Latest updates

Anti-money Laundering Regulations for unregulated investment and insurance entities to take effect
  • White Collar Crime
  • Cayman Islands
  • December 18 2017

Under new anti-money laundering legislation, the list of activities classed as relevant financial businesses has been expanded. Unregulated investment funds and some insurance entities have now been given a grace period until May 31 2018 to establish anti-money laundering compliance programmes. This is a welcome move, particularly for unregulated investment funds which were not bound by the preceding regulations and therefore may not have policies and procedures in place.

Anti-money Laundering Regulations for unregulated investment and insurance entities to take effect
Harney Westwood & Riegels LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • December 14 2017

Under new anti-money laundering legislation, the list of activities classed as relevant financial businesses has been expanded. Unregulated investment funds and some insurance entities have now been given a grace period until May 31 2018 to establish anti-money laundering compliance programmes. This is a welcome move, particularly for unregulated investment funds which were not bound by the preceding regulations and therefore may not have policies and procedures in place.

Foundation Companies Law enacted
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 23 2017

The Foundation Companies Law 2017, which recently came into force, approaches the creation of a foundation company in such a way that it may consequently be established for any lawful purpose. The foundation company shares many of its features with other types of Cayman company and fits seamlessly into the Cayman Islands' legal regime. It will therefore have the benefit of a considerable body of case law on companies.

New Anti-money Laundering Regulations come into force
  • White Collar Crime
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 20 2017

The government recently adopted updated Anti-money Laundering Regulations. The regulations demonstrate the Cayman Islands' ongoing commitment to comply with the highest international standards on combating money laundering and terrorist financing and aim to ensure consistency with the Financial Action Task Force 2012 recommendations. The move is part of an overall update of the territory's anti-money laundering regime.

New Anti-money Laundering Regulations come into force
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 16 2017

The government recently adopted updated Anti-money Laundering Regulations. The regulations demonstrate the Cayman Islands' ongoing commitment to comply with the highest international standards on combating money laundering and terrorist financing and aim to ensure consistency with the Financial Action Task Force 2012 recommendations. The move is part of an overall update of the territory's anti-money laundering regime.

Structuring an ICO through the Cayman Islands
  • Banking
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 03 2017

It seems that 2017 will be remembered as the year of the initial coin offering (ICO). The Cayman Islands is witnessing an upsurge in ICO-related business and structuring an ICO through the territory remains an attractive proposition. However, ICO-specific guidance is yet to be issued by the government or the regulator, and a number of legal uncertainties remain. Existing statutory and regulatory regimes must therefore be considered when structuring an ICO.

Structuring an ICO through the Cayman Islands
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 02 2017

It seems that 2017 will be remembered as the year of the initial coin offering (ICO). The Cayman Islands is witnessing an upsurge in ICO-related business and structuring an ICO through the territory remains an attractive proposition. However, ICO-specific guidance is yet to be issued by the government or the regulator, and a number of legal uncertainties remain. Existing statutory and regulatory regimes must therefore be considered when structuring an ICO.

Beneficial ownership regime – an overview
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • October 19 2017

Under the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership legislation, certain Cayman companies are required to maintain details of their beneficial owners and relevant legal entities on a beneficial ownership register. Companies should determine whether they are within the scope of the legislation and familiarise themselves with the obligations for in-scope companies and those who hold interests in them.

New Cayman Islands IP regime
  • Intellectual Property
  • Cayman Islands
  • September 11 2017

The Trademarks Law 2016, the Patents and Trademarks (Amendment) Law 2016 and the Design Rights Registration Law 2016 recently came into force, introducing a new IP regime in the Cayman Islands. The legislation establishes a standalone trademark registration system, prohibits the assertion of patent infringement in bad faith and allows existing UK and EU-registered design rights to be extended to the Cayman Islands, among other things.

New Cayman Islands IP regime
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • September 07 2017

The Trademarks Law 2016, the Patents and Trademarks (Amendment) Law 2016 and the Design Rights Registration Law 2016 recently came into force, introducing a new IP regime in the Cayman Islands. The legislation establishes a standalone trademark registration system, prohibits the assertion of patent infringement in bad faith and allows existing UK and EU-registered design rights to be extended to the Cayman Islands, among other things.

