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Legal market overview
With the BVI maintaining its popularity as a jurisdiction for offshore holding structures, its legal market continues to welcome new entrants. In 2012, international offshore law firms Mourant Ozannes and Bedell Cristin launched BVI offices, while at the start of 2013 Carey Olsen, looking to strengthen its Caribbean offering to clients, arrived through an association with Hempel and Boyd. In October 2013, Hempel and Boyd rebranded, taking the Carey Olsen name in the jurisdiction.
Local firms are also expanding at international level. BVI firm O'Neal Webster - Barristers & Solicitors has launched a London office under Christopher McKenzie, who previously headed Walkers’ BVI private client team.
The Legal Profession Bill, introduced by BVI premier Orlando Smith in June 2012, is anticipated to come into effect shortly. It is welcomed by the local industry as it will regulate and protect BVI law practice; designed to maintain the reputation of the legal profession and to promote the island as a globally competitive financial services centre, it will also introduce a code of ethics for the BVI’s legal profession.
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This client briefing examines a number of issues which arise on the redemption of shares by an investor in a BVI investment fund which may lead to disputes between the investor, the fund, and other investors.
By Kerry Anderson
Click here -> onealwebster.asianinvestor.dec12 to read Kerry Anderson's co-published chapter featured in Asian Investor (December 2012) entitled 'Fast and Simple in the BVI - The British Virgin Islands have responded to regulatory changes by making fund and manager domiciling painless and efficient.
The attempt by Fairfield Sentry's liquidators to recover monies paid out to investors by way of redemption proceeds has been blocked by both the BVI High Court and now the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, both Courts finding that the liquidators have no ability to do so. Read more ...
The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has re-affirmed that a debt arising out of unpaid redemption proceeds does not confer standing on an investor to apply for the winding up of the company. Read more...
Fund investors and the fund industry globally should take note of the recent decision of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Appellate Division’s (the “Court of Appeal”) in Madoff related litigation. Essentially, the Court of Appeal found that monies could not be recovered from former investors by the liquidators of Fairfield Sentry Limited (“Fairfield”) a BVI investment fund and investor in Bernard L Madoff Investments Securities limited (“BLMIS”), where those investors had redeemed their shares for significant value before BLMIS collapsed.
The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2012 (the Amendment Act) and the BVI Business Company Regulations, 2012 (the Regulations) came into force on 15 October 2012. The new legislation is designed to refine and upgrade the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 (the Act) to ensure the British Virgin Islands (BVI) maintains its position as one of the leading corporate domiciles.
The British Virgin Islands ("BVI") is the world's leading offshore corporate domicile and is known for continuously refining its laws to accord with, and improve upon international standards whilst promoting a business oriented framework.
WHERE IS THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) is a British overseas territory situated to the east of Puerto Rico between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The country consists of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke and over fifty other smaller islands and cays clustered around the aquamarine waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
The much anticipated Trade Marks Bill (“the Bill”) was recently circulated to the industry for comments. The Bill, which when enacted will be known as the Trade Marks Act, 2012, promises to introduce much needed change to the trademark industry in the British Virgin Islands and place the jurisdiction in line with other modern jurisdictions.
Shortly after the signing of a USD 2.5 billion investment loan agreement, KGHM Polska Miedź announces the completion of another major financing project.
IKB Leasing GmbH (IKBL) has securitized a portfolio of lease receivables via German Mittelstand Equipment Financing SA (GMEF). The European Investment Bank (EIB) was one of the investors in the senior Class A Notes issued by GMEF.
Schoenherr, a leading law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Laakman Holding Limited on the increase of their participation in the listed fund company C-QUADRAT Investment AG from 9.4 % to 18.4 %. read more...
Zavadetskyi Advocates advised a US private equity fund regarding USD 110 million divestiture from Ukrainian commercial real estate project.
Vienna, 28 July 2014. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on acquiring Immobilien Holding GmbH, which until now was wholly owned by Immobilien Privatstiftung.
AstapovLawyers International Law Group has provided corporate tax consulting and legal advisory to the joint stock oil company Bashneft, one of the Russia's largest integrated oil companies, due to its contemplated expansion into new market in the Southeast Europe.
On 6 June 2014, draft primary legislation to provide the Jersey Financial Services Commission with the power to impose civil financial penalties for material contraventions of the Codes of Practice and the AML/CFT Handbook was published.- Ogier
On 24 July 2014, Wild Bunch S.A. and the listed Senator AG announced their intention to merge into a European independent film distribution company. Wild Bunch is an important player in the field of international film sales and electronic distribution with a Europe-wide network in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Senator AG is a German film productions and distribution company producing and distributing German and international movies since the 1970s.
Hengeler Mueller has successfully reached a temporary suspension of the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg against Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services. Uber may thus continue providing its services in Hamburg until further notice.