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Business chiefs hail corporate legislation

Modernisation of Bermuda's corporate law has been welcomed by business chiefs.

A total of nine bills relating to the island's international business sector have been passed by the House of Assembly in little more than a year.

And Ross Webber, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, said: “This augmentation of our legislative platform is critical for Bermuda to maintain our longstanding reputation as a blue-chip international financial centre.

“The driving principle is to make doing business in Bermuda sustainable so companies can prosper and we can attract appropriate new business to our domicile.”

Mr Webber added: “We applaud the efforts of Government, the legislature and industry, particularly the BDA legislative reform committee, to successfully achieve these much needed amendments.”

The nine bills passed by the House of Assembly, relating to the IB sector, include four new laws amending legislation on partnerships and companies to boost the island's competitiveness internationally.

A further five new laws to modernise company structures and contract law, including the setting up of US-style limited liability companies, have also passed.

The island last week introduced legislation to bring Bermuda into line with global standards for the aviation sector through the Cape Town Convention, which standardises property and security rights on aircraft and major aircraft components across international boundaries.

Grant Gibbons, the Economic Development Minister, whose ministry piloted the legislation, said: “One of the most important components of achieving success in this effort is working in collaboration with entities across the government and the private sector to develop and implement policies and initiatives aimed at improving our economic performance.

“This collaboration resulted in the enactment of numerous bills that received bipartisan support in the legislature and which made significant enhancement to our legislative framework governing partnerships, companies, trusts and contracts.”

Dr Gibbons added: “These legislative reforms were designed in response to private sector demands to improve Bermuda's product offering and increase its competitiveness as a jurisdiction of choice.

“In particular, the updates create more flexibility in the management and operation of partnerships, facilitating, for example, changes in partners, clarification of partner responsibilities and partnership relocation to and from Bermuda.

“The vast majority of partnerships on the Bermuda register are private or closed investment funds. The Ministry is therefore taking a multifaceted approach to stimulating growth specifically in Bermuda's asset-management industry and increasing the number of asset managers conducting business in Bermuda.”

Industry experts welcomed the introduction of limited liability companies, a hybrid entity combining features of both partnerships and corporations and used in the US for private equity funds and other asset management structures, as well as in the private client and trust sectors.

Graham Collis, a director in the corporate department of law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman, said: “Bermuda's LLC law is closely modelled on Delaware law and will therefore be easily understood and accepted by US legal advisers.

“LLCs should provide an attractive alternative for US-based corporate clients and represent a key selling point for Bermuda.”

Stronger position: during the past 15 months, nine bills relating to the island's international business sector have been passed by Parliament

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Published August 03, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 02, 2016 at 8:39 pm)

Business chiefs hail corporate legislation

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