Bermuda Law Blog

Timothy Frith
Bermuda is Britain’s oldest overseas territory and the Privy Council in London is the final Court of Appeal from Decisions of the Court of Appeal in Bermuda. Further, the Supreme Court and Appeal Court of Bermuda are bound by decisions of the Privy Council in cases from all jurisdictions where the Privy Council is the final appellate court. It therefore pays to keep a close watch on Privy Council judgments. For example a judgment was recently delivered by Lord Neuberger on 23rd July, 2013 following a hearing in the case of Antigua Power Company Limited v The Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda and others (285 KB PDF) [2013] UKPC 23 in which he delivered a withering attack on the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal for its delay in handling the first appeal.

Jane Collis
If you should become incapacitated without an Enduring Power of Attorney, an application to the Supreme Court for the appointment of a receiver may be the only option for your loved ones to manage your affairs. The baby boomers are growing older and those of us who fall into this category need to be prepared for what may lie ahead. Do you know what will happen to you and your property in the event that you become incapacitated? Those who have planned ahead will have signed an Enduring Power of Attorney, giving someone authority to manage their property and affairs in such circumstances, and an Advance Treatment Directive, giving someone the power to make medical treatment decisions on their behalf. This option will still be available to you if your incapacity should be physical, but it will be altogether too late if you should become mentally incapacitated.

Fozeia Rana-Fahy
There has been a significant increase in contentious and non-contentious trust matters arising from family disputes in relation to Bermuda trusts. Most often these involve wealthy international dynastic families or family corporations. The type of matters we see before the Bermuda Courts include applications for variation of trusts or sanctions of a compromise between the trustees and various classes of beneficiary and/or the consent of the court on behalf of minor beneficiaries; applications for directions eg. relating to disclosure or distribution of assets; applications to remove trustees for breach of their duties or recovery assets allegedly lost as a result of breach of the trustees’ duties; and applications to set aside the whole trust on the grounds of fraud, undue influence or the uncertainty and failure of the trust objects.

Jeremy Leese
Recent statutory amendments, introduced by the Companies Amendment Act 2013, mean that Bermuda companies listed on appointed stock exchanges are no longer required to file prospectuses in Bermuda. Previously, a Bermuda company listed on an appointed stock exchange (which covers many of the world’s major stock exchanges) had to file with the Registrar of Companies in Bermuda a copy, signed by or on behalf of all directors of the company, of any prospectus that had to be filed under the rules of that stock exchange (or pursuant to the rules of the relevant regulator in such jurisdiction). The legislation now in effect abolishes the requirement to also file such prospectus in Bermuda.