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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.
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.
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.
Ekaterina Ilina, an associate of DS Law.Attorneys, was ranked in Top-4 of the leading associates in St. Petersburg according to the rating of the newspaper “Delovou Peterburg” in the nomination 'Associate of Winter Season 2014/15'.- DS Law
Ogier is leading offshore adviser to European IPOs
Growth in BVI Approved Manager licences in 2014
Ogier shortlisted as Law Firm of the Year, EMEA, in Citywealth Magic Circle Awards 2015
The CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre Africa team advised the Amethis Finance investment fund and Moroccan group Label’Vie on the acquisition of a stake in Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d’Ivoire (CDCI), the number two in food distribution in Côte d’Ivoire, with 127 shops around the country.- CMS
On March 16, 2015 the Regional Court in Warsaw in a case brought by Konrad Kornatowski (the former Police Commander in Chief) against Jan Rokita (a well-known Polish politician, the former member of the Polish Parliament) for payment of PLN 100,000 as compensation, dismissed the action in full and awarded against the Plaintiff to the benefit of the Defendant the amount of PLN 3,617 as reimbursement of costs of the proceedings.
The international Chambers Global 2015 rankings have again hailed the Tax Practice of Pepeliaev Group and its Managing Partner Sergey Pepeliaev the best in Russia in tax litigation (band 1 and Star Individuals).
A delegation from Pepeliaev Group recently made a business visit to London. During the trip, the firm's lawyers took part in seminars organised jointly with leading British law firms.