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Legal market overview
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) recently experienced strong activity levels from well-established investment fund managers and the jurisdiction also saw a growing provision of financing to private equity funds, which resulted in a larger number of private equity fund launches. Meanwhile, in M&A, there was increased use in the BVI of court-approved schemes of arrangement, frequently for tax or regulatory reasons.
Significant legal market developments included Ogier's management buy-out of Ogier Fiduciary Services, further to which former dispute resolution head Michael Fay QC left to establish his own firm. Meanwhile, Ogier expanded its contentious practice in Asia, relocating BVI and Asia litigation head Ray Ng to Hong Kong from the BVI in July 2014.
In April 2014, Harney Westwood & Riegels expanded its global footprint with the opening of its seventh office, in Singapore, relocating banking and finance practice group head Colin Riegels from Hong Kong as the managing partner of the new office. Also of note, Cayman Islands-based law firm Campbells established an independent office in June 2013 in the BVI.
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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.
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 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.
Those who do business in the PRC have long recognised the benefits of doing so through a corporate structure which enables onshore operations but offshore ownership.- Ogier
In today’s financial environment, investor capital for a start-up fund can be hard to come by. Kerry Anderson, Partner of a leading offshore law firm in the British Virgin Islands explains both the initial and long term benefits to setting up your fund in the BVI
The current economic climate has forced many companies to consider their future and, for those able to survive, there has been significant impetus in cost saving and rationalising structures where possible. However, it is not only in the downturn that companies look to restructure. This process can also have a positive spin, especially where a company is seeking to structure acquisitions or expand into new areas of operation.- Ogier
Offshore companies have long been a popular option for businesses. However, the recent global financial crisis has led to several legislative attempts recently by governments globally, aiming to limit the benefits that are available to companies looking to take advantage of attractive features, such as favourable tax conditions, that such companies offer.
Danos & Associates law firm will take part in International BEST LEGAL Conference-2015 that will take place in Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus between September 27-29.The Conference will bring together lawyers, legal advisers, businessemen and other professionals from Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Armenia, Bulgaria and several other countries. The Conference is organised by Cypriot business magazine Successful Business.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advised Mercer, a part of the Marsh & McLennan Companies group, in the acquisition of SCM Strategic Capital Management AG (SCM). Completion of the transaction is inter alia subject to regulatory approvals. NKF is supporting the Mercer in-house legal team. Slaughter and May is advising on Hong Kong law and Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen on Luxembourg law matters.
On 18 December 2014, Apax and NJJ Capital SAS, Xavier Niel's private holding company, have agreed to sell mobile telecom operator Orange Communications SA for a total transaction value of CHF 2.8 billion (EUR 2.3 billion). The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval and expected to complete by the end of Q1 2015.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advised Knorr-Bremse AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, which is based in Munich and employs more than 24,000 people worldwide, in the acquisition of Selectron Systems AG, Lyss. Through this acquisition, Knorr-Bremse is expanding its portfolio to include components and solutions for the automation of rail vehicles.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advises Sherpa Asset Management AG, providing asset management services to wealthy individuals, foundations, family offices and other institutions, in connection with its successful authorization by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA as asset manager of collective investment schemes.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advises Quantica Capital AG, an asset management company focused on quantitative investment strategies, in connection with its successful authorization by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA as asset manager of collective investment schemes. As of today, Niederer Kraft & Frey has a proven track record of – alone under the revised CISA – 10 successful FINMA authorizations of CISA asset managers including, among others, Twelve Capital AG, BWM AG, Parsumo Capital AG, JMA Jürg Maurer Asset Management AG and MainFirst Schweiz AG.
Shortly before Builder’s Day, Moscow hosted a major conference that covered broad business issues concerning the construction industry’s development in modern conditions, with VEGAS LEX actively participating in the event.
Schoenherr advised EVO Payments International (EVO) on the launch of a strategic alliance with Raiffeisenbank a.s. in the Czech Republic in the segment of payment card acceptance. read more...
Kim & Chang has been named as the ‘Best Asian Law Firm 2015: Gold Award’ by the International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards 2015 for two consecutive years.
Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. announced the sale of its banking subsidiary BSI SA to Banco BTG Pactual S.A. for CHF 1.5 billion. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.