New rules for international legal firms – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password

New rules for international legal firms

International legal firms who set up in Bermuda will need Bermudian lawyers to tackle cases that involve island law under conditions proposed by the Government.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, told the House of Assembly on Friday that the Government would continue efforts to “liberalise” Bermuda's legal sector for overseas firms.

But he said the new rules would include measures to protect jobs for home-grown lawyers.

Mr Dickinson explained that the Government believed that international law firms in Bermuda would “generally benefit” the economy and employment prospects for Bermudians.

He said the Government had completed a consultation process and the proposal was supported by the Bermuda Business Development Agency. However, several Bermudian law firms and lawyers had raised objections.

Mr Dickinson said: “The grounds of objections were that international law firms would be damaging to existing law firms and that they may simply open a ‘front' in Bermuda by engaging the services of a figurehead Bermudian.”

But Mr Dickinson said the proposals would mean any legal matters that involved Bermuda law and originated in Bermuda must be undertaken in Bermuda and could not be referred to lawyers and paralegals in another jurisdiction to be “rubber stamped” in Bermuda.

International law firms would also be required to employ Bermudians “at all levels” and provide scholarships to Bermudian law students.

Mr Dickinson added that law firms would also need to create a five-year plan to show they intended to increase revenue from offshore work, as well as a “diversity and inclusion plan” for management positions that reflected Bermuda's cultural composition.

He said: “The Government is confident that this policy to relax the law firm market and open it up to international firms, along with the above mentioned licence conditions, strikes the correct balance between stimulating additional investment in Bermuda and providing opportunities for Bermudian lawyers and preserving the interests of Bermudians.”

To read Curtis Dickinson's statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance (File photograph)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 17, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated December 17, 2018 at 8:02 am)

New rules for international legal firms

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon