O'Neal Webster > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > Firm Profile

O'Neal Webster
British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands > Trusts/private client Tier 2

O’Neal Webster’s BVI trusts and estates team is proficient at advising clients on the creation, administration, restructuring and termination of trusts, in addition to strength in probate planning issues and disputes surrounding succession matters. Located in London, Christopher McKenzie was the founding chair of the BVI branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, which is currently chaired by the firm’s managing partner Vanessa King , who provides crucial leadership and assistance on matters.

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‘O’Neal Webster is a great mix of a “boutique” and “family” office as they provide a unique offering as well as the everyday run-of-the-mill services. Whether you are a HNW client or a new entrepreneur seeking assistance for your startup, their offerings cater to both and the service level is the same. Quite a number of the “global” offices in the BVI do not have as wide a catering and their focus is narrower.’

‘Each attorney is quite knowledgeable regarding their area of practice. They have availed themselves to answer any questions and concerns without formal engagement. I have found their experience in matters to be vast despite the fact that they are a small firm. I have yet to encounter an attorney as knowledgeable as Chris McKenzie on trust structures and formations.’

Their trust lawyers have real depth to their trust practice and are amazingly good at matters with international clients. Moreover, they continuously share their knowledge with their clients and peers regarding new legislation and new court precedents which may influence their clients’ trust practice.’

Christopher McKenzie is a leader in trust practice and has been an active member in the drafting of BVI trust legislation since 2003.’

British Virgin Islands > Corporate and commercial Tier 3

Spearheaded by managing partner Vanessa King , the ‘really agile’ offering at O’Neal Webster has a proven track record in the full spectrum of corporate and commercial law matters. In particular, the team is instructed by international and domestic corporations and funds on complex restructurings, corporate governance issues, M&A transactions, regulatory approvals and general commercial and corporate issues emanating from both contentious and finance mandates. Christopher Simpson and former managing partner Kerry Anderson, who leads the firm’s New York office, are further practitioners of note.

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‘This team is really agile and understands expectations really well.’

‘Very prompt in responding, understands the transaction really well, can come up with alternatives very quickly and very agile.’

‘The Team is very thorough when dealing with legal matters and very knowledgeable to advise on many areas of law. They also understands their clients needs and are willing and able to respond in a timely manner.’

‘Produces excellent work, knowledgeable, timely in response, track record of successes.’

Key clients

Alphabet, Inc.

Assurant, Inc.

Bashar Soft

Butterfield Group

BVI Electricity Corporation

Cricket West Indies Inc

Duan & Duan


Gedeon Richter

NXP Semiconductors

Partners for Growth



Weil, Gotshall & Manges

White & Case

Work highlights

  • Advising British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) on renewable energy power purchase agreements and energy laws and regulations in the Territory, in addition to assisting on related contracts involving financing and construction.
  • Advising Cricket West Indies, Inc. on governance reform and restructuring matters aimed at modernising the organisation as a part of larger efforts to reform the Caribbean Premier League.

British Virgin Islands > Dispute resolution Tier 4

O’Neal Webster excels in high-value domestic BVI disputes, and also acts in cases concerning entities from the wider Caribbean region. Noted for its ‘self-restraint and patience’ in litigation, the group is spearheaded by the vastly experienced Paul Dennis QC. The main areas of strength are complex liquidations, shareholder litigation, bearer share disputes and matters involving issues of fraud. Dan Wise specialises in asset recovery matters and fraud issues, whereas the practice of Nadine Whyte  fuses commercial litigation and insolvency knowledge with experience in probate litigation.

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‘The team is professional and experienced. The most impressive is their self-restraint and patience, they do not allow emotions to prevail over the sound sense.’

‘I would say about the team on the whole: the right people in the right place.’

The lawyers at O´Neal are absolute all-stars of the dispute resolution field. Their lawyers never disappoint, and they aim to find a solution to give their clients absolute confidence that they will find the best suitable solution for any of your legal problems.’

Paul Dennis QC’s expertise cannot be described in one paragraph. One could write several pages trying to convey to the reader of this message how valuable his expertise in court is to his clients. He is impressive in his versatility and gives you immediate assurance as to where to start and how it will end. He manages serious commercial litigation as it if were a business endeavour which should not worry you, the client, but just him.’

