Jurisdiction: Bermuda

Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP Announce Merger

The law firms of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP today announced that they will merge on October 1, 2011 (you can read the press release here).   The new firm, with 13 offices and 650 lawyers, will be known as Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. 

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Bermuda: Government Announces Plans for Tax Assurance Extension

The Bermuda government, under the new leadership of Paula Cox, intends to adopt legislation in 2011 that will extend assurances granted to exempted companies under the Exempted Undertakings (Tax Protection) Act 1966 (“The Act”).  The plan was mentioned by Bermuda’s Governor in his November Throne Speech, which set out the government’s agenda for 2011. 

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Bermuda Signs Tax Information Exchange Agreement with China

On December 2 2010, Bermuda signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (“TIEA”) with the People’s Republic of China in an effort to strengthen the economic and political ties between the two countries.  Both Bermuda and China served as co vice-chairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and the TIEA established between the two countries is based on the OECD’s principles of transparency and cooperation. 

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The Bermuda Monetary Authority Publishes Regulatory Update for October 2010

In its quarterly Regulatory Update, released October 21, 2010, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”) summarizes its latest initiatives and proposals for the island’s insurance industry.  A consultation paper titled, “A Solvency Framework for Long-Term Insurance,” proposes assigning Long-Term insurers to captive and commercial classes in order to enhance reporting and solvency standards. 

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Massachusetts Amends Laws to Permit Alien Surplus Lines Insurers

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance (“MDOI”) recently amended its surplus lines laws to allow for the approval of alien unauthorized insurers in the state. Previously, Massachusetts required that alien surplus lines insurers maintain a trusteed surplus in the US of $20 million and file financial information on an annual basis following US accounting principles which effectively made obtaining surplus lines eligibility in the state prohibitive for alien insurers. 

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