The government has approved new regulations which impose an economic substance test on Guernsey tax-resident companies in order to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. The regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2019, establish tests for tax-resident companies carrying on 'relevant activities', including fund management.
Personal assets that most commonly need to be accessed in Jersey following the death of a non-domiciled person are shares in Jersey companies and Jersey bank accounts and investments. If individuals are domiciled outside Jersey, they need not prepare a separate will to cover their Jersey personal estate if they already have a valid one which covers their worldwide personal estate; however, doing so can offer significant benefits.
A recent Royal Court decision arose out of an attempt by the settlors of trusts to exercise their power to revoke the trusts. The trustee in this case was concerned and so petitioned the Royal Court for directions. Among other things, the court's decision highlights that trustees should be aware of how a trust fund might be distributed on revocation of a trust. Trustees should also review their terms and conditions of business to ensure that they are protected against any potential adverse consequences.
New legislation recently came into force in the Cayman Islands requiring in-scope entities that carry on particular activities to have demonstrable economic substance in Cayman. Relevant entities must make an annual report as to whether they are carrying on one or more of a defined list of activities (relevant activities). If they are, they must satisfy an economic substance test in Cayman in respect of such relevant activities.
It is fair to say that the term 'asset protection trust' has developed as an informal description of a trust, the primary purpose of which is to safeguard trust assets from claims made by creditors and others usually against the settlor or beneficiaries of a trust. This article discusses what an asset protection trust is and what, over and above a normal trust, it is seeking to achieve. It also considers to what extent a Jersey trust, once established, will protect assets from creditor claims.
When applying to the court for an order with respect to a trust, it is important to consider how future circumstances are changing and how this might be provided for without the need for further recourse to the court. A recent case involving a Jersey trustee, which had applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey to vary an order previously made by the Royal Court and to invoke the court's power to construe a trustee power under its Public Trustee v Cooper jurisdiction, provides clarity in this regard.
A Cayman court recently considered numerous complex areas of the law concerning commercial fraud and the ability to trace assets through corporate groups and into sophisticated financial products. This article discusses the court's findings regarding the illegality defence and the lessons which can be derived for future Cayman cases in which this defence might be engaged.
Insolvency and restructuring cases are perhaps the most common types of cross-border dispute heard by the Grand Court, but other examples include trust disputes, which can often involve high-net-worth families and trust assets spread across the globe, and the enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. High-profile examples of cross-border cooperation between the Grand Court and foreign courts include the Bank of Credit and Commerce International liquidation and the Ocean Rig restructuring.
The Guernsey Royal Court recently issued a regulatory decision on prohibition orders, fines and public statements. In this decision, the deputy bailiff found that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission did not have the jurisdiction or power to make prohibition orders that were limited in time; it only had the power to make unlimited prohibition orders (as in the United Kingdom) against the defendant – although it could have indicated when it might be appropriate for the defendant to reapply for a licence.
New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. Fund vehicles themselves are out of scope, but it is expected that most fund manager clients will be in scope. Therefore, consideration will need to be given to the level of activity carried out in Jersey, with specific consideration being given to outsourcing arrangements.
New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. Among other things, specific consideration should be given to outsourcing arrangements, to each company within a relevant structure and to updating policies and procedures.
The Court of Appeal has unanimously allowed every ground of an appeal by the liquidators of Argyle Funds SPC Inc. The key takeaway for the Cayman Islands professional services industry is that where work is delegated to be carried out by related entities outside the Cayman Islands, any attempt to contractually limit clients' rights to bring claims against those entities must be expressly articulated within the contract.
Two joint administrators recently applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey seeking an order that it issue the High Court of Justice of England and Wales with a letter of request to act in aid of and auxiliary to the Royal Court in recognising their appointment as administrators of a company. While the Royal Court has dealt with incoming letters of requests, in making the application, counsel was unaware of any case where the Royal Court's jurisdiction to issue a letter of request had previously been considered.
Along with the growth and maturity of the fund finance market, funds and their counsel have become increasingly familiar with lenders' limited partnership agreement (LPA) requirements. Therefore, newer LPAs often include the provisions that lenders require in order to provide financing under a capital call facility. Lenders and their counsel should consider several key due diligence points when reviewing LPAs, investor subscription documents and related side letters.
New proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published to meet the requirements of the EU Code of Conduct Group. The reforms are set to come into force on 1 January 2019, subject to approval by the States of Jersey, and establish new tests for certain tax-resident companies carrying on relevant activities in respect of demonstrating that they are directed and managed in Jersey, and that their core income generating activities are undertaken here.
The Special Trusts (Alternative Regime) (STAR) Law introduced so-called 'STAR trusts' into Cayman Islands law to overcome some of the difficulties arising from more conventional offshore trusts. One of the most challenging aspects of establishing a STAR trust is the drafting of the purposes for which it is established. While the STAR Law contains rules to prevent STAR trusts from failing (eg, failure resulting from object and beneficiary uncertainty), there are a number of traps for the unwary.
The recently enacted Companies (Demerger) (Jersey) Regulations introduce a new demerger regime for Jersey companies. The new regime will be of particular interest to those who use, or are considering using, Jersey companies in their structures. It makes the use of a Jersey company more flexible and has a range of potential uses, including implementing a pre-sale reorganisation.
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission recently introduced the Guernsey Green Fund designation to provide investment managers with an opportunity to "assure investors that their investments are contributing to initiatives that have a positive environmental impact on the planet and in so doing inspire confidence that their investments are well regulated". The designation is available to registered and authorised schemes run in accordance with the Guernsey Green Fund Rules.
Foundation companies are a unique structuring option in the Cayman Islands for wealth planning and also serve as holding and special purpose vehicles for commercial transactions and cryptocurrency offerings. Although a foundation company may be used as an alternative to a Cayman trust, a number of features specific to Cayman trust law have been incorporated into the foundation company vehicle which should prove beneficial to investors and private clients.