Legal Market Overview
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has a balanced economy underpinned by a thriving tourism sector and a dynamic international business and finance centre, the latter of which employs 2,200 people directly and supports a further 3,000 jobs in the territory. In addition, approximately 500,000 foreign businesses are incorporated in the BVI and approximately 40% of all offshore companies in the world are BVI registered.
As a leading offshore financial centre, the territory maintains innovative and modern statutes dealing primarily with company, banking, trust, insolvency and insurance laws. A large number of firms in the region have, since early 2021, seen an uptick in insolvency proceedings, M&A deals, work involving digital assets and cryptocurrencies, as well as matters concerning closed-end funds and incubator funds.
After a particularly hectic 2020, regulatory and legislative changes have continued apace. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act 2020 (ECSC (Amendment) Act) came into force in January 2021, which meant applications for interim relief in support of foreign proceedings were put on a statutory footing; economic substance requirements were extended to include limited partnerships without a legal personality; and the landmark Data Protection Act 2021 came into force in July 2021, birthing a new data protection regime that provides a comprehensive framework for the protection of personal data which aims to meet UK and EU standards of data protection.