The current government was elected in 2017, having undertaken to create new economic pillars in Bermuda, identify new opportunities for economic diversification and seek local and overseas investment to develop new local industry and thereby create jobs in Bermuda. Since its election, the government has enthusiastically embraced the fintech sector and the potential that it offers and has repeatedly expressed its intention for Bermuda to be a significant centre for this industry.
In June 2019 the Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) enacted the Cybersecurity Law. Prior to this, no legislation covered cybersecurity issues in the Macau SAR. As such, this new law reflects the region's efforts to respond to the latest regulatory trends regarding privacy and security and establish a legal regime for such matters. The main purpose of the law is to protect the networks, systems and data of critical infrastructure operators of the Macau SAR.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is ramping up compliance initiatives targeting failures to file US tax and information returns. US tax attorneys and accountants are increasingly seeing IRS notifications and penalty assessments. As the new year begins, family advisers and trust officers should review succession planning structures to determine whether any entity or individual has a 15 April US reporting requirement.
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 As the act was last amended in 1980, it has become somewhat outdated.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 government recently approved the Private Funds Bill 2020 and an amendment to the Mutual Funds Law (2020 Revision). The legislation is the result of certain EU and other international recommendations and has been developed to align the Cayman Islands investment fund regulatory regime with those of other jurisdictions. This article summarises the key features of both pieces of legislation.
The States of Guernsey recently passed the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008 (Insolvency) (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, making Guernsey an even more desirable forum for insolvency proceedings. The changes show that Guernsey is prepared to arm insolvency office holders with the necessary tools and powers to tackle, draw in and preserve the assets of an insolvent company for the benefit of creditors.
To encourage the rebuilding effort in Abaco, Grand Bahama and the surrounding Cays after Hurricane Dorian, tax relief is now available for real property tax, value added tax (VAT) on the conveyance of real property, business licence tax and certain import duties and VAT, provided that certain conditions are met.
The Royal Court recently declared void certain actions of a trustee by which the assets of two Jersey law trusts had been transferred into a circular ownerless corporate structure, terminating the trusts. This case highlights the need for trustees to obtain detailed legal and tax advice when considering a restructuring of assets held in trust and is a helpful reminder that a trustee's duty to account is at the heart of the trustee-beneficiary relationship.
The new Arbitration Bill was approved in general terms by the Legislative Assembly in 2018 and voted into law in November 2019. Once the New Arbitration Law enters into force in May 2020, Macau's dual arbitration system will cease to exist. This legislative cohesion is likely to encourage foreign investors and partners to choose Macau as their jurisdiction for disputes and strengthen its arbitration credentials internationally.
Provisions of the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Amendment Act 2019 recently came into force. Employers should now be familiar with some of the upcoming changes, which include the requirement to keep records in relation to payroll and employee-related pension information.
Over the past year, Indian private client law took a number of small steps which were potentially giant leaps for the legal regime. That is to say, although no noteworthy legislation was enacted, a number of amendments and rules were introduced to existing laws which mark a significant shift in the legal position. This article examines three key legal developments which took place in the Indian private client space in 2019 and the main trends expected in 2020.
US gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption amounts have been updated for tax year 2020. Advisers to international families must be able to recognise when a family member has come in contact with the US tax net and plan accordingly. For family members domiciled in the United States, special attention should be paid to the estate tax exemption amount which is scheduled to be automatically reduced at the end of 2025.
Economic diversification cannot be achieved overnight; nonetheless, the government regularly promotes it in public announcements. However, can Macau really have a diversified economy, given its existing dependence on gaming? Arguably, in order to diversify its economy, Macau must establish clear rules and enforced compliance in this sector.
Under the Security Interests (Jersey) Law 1983, the powers of a secured party on enforcement were limited to a power of sale. The Security Interests (Jersey) Law 2012 changed the way in which security is created over intangible movables and introduced a wider range of enforcement powers. This article examines the enforcement of security interests in the event of default.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has a marvellous ability to confound expectations. In the latest plot twist, it updated its Cryptoassets: Tax for Individuals guidance to include a section on the situs of cryptoassets, which is a bold departure from established principles.
High-net-worth families are increasingly seeking to establish or redomicile trusts and structures to politically, economically and socially stable tax neutral jurisdictions that are reputable and geographically well situated. Although the number of jurisdictions that meet these criteria may be dwindling, Bermuda has a long history of legal, political and social stability.
It has been more than a decade since blockchain – or distributed ledger technology – appeared on the financial services landscape. Yet, it is still capable of generating excitement as its value in transforming processes continues to develop. As blockchain increases its reach and its impact in specific industries grows, this will generate a need for suitable models of insurance. Cayman-based technology companies have expressed interest in buying insurance from local insurers.
A long-running Jersey fraud case illustrates the difficult task that the Channel Island courts sometimes have in comparing and distinguishing between developed principles of English law and foundational elements of the islands' customary law. The case tackles two Jersey law 'hot potatoes': the question of the rights between wrongdoers to claim an indemnity or contribution outside the scope of the limited statutory scheme between joint tortfeasors and the extent and nature of the doctrine of unjust enrichment under Jersey law.
A shift in Guernsey's corporate and individual attitude towards the misuse of data is now central to the Office of the Data Protection Authority's (ODPA's) future approach to governance and enforcement in Guernsey. This article rounds up the key issues which the ODPA has communicated and which will dictate its approach, including changes in workplace culture and the delayed introduction of the self-funded charging system.
In its 2019 report, Arts Council England revealed that in the past financial year, objects with an agreed value of nearly £60 million have been given to UK museums and galleries in lieu of tax. This record-breaking year serves as a reminder that cultural items continue to enter public ownership through acceptance in lieu and the cultural gifts scheme. Together with the conditional exemption scheme, tax reliefs for heritage property can provide significant tax saving opportunities.