Corporate International Magazine Speaks with Partner Tanya Hanna

January 9, 2014

Tanya Hanna, Graham Thompson partner, noted: “A variety of complexities typically arise in cross-border corporate law issues. These complexities relate to the need for careful and efficient tax and estate planning, having special regard to the laws and fiscal regimes that are applicable in those onshore jurisdictions where clients are domiciled or reside. Our firm works closely with legal counsel in these other jurisdictions in order to ensure that the most appropriate solutions to these issues are identified and implemented.”

Since the financial crises in 2008, there has been an increase in bank and trust company consolidations, as well as attendant restructurings. This has resulted in a host of complex legal issues being raised. Also, the need for regulatory advice and advice on interaction with governmental authorities has increased.

Ms Hanna added: “In recent times, I have advised a European bank and trust company on queries raised in connection with the proposed restructure of that entity to ensure enhanced compliance with evolving international regulatory and compliance regimes. In addition, there has been a significant increase in corporate work associated with the formation of SMART funds and other investment funds.

“The foregoing practice areas have become more active in recent months because of the increased need for financial institutions and private clients alike to find more efficient and adaptable vehicles for the holding, management and investment of institutional and private wealth.”

Regarding new legislation, the International Business Companies Act, 2011, has been amended to require that financial information be maintained at the registered office of the company that would, inter alia, correctly explain all transactions and enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy at any time. This amendment was driven by international pressure aimed at ensuring that financial information would be available for inspection if an appropriate request was made.

In 2012, the Companies (winding up amendment) Act and the International Business Companies (winding up amendment) Act were enacted with a view to modernising and rationalising the corporate insolvency law of The Bahamas, which had remained largely untouched for most of the twentieth century.

Ms Hanna commented: “In the area of cross-border insolvency involving multinational companies, the new winding up rules provide greater clarity and useful mechanisms for the recognition and regulation of ancillary windings up. This will be particularly attractive to liquidators of foreign companies with Bahamian subsidiaries or affiliates in a group that is undergoing liquidation. Professionally speaking, there is likely to be an increase in this area of corporate and litigation practice.