Bermuda Law Blog

Andrew A. Martin
As we celebrate 400 years of the first recorded session of the Supreme Court of Bermuda (formerly known as the Court of General Assize), it seems fitting to reflect on the Island’s long legal history and culture. This is the first of a series of short reflections on our legal history illustrated by a number of early legal documents pertaining to Bermuda which have been recently acquired. [Note: The documents referred to in this series were acquired from Anthony Pettit, a notable dealer in antique books, maps and documents in Bermuda.]

Jane Collis
The Seniors Law Reform Committee has made a series of recommendations to the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment for amendments to legislation which would better protect seniors from financial abuse. This growing problem is particularly unsettling in the family context, where powers of attorney, joint bank accounts and voluntary conveyances of real estate are used by younger generations to gain control over the assets of their elders. It often remains hidden, because its victims are both ashamed and afraid that, if they resist, they will be placed in residential care and risk abandonment and emotional abuse by the perpetrating family member.

Jessica Kemmenoe
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.

Jennifer Haworth
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.