Introduction to automatic exchange of information for investment funds
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cayman Islands
  • September 01 2017

As Cayman Islands entities are not directly subject to the so-called 'automatic exchange of information' agreements, the government has introduced legislation to implement these under the Tax Information Authority Law. Guidance notes have also been issued, providing details of the notification, reporting and ongoing obligations that apply, as well as a useful reminder of the differences between the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the Common Reporting Standard.

Introduction to automatic exchange of information for investment funds
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • August 31 2017

As Cayman Islands entities are not directly subject to the so-called 'automatic exchange of information' agreements, the government has introduced legislation to implement these under the Tax Information Authority Law. Guidance notes have also been issued, providing details of the notification, reporting and ongoing obligations that apply, as well as a useful reminder of the differences between the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the Common Reporting Standard.

Automatic exchange of information – further update
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • June 29 2017

The Tax Information Authority (TIA) recently issued further updates on the compliance obligations of Cayman financial institutions. A number of key dates and developments have changed since then, including with regard to TIA registration, the 2017 reportable jurisdictions, liquidation reporting obligations and the phasing out of the UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories International Tax Compliance Regulations.

New beneficial ownership regime to take effect
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • June 22 2017

Following lengthy discussions with the UK authorities, the government recently approved new legislation to introduce beneficial ownership registers for certain Cayman companies and limited liability companies. Companies which are subject to direct or indirect regulatory oversight are likely to be exempt from the requirements. All Cayman companies should now review whether they will be required to maintain a beneficial ownership register.

CRS notification and reporting deadlines extended
Harney Westwood & Riegels LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • April 06 2017

The 2017 deadlines for notification and reporting obligations under the Common Reporting Standard regulations will be extended by two months. Cayman reporting financial institutions will not have notification or reporting obligations under the UK Crown Dependency and Overseas Territories International Tax Compliance Regulations from 2017 onwards; however, obligations under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act remain unchanged.

Cayman Islands to introduce LLPs
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • March 30 2017

Draft legislation was recently published to introduce the limited liability partnership (LLP) as a new partnership vehicle in the Cayman Islands. The bill provides for the formation, registration and operation of an LLP as an entity with limited liability and legal personality separate from its partners. The bill also provides for the conversion of existing Cayman partnerships into LLPs and the continuation of foreign LLPs into the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands to introduce LLPs
  • Company & Commercial
  • Cayman Islands
  • March 27 2017

Draft legislation was recently published to introduce the limited liability partnership (LLP) as a new partnership vehicle in the Cayman Islands. The bill provides for the formation, registration and operation of an LLP as an entity with limited liability and legal personality separate from its partners. The bill also provides for the conversion of existing Cayman partnerships into LLPs and the continuation of foreign LLPs into the Cayman Islands.

Introduction of beneficial ownership registers proposed
  • Company & Commercial
  • Cayman Islands
  • March 20 2017

The government recently published draft legislation which, when adopted, will require Cayman companies to maintain beneficial ownership registers and for the information in the registers to be made automatically available to the Cayman Islands competent authority through a centralised beneficial ownership platform. The legislation is now expected to pass through the usual approval process in the Legislative Assembly.

Introduction of beneficial ownership registers proposed
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • March 16 2017

The government recently published draft legislation which, when adopted, will require Cayman companies to maintain beneficial ownership registers and for the information in the registers to be made automatically available to the Cayman Islands competent authority through a centralised beneficial ownership platform. The legislation is now expected to pass through the usual approval process in the Legislative Assembly.

Dissenting shareholder claims – video
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • February 23 2017

Mergers are a favoured method of takeover or restructuring in the Cayman Islands. The recent Grand Court decision in Integra – discussed in this video – provides much-needed guidance on what considerations should be taken into account in determining fair value, which is likely to provide comfort to parties seeking to explore the Cayman Islands merger framework.