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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.
If over the course of its history a company was split up, advertising featuring the company’s history may be misleading. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) in a recent ruling (6 U 167/14).
On average, male employees are paid more than female employees. In 2015, men working full-time were paid approximately 9.4% more than women working full-time. As a result, the government is working to introduce measures with the aim of reducing this gap.
It has been announced last week that the European Commission (EC) has published a report on the EU crowdfunding sector, as part of its Capital Markets Union Action Plan. In doing so, the EC has recognised the growing importance of crowdfunding platforms – websites that allow fundraisers to interact with investors and donors – for the improved economic growth and job creation in Europe. Despite being acknowledged as relatively small at this moment in time, its rapid development has been noted, and for that reason, efforts are being made for crowdfunding to be appropriately regulated en route to becoming one of the key sources of financing for small & medium sized enterprises in the future.
Pitmans LLP has acted on behalf of its longstanding client, Westcoast (Holdings) Limited on its acquisition of Art Systems Holdings Limited.
One of the biggest news reports in the region last week was the acquisition of Porto Montenegro , the luxury yacht marina located in Tivat, by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The marina was handed over to the new owners during a press conference at the Regent Hotel, where the accompanying protocol was signed by ICD's Executive Director, Sheikh Mohammed Al Shaibani, and the CEO of the marina's previous owner – Adriatic Marinas, Oliver Corlette. The conference was also attended by the Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, and the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Branimir Gvozdenović.
The Department of Justice has issued a practice direction in connection with the new insolvency express trials pilot.
Following last year’s autumn statement, HMRC has now published draft legislation which introduces the proposed new apprenticeship levy. The levy will have effect from 6 April 2017.
https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2016/04/28/Competition-Commission-Joins-Forces-with-tAnother piece of news related to our competition team in Serbia are the recent signings of a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement of Cooperation in the field of forensics between the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).
The Sarajevo Business Forum 2016 (SBF) was, among hosting a number of lectures and discussions, a platform for one of the largest post-war investments in the energy sector in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH). The reason for this can be found in the latest reports that an agreement was reached for the EUR 722 million construction of Thermal Power Plant Tuzla's Block 7 between Elektroprivreda BiH and the China Gezhouba Group Corporation , with the official MoU signing taking place on the first day of the SBF 2016. The project financier for the deal in question will be the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM), and the repayment period – together with a five-year grace period, is reported to be 15 years.
Karanović & Nikolić attorneys were among the guests at the Republic of Serbia's Commission for the Protection of Competition's 10 year anniversary celebration, which also included an international conference on the topic of the law and policy of competition protection. The conference was opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Dr Kori Udovički, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr Miloje Obradović, President of the National Assembly's Committee for Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, Dr Aleksandra Tomić, and European Union Delegate, Steffen Hudolin.