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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.
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.
Avellum Partners acted as the legal counsel to the owners of a leading Ukrainian FMCG producer in connection with its sale to a private investor.
KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced an investment in arago AG ("arago"). arago is a German-based high-tech company specialised in IT automation. KKR will acquire a minority stake in arago and support the global roll-out of arago's product portfolio with growth equity.
Funds Legal and Regulatory Update- Ogier
In early August 2014 „Popov & Partners" Law office was selected by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria to perform public procurement named „Research and analysis of existing systems for enforcement in the EU Member States, research and exchange of the European good practices related to the construction of electronic system/portal for enforcement". The research is in the framework of „Effective and transparent enforcement, integrated with national and European electronic legal systems" implemented with the grant of the Operational Programme „Administrative Capacity", co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund.
In the middle of July 2014 "Popov and Partners" law office was awarded a public procurement, announced by the Ministry of Finance, with subject matter "Analysis of the structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC) and development of an offer for structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Good Governance" (OPGG) in relation to the 2014-2020 programming period". The public procurement is part of a project for analysis of the structure of the Ministry of Finance and Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate, realized with the financial support of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC), co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The most fundamental aim of all project activities is to guarantee the effective execution of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate at the Ministry of Finance, in its capacity of Managing authority of the new Operational Programme "Good Governance" 2014 - 2020, which will replace Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" and Operational Programme "Technical Assistance", implemented during the past programming period.
The international media company Bertelsmann is increasing its ownership of Gruner + Jahr to 100 percent by acquiring Jahr Holding's 25.1 percent shareholding. The transaction was agreed among Gruner + Jahr's shareholders. Bertelsmann's acquisition of the remaining shares in Gruner + Jahr will become effective on November 1, 2014. The purchase price is being paid in cash, and the parties have agreed not to disclose the amount.
Hengeler Mueller advises LEG Immobilien AG on acquisition of portfolio of around 9,600 residential uA subsidiary of LEG Immobilien AG ("LEG"), acting as the buyer, and Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE ("Deutsche Annington"), acting as the seller, yesterday signed an agreement for a portfolio transaction for around 9,600 residential units and related employees in North Rhine-Westphalia by way of share deal. The total transaction volume amounts to €484m. Following antitrust approval, the closing of the transaction is expected by the end of October 2014.