Mr Eamon Harrison Courtenay

Eamon Harrison Courtenay

Lawyer biography

Eamon Harrison Courtenay was born in Belize on June 11th 1960.  He attended the University of Texas at Austin (B.A.), University of the West Indies, Barbados (L.L.B., Hons), and concluded his studies at Norman Manley Law School where he received his L.E.C. and won the Chairman’s Prize for top honors in the following subjects: Conveyancing, Succession, Status Rights & Obligation of the Legal Profession and Office Management & Accounts. Mr. Courtenay was admitted to practice in Belize in 1988.

His practice areas include: Administrative Law, Admiralty, Debtor and Creditor, Insurance, Personal Injury, Securities, Taxation, Trusts, Litigation, Commercial Law, Offshore Company Law, Banks and Banking Law.

Eamon has 20 years of professional experience.  He is an active Member of the Belize Negotiating Team on the Resolution of the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute (1999- Present), W.H. Courtenay & Co. (1988-1999), a Senator, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, an Ambassador for Trade and Investment (Belize); Executive Chairman, BELTRAIDE (1999-2002), Senator and Attorney General and Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade (2003-2004), Deputy Chairman, Belize Bank (2005-2006),  Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (2006-2007), in November 2007 he was elected to the Standing Commission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent and currently an Attorney-at-Law at Courtenay Coye LLP, (Senior Partner).

Eamon is the author of the Belize Chapter in Asset Protection Domestic and International Law and Tactics (Clark Boardman Collaghan 1995), co-authored “A Practical Guide to the Gross Receipts Act and the Income Tax (Amendment) Act” (1994) and wrote several articles in “Offshore Investment Magazine” and the “OPEC Report” on trusts and taxation.

Languages

English; Spanish

Updates

Arbitration & ADR

Enforcement of LCIA award refused as contrary to public policy
Belize | 22 May 2014

The Caribbean Court of Justice has addressed the issue of whether New York Convention Awards should be enforced. The case is exceptional and should be confined to its unusual facts. However, it stands as highly persuasive authority for the proposition that violations of the constitutional order by a government when affording tax concessions to investors may afford a defence to enforcement of an arbitral award.

Caribbean Court of Justice rules government must arbitrate under treaty
Belize | 08 August 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice has delivered a landmark decision which narrows the circumstances in which a government may resort to its domestic courts to restrain international arbitration proceedings. The decision is an important victory for international investors in the Commonwealth Caribbean, since many bilateral investment treaties include clauses for resolution of disputes by international arbitration.

Employment & Benefits

The high cost of preventing employees from unionising
Belize | 07 November 2012

The first claim made under the Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act was filed by six former employees of banana farm Mayan King Limited. The employees alleged that they had been dismissed due to their role in spearheading a movement to unionise workers. The compensation awarded to the claimants was largely affected by the particular facts of the case.

Mayan King goes to the Caribbean Court of Justice
Belize | 05 October 2011

The Court of Appeal recently handed down a decision in an employment dispute which appears to be contrary to long-established principles of the Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act, which provide that a person cannot be awarded damages for injury to feelings. The employer, Mayan King, has been given leave to appeal the decision to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Energy & Natural Resources

Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction, holds Court of Appeal
Belize | 05 September 2011

In a curious recent case, the Court of Appeal decided that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to oversee a case brought by Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) against the Public Utilities Commission. In the case, BEL brought three questions before the Supreme Court by a so-called 'case stated'. This is a relatively unusual procedure by which a person or body having power to hold a hearing or make a decision may be empowered to state a case to the court for its opinion.

Intellectual Property

EMBASSY mark does not infringe MARLBORO mark
Belize | 26 November 2012

Tobacco giants Philip Morris SA and British American Tobacco (Brands) Limited (BAT) have been locked in combat over the registration of BAT's EMBASSY trademark in Belize. BAT has thus far persuaded the deputy registrar, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal that it should be permitted to proceed with registration of its mark.

Private Client & Offshore Services

The importance of legal advice for timeshare rights
Belize | 16 July 2015

The Supreme Court recently highlighted the need to comply strictly with essential legal requirements when investing in property abroad. It found that US citizens who had purchased timeshare interests in a residential resort could not exercise their purported rights in priority of a bank's mortgage interest on the property because they had not registered their timeshares or paid the required stamp duty.

Directors' indemnities foolproof
Belize | 16 April 2015

The Belize Court of Appeal recently confirmed that indemnities given by a Belizean company to its directors deprived the company of a cause of action to pursue a claim against former directors for decisions taken during their term as company directors. Belize continues to recognise blanket indemnities given by a company to directors as legal.

