The Legal 500

British Virgin Islands

Editorial

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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