Law Firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne
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Financial Services

The financial services industry encompasses a broad range of organizations dealing with the management of money, e.g.  banks, insurers, trust funds, exchanges, asset managers and investment funds. Globally, the industry constitutes the largest group of companies in the world in terms of earnings and equity market cap.

In the Dutch Caribbean, we make a distinction between onshore work and offshore work.

Curacao in particular is recognized as one of the world’s leading offshore centers. The jurisdiction provides a favorable fiscal environment, a high-end infrastructure, highly qualified personnel, a strategic location, financial security and (legal) stability. As a result, the international financial services sector is, along with tourism, the most important pillar of our regional economy.

For decades, our work has included advising on the financing of mergers and acquisitions, project finance, and trade and export financing.

Our team prepares and advises on the required customized lending and security documentation, on legal and regulatory issues, and it assists foreign financial institutions in establishing offices in the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba.

Also, we advise on product development by financial institutions, and on questions relating to the securities trade, and the soon to be established Curacao Stock Exchange. Finally, the vast growth of the financial sector in the past ten to fifteen years has resulted in the creation of new international financial products.

The existing laws and regulations in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba cannot always be directly applied to these products. We regularly participate in legislative projects to align local laws with these developments. Of course, if the situation requires, we assist our clients in financial litigation. Finally, in 2009, we were appointed as administrators for Lehman Brothers’ regional entities.

We frequently assist local and international banks and (credit) institutions and many of the (regional) insurance companies. The trust sector plays a pivotal role in the regional economy and we are proud to be trusted advisor to many of these institutions. Of course, our industry knowledge is also utilized for our corporate clients.

In “The PLC Cross – Border Finance: Secured Lending Handbook”, our firm has been listed as a highly recommended law firm for the Netherlands Antilles in the area of finance, trusts and offshore, and partner Focco Lunsingh Scheurleer has been listed as the only recommended lawyer for the Netherlands Antilles in this area. Focco, who was a board member of the Curacao International Financial Services Association, leads this industry team. The team further contains Frank Kunneman, who serves as a non-executive director of one of the major regional financial institutions. Given the size of our practice, other partners and several associates focus on financial services industry.

Recently we have assisted:
  • A bank in litigation against a civil-law notary, the Land Register and the Island Territory of Curacao regarding responsibilities in the process of mortgage registration in Curacao
  • A bank in the financing of a multi million acquisition of an Aruban hotel
  • A branch of a major Dutch insurer in a sale and subsequent transition to independent operation
  • A foreign appointed trustee against the Netherlands Antilles Central Bank in its position as liquidator of an offshore bank on payment of deposits
  • ABN AMRO Bank and ABN AMRO Trust in the sale of the Curacao branches
  • AIB Bank and other lenders in 227 million florins financing of utility company W.E.B. Aruba
  • AIB Bank in 240 million florins financing for the renovation of the Horacio Oduber Hospital (HOH)
  • AIB Bank syndicate in the financing of the Ritz-Carlton Aruba Hotel
  • Aruba Growth Fund, a local 100 million florins investment fund focussing on Aruban companies with its foundation
  • As trustee in the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Securities N.V. in Curacao
  • As trustee in the bankruptcy of the call centre Talent Factory in Curacao
  • As trustee in the bankruptcy of the Coral Estate and Habitat Dive resort in Curacao
  • Banco Bilbao de Viscaja in refinancing of an Aruban hotel resort
  • Credit Suisse in the financing of various Dutch Caribbean hotel acquisitions
  • Delta Lloyd, the Dutch insurance company, on its sale of a mortgage portfolio to Arubabank
  • Dutch bank/Insurance company and local Insurance company on restructuring, reorganization and redundancy of personnel
  • Maduro & Curiel’s Bank in a dispute on charge backs from credit card payments in Curacao with the bankrupt Sunset Water Resort
  • National Investment Bank in a loan for utility company Elmar in Aruba
  • RBTT Bank in the refinancing of the Aruban Divi Hotel Group
  • Republic Bank in the USD 45.3mln acquisition of RBC Royal Bank in Suriname, which included an extensive due diligence including an onsite review and a data room review, legal review of bank forms, review and drafting of contracts and general legal advice.
  • Scotia Bank in the financing of the new Curacao Hyatt hotel project
  • Various clients in corporate related matters (including (re)structuring of corporate entities, shareholder disputes and finance/banking related matters)
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