London lawyers can't take the heat in Bermuda

London lawyers posted to Bermuda to fight one of the highest profile court cases of the decade have admitted that they are fed up with life on the paradise island.

Norton Rose and Clifford Chance lawyers flew to Bermuda for the Thyssen trust case at the beginning of the year, expecting an imminent trial.

But now it looks like the case will not go to trial before September.

The case revolves around Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza's fight for control of his family's u1.2bn trust.

“Fun in the sun it certainly is not,” says Norton Rose partner Anthony Dutton.

Dutton moved to Bermuda with his young family at the beginning of the year. Not long after, his father-in-law died while Dutton, his wife and children were thousands of miles away.

Heat and humidity are causing office equipment to break and tempers to fray. He says the team has bonded as a result of the extraordinary conditions.

But there is no escape, says Dutton: “There is a hothouse atmosphere here. You live, breathe and sleep the case. It is what binds us all together and the topic of conversation at every single event.”

Norton Rose set up a Bermuda headquarters with counsel Nicholas Patten QC and Tom Leech of 9 Old Square working alongside Norton Rose partners Dutton and James Bagge and several assistants.

Dutton admits the collaboration is not a traditional one.

He says: “In the UK an office of barristers and solicitors working under the same roof is unheard of.”

Barrister David Stanley, employed by Norton Rose on a 12-month contract, who has been out in Bermuda for a month, says: “The delays are frustrating. We are fed up with that aspect.”