LAWYERS AND BILLABLE HOURS

What is wrong with this exactly?

You read everywhere that law firms (lawyers, advocates, attorneys) have to change. Lawyers are too conservative. They hold on to the past and are anything but innovative. As the economic climate deteriorates the call for change becomes increasingly stronger.

The system of “hourly rate billing” in particular has to take the rap. Lawyers are reproached for billing hours with a fork, not working efficiently and being too expensive. The system apparently has the wrong incentives, partly because it is difficult to check the actual number of hours spent efficiently.

Anyone who becomes aware of …
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16
Dec 2013
CATEGORY

Various

COMMENTS No Comments

CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF A CONTRACT

Based on error, fraud or undue influence

The validity of a contract can be challenged on various grounds, including error, fraud or undue influence. In the case to be discussed here a contract was entered into by an intermediary. Appellants in cassation (Van Eendenberg) were owners of the parcels on which a preferential right was established pursuant to the (Dutch) Municipalities (Preferential Rights) Act. In view of the sale of those parcels, in so far as municipalities should need them for house construction, they have entered into a brokerage agreement with Agromak BV.

Its director then acted as an intermediary …
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02
Dec 2013
CATEGORY

Legal

COMMENTS No Comments

ORCO BANK ACQUIRES LOAN PORTFOLIO MEESPIERSON

Spigt Dutch Caribbean legal counsel to purchaser

On 22 November 2013 Orco Bank acquired the loan portfolio of ABN AMRO Bank’s subsidiary MeesPierson in Curaçao. ABN AMRO decided earlier this year that for strategic reasons it would end its private banking business in Curaçao.

Martijn Welten and Dinesh Mishre of Spigt Dutch Caribbean assisted Orco Bank in this acquisition from initial negotiations, up to the obtaining of the permission of the Central Bank of Curaçao & Sint Maarten and finally the closing.

For more information you may contact Dinesh Mishre at dinesh.mishre@spigtdc.com or +599 9 4618700 ext …
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24
Nov 2013
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

ELECTRONIC MONEY INSTITUTIONS IN ARUBA

A license is required

The European Central Bank defines e-money as follows (a non-legal definition): “E-money can be defined as any amount of monetary value represented by a claim issued on a prepaid basis, stored in an electronic medium (for example, a card or computer) and accepted as a means of payment by undertakings other than the issuer, predominantly for small-value transactions (for example, the settlement of modest transactions over the Internet and of parking or telephone charges and payment for public transport services).” (Electronic Money Institutions. Current trends, regulatory issues and future prospects. Legal Working Paper Series, No. 7/2008).


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24
Oct 2013
CATEGORY

Finance

COMMENTS No Comments

ASSET PROTECTION IN CURACAO

Curaçao: a jurisdiction not to be missed

A Curaçao private foundation or a trust is often used for asset protection and privacy purposes. The Curaçao private foundation and the Curaçao trust must be set up by a notarial deed executed before a civil law notary in Curaçao. Both the private foundation and the trust are a very flexible solution for asset protection and privacy purposes. A private foundation, for instance, can be easily implemented in international holding structures through Curaçao and is very suitable for family asset protection. By means of a letter of wishes or provisions in the articles …
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20
Aug 2013
CATEGORY

Finance

COMMENTS No Comments

SEIZING ASSETS IN THE DUTCH CARIBBEAN

Court approval required, but freezing assets is rather easy

Under the laws of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba any party with a prima facie claim may file a petition for a court order granting an attachment, which petitions are generally granted, solely based on the allegations in the petition. Seizing assets of a another party may already be possible at a time when the claim (e.g. under an agreement or a guarantee) is not yet due, but where there is good reason to believe that, when it will become due, the other party will not honor …
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09
Aug 2013
CATEGORY

Legal

COMMENTS No Comments

THE CURACAO TRUST

Can be used as protected or segregated cell company

On 1 January 2012, new legislation entered into force according to which it is now possible to set up a trust (Curacao Trust) similar to the trust in Anglo-Saxon common law jurisdictions. The introduction of the Curacao Trust serves as an important instrument which could be used within financial transactions in the Caribbean as a significant part of these transactions are initiated from common law jurisdictions.

The Curacao Trust can be used for different purposes, such as, for example:

  • To set aside capital for children’s upbringing, education or maintenance
  • Estate planning

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    02
    Aug 2013
    CATEGORY

    Finance

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN CURACAO INSOLVENCY LAW (part 8)

    Final remarks

    The receiver can be faced with a multitude of conflicting interests. Often he will be able to reach a weighing of interests relatively quickly and without many problems, but sometimes he has to balance on a thin bankruptcy tightrope. In doing so the law offers him hardly any support and neither does case law due to it being strongly case-based, although there is the reassuring fact that from a liability point of view many of his decisions should ‘only’ be able to bear a limited review.

    However, the receiver personally being faced with a conflict of interest, which …
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    01
    Feb 2013
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN CURACAO INSOLVENCY LAW (part 7)

    Conflicting interests in connection with consolidated business operations

    When multiple companies of the same group go bankrupt, it can be of major importance for a creditor of one of these companies to know how the winding up is developing of one or more of the other companies. Particularly when a consolidated bankruptcy is involved, the creditors will have to be alert. In connection with a consolidated bankruptcy, there will in actual fact be one single joined estate. If this is the case, in the various bankruptcies one single joint creditors’ meeting must be held of which all the creditors of …
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    25
    Jan 2013
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN CURACAO INSOLVENCY LAW (part 6)

    Conflicting interests of different bankruptcy estates

    The management of different but associated bankruptcy estates can be entrusted to one and the same person who therefore is appointed several times as receiver. In this connection group relationships come to mind. It is true that in connection with different estates with one and the same person as receiver, companies not affiliated in a group also come to mind, but this will probably not often occur. Regularly, (members of) groups go bankrupt (for instance RSV, OGEM, DAF, Fokker, Infotheek Groep, Bredero, Text Lite, Mediasafe, Medicopharma, Palthe, Verto, Wyers, HCS, UPC, Van der Moolen, …
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    18
    Jan 2013
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN CURACAO INSOLVENCY LAW (part 5)

    Different types of interests

    A receiver cannot escape the weighing of interests. Such a weighing should be verifiable. The line of thought followed by the receiver should be clear. Particularly because, apart from his liability and remuneration, these being of a different order, he has no self-interest in the winding-up of the bankrupt estate, the receiver is the obvious person to weigh the interests. If required he can and will himself be assisted by an expert. In connection with bigger bankruptcies or when a business is continued, it is for instance sensible also to appoint as receivers one or more …
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    11
    Jan 2013
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN CURACAO INSOLVENCY LAW (part 4)

    The receiver and personal interests

    The duties of the receiver are to represent the interests of others. When his personal interests are affected he must observe extreme restraint and openness. If there is a conflict of interest or if a semblance of it has been created, he ought to withdraw as the receiver. The receiver is not allowed to sell goods forming part of the estate to himself, even if this would have been allowed by the supervisory judge (direct conflicting interest). Even bidding in a public auction he has organized is in my opinion not compatible with the independence …
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    04
    Jan 2013
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments