July 2015

Litigation Partner is ‘Millenials Week’ Speaker

One afternoon, Simone Fitzcharles received a call from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Young Arbitrator’s Forum to speak at a seminar for the ‘Millennials Week’ activities jointly hosted by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) and the ICC.  An enthusiastic speaker, she reorganised her calendar for late July and gladly accepted the invitation.

The event took place on Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at the British Colonial Hilton.

Simone’s presentation comprehensively covered issues relating to the arbitration of trust disputes.  In giving a synopsis of her views, she commented, “Trust arbitration offers myriad benefits, perhaps chiefly, the confidentiality of the process which also provides a level of security (that should not be underestimated) for persons involved in trust disputes.  However, the implementation of the process has been the subject of a multi-jurisdictional debate, in particular, on thorny issues such as proper representation and binding of parties (e.g. those under a disability), and compliance with the requirement to have a written agreement to arbitrate amongst the parties while recognising that a trust deed and trust relationship are not contractual in their essential nature.  The Bahamas has taken the legislative route, by an amendment to existing trust laws, to meet head-on and defeat these problems.  This was a brave and progressive move on the part of the legislature.  Although international enforceability of an award under the new regime has, for the time being, been thought speculative by some (until proven), the provisions certainly clear a path for arbitration and are meant to encourage its use in the Bahamas as a means of resolving trust disputes of an internal nature.”

Attendees at the event included the Honourable Hope Strachan, MP, Minister of Financial Services, members of the ICC and BFSB, members of the Young Arbitrator’s Forum (both local and international), persons trained and/or interested in arbitration and mediation, counsel and attorneys-at-law, and trust company managers, amongst others.