‘I would like to note that Dan Wise, in particular, proved to be very effective in the context of cooperation in a complex case. His approach was highly pragmatic and commercial.’

Key clients

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

Kalo (BVI) Limited


Vision en Analisis and Estrategia SA

Work highlights

  • Mounted a successful defence in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and conservators in a claim of over $2m brought by depositors of two Anguillian offshore banks.
  • Acting for Kalo (BVI) Limited in an attempt to enforce an interim arbitral award of approximately $4bn.
  • Acting for Ukrainian clients seeking to recover control of Gravendonck, a BVI company, which owns land in the UAE.

The firm

The roots of O’Neal Webster date back to 1989. The firm was founded by Paul Webster QC, Colin O’Neal and Barbara O’Neal, who were all associates in law firms in the British Virgin Islands. Their commitment to delivering a high level of legal service with a commitment to clients and the community, led them to form the partnership of O’Neal Webster O’Neal. In 1993, a strategic alliance was formed with leading Caribbean law firm Myers Fletcher & Gordon of Kingston, Jamaica, to establish and develop what is now one of the leading commercial law firms in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), one of the most important offshore financial services centres in the world.

O’Neal Webster has grown with the BVI and has become established as a firm that is recognised globally for its expertise in all aspects of BVI corporate and commercial law as well as litigation. The proficiency and knowledge of the firm’s attorneys are well regarded and they are to be found on several bodies within the BVI community contributing to the review and implementation of change to BVI legislation. The firm’s barristers have distinguished themselves at every level of the judicial system in the BVI, the Caribbean and at the Privy Council in London. In addition to its legal services, the firm, through an associated business, offers the facilities of company formation, fiduciary and private client services.

Areas of practice

Banking and finance: the firm has extensive experience in advising on international and local banking transactions and is listed as the BVI firm of choice on legal panels of many international banks.

Corporate and commercial: the firm frequently advises on all aspects of BVI corporate and commercial law including stock exchange listings, BVI startups, partnerships, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring.

Intellectual property: the firm has gained a very good reputation as a trademark agent for numerous clients worldwide in handling major transactions involving acquisitions of large trademark portfolios in chain of title.

Investment funds and regulatory: the firm offers efficient, practical and cost-effective advice on the formation and management of various types of BVI funds and the structuring and restructuring of BVI funds.

Litigation: the firm’s attorneys have earned a reputation for excellence in complex commercial disputes including insolvency and restructuring by combining creative innovative legal strategies with dedication.

Trusts and estates: the firm provides practical commercial advice on all aspects of BVI trust law and trust disputes to trustees (individuals and corporations) and beneficiaries alike on many issues such as wealth protection, probate planning and trust creation.

Restructuring and insolvency: the firm’s expertise covers a gamut of insolvency-related issues including advising directors and investors in distressed funds, debt restructuring and reschedulings, schemes of arrangements, cross-border insolvency, cross border tracing and recovery action, liquidation of fund and other corporate entities, appointment and removal of liquidators and receivers, and appointment and removal of corporate trustees.

Property and business: With over 20 years of BVI practice, the firm has developed remarkable and recognised expertise in advising a wide range of clients, both domestic and international in all types of BVI property and business transactions.

Shipping and aircraft: the firm offers the full range of services required to secure the registration of vessels and aircraft in the BVI and advises on all matters relating to the acquisition, financing, operation and transfer of vessels and aircraft in the BVI.

Number of lawyers : 12
at this office : 11
Lex Mundi
World Services Group

O’Neal Webster’s clients come from across the globe. They rely on us to navigate, evaluate, and advise on a wide range of legal issues. We provide the same high-quality service to our clients, regardless of national origin, age, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity.

To deliver exceptional client service, we have always prioritized attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of talented people whose experiences and perspectives drive innovation across our firm. We support women at all career levels, providing leadership opportunities and a working environment where caregivers of all genders have support and flexibility. Our workforce comprises persons of varying ethnicities from seven different nationalities. We rely on the varied outlooks and approaches that individuals of many backgrounds bring, which generates innovative, bespoke solutions for clients.

Diversity and inclusion are not only principles we value; it’s part of who we are.