants (who included ex employees of the Mutual Group) in respect of the rent a captive facility operated by the Mutual Reinsurance Management Group. In broad terms, the defendants were alleged of overstating the extent of the plaintiffs’ exposure under a complex programme of insurance and reinsurance, thereby inducing them to order reinsurance which they did not need and to renew the programme for a further year on amended and disadvantageous terms. The trial judge in the Supreme Court of Bermuda rejected this allegation on the facts but the Court of Appeal upheld it and made findings of fraud against two of the corporate and one of the personal defendants.
There has been a significant increase in contentious and non-contentious trust matters arising from family disputes in relation to Bermuda trusts. Most often these involve wealthy international dynastic families or family corporations.
The type of matters we see before the Bermuda Courts include applications for variation of trusts or sanctions of a compromise between the trustees and various classes of beneficiary and/or the consent of the court on behalf of minor beneficiaries; applications for directions eg. relating to disclosure or distribution of assets; applications to remove trustees for breach of their duties or recovery assets allegedly lost as a result of breach of the trustees’ duties; and applications to set aside the whole trust on the grounds of fraud, undue influence or the uncertainty and failure of the trust objects.
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