Latest updates

International arbitration: outlook
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 05 March 2020

Foreign arbitration is seen as an alternative method of dispute resolution that may be preferred to litigation. However, Belize case law has identified the difficulties that might be encountered by an award holder in attempting to enforce an award. It is also arguable that the option of foreign arbitration has been undermined by the passing of the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act and the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act 2017.

International arbitration: outlook
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 05 March 2020

Foreign arbitration is seen as an alternative method of dispute resolution that may be preferred to litigation. However, Belize case law has identified the difficulties that might be encountered by an award holder in attempting to enforce an award. It is also arguable that the option of foreign arbitration has been undermined by the passing of the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act and the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act 2017.

International arbitration: local court developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 27 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980 (1980 Ordinance), it has become somewhat outdated. However, the 1980 Ordinance assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the New York Convention into domestic law. This article looks at recent arbitration developments in the local courts, including cases concerning qualifications of or challenges to arbitrators and investor-state disputes.

International arbitration: local court developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 27 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980 (1980 Ordinance), it has become somewhat outdated. However, the 1980 Ordinance assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the New York Convention into domestic law. This article looks at recent arbitration developments in the local courts, including cases concerning qualifications of or challenges to arbitrators and investor-state disputes.

International arbitration: key legislative developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 20 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980, it has become somewhat outdated. However, these amendments assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 into domestic law. In 2017 legislation was enacted that has directly affected the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Belize and abroad.

International arbitration: key legislative developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 20 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980, it has become somewhat outdated. However, these amendments assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 into domestic law. In 2017 legislation was enacted that has directly affected the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Belize and abroad.

The importance of legal advice for timeshare rights
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Real Estate
  • Belize
  • 17 July 2015

The Supreme Court recently highlighted the need to comply strictly with essential legal requirements when investing in property abroad. It found that US citizens who had purchased timeshare interests in a residential resort could not exercise their purported rights in priority of a bank's mortgage interest on the property because they had not registered their timeshares or paid the required stamp duty.

The importance of legal advice for timeshare rights
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 16 July 2015

The Supreme Court recently highlighted the need to comply strictly with essential legal requirements when investing in property abroad. It found that US citizens who had purchased timeshare interests in a residential resort could not exercise their purported rights in priority of a bank's mortgage interest on the property because they had not registered their timeshares or paid the required stamp duty.

Directors' indemnities foolproof
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 16 April 2015

The Belize Court of Appeal recently confirmed that indemnities given by a Belizean company to its directors deprived the company of a cause of action to pursue a claim against former directors for decisions taken during their term as company directors. Belize continues to recognise blanket indemnities given by a company to directors as legal.

Appeal Court clarifies procedural law on claims against foreign defendants
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 04 September 2014

The Belize Court of Appeal has provided guidance to litigants involved in multi-jurisdictional litigation. The court interpreted the rules applicable to commencing a claim against foreign defendants, and service of a claim form and interim injunction on parties outside the jurisdiction. Under the Civil Procedure Rules there is no need to obtain permission to issue a claim form for service abroad.

Enforcement of LCIA award refused as contrary to public policy
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 22 May 2014

The Caribbean Court of Justice has addressed the issue of whether New York Convention Awards should be enforced. The case is exceptional and should be confined to its unusual facts. However, it stands as highly persuasive authority for the proposition that violations of the constitutional order by a government when affording tax concessions to investors may afford a defence to enforcement of an arbitral award.

Enforcement of LCIA award refused as contrary to public policy
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 22 May 2014

The Caribbean Court of Justice has addressed the issue of whether New York Convention Awards should be enforced. The case is exceptional and should be confined to its unusual facts. However, it stands as highly persuasive authority for the proposition that violations of the constitutional order by a government when affording tax concessions to investors may afford a defence to enforcement of an arbitral award.

Caribbean Court of Justice rules government must arbitrate under treaty
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 08 August 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice has delivered a landmark decision which narrows the circumstances in which a government may resort to its domestic courts to restrain international arbitration proceedings. The decision is an important victory for international investors in the Commonwealth Caribbean, since many bilateral investment treaties include clauses for resolution of disputes by international arbitration.

Caribbean Court of Justice rules government must arbitrate under treaty
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 08 August 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice has delivered a landmark decision which narrows the circumstances in which a government may resort to its domestic courts to restrain international arbitration proceedings. The decision is an important victory for international investors in the Commonwealth Caribbean, since many bilateral investment treaties include clauses for resolution of disputes by international arbitration.

Landmark arbitration judgment expected
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 06 June 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice is expected to deliver a landmark ruling on arbitration law in the next few months. The court will decide whether the enforcement of an arbitral award issued by the London Court of International Arbitration against the Belize government is contrary to Belize public policy.

Rights and duties of receivers in managing and selling mortgaged property
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 24 January 2013

Receivers are usually appointed pursuant to the provisions of a mortgage debenture or a registered mortgage or charge. Although a receiver is expressed to be the company's agent, it does not take directions from the company, but rather gives directions to it. Where a receiver fails to carry out its duties with due diligence, it may become personally liable to the debenture holder or the company.

A guide to the International Limited Liability Companies Act 2011
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 20 December 2012

The International Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act provides a general framework for the establishment and operation of an international LLC. The act introduces numerous asset protection features that make Belize's LLC one of the strongest asset protection tools available.

A guide to the International Limited Liability Companies Act 2011
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Belize
  • 17 December 2012

The International Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act provides a general framework for the establishment and operation of an international LLC. The act introduces numerous asset protection features that make Belize's LLC one of the strongest asset protection tools available.

Granting freezing and receivership orders in foreign proceedings
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 06 December 2012

The Belize Supreme Court has jurisdiction to grant a free-standing freezing order in respect of the assets of an international business company – more colloquially known as an offshore company – in order to freeze the company's assets in aid of ongoing foreign proceedings. However, the court exercises this jurisdiction with great caution, and often reluctantly.

Granting freezing and receivership orders in foreign proceedings
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Litigation
  • Belize
  • 04 December 2012

The Belize Supreme Court has jurisdiction to grant a free-standing freezing order in respect of the assets of an international business company – more colloquially known as an offshore company – in order to freeze the company's assets in aid of ongoing foreign proceedings. However, the court exercises this jurisdiction with great caution, and often reluctantly.