Ogier

Saint Helier

Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is one of the world's major international finance centres. The successful combination of stability and reliability has kept Jersey at the forefront of global finance for almost half a century. Government determination to encourage high quality business to the Island, and the support offered by the sophisticated and comprehensive infrastructure of laws and regulations, combine to promote investor confidence.

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Updates

Company & Commercial

Jersey substance proposals – company perspective
Jersey | 04 March 2019

New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. Among other things, specific consideration should be given to outsourcing arrangements, to each company within a relevant structure and to updating policies and procedures.

Jersey limited partnerships
Jersey | 08 October 2018

Limited partnerships in Jersey are governed by the Limited Partnerships (Jersey) Law 1994, as amended. The main feature of limited partnerships, as the name suggests, is the limited liability afforded to the limited partners. In addition, the law is highly flexible, such that the partners in a Jersey limited partnership are free to agree the terms attaching to the structure and operation of the partnership between them. For this reason, Jersey limited partnerships are popular vehicles.

Court rules on limitation period for breach of directors' duties
Jersey | 13 August 2018

The Jersey limitation period for claims against directors for breach of duty under Article 74 of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 has not been definitively decided by the Jersey Royal Court. However, the UK High Court recently found that the prescription period for claims against directors of Jersey companies for breach of their duties under Article 74 was 10 years. While this decision is not binding on the Jersey courts, it is likely to carry considerable weight.

Guernsey Register of Beneficial Ownership: what you need to know
Guernsey | 30 October 2017

The Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law 2017 came into force on August 15 2017. From that date, the incorporation or creation of any Guernsey entity requires details of its beneficial owner to be submitted to the Guernsey registrar of beneficial ownership of legal persons. Existing Guernsey entities must do the same by October 31 2017, with the exception of companies, which have until February 2018.

Competition & Antitrust

CICRA issue new merger control guidance
Guernsey | 28 September 2017

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) have issued new guidance on the process for obtaining their approval of a notifiable merger or acquisition in the Channel Islands. The guidance implements some procedural aspects of the recommendations for the islands' merger control regime overhaul which CICRA published in September 2016.

Corporate Finance/M&A

Company demergers: a guide to the new regime
Jersey | 31 October 2018

The recently enacted Companies (Demerger) (Jersey) Regulations introduce a new demerger regime for Jersey companies. The new regime will be of particular interest to those who use, or are considering using, Jersey companies in their structures. It makes the use of a Jersey company more flexible and has a range of potential uses, including implementing a pre-sale reorganisation.

How Guernsey is benefiting from global M&A boom
Guernsey | 24 October 2018

A variety of factors are fuelling a sustained boom in M&A activity around the world, including a number of mega-deals across a variety of sectors. Irrespective of deal size, a wide range of positive factors has driven deal volume. All of this is good news for the financial services community in Guernsey, which is seeing significant growth in work as a result – not least law firms with experienced M&A teams.

Employment & Benefits

Disability to be a protected characteristic under Jersey discrimination law
Jersey | 23 May 2018

Effective from September 1 2018, the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 will be amended to include disability as a protected characteristic. The amending regulations will give individuals the right to complain to the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal when they believe that they have experienced discrimination. While many employers and groups will be familiar with the way that the regulations work, they should be taking steps to ensure that they are compliant ahead of the implementation date.

Harvey Weinstein and you: what employers should be doing about sexual harassment
Guernsey | 07 March 2018

What started with complaints against an Oscar-winning film producer has led to a movement that has toppled government ministers and reduced much-loved figures from the entertainment world to pariahs. Although Guernsey may feel far away from Hollywood or Westminster, the issue of sexual harassment is just as real. So what should an employer do to protect its employees and its business from harassment?

Can I enforce a dress code at work?
Jersey | 21 February 2018

Employers can enforce dress codes only within the confines of the discrimination law. For example, a requirement for a female receptionist to wear high heels is illegitimate since no equivalent requirement is placed on male employees. Employers that want to enforce a dress code should consider the discrimination law and whether their proposals meet it. A recent Jersey case illustrates how this works.

Are you too interested in former employees' post-termination restrictions?
Jersey | 08 November 2017

Lawyers are often asked to review employment contracts, including post-termination restrictions. It is increasingly common to see covenants that either restrict the former employee from holding any interest in a competing business or limit the amount of shareholding that they can have. If a contract uses this language, it could lead to the entire restrictive covenant being unenforceable.

Environment & Climate Change

Guernsey Green Fund – environmentally friendly wrapper
Guernsey | 29 October 2018

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission recently introduced the Guernsey Green Fund designation to provide investment managers with an opportunity to "assure investors that their investments are contributing to initiatives that have a positive environmental impact on the planet and in so doing inspire confidence that their investments are well regulated". The designation is available to registered and authorised schemes run in accordance with the Guernsey Green Fund Rules.

Insolvency & Restructuring

Royal Court issues letter of request to High Court
Guernsey | 11 January 2019

Two joint administrators recently applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey seeking an order that it issue the High Court of Justice of England and Wales with a letter of request to act in aid of and auxiliary to the Royal Court in recognising their appointment as administrators of a company. While the Royal Court has dealt with incoming letters of requests, in making the application, counsel was unaware of any case where the Royal Court's jurisdiction to issue a letter of request had previously been considered.

Cross-border insolvency and restructuring
Jersey | 03 August 2018

As a jurisdiction, Jersey is at the heart of cross-border insolvency and restructuring. Inevitably, situations arise where insolvent companies' assets or important evidence are located overseas, or an overseas liquidation regime would be best for creditors. Conversely, there will be situations where a foreign insolvency process requires steps to be taken in Jersey.

Reinstatement of a company
Jersey | 03 November 2017

The procedure governing the reinstatement of a dissolved Jersey limited company is contained in the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991. Where a company has been dissolved or, most commonly, struck off the register by the registrar of companies after failing to file an annual return, the Royal Court has the power to declare the dissolution void and order the reinstatement of the company.

