Bermuda Law Blog

Jane Collis
The Bermuda statistics on aging in Bermuda should be a wake-up call to all of us that our senior citizens require greater legal protection than our laws currently offer. By 2020 there will be 30 seniors (aged 65 and over) for every 100 persons of working age (aged 15 to 64). By the same year, there will be 75 men for every 100 women. Many senior Bermudians have relied on rental income from real estate to supplement their pension income. As we know, the Contributory Pension Fund is vastly underfunded, the rental property market is soft and seniors are being “encouraged” out of the job market. At the same time, many seniors are also providing for their children and grandchildren, who themselves are feeling the financial pinch. The combination of parental generosity, coupled with an aging parent’s increasing vulnerability, can have devastating consequences.

Jeremy Leese
There was further recent evidence that Bermuda’s revolutionary approach to updating its funds regime has attracted a great deal of interest and support from those working in this business sector. Invaluable feedback received from New York decision makers in round table meetings in May 2013 prompted the collaborative efforts of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), Government of Bermuda, Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) and key members of Bermuda’s funds community to amend Bermuda’s fund legislation, thereby making Bermuda a more competitive and desirable jurisdiction for funds. The changes, driven by this vital input from the US funds industry, led to the launch of two new user-friendly, exempt fund classes which can be registered and launched on a fast-track basis using the BMA’s online system (ERICA).

Jeremy Leese
The Companies Amendment Act 2014 introduced new provisions with regard to the ability of local and exempt companies to acquire land in Bermuda. It should be noted that consent is still required from the Minister of Economic Development in relation to corporate landholding; however, the Minister’s decision will be guided by the provisions of the legislation and the accompanying policy.

Brian Holdipp
In a positive sign for Bermuda’s economy, Education and Economic Development Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons recently released results showing that the midyear total of new company registrations in 2014 stood higher than any midyear totals for the last five years. The total of 19,151 local and exempted entities on the register at the end of the second quarter of 2014 was bolstered by the registration of 308 new companies (268 international business related) during that period, a slight increase over the 303 new companies (250 international business related) registered during the same period in 2013.

Cell phoneIn December 2012, I wrote an article on the case of Farnworth v R [2012] Bda LR 44 (151 KB PDF). This particular case provided guidance on the definition of a hand-held device which was in use while driving. Furthermore, it illustrated that the definition of ‘use’ with regards to a hand-held device was quite wide. In Bermuda, the law that guides the use of hand-held devices while driving is regulation 44 of the Motor Car (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations 1952 (the “Regulation”). This Regulation has once again come under judicial analysis in the recent case of Lincoln Raynor-Saldana v The Queen [2014] SC (Bda) 58 App (262 KB PDF). This particular case was an appeal from the Magistrate’s Court of Bermuda (Criminal Division) wherein Mr. Raynor-Saldana (the “Appellant”) was convicted for using a hand-held cell phone, namely an iPhone. Mr. Raynor-Saldana was fined $400 and given six (6) demerit points.

Jane Collis would seem that, unnoticed by the equity judges and academics over the centuries, actions subsequently regretted by trustees have a quality of reversibility. It appears that Doctor Equity can administer a magical morning after pill to trustees suffering from post-transaction remorse, but not to anyone else.[1]
The Trustee Amendment Act 2014 (the “Act”) (35 KB PDF) will have the effect of amending the Trustee Act 1975 to introduce a new section 47(A), giving the court jurisdiction to set aside the exercise of a fiduciary power, which has gone wrong, thereby enshrining in law the “Rule in Hastings-Bass”, referred to by Lord Neuberger in commentary as a “magical morning-after pill”. In the case of Hastings-Bass,[2] Lord Justice Brown laid down the following, which became known as the “Rule in Hastings-Bass”:

Jessica Kemmenoe
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)

Agathe Holowatinc
Bermuda Supreme CourtOn June 10 2014, MJM Limited presented to the Hamilton Rotary Club Members on debt collection, recovery and the enforcement of judgment process in Bermuda. Presenting to approximately 25 members, Litigation Associate Kimberley D. Caines explained the process of debt recovery in the Magistrate’s Court and the Supreme Court of Bermuda. Guiding the attendees through the debt collection process, Kimberley displaced common misconceptions and shared some observations from her practice on the court’s approach to debt recovery in the current market. Kimberley also shared with members the various mechanisms available to enforce local judgments.