Private Client & Offshore Services, Ogier updates

Cayman Islands

Contributed by Ogier
Grand Court provides clarity on costs
  • Cayman Islands
  • 29 April 2021

A recent costs ruling has provided welcome clarity on the circumstances in which the Grand Court will make a costs award on the indemnity basis. A successful party can expect to recover a higher proportion of its costs when an award is made on the indemnity basis (rather than the standard basis) since only costs that are unreasonably incurred or are of an unreasonable amount will be disallowed on taxation and any doubts as to reasonableness are resolved in favour of the successful party.

Avenues of redress for stakeholders in Cayman-incorporated companies facing excesses of majority shareholders
  • Cayman Islands
  • 22 April 2021

Against the backdrop of differing economies, laws and regulations throughout Asia, choosing to incorporate Cayman entities into holding and investment structures allows international stakeholders to cooperate under the aegis of a stable and effective judicial system. Through its court system, the Cayman Islands can provide the investment community with impartial, established and highly regarded judicial resources dedicated to resolving complex commercial disputes.

Snapshot: notification injunctions
  • Cayman Islands
  • 15 April 2021

A notification injunction is an alternative to the conventional freezing order that is available where there is concern that a respondent may deal with their assets so as to frustrate the enforcement of any future judgment. This new breed of quia timet 'notification' injunction is to be welcomed: it represents a further weapon in the Cayman court's arsenal to assist litigants, particularly in fraud and asset tracing cases, to prevent the frustration of judgments.

Economic substance requirements: overview
  • Cayman Islands
  • 08 April 2021

The International Tax Cooperation (Economic Substance) Act reflected the Cayman Islands' commitment to its obligations as a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's global Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Inclusive Framework and corresponding EU requirements for no or nominal tax jurisdictions. This article summarises the key elements of the act and draws upon guidance issued by the Tax Information Authority.

Short-form mergers: Changyou.com judgment confirms appraisal rights
  • Cayman Islands
  • 01 April 2021

The Grand Court has confirmed that shareholders of companies that effect a short-form merger pursuant to Section 233(7) of Part XVI of the Companies Act (2021 Revision) are entitled to be paid the fair value of their shares on dissenting from the merger under Section 238 of the act. The eagerly awaited judgment in Changyou.com clarifies an issue which was previously the subject of extensive debate and provides welcome certainty to minority shareholders of Cayman companies.


Guernsey

Contributed by Ogier
Court of Appeal case provides guidance for trustees when issues of trust construction arise
  • Guernsey
  • 06 May 2021

This article considers a recent Court of Appeal judgment regarding the interpretation of a trust instrument. This case provides helpful clarification of the principles to be applied when interpreting Guernsey law trust instruments. The Court of Appeal also helpfully confirmed that the trustee was absolutely correct in this instance to seek the court's directions.

Snapshot: application to court for restoration of Guernsey company
  • Guernsey
  • 29 April 2021

In Guernsey, there is a relatively quick and easy process for restoring companies to the Register of Companies when they have been struck off and dissolved. Applications can be made by various parties to the Non-contentious Court, which will deal with the matter 'on the papers'. However, if a party is likely to oppose the application to restore, an application should be made to the Ordinary Court and court attendance will be required.

Regulatory investigations: overview
  • Guernsey
  • 22 April 2021

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) routinely visits Guernsey licensees to check on their compliance with the local regulatory law, regulations and rules. The GFSC will examine and may identify deficiencies in a regulated licensee's corporate governance, management or internal controls. In those circumstances, the GFSC will require the licensee to carry out remediation work to address any contraventions or misconduct to ensure that the entity is returned to full compliance as soon as possible.

Director disqualification: 12-year disqualification penalty imposed
  • Guernsey
  • 15 April 2021

When considering the penalties imposed on directors of Guernsey companies for misconduct or breaches of the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, arguably the most serious penalty which can be imposed is a disqualification order. Such an order can, at its highest, be career ending for a director, with the maximum period of disqualification being 15 years. This article examines a recent decision in which the Royal Court imposed a disqualification period of 12 years.

Snapshot: 'momentous decision' applications by trustees
  • Guernsey
  • 08 April 2021

The terms of a trust deed will usually extend the powers conferred on trustees by the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007. When deciding to exercise these powers, trustees must consider all of their legal and fiduciary obligations. However, it is not always that simple; at some point a trustee will be faced with a decision so important or complex that it wishes to seek the blessing of the Royal Court. In Guernsey, such applications are known as 'momentous decision' or 'blessing' applications.


Jersey

Contributed by Ogier
Royal Court blesses momentous decision of representative of minor and unborn beneficiaries
  • Jersey
  • 06 May 2021

The Royal Court recently considered for the first time the blessing of a momentous decision of a court-appointed representative of minor and unborn beneficiaries of a trust to enter into a settlement agreement in respect of claims against the trust. While the decision to bless the decision of the representative of the minor and unborn beneficiaries was confined to the unusual facts of this case, this decision nonetheless establishes the circumstances (albeit limited) in which the court will bless such a decision.

Snapshot: debt for equity swaps
  • Jersey
  • 29 April 2021

Jersey continues to be the offshore jurisdiction of choice for restructurings involving debt for equity swaps (particularly restructurings of UK and international corporate groups). But what makes Jersey so attractive for this type of transaction? This article looks at the benefits of using a Jersey company and key initial issues which must be considered in this respect.

Proposed annual leave increase and daily rest breaks for employees
  • Jersey
  • 22 April 2021

From January 2022, additional employment rights are expected to be introduced for employees in Jersey. The proposals would require employers to provide at least three weeks' paid annual leave and a 15-minute rest break in any work period of six hours or more. Jersey's Employment Forum presented a report to the social security minister following public consultation in late 2019 and early 2020, which made a number of recommendations.

Trust company's £550,000 fine demonstrates importance of effective and consistent AML procedures
  • Jersey
  • 15 April 2021

The Royal Court recently imposed a hefty £550,000 fine on a firm for failing to ensure that, in practice, its anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures were being applied effectively and consistently. Notably, the Royal Court was not deterred from imposing a fine by the fact that the failings related to only one client structure. Firms must therefore ensure that their AML controls are being applied effectively across their entire business – for, as this judgment shows, the cost of failing to do so can be high.

Royal Court intervenes to set aside trustee decision
  • Jersey
  • 08 April 2021

In a recent case, the Royal Court intervened to set aside a decision of the trustee not to make the spouse of the settlor a beneficiary in her own right. The court's decision has implications for trustees and their obligation to act reasonably despite the trustee setting out reasons for its original decision.


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