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.
Prior to 2011 immigration appeals from decisions made by the Minister were dealt with by the Appeal Tribunal within the Cabinet. In 2011, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (the “IAT”) was established as an independent body by the Bermuda Immigration & Protection Amendment Act 2011. However, it was only following the implementation of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Appeal) Rules 2013 (the “Appeal Rules”) that the IAT was convened.
Following the July 2015 ruling in Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd. v Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice subsequently issued a Practice Direction (No. 23 of 2015) regarding access to court records in civil cases. In the Bermuda Press case, discussed in this post, the Chief Justice had noted that access rights would still be subject to any valid objections from the parties in the case concerned. The Chief Justice had also specifically noted that the discretionary power will “rarely if ever” apply in ordinary civil or commercial cases where only private interests were in play.
Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd. (“BPHL”), the parent company for the local daily newspaper The Royal Gazette, commenced proceedings against the Registrar of the Supreme Court (the “Registrar”) following the Registrar’s refusal of BPHL’s application to obtain copies of Affidavits and Exhibits filed in a case pending in the Supreme Court. The case involved a dispute between Allied Development Partners and the Government of Bermuda with reference to the Hamilton Waterfront. BPHL sought to challenge the accepted legal view that documentation being used in ongoing legal proceedings is not open to public inspection, even if the parties to the proceedings do not oppose access to the documentation.
The United Kingdom (the “UK”) is party to many international treaty obligations but how far do these international treaty obligations extend to UK territories? This question was considered in the recent case of BEST v Minister of Home Affairs  SC (Bda) 61 App (6 August 2014). Given the legal autonomy Bermuda has to the UK, this case raises an interesting legal issue.
The recent Bermuda case of Oung James v Paladin Ltd  SC (Bda) 67 Com considered the procedural validity of an adjournment of a Special General Meeting (the “Meeting”) by the exercise of the Chairman’s general power to conduct the meeting.
What is the difference between a local and exempted Company in Bermuda?
At the time of incorporation, a Bermuda company must be registered either as a local or exempted company. A local company is one that is incorporated by Bermudians to trade primarily in Bermuda. An exempted company is one that is incorporated by non-Bermudians for the purpose of conducting business outside Bermuda.
On 27 March 2014 the Government enacted the Companies Amendment Act 2014 (the “Amendment Act”) (58 KB PDF) introducing new provisions to the Companies Act 1981 with regards to the ability of local and exempt companies to acquire land in Bermuda. An accompanying corporate landholding policy (the “Policy”) was issued to run alongside the Amendment Act to help clarify the objectives behind the changes in an effort to assist with the Ministers decision making when making an application for consent.
There were a number of reasons cited for the changes but the key reasons provided by Minister of Education and Economic Development, The Hon. E. Grant Gibbons, in his statement to the House of Assembly were to “stimulate turnover in the real estate market and create jobs in the construction sector and to make Bermuda [a] more attractive and competitive jurisdiction.” (Hansard Report, 21 March 2014, p. 1739)