Advanced Asset Protection Legislation for Antigua and Barbuda Drafted by Asset Protection Firm

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In an effort to enhance its position in the offshore financial services industry, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has retained the New York law firm of Rubinstein & Rubinstein, LLP to redraft its asset protection, trust and foundation laws.

Rubinstein has already submitted the Antigua International Trust Act, International Foundations Act, International LLC Act and Corporate Management and Trust Service Providers Act to the Antigua Ministries of Justice and Finance for presentation to the Parliament of Antigua. The newly drafted laws offer the world's most secure and confidential environment for international asset protection, wealth preservation and tax minimization. Upon the passage of these Acts, Antigua and Barbuda is expected to become the premier jurisdiction for international asset protection, wealth preservation and tax minimization.

In drafting the legislation, Rubinstein balanced regulation of trust and corporate service providers, with the need for confidentiality. On the one hand, Antiguan trustees and corporate service providers will be carefully regulated by the Government of Antigua, and will be insured and bonded, thus ensuring client security and protection. At the same time, trustees and corporate service providers will be prohibited from disclosing any information about trust, foundation or corporate activities and assets, except pursuant to treaty covering investigation of serious crimes. Thus, unlike in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and other once-confidential jurisdictions, Antigua will now offer supreme international confidentiality.

In addition, the new legislation makes it nearly impossible for foreign creditors to reach assets protected by Antigua trusts or companies. A creditor must first win a foreign judgment, then re-litigate his claim anew in Antigua and pay a fee to the Antigua court prior to commencing his action. Contingency fees are not permitted in Antigua. The new laws include very short statutes of limitations which only allow the creditor to file a claim within two years from his cause of action or one year from execution of the trust or foundation instrument. Finally, the new laws create an onerous standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt", which limits a creditor's ability to prove claims of fraudulent conveyance.

Most importantly, in the new laws Rubinstein has created strong protections against asset repatriation, along with anti-alienation/spendthrift provisions, which prevent foreign courts and creditors from reaching assets safeguarded in Antigua. Unlike any other jurisdiction, anti-duress provisions are explicitly built into the Antigua statutes, prohibiting an Antigua trustee from honoring any request made pursuant to foreign court order. Thus, explained Kenneth Rubinstein, author of the legislation, a person establishing an Antigua trust will have a defense of "impossibility" to any contempt citation which will not be "self-created." A foreign court will not succeed in repatriation of trust assets from Antigua. Moreover, the new laws do not recognize foreign marital rights or forced heirship rights, ensuring that only beneficiaries specifically designated by a client will inherit or otherwise receive assets.

The new laws are currently pending before the Antigua Parliament and are expected to be passed within the next few months. Once they are passed, according to Rubinstein, Antigua and Barbuda will offer the most complete asset protection and asset security in the world, surpassing the Cayman Islands, Nevis, the Cook Islands and all other offshore jurisdictions.

For more information, or for information on Asset Protection, visit

Kenneth Rubenstein, Esq.
Rubinstein & Rubinstein, LLP
(212) 888-6600


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