Archive for May, 2011

Cayman Islands make Landmark Legal Decision

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has reached a ground-breaking decision that assumes the power to grant asset-freezing injunctions over Cayman assets in support of certain foreign legal proceedings.

The Cayman Islands’ court has made the decision to grant a free standing Mareva injunction, so-called in reference to a 1975 UK case, “Mareva Compania Naviera S.A. v International Bulk Carriers S.A.”.

According to Ogier, the offshore legal firm, such an injunction permits a court to prevent a defendant from transferring assets until the outcome of the law suit is decided, with a view to ensure the assets of the defendant are not dissipated to avoid a satisfactory judgement. Ogier noted that the Court has held that it has power to grant asset-freezing injunctions over Cayman assets in support of foreign proceedings, where the only relief claimed in the Cayman Islands Court is the asset-freezing injunction itself. It also has been said that there is no other cause of action against the defendant within the jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands courts, other than the freezing order relief sought.

When commenting on the court’s decision, Ogier Cayman Partner and Head of Litigation Chris Russell, stated that this case follows a modernising trend and it is expected to be widely welcomed, therefore, this is a significant contribution to cross-border co-operation and protection”.

Senior management changes within Cayman-based Diarmad Murray announced by Walkers

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Walkers, leading international financial centre law firm has recently announced a series of senior management changes within the global group.

With the forthcoming retirement of Global Chairman Wayne Panton, an attorney with Walkers since 1988 and a partner with the firm since 1997, this key strategic role will be taken on by current Global Managing Partner Grant Stein. The appointment will be effective from July 1, 2011.

Also from July 1, 2011, Diarmad Murray, the current Managing Partner of Walkers’ Cayman Islands office, will become Walkers’ Global Managing Partner. He joined the company in 1994 and became its partner in 2000. As Global Head of Walkers’ Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group and having been Managing Partner of Walkers’ Cayman Islands office since 2009, Murray’s appointment as Global Managing Partner ensures a successful transition for Walkers in this position.

Stein commented: “We are delighted to have Diarmad taking over the reins as Global Managing Partner, following the unanimous support of the partnership. He has done an excellent job in reshaping the Cayman Islands office over the past two years and our senior management team is extremely strong as we embark on the next phase of the firm’s growth.”

It should be noted that, along with its Cayman Islands office, the Walkers Group has offices in Hong Kong, Jersey, the BVI, Singapore, Delaware, Dubai, Dublin, and London.

Cayman-based company Greenlight Re promotes new CEO

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

On May 2, Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. announced that it will promote Bart Hedges, the current President and Chief Underwriting Officer of Greenlight Re, to Chief Executive Officer effective August 15, 2011. Greenlight Re is a multi-line property and casualty reinsurance company with headquarters in the Cayman Islands.

Hedges will succeed Greenlight Re current CEO Len Goldberg, who is planning to retire, and will also serve on the Board of Greenlight Re.

Greenlight Re is an AM Best ‘A-‘ (Excellent) rated specialist property and casualty reinsurance company based in the Cayman Islands that provides a variety of custom-tailored reinsurance solutions to the insurance, risk retention group, captive and financial marketplaces.

Companies Law amended by Cayman

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

As a result of a consultation process, the Cayman Islands is to amend its Companies Law in order to enhance the competitiveness of its financial services industry.

When tabling the Companies Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011, McKeeva Bush, Cayman Premier and Finance Minister, highlighted that the expected benefits the jurisdiction’s local industry is to reap and noted that new opportunities for growth are predicted.

The Bill’s drafting was participated in by the Ministry of Finance, the Registrar of Companies, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).

Provisions of the Companies Law include the following:
– amendments to the Cayman Island’s merger provisions;
– updates to foreign company provisions;
– special resolutions permitting different thresholds for different matters;
– changes to treasury shares, share redemption and repurchase, and paperless share transfer;
– permitting company names in a foreign script;
– segregated Portfolio Companies (portfolio names, director’s liability, segregation of assets and termination of SPCs).

Bush said that the process by which these amendments were prepared reveals the government’s renewed partnership with the private sector, ”which has been instrumental in soliciting the views of industry and providing input into the drafting process”. He noted: “These amendments are the end result of an extensive consultation process, aimed at addressing client and market-driven issues that have arisen in practice. It is expected to increase the attractiveness of the Cayman Islands as a domicile for corporate entities and maintain our competitive edge”.