Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Jennifer Haworth
It is well recognised that in the context of certain types of banking transactions a presumption of undue influence can arise. An example of this would be where an individual is agreeing to charge a property which they own in order to secure the debts of their spouse. The question of whether a lack of independent legal advice invalidated a guarantee was considered recently in a case before the Chief Justice: Clarien Bank v E Kempe.

Andrew A. Martin
It is always reassuring when a decision of the court validates and confirms the adage that the law is largely just “common sense with knobs on” (in the words of Lord Sumption). The loser in a recent injunction case wanted to be able to rely upon privileged information contained in the bill of costs submitted by the winner, and to use that information against the winner in the arbitration proceedings that were pending between the parties. This is pretty outrageous, and one would readily expect that this would not be permissible.  It isn’t.

Agathe Holowatinc
MJM Limited is pleased to announce that its Dispute Resolution Team is Ranked BAND 1 in Bermuda in results released today by Chambers & Partners in the Chambers Global 2018 rankings. Chambers reported the following: What the team is known for Distinguished, independent Bermudian firm that is widely respected in the jurisdiction. Maintains a very strong reputation for domestic Bermudian cases and is regularly instructed by the government of Bermuda on a variety of constitutional and public law matters. Also possesses expertise in a broad range of other areas, including trust and employment disputes.

Agathe Holowatinc
For the third year running, MJM Director Fozeia Rana-Fahy has been listed as one of the Top 200 international Powerwomen by Citywealth. The list honours 200 of the most powerful women in government, private wealth, education, private client advisory and philanthropy across the international financial centres (IFCs). The IFC Powerwomen Top 200 list focuses on influencers as well as professionals and celebrates powerful women from diverse backgrounds. It recognises women of achievement who are trailblazers in their field, helping to promote business excellence in their home jurisdiction and consolidating the reputations of the financial services industry globally.

Jennifer Haworth
In the first decision of its kind, the Bermuda Supreme Court has utilized its powers under Section 39 of the Arbitration Act 1986 (the “Act”) to terminate an arbitration - and in this case a very important one - the arbitration between The Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Limited (together “Allied”) and The Government of Bermuda. This decision follows Parliament’s voiding of Allied’s lease over the Hamilton Waterfront (the “Waterfront Arbitration”).

Louise Charleson
Church Bay Trust Co. Ltd. v Her Majesty’s Attorney General for Bermuda [2017] SC (Bda) 34 Civ (1 May 2017) In this case, the Plaintiff Trustee sought rectification of a Settlement on the grounds of mistake as the terms of the Trust Deed conferred a power upon the Trustee to add and exclude beneficiaries only during the lifetime of the Settlor. The Court held that the quality of the evidence supporting the mistake was very high because it was derived from prior to the execution of the Deed and was based on communications between the Trustee and Settlor. It was clear that the Settlor did not intend the Trust property to go to charity (the ultimate beneficiary) when there were alternative persons identified by him to be added as beneficiaries. Therefore, in an effort to give effect to the true intentions of the Settlor, the application was granted to rectify the Trust Deed in the terms prayed.

Fozeia Rana-Fahy
The Chief Justice has recently considered the impact of the Children Act 1998 (“the Act”) as amended by the Children Amendment Act 2002 (“the 2002 Amendments”) upon the ability of trustees to change the governing law of a foreign law trust to Bermuda. The 2002 Amendments, which came into force in January 2004, created a new rule for construing all instruments, including international trusts. On one reading of the Act, a person can no longer validly give a gift or make dispositions of property to their “legitimate children” only (unless each legitimate child is identified by name), since such a gift/disposition would be construed as a gift/disposition to their legitimate and illegitimate children.