23 December 2020News

BMA revokes licence of service provider after proprietor declared bankrupt

Bermuda’s regulator has revoked the licence of a corporate service provider on the island for serious breaches of its laws including the firm’s sole proprietor being declared bankrupt.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority has revoked the corporate service business provider Licence of Phoenix Law Chambers (PLC) for breaches of the Corporate Service Business Provider Act 2012 (CSPB Act).

Exercising its powers to revoke the licence pursuant to the provisions of Section 17 of the CSPB Act, the Authority was satisfied PLC was in breach of Schedule 1 of the CSPB Act in three key areas.

The first was that Gordon Ricky Woolridge Jr, as the sole proprietor of the firm, in addition to acting in the capacity as its compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer, was declared bankrupt by the Supreme Court of Bermuda on 1 May 2019.

The second breach was that the firm ceased to be registered with the Bermuda Bar Association as a legal practice and operated as a sole proprietorship.

Finally, thee regular said the firm had become non-compliant with the CSPB Act Schedule 1 and incapable of delivering CSP support.

The regulator stated: “The Authority is taking this action to safeguard the interests of clients and potential clients of PLC. It viewed the above breaches as serious because of their nature and extent, and because they demonstrated systemic weaknesses of PLC’s internal controls in all relevant respects.

“Based upon the findings of its investigation, the Authority no longer had confidence in PLC’s ability to manage its affairs to the benefit of its clients and potential clients or to satisfy the Minimum Criteria as set forth in the CSPB Act Schedule 1. The revocation of PLC’s Licence highlights the importance of the Authority’s role in protecting the reputation of the jurisdiction and protecting the interests of clients of the Authority’s regulated entities.”