First appointment of provisional liquidator in Royal Court
Guernsey | 07 July 2017

A recent Royal Court judgment is important as it appears to be the first time that a provisional liquidator has been appointed by the court over a solvent Guernsey company. This case adds helpful guidance to the Guernsey insolvency regime as it demonstrates that the Royal Court adopts a pragmatic and flexible approach when exercising its discretion, particularly where the parties face unusual circumstances.

Practice and trends in restructuring and insolvency law
Jersey | 26 May 2017

Jersey has a familiar range of legal processes and remedies for the restructuring and insolvency of corporations. While certain reforms are often discussed, Jersey seeks to position itself as a jurisdiction with a system in which creditors can have confidence. Further, the Royal Court has been willing to engage in cross-border insolvencies, whether by granting recognition to overseas office holders or seeking assistance from other jurisdictions.

Litigation

Court of Appeal overturns anti-suit injunction in favour of Argyle Funds SPC Inc
Cayman Islands | 05 February 2019

The Court of Appeal has unanimously allowed every ground of an appeal by the liquidators of Argyle Funds SPC Inc. The key takeaway for the Cayman Islands professional services industry is that where work is delegated to be carried out by related entities outside the Cayman Islands, any attempt to contractually limit clients' rights to bring claims against those entities must be expressly articulated within the contract.

Grand Court examines master-feeder redemption procedures
Cayman Islands | 16 October 2018

A recent Grand Court decision is significant for Cayman master-feeder fund structures. Funds and their advisers should review the redemption provisions in master fund articles of association and partnership agreements to ensure that, operationally, redemptions are being effected in accordance with such documents.

Important changes to civil procedure
Jersey | 14 August 2018

In Summer 2017 Jersey's Royal Court Rules were amended and 11 new practice directions came into force. These aim to improve access to justice, streamline the civil justice process and, where possible, reduce the risks and costs associated with litigation by encouraging the early resolution of cases to avoid court proceedings.

Private Client & Offshore Services

Fund managers' perspective on Guernsey substance rules
Guernsey | 18 April 2019

The government has approved new regulations which impose an economic substance test on Guernsey tax-resident companies in order to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. The regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2019, establish tests for tax-resident companies carrying on 'relevant activities', including fund management.

At a glance guide to Jersey wills for non-domiciled individuals
Jersey | 18 April 2019

Personal assets that most commonly need to be accessed in Jersey following the death of a non-domiciled person are shares in Jersey companies and Jersey bank accounts and investments. If individuals are domiciled outside Jersey, they need not prepare a separate will to cover their Jersey personal estate if they already have a valid one which covers their worldwide personal estate; however, doing so can offer significant benefits.

Undue influence affecting settlors in exercising powers of revocation
Jersey | 11 April 2019

A recent Royal Court decision arose out of an attempt by the settlors of trusts to exercise their power to revoke the trusts. The trustee in this case was concerned and so petitioned the Royal Court for directions. Among other things, the court's decision highlights that trustees should be aware of how a trust fund might be distributed on revocation of a trust. Trustees should also review their terms and conditions of business to ensure that they are protected against any potential adverse consequences.

Cayman Islands economic substance requirements
Cayman Islands | 11 April 2019

New legislation recently came into force in the Cayman Islands requiring in-scope entities that carry on particular activities to have demonstrable economic substance in Cayman. Relevant entities must make an annual report as to whether they are carrying on one or more of a defined list of activities (relevant activities). If they are, they must satisfy an economic substance test in Cayman in respect of such relevant activities.

Asset protection trusts – why the recent interest?
Jersey | 04 April 2019

It is fair to say that the term 'asset protection trust' has developed as an informal description of a trust, the primary purpose of which is to safeguard trust assets from claims made by creditors and others usually against the settlor or beneficiaries of a trust. This article discusses what an asset protection trust is and what, over and above a normal trust, it is seeking to achieve. It also considers to what extent a Jersey trust, once established, will protect assets from creditor claims.

Successful application for variation of court order and construction of trust instrument
Guernsey | 04 April 2019

When applying to the court for an order with respect to a trust, it is important to consider how future circumstances are changing and how this might be provided for without the need for further recourse to the court. A recent case involving a Jersey trustee, which had applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey to vary an order previously made by the Royal Court and to invoke the court's power to construe a trustee power under its Public Trustee v Cooper jurisdiction, provides clarity in this regard.

Latest interpretation of illegality defence
Cayman Islands | 04 April 2019

A Cayman court recently considered numerous complex areas of the law concerning commercial fraud and the ability to trace assets through corporate groups and into sophisticated financial products. This article discusses the court's findings regarding the illegality defence and the lessons which can be derived for future Cayman cases in which this defence might be engaged.

Not in dispute – why Cayman leads in cross-border dispute resolution and how the sector is evolving
Cayman Islands | 28 March 2019

Insolvency and restructuring cases are perhaps the most common types of cross-border dispute heard by the Grand Court, but other examples include trust disputes, which can often involve high-net-worth families and trust assets spread across the globe, and the enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. High-profile examples of cross-border cooperation between the Grand Court and foreign courts include the Bank of Credit and Commerce International liquidation and the Ocean Rig restructuring.

Guernsey Royal Court issues regulatory decision on prohibition orders, fines and public statements
Guernsey | 28 March 2019

The Guernsey Royal Court recently issued a regulatory decision on prohibition orders, fines and public statements. In this decision, the deputy bailiff found that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission did not have the jurisdiction or power to make prohibition orders that were limited in time; it only had the power to make unlimited prohibition orders (as in the United Kingdom) against the defendant – although it could have indicated when it might be appropriate for the defendant to reapply for a licence.

Jersey substance proposals – fund managers' perspective
Jersey | 28 February 2019

New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. Fund vehicles themselves are out of scope, but it is expected that most fund manager clients will be in scope. Therefore, consideration will need to be given to the level of activity carried out in Jersey, with specific consideration being given to outsourcing arrangements.

Jersey substance proposals – company perspective
Jersey | 28 February 2019

New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. Among other things, specific consideration should be given to outsourcing arrangements, to each company within a relevant structure and to updating policies and procedures.

