Burns to receive Fred Reiss award at upcoming captive conference


Bermudian corporate lawyer Michael Burns has been selected as the winner of the second Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented at this autumn’s Bermuda Captive Conference on September 10–13.

Burns, a former senior partner, executive board member and global group general counsel of Appleby, now runs his own consultancy, advising clients on local and international business matters. Notably, he has also led several corporate law reform initiatives on behalf of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association (BIMA) and the captive sector.

Examples include his work with Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance and Attorney General’s Chambers to develop and implement the Segregated Accounts Companies Act 2000 and its subsequent amendment, as well as development of the new Incorporated Segregated Accounts Companies (ISAC) Act 2017, currently being prepared for Parliament.

“Michael has made a very impressive contribution to Bermuda’s corporate landscape over many years,” said conference chair David Gibbons. “In particular, the Lifetime Achievement Award highlights the innovative work he has carried out to forge progressive change to benefit our captive insurance industry and Bermuda’s whole marketplace for years to come.”

“I’m humbled and delighted to have been selected to receive this award from the Bermuda Captive Conference,” said Burns, who formed the Aquifer Global Group in 2015. “The Bermuda market’s forward momentum is the product of collective effort and collaboration among many of our industry fellows and partners. I am pleased to accept the award on behalf of all those—captive managers, clients and colleagues among them—upon whose efforts, creativity and continued collaboration the future of the vital captive sector depends.”

Burns has extensive international offshore experience, having served as managing partner of Appleby and managing director of Appleby Corporate Services in the British Virgin Islands, as well as in a variety of senior legal counselling, consulting, governance and strategic-development roles. He has helped establish new offices and start-up businesses in various jurisdictions, advising on special projects in the Caribbean and Bermuda, the Middle East, Far East, Mediterranean, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius and Seychelles.

He served as secretary to the former Bermuda International Business Association Legislative Change Committee; assisted international offshore law firm Harney Westwood & Riegels in its 2015 Bermuda start-up; has been a senior legal consultant to the Argus Group and several Channel Island professional services firms; was retained to guide the formation and development of a new international business centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Banking Liaison Panel of Bermuda’s Minister of Finance.

Michael Burns, Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award, Bermuda Captive Conference, Bermuda

Bermuda Re