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Bermuda Passes Raft Of Business-Related Bills

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
04 August, 2016

Over the past 15 months Bermuda has passed nine legislative bills to modernize the island's legal framework, create new growth opportunities, and ensure the territory remains internationally competitive.

The bills passed since May 2015 include amendments to The Partnerships Act 1902, The Exempted Partnerships Act 1992, The Limited Partnership Act 1883, and The Companies Act 1981.

The Minister of Economic Development, Grant Gibbons, said: "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."

Other legislative reforms include the passage of several significant pieces of new legislation aimed at modernizing Bermuda's menu of corporate and trust products. The new enactments are The Limited Liability Company Act 2016, The Perpetuities & Accumulation Amendment Act 2015, The Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 2016, and The Partnerships and Companies Amendment Act 2016.

Industry has welcomed the reforms and notably the recent Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act. LLCs, which combine features of both corporations and partnerships, are commonly used in the United States (US) for private-equity funds and other asset-management structures, as well as trusts and private-client vehicles. Bermuda's LLC legislation is expected to appeal to US counsel.

Another key piece of legislation passed at the end of this year's parliamentary session is the Bermuda International Interests in Mobile Equipment (or "Cape Town Convention") Act 2016, which brings the island's aviation sector in line with global standards.

"It caps a number of years of successful collaboration with the United Kingdom Department of Transport and the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills," noted Gibbons.

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