Court of Appeal overturns anti-suit injunction in favour of Argyle Funds SPC Inc
Cayman Islands | 31 January 2019

The Court of Appeal has unanimously allowed every ground of an appeal by the liquidators of Argyle Funds SPC Inc. The key takeaway for the Cayman Islands professional services industry is that where work is delegated to be carried out by related entities outside the Cayman Islands, any attempt to contractually limit clients' rights to bring claims against those entities must be expressly articulated within the contract.

Royal Court issues letter of request to High Court
Guernsey | 10 January 2019

Two joint administrators recently applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey seeking an order that it issue the High Court of Justice of England and Wales with a letter of request to act in aid of and auxiliary to the Royal Court in recognising their appointment as administrators of a company. While the Royal Court has dealt with incoming letters of requests, in making the application, counsel was unaware of any case where the Royal Court's jurisdiction to issue a letter of request had previously been considered.

Capital call facilities – LPA and side letter review
Cayman Islands | 10 January 2019

Along with the growth and maturity of the fund finance market, funds and their counsel have become increasingly familiar with lenders' limited partnership agreement (LPA) requirements. Therefore, newer LPAs often include the provisions that lenders require in order to provide financing under a capital call facility. Lenders and their counsel should consider several key due diligence points when reviewing LPAs, investor subscription documents and related side letters.

Banking and finance perspective on Jersey substance proposals
Jersey | 20 December 2018

New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. The reforms are set to come into force on 1 January 2019, subject to approval by the States of Jersey, and establish new tests for certain tax-resident companies carrying on relevant activities in respect of demonstrating that they are directed and managed in Jersey, and that their core income generating activities are undertaken here.

Astral projections: Cayman Islands STAR trusts
Cayman Islands | 06 December 2018

The Special Trusts (Alternative Regime) (STAR) Law introduced so-called 'STAR trusts' into Cayman Islands law to overcome some of the difficulties arising from more conventional offshore trusts. One of the most challenging aspects of establishing a STAR trust is the drafting of the purposes for which it is established. While the STAR Law contains rules to prevent STAR trusts from failing (eg, failure resulting from object and beneficiary uncertainty), there are a number of traps for the unwary.

Company demergers: a guide to the new regime
Jersey | 01 November 2018

The recently enacted Companies (Demerger) (Jersey) Regulations introduce a new demerger regime for Jersey companies. The new regime will be of particular interest to those who use, or are considering using, Jersey companies in their structures. It makes the use of a Jersey company more flexible and has a range of potential uses, including implementing a pre-sale reorganisation.

Guernsey Green Fund – environmentally friendly wrapper
Guernsey | 25 October 2018

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission recently introduced the Guernsey Green Fund designation to provide investment managers with an opportunity to "assure investors that their investments are contributing to initiatives that have a positive environmental impact on the planet and in so doing inspire confidence that their investments are well regulated". The designation is available to registered and authorised schemes run in accordance with the Guernsey Green Fund Rules.

Cayman Islands foundation companies at a glance
Cayman Islands | 25 October 2018

Foundation companies are a unique structuring option in the Cayman Islands for wealth planning and also serve as holding and special purpose vehicles for commercial transactions and cryptocurrency offerings. Although a foundation company may be used as an alternative to a Cayman trust, a number of features specific to Cayman trust law have been incorporated into the foundation company vehicle which should prove beneficial to investors and private clients.

How Guernsey is benefiting from global M&A boom
Guernsey | 18 October 2018

A variety of factors are fuelling a sustained boom in M&A activity around the world, including a number of mega-deals across a variety of sectors. Irrespective of deal size, a wide range of positive factors has driven deal volume. All of this is good news for the financial services community in Guernsey, which is seeing significant growth in work as a result – not least law firms with experienced M&A teams.

Structuring ICOs in the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands | 18 October 2018

The Cayman Islands has become a popular choice for many businesses conducting initial coin offerings (ICOs) due to its tax neutrality, its reputation as a pre-eminent jurisdiction for investment funds and its securities law regime, which is generally more permissive than those of other jurisdictions. However, before any steps towards conducting an ICO are taken, it is critical that comprehensive legal and tax advice is obtained for each business before any token is sold or any entity is formed.

Grand Court examines master-feeder redemption procedures
Cayman Islands | 11 October 2018

A recent Grand Court decision is significant for Cayman master-feeder fund structures. Funds and their advisers should review the redemption provisions in master fund articles of association and partnership agreements to ensure that, operationally, redemptions are being effected in accordance with such documents.

Jersey limited partnerships
Jersey | 04 October 2018

Limited partnerships in Jersey are governed by the Limited Partnerships (Jersey) Law 1994, as amended. The main feature of limited partnerships, as the name suggests, is the limited liability afforded to the limited partners. In addition, the law is highly flexible, such that the partners in a Jersey limited partnership are free to agree the terms attaching to the structure and operation of the partnership between them. For this reason, Jersey limited partnerships are popular vehicles.

Plans for Guernsey deposit protection scheme to be laid out before end of 2018
Guernsey | 04 October 2018

The Office for the Environment and Infrastructure recently announced that a new deposit protection scheme will be planned before the end of 2018. The announcement follows news that a local estate agent has ceased trading, leaving some tenants and landlords uncertain of their position with regard to rents and deposits that were being held by that agent. The proposal is likely to be that Guernsey should introduce a similar, if not identical, scheme to that already in place in Jersey.

New law enables valid execution of will when person cannot physically sign their name
Jersey | 23 August 2018

The Signing of Instruments (Miscellaneous Provisions) Jersey Law 2018 was recently passed to enable people to validly execute legal documents (eg, a will or power of attorney) when they are physically incapable of signing their name. It brings about the much-needed change in law that was brought to light in 2015, when a local resident passed away after a paralysis of his hands had rendered him physically – but not mentally – incapable of signing a will.

Guernsey Court of Appeal provides avenue of escape to tax advisers and trustees
Guernsey | 23 August 2018

The Guernsey Court of Appeal recently handed down its long-awaited judgment in M v St Anne's Trustees. On appeal, neither party had challenged the Guernsey Royal Court's decision that Guernsey law should follow Pitt v Holt. Instead, they had focused on arguing that there had been a breach of fiduciary duty and that the Royal Court should have exercised its discretion to grant relief.

Refusal of consent under AML reporting regime: Royal Court weighs in
Guernsey | 16 August 2018

The Financial Intelligence Service's recent refusal to consent to a proposed transaction under Guernsey's anti-money laundering reporting regime has resulted in the Royal Court deciding its first private law action between the person claiming the asset and the financial institution holding it. The decision clarifies the legal framework for determining the source of funds, which will be highly relevant to all regulated entities in Guernsey.

Court rules on limitation period for breach of directors' duties
Jersey | 09 August 2018

The Jersey limitation period for claims against directors for breach of duty under Article 74 of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 has not been definitively decided by the Jersey Royal Court. However, the UK High Court recently found that the prescription period for claims against directors of Jersey companies for breach of their duties under Article 74 was 10 years. While this decision is not binding on the Jersey courts, it is likely to carry considerable weight.

Important changes to civil procedure
Jersey | 09 August 2018

In Summer 2017 Jersey's Royal Court Rules were amended and 11 new practice directions came into force. These aim to improve access to justice, streamline the civil justice process and, where possible, reduce the risks and costs associated with litigation by encouraging the early resolution of cases to avoid court proceedings.

Cross-border insolvency and restructuring
Jersey | 02 August 2018

As a jurisdiction, Jersey is at the heart of cross-border insolvency and restructuring. Inevitably, situations arise where insolvent companies' assets or important evidence are located overseas, or an overseas liquidation regime would be best for creditors. Conversely, there will be situations where a foreign insolvency process requires steps to be taken in Jersey.

Reform of civil forfeiture orders
Jersey | 02 August 2018

MONEYVAL's 2015 inspection of Jersey's anti-money laundering regime and its subsequent report issued in May 2016 encouraged Jersey legislators and regulators to actively prosecute more financial crime and, in particular, introduce a non-conviction-based confiscation regime to apply in parallel with the conviction-based system. The Draft Forfeiture of Assets (Civil Proceedings) Jersey Law is a paradigm shift in regulatory approach to achieve the objectives set by MONEYVAL.

At a glance: guide to Jersey's new charity law
Jersey | 17 May 2018

The next phase of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 was enacted on May 1 2018, allowing entities to finally register as charities under the law. The remaining provisions of the law are expected to come into force on January 1 2019, which will amend Jersey taxation legislation in relation to charities. This is an exciting opportunity for Jersey to reinforce and develop its status as a centre of excellence for philanthropy both in private wealth management and impact investing.

Disability to be a protected characteristic under Jersey discrimination law
Jersey | 17 May 2018

Effective from September 1 2018, the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 will be amended to include disability as a protected characteristic. The amending regulations will give individuals the right to complain to the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal when they believe that they have experienced discrimination. While many employers and groups will be familiar with the way that the regulations work, they should be taking steps to ensure that they are compliant ahead of the implementation date.

Generation games and avoiding family disputes
Jersey | 05 April 2018

The use of private trust companies is becoming more common as a method of retaining family control through the generations. This, of course, all needs to be balanced against tax and reporting considerations, as well as practical ones. That said, however good the adviser, it is difficult to plan for family disputes; therefore, the main emphasis should be on maintaining flexibility so that the trustee can react to changes of circumstances and wealth passing through the generations.

Changes to JFSC codes of practice
Jersey | 05 April 2018

The revised Jersey Financial Services Commission codes of practice came into force on March 21 2018. As a matter of urgency, regulated businesses should therefore review the changes to the codes and consider whether any new implementation measures are necessary. The changes to the codes have considered industry feedback and include both new and revised regulations to align Jersey with the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors standard.

JFSC Supervision Examination Guide
Jersey | 29 March 2018

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) recently published its Supervisory Examination Guide. The guide, which is effective immediately, gives a detailed overview of the supervisory examinations conducted by the JFSC. Examinations are a key tool used by the JFSC to detect and deter breaches of regulatory standards and improve compliance.

Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law
Jersey | 29 March 2018

The Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law, which is due to come into effect in October 2018, will give people the opportunity, while they still have the capacity, to make their own decisions regarding their financial and personal affairs and welfare. It provides a framework that will give people the opportunity to make their own decisions in respect of medical treatment insofar as possible, including advance decisions to refuse treatment.

Buying Jersey property with a partner who has no housing qualifications
Jersey | 01 March 2018

An unmarried couple, both with housing qualifications, can buy property in joint names and have the security of jointly owning their home. For unmarried couples where only one partner has housing qualifications, the position is more difficult. For freehold property, only the qualified partner can own it. It is therefore important that couples in this situation enter into an equity agreement in order to protect the unqualified partner's position so far as legally possible.

Harvey Weinstein and you: what employers should be doing about sexual harassment
Guernsey | 01 March 2018

What started with complaints against an Oscar-winning film producer has led to a movement that has toppled government ministers and reduced much-loved figures from the entertainment world to pariahs. Although Guernsey may feel far away from Hollywood or Westminster, the issue of sexual harassment is just as real. So what should an employer do to protect its employees and its business from harassment?

What inheritance rights does an adopted child have?
Jersey | 01 March 2018

An adopted child is treated in law as the biological child of his or her adoptive parents and not the child of any other person. In terms of inheritance, this means that any reference to 'children' in adoptive parents' will or wills includes adopted children. If the parents do not leave a will or wills, the adopted child will have the same legal right to benefit from their estates as any biological child would have.

The importance of trustee minutes
Guernsey | 22 February 2018

In today's climate, in which professional trustees are held to increasingly high standards by regulators, courts and clients, it has never been more important for fiduciaries to record their decisions. A court's ruling may turn on the content of trustee minutes, and regulatory authorities are entitled to scrutinise all available evidence of a licensee's conduct in assessing its corporate governance and compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation.

