Bermuda Law Blog

Jennifer Haworth

SAGE Commission [report cover]The SAGE Commission

The Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (the “SAGE Commission”), an election platform item for the One Bermuda Alliance (“OBA”), was created in the first quarter of 2013 following on from Bermuda’s national election last year in which the OBA emerged as the new governing party. The OBA had indicated during their election campaign that if they were successful, one of their early objectives would be to establish the SAGE Commission with a view to making the Bermuda Government more efficient, cost effective and transparent in light of the economic challenges currently being faced.

Agathe Holowatinc
The first Mid-Year Meeting to be held in Bermuda of Insuralex, a worldwide network of independent insurance and reinsurance lawyers, drew a large crowd of over 120 attendees to its recent seminar, of which 37 people were from overseas (representing over 12 countries!). MJM Limited is the Bermuda member of Insuralex and hosted the group this month. The guest speakers at the seminar at XL conference centre, addressing the audience on Aggregation in the Reinsurance Context and the Insurability of Fines and Penalties, were from London’s Devereux Chambers, with whom MJM Limited has strong links. Speakers included: Colin Wynter, QC, Chambers & Partners Insurance Silk of the year 2012; Richard Harrison, Leading Insurance Junior; and Andrew Burns, Leading Insurance Junior and co-author of the Law of Reinsurance with Colin Edelman QC, published by Oxford Press. View Insuralex Mid-Year Meeting Seminar podcast MJM hosts Insuralex Global Insurance Lawyers Group in Bermuda

Jennifer Haworth
In March 2013, the Chief Justice issued a decision in the case of Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd v Minister of Economy Trade & Industry and the Bermuda Industrial Union [2013] Bda LR 19 (381 KB PDF). Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd. (“KFC”) sought judicial review of the Minister of Economy Trade & Industry’s (the “Minister”) decision to refer KFC’s dispute with the Bermuda Industrial Union (“BIU”) to binding adjudication under the Trade Disputes Act 1992 (the “Act”). The Chief Justice refused KFC’s application citing the Court’s limited ability to review such references and only in “extreme cases”.

Fozeia Rana-Fahy
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 [2013] 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.

Timothy Frith
In this case, Fifth Street Finance v D Dobbin [2013] SC (Bda) 55 Com (313 KB PDF), Alan Dunch and Tim Frith of MJM acted on behalf of Fifth Street Finance Corporation in the recovery of $4,000,000 as money due under a Guarantee and Indemnity Agreement dated September 28th, 2009. The principal debtor whose debts were guaranteed by the Defendant was a Canadian company Repechage Investments Limited as assignee of pre-existing liabilities under a 2007 credit agreement owed by two of Repechage Investment Limited’s subsidiaries, Elephant & Castle Group Inc. (a Canadian corporation) and Elephant & Castle Inc. (a Texas corporation). The Elephant & Castle Group operated and franchised British style pub restaurants in the United States and Canada, however the group collapsed in 2011 and Repechage filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.