Appeal Court clarifies procedural law on claims against foreign defendants
Belize | 04 September 2014

The Belize Court of Appeal has provided guidance to litigants involved in multi-jurisdictional litigation. The court interpreted the rules applicable to commencing a claim against foreign defendants, and service of a claim form and interim injunction on parties outside the jurisdiction. Under the Civil Procedure Rules there is no need to obtain permission to issue a claim form for service abroad.

Enforcement of LCIA award refused as contrary to public policy
Belize | 22 May 2014

The Caribbean Court of Justice has addressed the issue of whether New York Convention Awards should be enforced. The case is exceptional and should be confined to its unusual facts. However, it stands as highly persuasive authority for the proposition that violations of the constitutional order by a government when affording tax concessions to investors may afford a defence to enforcement of an arbitral award.

Caribbean Court of Justice rules government must arbitrate under treaty
Belize | 08 August 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice has delivered a landmark decision which narrows the circumstances in which a government may resort to its domestic courts to restrain international arbitration proceedings. The decision is an important victory for international investors in the Commonwealth Caribbean, since many bilateral investment treaties include clauses for resolution of disputes by international arbitration.

Landmark arbitration judgment expected
Belize | 06 June 2013

The Caribbean Court of Justice is expected to deliver a landmark ruling on arbitration law in the next few months. The court will decide whether the enforcement of an arbitral award issued by the London Court of International Arbitration against the Belize government is contrary to Belize public policy.

EMBASSY mark does not infringe MARLBORO mark
Belize | 29 November 2012

Tobacco giants Philip Morris SA and British American Tobacco (Brands) Limited (BAT) have been locked in combat over the registration of BAT's EMBASSY trademark in Belize. BAT has thus far persuaded the deputy registrar, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal that it should be permitted to proceed with registration of its mark.

The high cost of preventing employees from unionising
Belize | 08 November 2012

The first claim made under the Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act was filed by six former employees of banana farm Mayan King Limited. The employees alleged that they had been dismissed due to their role in spearheading a movement to unionise the workers and. The compensation awarded to the claimants was largely affected by the particular facts of the case.

Eighth Amendment breaches basic structure
Belize | 11 October 2012

The controversial Belize Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Bill was recently introduced in the House of Representatives against the background of the Court of Appeal's decision that the government's nationalisation of Belize Telemedia Limited was unlawful, null and void. The primary purpose of the amendment was to make renationalisation beyond legal challenge.

New tax measures
Belize | 04 October 2012

Noteworthy tax measures have accompanied the 2012-2013 national budget. Service providers in the international financial services sector will now pay business tax at a rate of 3%. This will apply to the portion of their services provided to non-residents, if that revenue is maintained separately from domestic revenue. However, if there is a commingling of receipts, then the service provider will be taxed at 6%.

Mayan King goes to the Caribbean Court of Justice
Belize | 13 October 2011

The Court of Appeal recently handed down a decision in an employment dispute which appears contrary to long-established principles of the Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act, which provide that a person cannot be awarded damages for injury to feelings. The employer, Mayan King, has been given leave to appeal the decision to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Vidrine v Vidrine: significant decision in division of matrimonial property
Belize | 13 October 2011

The Court of Appeal recently delivered its decision in Vidrine v Vidrine - a significant addition to the jurisprudence of Belize relating to the division of matrimonial property. Justice of Appeal Denys Barrow considered the principles in actions brought pursuant to Section 148A(3) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, which empowers the Supreme Court to alter property rights during divorce proceedings.

Telemedia is not dominant telecommunications operator
Belize | 22 September 2011

Following the nationalisation of government-owned Belize Telemedia Limited in August 2009, Telemedia engaged in behaviour towards its competitor Speednet Communications Limited which Speednet alleged was intended to jeopardise its ability to provide mobile telecommunications services to the Belizean public. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Telemedia was not dominant in the mobile market and refused the declaration sought.

Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction, holds Court of Appeal
Belize | 08 September 2011

In a curious recent case, the Court of Appeal decided that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to oversee a case brought by Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) against the Public Utilities Commission. In the case, BEL brought three questions before the Supreme Court by a so-called 'case stated'.

Real Estate

The importance of legal advice for timeshare rights
Belize | 17 July 2015

The Supreme Court recently highlighted the need to comply strictly with essential legal requirements when investing in property abroad. It found that US citizens who had purchased timeshare interests in a residential resort could not exercise their purported rights in priority of a bank's mortgage interest on the property because they had not registered their timeshares or paid the required stamp duty.

Telecoms

Telemedia is not dominant telecommunications operator
Belize | 28 September 2011

Following the nationalisation of government-owned Belize Telemedia Limited in August 2009, Telemedia engaged in behaviour towards its competitor Speednet Communications Limited which Speednet alleged was intended to jeopardise its ability to provide mobile telecommunications services to the Belizean public. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Telemedia was not dominant in the mobile market and refused the declaration sought.