How to handle assets in a client's estate
Jersey | 22 February 2018

Jersey is a separate legal jurisdiction from the United Kingdom, with a separate body of law. Many clients do not realise this, which can cause issues when it comes to administering their estates. The law of succession and probate in Jersey differs significantly from that in the United Kingdom and creates responsibilities for the executors and administrators of those who leave behind assets in Jersey.

Can I enforce a dress code at work?
Jersey | 22 February 2018

Employers can enforce dress codes only within the confines of the discrimination law. For example, a requirement for a female receptionist to wear high heels is illegitimate since no equivalent requirement is placed on male employees. Employers that want to enforce a dress code should consider the discrimination law and whether their proposals meet it. A recent Jersey case illustrates how this works.

Legislative changes to look out for in 2018: a Q&A
Jersey | 15 February 2018

The Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law 2016, due to come into effect in April 2018, will be a long overdue update to the old customary laws. This new law will give people the opportunity, while they still have capacity, to make decisions regarding their financial and personal affairs and welfare which will take effect should they lose capacity. There are also likely to be amendments to the Wills and Succession (Jersey) Law 1993, which was the subject of an independent report in 2015.

Probate for residents: what you need to know
Jersey | 15 February 2018

Many people do not realise what is involved in administering a person's estate until they have to do it themselves and they encounter a minefield of previously unknown terminology and complex legal procedures. For example, in Jersey, 'probate' is the term used for both the grant of probate itself and the process of applying for the right to deal with the estate of someone who has passed away.

Anti-anti-suit injunctions
Guernsey | 01 February 2018

An anti-anti-suit injunction is a relatively rare form of anti-suit injunctive relief granted by a particular court in order to stop a party from pursuing an application for an anti-suit injunction in another court. In a recent decision, the Guernsey Court of Appeal stated that "particular caution" should be applied in granting an anti-anti-suit injunction.

Funds litigation: Guernsey on map after £1 billion, seven-year case
Guernsey | 21 December 2017

The Royal Court recently issued its judgment on what is thought to be the largest civil case in Guernsey's history. The decision has cleared a Guernsey investment fund that went into insolvency in the wake of the financial crash in 2008 of liability over its collapse. The scale of the case underlines Guernsey's position as not only one of the world's largest offshore finance centres, but also a venue capable of handling complex and demanding funds litigation cases.

Resigned trustee wins court approval for reappointment – what this means for trusts industry
Jersey | 21 December 2017

The Royal Court recently assessed a case where the representor of a trust had sought to retire as trustee and provided the notice required under the terms of the trust to the company. Despite the fact that the trustee had reminded the company, no replacement was lined up when the company was dissolved. The case focused on the distinction between a trustee's fiduciary responsibilities and its powers and discretions provided for by the terms of a trust.

Scope of powers for trustee in bankruptcy where concurrent domestic insolvency proceedings exist
Guernsey | 07 December 2017

The recognition of the powers of an English trustee in bankruptcy in Guernsey is generally pursued either by way of a letter of request issued by the foreign court or an application via common or customary law. A recent decision examines the position – not previously encountered in Guernsey – of an application for recognition under common law in a situation where there were already désastre proceedings in Guernsey.

Providence: Royal Court approves litigation funding agreement
Guernsey | 16 November 2017

The Royal Court recently considered, for the first time in open court, the issue of whether an agreement with a third party to fund litigation would be void as a matter of Guernsey law on the basis that it was champertous. The lieutenant bailiff's judgment provides valuable guidance as to the contractual provisions that should be considered when third-party funding takes place.

Are you too interested in former employees' post-termination restrictions?
Jersey | 09 November 2017

Lawyers are often asked to review employment contracts, including post-termination restrictions. It is increasingly common to see covenants that either restrict the former employee from holding any interest in a competing business or limit the amount of shareholding that they can have. If a contract uses this language, it could lead to the entire restrictive covenant being unenforceable.

Reinstatement of a company
Jersey | 02 November 2017

The procedure governing the reinstatement of a dissolved Jersey limited company is contained in the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991. Where a company has been dissolved or, most commonly, struck off the register by the registrar of companies after failing to file an annual return, the Royal Court has the power to declare the dissolution void and order the reinstatement of the company.

Listed funds: a Q&A
Guernsey | 02 November 2017

An 'investment fund' refers to any vehicle which allows investors to pool their money for investment by an investment manager in accordance with a defined investment policy. A 'listed' fund is an investment fund which has been admitted to trading and/or listing on a stock exchange. There are many reasons to establish a fund, including exposure to assets not otherwise available to single investors.

Guernsey Register of Beneficial Ownership: what you need to know
Guernsey | 26 October 2017

The Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law 2017 came into force on August 15 2017. From that date, the incorporation or creation of any Guernsey entity requires details of its beneficial owner to be submitted to the Guernsey registrar of beneficial ownership of legal persons. Existing Guernsey entities must do the same by October 31 2017, with the exception of companies, which have until February 2018.

Setting aside subsequent transfers to trusts – statutory law of mistake in operation
Jersey | 26 October 2017

The enactment of the Trust (Amendment 6) (Jersey) Law 2013 saw Jersey introduce a statutory basis for relief to be granted for mistake in the form of Article 47E of the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984. Although there have been a number of Royal Court decisions in this area since then, a recent decision represents the first time that the court has granted relief for mistake squarely within Article 47E.

Ongoing responsibilities under Register of Beneficial Ownership and Control
Jersey | 19 October 2017

The deadline recently passed for legal entities to file details of beneficial ownership and control with Jersey's Companies Registry. Under the revised rules, even if there had been no change to the relevant information since incorporation, legal entities were still required to file the relevant form. While the deadline for the initial disclosure has passed, there are ongoing compliance obligations for affected entities to keep in mind.

Trust variation to benefit children of same-sex and unmarried parents – facts, considerations and implications
Jersey | 19 October 2017

A recent Jersey Royal Court decision provides welcome guidance with respect to Article 47 applications to vary a trust. In particular, the court considered the interplay between a settlor's wishes and the court's assessment of 'benefit', a point which it had never previously considered. The decision also examines Article 47 applications alongside public policy considerations affecting a modern society.

CICRA issue new merger control guidance
Guernsey | 28 September 2017

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) have issued new guidance on the process for obtaining their approval of a notifiable merger or acquisition in the Channel Islands. The guidance implements some procedural aspects of the recommendations for the islands' merger control regime overhaul which CICRA published in September 2016.

Tax residency of Jersey companies – reminder and update
Jersey | 21 September 2017

A recent UK tax case involving three Jersey companies sounds a note of caution with regard to interaction between offshore subsidiaries and UK parent companies and the role of directors. The case serves as a timely reminder that Jersey resident directors cannot provide a purely 'administrative' service for the benefit of the parent owner.

Development in use and role of protectors
Guernsey | 03 August 2017

A protector – whether it is an individual, a corporate or a committee – can be highly valuable in assisting with the administration of a trust. Recent Royal Court judgments have clarified the position of protectors in Guernsey trusts law – in particular, the background and recent developments to the roles of protectors, as well as the thought required in appointing a suitable protector.

FURBS and firewalls
Guernsey | 27 July 2017

A recent Royal Court case involved a funded unapproved retirement benefits scheme (FURBS) – a type of Guernsey trust which holds assets of significant value for the benefit of the sole member of the FURBS and, if he or she dies, for the benefit of his or her spouse. In this case, the husband and wife were going through a divorce in England and the wife sought to join the trustee into the family proceedings for the purposes of disclosure – that is, she wanted to know what assets were vested in the trust.

Novel use of provisional liquidator in Royal Court
Guernsey | 06 July 2017

A recent Royal Court judgment is important as it appears to be the first time that a provisional liquidator has been appointed by the court over a solvent Guernsey company. This case adds helpful guidance to the Guernsey insolvency regime as it demonstrates that the Royal Court adopts a pragmatic and flexible approach when exercising its discretion, particularly where the parties face unusual circumstances.

Ultra-high-net-worth clients and the call for bespoke structuring
Jersey | 06 July 2017

According to a 2016 report, 212,615 individuals in the world hold a total of over $30 trillion in wealth. By 2020 the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals is anticipated to reach 318,000 with compound annual growth of 9%. It seems clear that clients will continue to want structuring options in stable and established jurisdictions. This means that Jersey remains an attractive proposition for Middle East and Far East ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Infrastructure funds can sometimes create a catch-22
Guernsey | 29 June 2017

From a structuring perspective, infrastructure funds are most frequently established as either a limited partnership or a limited company. Partnerships are the familiar vehicle for private funds, whereas companies will be used for listed vehicles. The ultimate structure of a fund will depend on where the assets are located, where the investors are based and how investment will be structured.

Practice and trends in restructuring and insolvency law
Jersey | 25 May 2017

Jersey has a familiar range of legal processes and remedies for the restructuring and insolvency of corporations. While certain reforms are often discussed, Jersey seeks to position itself as a jurisdiction with a system in which creditors can have confidence. Further, the Royal Court has been willing to engage in cross-border insolvencies, whether by granting recognition to overseas office holders or seeking assistance from other jurisdictions.

Differences between Jersey and English processes on probate and wills of real estate
Jersey | 25 May 2017

Jersey's law of inheritance and probate differs significantly from that of England and creates responsibilities for the executors and administrators of those who leave movable assets in Jersey on their death. This affects inheritance and probate issues, and non-Jersey practitioners can minimise complexities and delays by taking advice and guidance on Jersey law at an early stage.

Jersey real estate – an investment that doesn't go out of fashion
Jersey | 18 May 2017

Investment into Jersey property and, in particular, into office developments in Saint Helier, has continued to be popular. This points to an appetite for high-quality, large-scale investment properties backed by solid covenants. With the market steadily improving, the island is looking forward to increased investment activity across the investment property sector. Maintaining an attractive investment market in the context of the relevant tax principles' impact on investment will be a vital part of this.

Strategic focus on high-quality regulation continues to yield dividends
Jersey | 18 May 2017

While the Panama Papers led to headlines about the offshore world, the work that has been done to carve out Jersey as a financial services centre that bases its reputation and 'sales pitch' on the strength and quality of its regulation is continuing to pay off. That work is going to continue and themes for 2017 include work for international families looking for bespoke structures to facilitate succession planning, asset protection and wealth structuring.

Jersey Financial Services Commission – revised outsourcing policy
Jersey | 11 May 2017

The Jersey Financial Services Commission's recently published outsourcing policy achieves much by doing away with the distinction between delegation and outsourcing, which has historically been a source of confusion for registered persons conducting financial services business in Jersey. However, it has added an extra layer of regulatory burden on registered persons and non-regulated entities alike by broadening the definition of 'outsourced' activity.

Role of non-executive directors against ever-changing regulatory backdrop
Jersey | 11 May 2017

The importance of non-executive directors, while sometimes questioned, is fairly well established. The guidelines for Jersey directors go as far as to suggest that boards composed wholly of full-time executive directors are potentially weak if they become insular. Clearly the expectation is high: non-executive directors contribute something extra, something more, than executive directors alone. So what are the duties and responsibilities of non-executive directors in 2017?

Transitional period from 2008 Guernsey corporate law reform ends – what to do next
Guernsey | 27 April 2017

When the Companies (Guernsey) Law was enacted, special temporary transitional rules were also enacted which allowed pre-existing Guernsey companies to retain their pre-2008 memorandum and articles and not comply with all of the provisions of the Companies (Guernsey) Law. Those transitional rules ended on December 31 2016. Accordingly, all Guernsey companies, whenever they were incorporated, must now comply with all of the Companies (Guernsey) Law.

Jersey private funds
Jersey | 27 April 2017

With the release of the Jersey Private Funds (JPF) Guide, Jersey has introduced a welcome simplification of its funds regime by providing for a single JPF product. The JPF will replace the three existing fund products which cater to private funds in Jersey, namely Control of Borrowing (Jersey) Order only funds, private placement funds and very private funds.

