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Bermuda has one of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance markets; it is also internationally known for the quality of its insurance-linked securities products.

Despite its return to growth in 2015 after a six-year recession, in May 2017 Bermuda’s economy once again dipped into recession; and in July the David Burt-led centre-left Progressive Labour Party won a majority in the Bermudian general election. Major policy reforms are presently unlikely but boosts in private investment and international business activity, along with Bermuda’s 2017 America’s Cup and tourist arrivals, are expected to bring economic recovery by 2018.

In October 2016 the Limited Liability Company Act was passed, which provides for the formation and operation of limited liability companies (LLCs). These operate very much like Delaware LLCs and the new legislation has created advisory work for Bermuda’s lawyers on the formation of Bermuda LLCs.

Global law firms Appleby and Conyers Dill & Pearman remain the dominant practices in Bermuda, while the market has experienced new entrants with Cayman Islands-based firm Walkers Cayman, through Taylors in association with Walkers, and BVI-based Harneys, which is associated with Zuill & Co, launching in late 2016. Strong local practices include Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited, MJM Limited and Wakefield Quin.

The Legal 500 Caribbean 2017 introduces banking, finance and capital markets and real estate sections into the Bermuda chapter to reflect the growth of these practice areas. On the real estate side, the island’s property lawyers frequently assist non-Bermudians, who can only own properties in specific condominium developments or properties allocated by the Land Valuation Office, with obtaining licences from the Bermuda government.

It would be remiss of us to ignore the ‚ÄėParadise Papers‚Äô leak of November 2017, which involved the leaking of millions of financial documents that were quickly obtained by the press. Over half of those documents came from Appleby and Estera, Appleby‚Äôs former fiduciary arm. Naturally, this led to much international press attention for Appleby, which was founded in Bermuda and also has offices in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

It remains to be seen the extent to which this adverse publicity will impact the firm‚Äôs reputational credibility (and thereby the volume and consistency of its work for a premium client base). But at this stage ‚Äď we write this mere weeks after the leak ‚Äď it is too early to allow even this level of press attention to affect our rankings.

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  • EU and Malta Securitisation Market

    Following the US subprime crisis that began in 2007, the notion of securitisation has suffered from bad press that tainted its reputation. However, securitisation is still considered as an essential component to continued economic recovery and for well-functioning financial markets.
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  • DOJ Makes the Pilot Program Permanent and Announces FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

    The US Department of Justice ("DOJ") had announced a pilot program [1] ("Pilot Program") on April 5, 2016, which created new mitigation opportunities for companies that (i) voluntarily self-disclosed, (ii) cooperated fully, and (iii) took timely and appropriate remedial actions in FCPA matters that fell within the Fraud Section's mandate. The Pilot Program was to remain in effect for 1 year, starting from the day of its announcement. On March 10, 2017, the Acting Assistant Attorney General, Kenneth A. Blanco, announced in a speech that the Pilot Program would continue in full force until the DOJ reached a final decision on whether to extend it, and what revisions, if any, should be made to it. [2] The evaluation period of the Pilot Program ended on November 29, 2017, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the new FCPA Enforcement Policy ("Policy"), which effectively makes the Pilot Program permanent with some revisions. According to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the FCPA Unit received 30 voluntary disclosures during the time period that the Pilot Program was in force, as opposed to 18 voluntary disclosures that were received during the previous 18-month period. The Policy has been incorporated into the United States Attorneys' Manual in order to "be readily understood and easily applied by busy prosecutors" as opposed to being promulgated in memorandum format. [3]
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    With the Statutory Decree No.671 dated August 17, 2016, and the recent changes with Regulations No.29987 and No.29824 on Regulation Regarding an Amendment on Placement to Open Punishment Execution Facilities effecting execution of the Law No.5275 on Punishment Execution Law has introduced significant changes.
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  • [SOUTH KOREA] New Administration‚Äôs Key Environmental Policies

    To step forward as an environment-friendly government, the Moon Jae-in Administration has announced its key environmental policies, including improving safety in chemical substances and household chemical products, and reinforcing implementation measures of the Paris Agreement.¬† Under the ‚Äúsustainable development‚ÄĚ paradigm, the new administration will continually promote new regulations to protect the environment and strengthen its enforcement of environmental regulations.
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    Lower Court Issues Favorable Decision for 27,000 KIA Motors Employees in an Ordinary Wage Case 
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: ‚ÄúMore Philippine Data Privacy Act: Are you Ready for Phase II?‚ÄĚ

    Controllers and processors who have completed Phase I registration with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) will now have to gear up for Phase II. Phase II involves providing the NPC certain information on the organization’s compliance with the Data Privacy Act (DPA).
  • Crowdfunding - The Path towards a regulatory Framework

      The importance and feasibility of crowdfunding platforms is increasing in stature and importance for current and future the entrepreneurs. Malta has recently acceded to the rising trend by creating its first crowdfunding platform, ZAAR, a reward-based crowdfunding platform who has recently been awarded with the first prize in its section at the National Enterprise Support Awards 2016 also as well as being one of the local projects that have represented Malta at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016, held in Slovakia. Nonetheless start-ups based in Malta with global aspirations often rely on international platforms. An increase in interest has emerged amongst the art and culture community as well in social entrepreneurship projects. Crowdfunding in Malta is still at the early stages of development. Despite this, there are endless opportunities for local entrepreneurs and the local business community. Research has shown that through international crowdfunding platforms, monies have been raised for projects in the field of gaming consoles, apps and software as well as for artistic projects.  Testimony to this is a new game design studio in Malta, that launched its first game, Politicks, raised financing through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to