Civil Litigations, Insolvencies and Liquidations
Bermuda Legal System and Courts
Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) that has its own Constitution (Bermuda Constitution Order 1968) with domestic powers delegated to the Bermuda Parliament and certain limited powers reserved for the U.K. The Bermuda Courts comprise the Magistrate’s Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, with the final court of appeal being the Privy Council in the U.K. Bermuda’s legal system is based on the English legal system with similar rules of practice and procedure to the U.K.
Apex Law Group Ltd. specializes in civil litigation in the Bermuda Courts, having acted for a wide range of international companies that conduct business from the island, whether in the insurance/reinsurance, international trade, shipping, banking or trust area. More recently, our firm has been involved in advising parties on various hedge fund matters that have resulted in court applications and complex corporate transactions with multiple jurisdictional elements involved.
Our team of litigation attorneys, acting on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, has knowledge, practical experience and specialized expertise in a wide spectrum of civil litigation cases, ranging from breach of contract and negligence to breaches of fiduciary or statutory duties.
The regulatory paradigm for ‘regulated financial institutions’ has shifted in Bermuda over the past few years and such regulated entities are now subject to more regulatory scrutiny and oversight with respect to their compliance obligations and AML requirements. Our attorneys bring a wealth of government experience and expertise in dealing with regulatory issues arising in law suits involving such institutions.
Regardless of which side of the litigation we are involved in, we utilize our experience to obtain fair results for our clients in a timely manner. Apex Law Group Ltd. attorneys have a track record of smart, targeted advocacy, which often leads to successful settlements before a litigation matter actually goes to court. Attorneys within the firm have been involved in major precedent cases in Bermuda involving the trust area (e.g. the Star Trust Case) and commercial area (e.g. the Sea Containers Case).
If you are contemplating or facing a civil lawsuit, please contact us for an initial consultation.
Legislation dealing with corporate restructuring and insolvency is contained in the Companies Act 1981 and the Companies (Winding Up) Rules 1982. The procedures available for dealing with companies in financial difficulty are as follows:
- Liquidation – a procedure for the benefit of creditors in which the company’s business operations (including all assets) are realized and distributed to creditors and any surplus assets are returned to the shareholders.
- Receivership – a procedure benefiting only a secured creditor, who in turn is entitled to appoint a receiver of some or all of the company’s business and assets, with the aim of realizing the assets in order to pay the creditor.
- Scheme of Arrangement – a procedure that can be used to restructure a company or its debts to achieve a better management of the payment to creditors or the winding up of the affairs of the company.
If companies are regulated entities (i.e. banks, trust companies, insurers, funds or investment providers) the legislation applicable to such activities will also apply to such entities.
There are two types of voluntary liquidations under Bermuda law, the Members Voluntary Liquidation and the Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation. For further information on liquidations, please review our Memorandum on Liquidations or contact us.