Arrangements to deceive as to beneficial ownership will not be upheld
Jersey | 13 April 2017

The Royal Court recently clarified that any arrangement which detracts from the ability of regulators or law enforcement authorities to identify beneficial owners of companies or beneficiaries of trusts will not be recognised on grounds of public policy. This judgment sends a clear message that the court will not allow regulatory and enforcement systems to be undermined by arrangements designed to mislead the relevant authorities and reiterates that attempts to do so will lead to criminal penalties.

Escaping from mistakes as to tax consequences
Guernsey | 13 April 2017

The Guernsey Royal Court recently considered whether to set aside a distribution on the grounds of equitable mistake in circumstances where that mistake led to adverse UK tax consequences. In particular, the court's clear guidance that not every mistake as to tax consequences based on incorrect or negligent professional advice will be corrected by the courts is noteworthy.

Fee estimates in liquidation: importance of getting in early
Guernsey | 06 April 2017

A recent decision from the Guernsey Royal Court is of fundamental importance to Guernsey insolvency practitioners as it provides cautionary guidance on the practical implications of Practice Direction 3/2015. The practical lesson to take away from the decision is that where an insolvency practitioner is faced with circumstances that appear to be out of the ordinary, a pragmatic and proactive approach must be followed to seek an increase to the cost cap as soon as possible.

What the first Jersey insolvency case of its kind in 40 years means for 'back door' to English administration
Jersey | 06 April 2017

A trilogy of recent decisions concerning the high-profile insolvency of a Jersey company has provided a salutary reminder to the international insolvency community and to creditors of Jersey companies that Jersey has a sophisticated insolvency regime which will be used in cross-border insolvencies. These decisions demonstrate that it cannot be assumed that the door to UK administration is always going to be open.

General Data Protection Regulation in Jersey: what is it, why should I care and what should I do about it?
Jersey | 30 March 2017

While the media's attention has recently been lavished on Brexit and President Trump, there is one news story that will affect businesses across Jersey sooner than might be expected: the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation. Jersey businesses must ensure that they comply with the new regulation when it comes into force in May 2018. That means starting work now to assess the impact of the regulation and decide what changes will be needed to ensure compliance.

Country-by-country reporting – Guernsey legislation
Guernsey | 23 March 2017

The Channel Islands have demonstrated their commitment to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Base Erosion and Profit Sharing project by introducing local regulations to ensure that country-by-country reporting is conducted in accordance with the minimum requirements prescribed by the project. Guernsey's regulations require constituent entities which are resident for tax purposes in Guernsey to notify and, if required, to file a country-by-country report.

Country-by-country reporting – Jersey legislation
Jersey | 23 March 2017

The States of Jersey recently passed the country-by-country reporting regulations in order to demonstrate Jersey's commitment to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Base Erosion and Profit Sharing project. Among other things, the regulations require Jersey entities and, where applicable, constituent entities to notify and, if required, to file a country-by-country report.

How to deal with assets left in Jersey by a deceased UK resident
Jersey | 23 March 2017

A formal grant of probate issued in the United Kingdom is not sufficient to release assets held in Jersey unless the Jersey estate is worth less than £10,000. On production of a UK grant of probate, the clerks will issue a Jersey grant of probate through a fast-track process; however, for Jersey property, a will that has been court-sealed and certified in accordance with Jersey law is required.

Investment funds outlook for Channel Islands in 2017
Guernsey | 16 March 2017

Whereas 2016 brought controversy and uncertainty, 2017 promises to be a much more positive year, especially from the perspective of the investment funds industry in the Channel Islands. Statistics from 2016 show 12.3% growth in the net asset value of funds under management and administration in Guernsey. These numbers are encouraging and serve as a starting point for the year to come.

Jersey funds legal and regulatory quarterly update
Jersey | 26 January 2017

Among other developments in the legal and regulatory sector, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) recently issued a consultation paper in relation to the proposed rationalisation and consolidation of Jersey's private funds and unregulated funds regimes. The JFSC also recently received feedback regarding whether Jersey should introduce a regime equivalent to the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

Lessons to be learned from recent Guernsey regulatory matter
Guernsey | 15 December 2016

A bank made a suspicious activity report to the Financial Investigation Unit due to its concerns about the potential source of funds in an account. The concerns were raised due to two articles which had been discovered in the public domain relating to an individual and his conviction by a Brussels court for value added tax fraud. It was the bank's belief that the individual was primarily the source of wealth for the account, but it did not know whether the funds were the proceeds of crime.

Innovation islands – how the Channel Islands are innovating in funds arena
Guernsey | 08 December 2016

The Channel Islands' funds sector is a product of the success of innovation in the islands. In particular, Guernsey has already adopted an innovative, manager-led product scheme that reduces compliance duplication by focusing attention on managers and not underlying funds. This manager-led product scheme could be another game changer in reducing costs both at the fund formation stage and throughout the life of the fund.

Companies Law: migrations into and out of Guernsey
Guernsey | 08 December 2016

The Companies Law contains provisions relevant to the migration of companies into and out of Guernsey. For example, whether migrating into or out of Guernsey, the law requires a formal application to migrate to be made to the registrar of companies. However, where a company intends to be or is already a 'supervised company' – that is, a company which requires regulation by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission – written consent from the commission must be obtained.

Court sets aside subsequent transfers due to mistake
Jersey | 10 November 2016

The Royal Court recently applied Jersey's statutory mistake provisions for the first time in order to set aside transfers of shares to Jersey trusts, which had been made a number of years after the trusts were established and in circumstances where the mistake gave rise to contingent, rather than crystallised, tax liability. The court also clarified that, notwithstanding the fact that foreign law governed the transfers, the question of their validity had to be determined under Jersey law.

Virtual currency regulation takes effect
Jersey | 27 October 2016

The value and volume of virtual currency trading is skyrocketing globally, but regulating virtual currencies and virtual currency exchangers is challenging. Under the new Proceeds of Crime (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Jersey) Regulations 2016, exchangers must comply with the island's anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws, regulations, policies and procedures.

Dishonest or fraudulent breaches of duty know no limits
Jersey | 27 October 2016

Limitation is a perennial concern for plaintiffs, and knowing when time started to run is particularly troublesome where plaintiffs were unaware of their potential claim due to a lack of information or, worse, dishonesty. The Royal Court recently indicated that neither a trustee of an express trust nor a fiduciary who has acted dishonestly in breach of his or her trust or fiduciary duties can successfully plead a limitation defence.

£10,000 compensation cap applies per complaint, not per overall claim
Jersey | 20 October 2016

A recent Jersey Employment and Discrimination Tribunal case has provided guidance on the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013. The case highlights some important points for businesses to remember, including that the £10,000 limit per complaint applies to each type of complaint (ie, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination or harassment).

Welcome to the virtual currency sandbox: let's play
Jersey | 20 October 2016

While virtual currencies may divide opinion, it is undeniable that they are booming and becoming part of the mainstream. Jersey has answered the question of how to seize this opportunity by introducing a 'regulatory sandbox' for developers and innovators to build, test and experiment with products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment without immediately incurring all of the normal regulatory consequences and costs.

Jersey managers and funds marketing into Europe
Jersey | 01 September 2016

The European Securities and Markets Authority recently recommended that Jersey be included in the first wave of third countries whose managers can seek authorisation for the marketing passport under the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. Once the marketing passport becomes available, Jersey will be able to offer a broad range of marketing and organisational options to managers, whether they are targeting European or global investors.

ESMA advises "no significant obstacles" to application of AIFMD marketing passport to Channel Islands
Jersey | 25 August 2016

After much anticipation, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published further advice in relation to the application of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport. ESMA concluded that there are no significant obstacles impeding the application of the AIFMD passport to Jersey, which is one of only five jurisdictions to achieve an unqualified assessment.

Funds legal and regulatory quarterly update
Jersey | 25 August 2016

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) recently released consultations regarding amendments to codes of practice and the potential introduction of an EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive equivalent regime. The JFSC also sought input, among other things, on proposed changes to define key terms in order to remove the distinction between delegation and outsourcing in relation to certified funds and fund services businesses.

Remedies for mistake under Jersey law
Jersey | 14 July 2016

As a matter of law, the doctrine of mistake allows a settlor that settles property on trust to apply to the court to set aside or unwind transactions where there was a mistake on the part of the settlor, the settlor would not have entered into the transaction but for the mistake or the mistake was of so serious a nature as to render it unjust. The Royal Court recently dealt with such a case, finding that a mistake regarding the tax consequences of a transfer to a trust is considered a mistake.

Crowdfunding: an opportunity for Jersey?
Jersey | 14 July 2016

Crowdfunding is a way in which individuals and businesses raise money to finance or re-finance their activities through online platforms. These online platforms are often known as 'crowdfunding platforms' and typically adopt either a loan-based model or an investment-based model to attract a broader range of individual funders. While Jersey has no crowdfunding platform, it could become one of the keys to developing Jersey's digital economy.

Migration of companies in and out of Jersey
Jersey | 07 July 2016

The Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 allows a company registered in a foreign jurisdiction to migrate from its home jurisdiction to Jersey. Jersey companies may also migrate to a foreign jurisdiction and continue as a foreign incorporated company. However, the procedure to migrate out of Jersey can be lengthy and thus companies must liaise with their foreign advisers to ensure that all relevant formalities are met.

Royal Court and Court of Appeal scrutiny over Guernsey Financial Services Commission sanctions
Guernsey | 07 July 2016

Two recent decisions illustrate how sanctions imposed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission are subject to the scrutiny of the Royal Court and the Court of Appeal. The decisions have revealed that there is no statutory right of appeal against the publication of a statement on the commission's website and that in assessing which sanctions to impose, the commission can consider the impact that the contravention may have on public interest.

Continuing obligations – updates on Chapter 8 debt securities
Jersey | 07 July 2016

The Channel Islands Securities Exchange (CISE) has adopted a flexible and pragmatic approach to regulation and developed listing rules that places a premium on clarity and an appropriate level of corporate governance. This update highlights the principal requirements and key issues to be considered when listing debt securities on the CISE, including recent updates to the CISE's annual fees.

Testing Jersey's firewall
Jersey | 05 May 2016

The Royal Court recently considered orders made by the English Family Court in relation to a Jersey discretionary trust and therefore the operation of the so-called 'firewall' provisions contained in the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984. The court confirmed that trustees are not prevented from taking steps which are in the best interest of their beneficiaries simply because doing so might also be seen as giving effect to a decision by a foreign court.

Real Estate

Plans for Guernsey deposit protection scheme to be laid out before end of 2018
Guernsey | 05 October 2018

The Office for the Environment and Infrastructure recently announced that a new deposit protection scheme will be planned before the end of 2018. The announcement follows news that a local estate agent has ceased trading, leaving some tenants and landlords uncertain of their position with regard to rents and deposits that were being held by that agent. The proposal is likely to be that Guernsey should introduce a similar, if not identical, scheme to that already in place in Jersey.

White Collar Crime

Refusal of consent under AML reporting regime: Royal Court weighs in
Guernsey | 20 August 2018

The Financial Intelligence Service's recent refusal to consent to a proposed transaction under Guernsey's anti-money laundering reporting regime has resulted in the Royal Court deciding its first private law action between the person claiming the asset and the financial institution holding it. The decision clarifies the legal framework for determining the source of funds, which will be highly relevant to all regulated entities in Guernsey.

Reform of civil forfeiture orders
Jersey | 06 August 2018

MONEYVAL's 2015 inspection of Jersey's anti-money laundering regime and its subsequent report issued in May 2016 encouraged Jersey legislators and regulators to actively prosecute more financial crime and, in particular, introduce a non-conviction-based confiscation regime to apply in parallel with the conviction-based system. The Draft Forfeiture of Assets (Civil Proceedings) Jersey Law is a paradigm shift in regulatory approach to achieve the objectives set by MONEYVAL.