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Legal Market Overview

In Bermuda, international business accounts for 85% of the island’s GDP. Insurance and other financial services are key pillars of the islands economy: the jurisdiction continues to attract new reinsurer captives, insurance-linked funds, and funds investing in insurtech products and blockchain technologies. Other important strands of legal work in the region include asset-backed securitisation transactions, insurance securitisations through catastrophe bonds, and international debt listings.

Throughout 2020, firms in the region have been advising on the Bermudan implications of economic substance legislation, which was introduced further to the EU Council’s Code of Conduct business taxation resolution. It is hoped that the new regulatory environment and focus on compliance will act as an anchor to bring increased legal work and investment into Bermuda.

Aside from economic substance and its effects, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) proposed digital tax will bring notable changes for reinsurers. Elsewhere, the Digital Asset Business Act 2018, which introduced the possibility of digital asset businesses setting up and being regulated in Bermuda, continues to develop opportunities in the fintech space.

In mid-2020, the government of Bermuda also released a draft bill to establish a legal marijuana market in the region, potentially opening up Bermuda to investments in cannabis-related industries.

For the local legal market, firms active in the jurisdiction have continued to see notable growth; mid-tier firms, including Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited, continue to expand and diversify across a variety of practice areas, attracting increasing numbers of multi-jurisdictional matters.