Private Client & Offshore Services, Harney Westwood & Riegels LLP updates

British Virgin Islands

Contributed by Harney Westwood & Riegels LLP
Top-up options, the squeeze-out mechanism and publicly listed BVI companies
  • British Virgin Islands
  • May 26 2011

Corporate law in the British Virgin Islands provides for a number of mechanisms that can be used for the purpose of acquiring control of a company, but in the last 24 months there has been a noticeable increase in the occurrence of the use of top-up options, especially in relation to publicly listed BVI companies and tender offers in M&A transactions.

Minority shareholders, emerging markets and initial public offerings
  • British Virgin Islands
  • October 28 2010

An important issue for a company being accepted for listing purposes on international stock exchanges is shareholder protection. BVI corporate statutes now place more emphasis on protection of the rights of minority shareholders and, as a result, BVI companies are now accepted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Cayman Islands

Contributed by Harney Westwood & Riegels LLP
Court reaffirms high threshold for case management stays
  • Cayman Islands
  • May 24 2018

In a recent case, a petition to wind up a company was issued by its majority shareholder. The minority shareholder – a Samoan entity – issued an application to stay the petition on the basis that there were related proceedings in Samoa and held that Samoa was the proper forum in which to argue these matters. The court refused to grant the stay, finding that the high burden imposed in stay applications of this type had not been met.

New developments in litigation funding
  • Cayman Islands
  • January 18 2018

A recent Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ruling represents a significant development for the jurisdiction, opening the door to third-party funding of litigation in the Cayman Islands. However, while the door has been opened, a plaintiff which seeks to commence litigation in the Cayman Islands with funds provided under a funding agreement will need to seek the court's approval of the particular agreement in question.

Anti-money Laundering Regulations for unregulated investment and insurance entities to take effect
  • 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.

CRS notification and reporting deadlines extended
  • 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.

Court clarifies ranking of shareholder claim
  • Cayman Islands
  • November 17 2016

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal recently provided some clarity on the ranking of priority in the liquidation of amounts owing to shareholders and former shareholders of a company operating as an open-ended investment fund. The decision has confirmed that Section 37(7)(a) of the Cayman Islands Companies Law applies where a shareholder has merely accrued the right to redeem his or her shares, but has not yet completed the redemption process prescribed by the company's articles.

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