THE SELLING OF SHARES BY A CURACAO COMPANY

Answers to foreign counsel queries

A Curaçao company (NV or BV) may have assets, both local and foreign. Not seldom such a company wants to sell all or a portion of its assets. If foreign assets or a foreign buyer is involved, foreign counsel always asks questions about the laws of Curaçao. Several of those questions will be dealt with here. Let’s assume that a Curaçao company wants to sell its shares in a Dutch BV.

The Curaçao NV or BV may sell some or all of its shares in the Dutch BV. It is customary that board minutes or …
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05
Aug 2016
CATEGORY

Corporate

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CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2016 LEGAL RANKINGS RELEASED

Karel Frielink ranked Band 1 again

Once again I have been selected as a ranked lawyer in Chambers Global 2016 identifying me as one of the best lawyers in the Dutch Caribbean (click here).

The Chambers Guides have been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now cover 185 jurisdictions throughout the world. Chambers ranks lawyers and law firms on several factors and considerations, all of which are investigated by their large team of more than 140 researchers. Today, Chambers and Partners released the 2016 edition, also covering the Dutch Caribbean.

Individual lawyers are …
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17
Mar 2016
CATEGORY

Legal

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THE DUTY OF CARE OF BANKS

Banks are under the obligation to exercise due care

In the Dutch Caribbean, no separately defined body of law exists with regard to the relationship between a (commercial) bank and its customer. The standard general terms and conditions applied by banks in the Dutch Caribbean have an important function in the legal relationship between banks and their customers. They enter into effect once explicitly or implicitly accepted by the customer.

According to most general conditions “the bank shall exercise due care on rendering its services. In doing so the bank shall reckon to the best of its ability with the client’s interests, …
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21
Nov 2015
CATEGORY

Finance

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ATTACHMENTS UNDER THE LAWS OF CURACAO (part II)

Defendant has to show that the claim is invalid

Article 705, Paragraph 2 of the Curaçao Code of Civil Procedure states that the lifting of an attachment may be ordered if it appears summarily that the claim is invalid.

According to existing case law of the Dutch Supreme Court (see for instance Supreme Court dd June 14, 1996, NJ (Dutch Law Reports) 1997, 481), this means that the plaintiff (i.e. the party requesting the attachment be lifted in summary proceedings), with due regard for the limitations of summary proceedings, should establish a prima facie case (aannemelijk maken) that the alleged …
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07
Oct 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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ATTACHMENTS UNDER THE LAWS OF CURACAO (part I)

Freezing assets is rather easy

Under Curaçao law 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. It is not required, under Curaçao law, that the litigant needs to demonstrate that, in absence of an attachment, there is a risk that the defendant would have insufficient assets to pay a judgment, as a threat of evading a judgment (by moving assets etc.) does exist.

Only with respect to some types of assets, such as registered shares and other …
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29
Sep 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS IN CURACAO

Differences with the United States

Curaçao civil proceedings differ substantially from those in the United States. In Curaçao there are, for instance, no juries. In principle, legal proceedings are basically conducted in writing. Oral pleadings are customary in preliminary relief proceedings, but optional in proceedings on the merits. Discovery proceedings like those in the United States do not exist. Pre-trial motions similar to those in the United States do not exist in Curaçao either. There are, however, so-called incidents or ancillary proceedings in Curaçao.

An ancillary proceeding may be a separate procedural step or an ancillary step within the framework …
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18
Aug 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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BZSE ADVOCATEN CURACAO

Ondernemingsrecht en financieel recht

BZSE Advocaten en Belastingadviseurs heeft vestigingen in St. Maarten en Curaçao. Het werkterrein van het kantoor omvat echter ook Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius en Saba.

In het kantoor te St. Maarten werken vijf partners en in het kantoor Curaçao twee. De Curaçaose partners zijn Karel Frielink en Jaap Maris. Karel is ruim 25 jaar advocaat; Jaap zo’n 10 jaar, maar hij heeft daarnaast 5 jaar ervaring als senior legal counsel bij een grote bank-verzekeraar.

De belangrijkste rechtsgebieden waarop de partners in Curaçao werkzaam zijn: ondernemingsrecht, handelsrecht en financieel recht. De nadruk ligt op adviseren en (her)structureren, …
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05
Aug 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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OPGESTAAN IS PLAATS VERGAAN

De nagetrokken en verlaten palapa

U heeft in Aruba een watersportbedrijf met een vergunning en voor het uitoefenen van uw activiteiten heeft u een standplaats toegewezen gekregen op het strand bij een hotel. U plaatst een paar palapa’s op het strand: u weet wel, zo’n doorgaans houten paal met een bladerdak tegen de zon. Een tropische parasol. Uiteraard heeft u uw palapa’s stevig in de grond verankerd.*

Palapa-ArubaU ziet dat er allerlei strandgasten die niet deelnemen aan uw activiteiten, gebruik maken van het strand, maar vooral de schaduw van uw palapa’s …
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05
Jun 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES AND GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Speech by Karel Frielink at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association

Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to thank the Curaçao Ombudsman, Alba Martijn, for inviting me to speak at this conference. Unfortunately, she will leave office in about a month. She did an excellent job, and her professionalism, dedication and impartiality leave a lasting legacy. Thank you Alba!

I have only half an hour, so I won’t travel back in time to the early days of mankind. I just start with Plato (427 – 347 B.C.E.). You may have heard of this philosopher. …
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26
May 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

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LAWYERS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A lawyer must be independent

A lawyer (attorney at law) is expected to be independent. This independence involves an attitude: this is the lawyer’s disposition toward his client but also toward the court and in actual fact toward any other party involved. He ought to represent the interests of his client and not be led by his own interests. Neither is he allowed to represent the interests of others if they conflict with the interest of his client.

In the (Curaçao) Code of Conduct for Lawyers this starting point is described as follows: “The lawyer shall not undertake to represent …
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01
May 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

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SUPREME COURT U-TURN

The bankruptcy of a general partnership (‘VOF’) does not automatically mean the bankruptcy of its partners

For many decades the rule had to be adhered to that the bankruptcy of a general partnership (vennootschap onder firma: ‘VOF’) also meant the bankruptcy of the individual partners (Supreme Court 14 April 1927, NJ 1927, page 725).

However, in a ruling of 6 February 2015 the Supreme Court made a U-turn and held that there is no (or no longer) any justification for this connection (ECLI:NL:HR:2015:251). The Supreme Court has justified its new position as follows:

3.4.1 A VOF has no corporate personality. …
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16
Apr 2015
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Corporate

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AANSPRAKELIJKHEID TRUSTBESTUURDER

Geen verlicht aansprakelijkheidsregime

De Landsverordening toezicht trustwezen zegt niets over de aansprakelijkheid van trustkantoren of vertegenwoordigers daarvan die als statutair bestuurder van een rechtspersoon (bijvoorbeeld een NV, BV of stichting) optreden. De vraag is of deze aansprakelijkheid door de gebruikelijke regels op dit vlak wordt beheerst. Omdat het trustkantoor als bestuurder van een rechtspersoon doorgaans een andere rol vervult dan een bestuurder die – zelfstandig – strategische beslissingen neemt, rijst de vraag of voor een trustkantoor mogelijk een lichter aansprakelijkheidsregime geldt.

Recent heeft het Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie een vonnis gewezen naar het recht van St. Maarten waar het betreft …
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16
Mar 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

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