Harney Westwood & Riegels

Craigmuir Chambers PO Box 71
Road Town, Tortola VG1110, British Virgin Islands

  • +1 284 494 2233
  • +1 284 494 3547

The BVI Commercial Court – interfacing with arbitration

Recent decisions in the BVI Commercial Court have shaped the applicability and enforcement of arbitration clauses and, notably, how they interface with BVI statutory remedies and liquidations. Standing to…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, International Arbitration

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A Guide to the Cyprus Holding Company Regime

Why set up a holding company? In essence, holding companies are set up as an effective means of consolidating ownership of operating subsidiaries. Deciding where to set up a holding company is not always a tax driven exercise,…more

IRC, Offshore Companies, Subsidiaries

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BVI signs TIEA with Canada

As evidence of its continued commitment to transparency in the financial services industry and its compliance with international standards, the British Virgin Islands executed a much anticipated Tax Information Exchange…more

Business Taxes, BVI Business Companies, Canada, TIEA

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The Cayman Islands and AIFMD: Ready for Business

The Cayman Islands remain the world’s largest domicile of offshore investment funds and a leading international finance jurisdiction known for effective regulation and products which are flexible and relevant. With the…more

AIFMD, Alternative Investment Funds, Deadlines, EU

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The Mergers & Acquisitions Review - Sixth Edition: Chapter 13: British Virgin Islands

I OVERVIEW OF M&A ACTIVITY - Given the international financial climate, it is perhaps unsurprising that the past 12 months have seen unpredictable deal flows involving British Virgin Islands (‘BVI’) companies, with spikes…more

BVI Business Companies, Chapter 13, Enforcement, EU, International Arbitration

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Guide to the British Virgin Islands Approved Manager Regime

This guide provides an overview of the British Virgin Islands’ Approved Manager regime. The regime came into effect on 10 December 2012 with the Investment Business (Approved Managers) Regulations, 2012 (the “Regulations”) and…more

Approved Managers, Foreign Bank Accounts, Fund Managers, Offshore Banks, Offshore Funds

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BVI Case Notes, July 2013

Below is a summary of recent cases out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Commercial Court, compiled by Harneys’ Litigation team…more

Foreign Banks, Insolvency, Unjust Enrichment

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Cayman Liquidation Committees – What Prospective Members Need to Know

In this guide Harneys considers the role and function of a liquidation committee appointed under the Cayman Islands’ Companies Winding Up Rules. A vital component in the liquidation of a Cayman Islands company is the…more

Liquidation, Offshore Companies, Oversight Committee, Wind-Up Process

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Guide for Hong Kong Clients on Obtaining BVI Grants of Probate

Because BVI companies are widely used in Hong Kong for various purposes, it important for clients to understand the nuances and intricacies of obtaining grants of probate and administration in the BVI. Contrary to popular…more

Beneficiaries, BVI Business Companies, Hong Kong, Offshore Funds, Probate

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Game-changer: Harneys opens door to foreign enforcement actions in the BVI

Harneys has successfully brought an action that changes the law relating to the access of the BVI Courts to enforce a foreign judgment. The Court of Appeal victory was quickly followed by a change in the civil procedure rules to…more

Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Foreign Judgments, Foreign Jurisdictions

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BVI signs TIEA with Canada

As evidence of its continued commitment to transparency in the financial services industry and its compliance with international standards, the British Virgin Islands executed a much anticipated Tax Information Exchange…more

Business Taxes, BVI Business Companies, Canada, TIEA

See All Updates »

Privy Council rules on Fairfield

On 16 April 2014, the Privy Council ruled in the claims brought by the liquidators of Fairfield, one of the largest feeder funds into Bernard Madoff’s investment company. The BVI Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean…more

Bernie Madoff, Fraud, Ponzi Scheme

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BVI's National Risk Assessment scheduled

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is scheduled to undergo its Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluation by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in 2017 based on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) International…more

Anti-Money Laundering, FATF, Risk Assessment

See All Updates »

Cayman Revises the Exempted Limited Partnership Law

On 2 July 2014 the Cayman Islands government passed into law substantial revisions to its exempted limited partnership legislation in the form of the Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law). The exempted…more

Exempted Limited Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Private Equity, Venture Capital

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BVI court ruling highlights potential risk in some standard form M&As

On 19 March 2014 the Commercial Court handed down its ruling in C v W Inc (BVIHC (Com) 2013/149). In that case a shareholder holding more than 30 per cent of the company’s shares tried to exercise its power to requisition a…more

Business Companies Act, BVI Business Companies, Shareholder Litigation, Shareholders

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New regulations extend BVI’s Approved Manager regime to qualifying funds from recognised jurisdictions

The British Virgin Islands introduced a ‘regulation light’ regime for investment managers on 10 December 2012 when the Investment Business (Approved Manager) Regulations 2012 (Old Regulations) came into force. During its first…more

BVI Business Companies, Foreign Jurisdictions, Offshore Funds

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Latest Cyprus decrees relaxing restrictive measures in banking

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 2 June 2014 which provide further relaxation of restrictive measures, including abolishing restrictions on the opening of new bank accounts…more

Bank Accounts, Banks, Central Bank of Cyprus, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Banks

See All Updates »

Privy Council rules on Fairfield

On 16 April 2014, the Privy Council ruled in the claims brought by the liquidators of Fairfield, one of the largest feeder funds into Bernard Madoff’s investment company. The BVI Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean…more

Bernie Madoff, Fraud, Ponzi Scheme

See All Updates »

Increased supervision of BVI Real Estate Agents by the FIA

The BVI Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) is presently reviewing the compliance arrangements of real estate agents throughout the jurisdiction to ensure they meet the requirements of the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI)…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Offshore Banks, Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Market

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BVI court ruling highlights potential risk in some standard form M&As

On 19 March 2014 the Commercial Court handed down its ruling in C v W Inc (BVIHC (Com) 2013/149). In that case a shareholder holding more than 30 per cent of the company’s shares tried to exercise its power to requisition a…more

Business Companies Act, BVI Business Companies, Shareholder Litigation, Shareholders

See All Updates »

Cayman Islands: The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Law 2014

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Law 2014 (the Law) came into force on 21 May 2014. Subject to certain exemptions, the Law allows for the direct enforcement of contractual rights by third parties in contracts to which…more

Contract Drafting, Contract Formation, Third-Party Relationships

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Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive: Cyprus in the AIFMD Era

In This Issue: - Highlights of AIFM Law provisions - Licensable AIFMs pursuant to the AIFM Law - Depositary - Cross-border management and marketing of AIFs (Passport) - On 5 July 2013 Cyprus transposed the…more

AIFM, AIFMD, Cross-Border, Cyprus Bailout, EU

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The BVI Commercial Court – interfacing with arbitration

Recent decisions in the BVI Commercial Court have shaped the applicability and enforcement of arbitration clauses and, notably, how they interface with BVI statutory remedies and liquidations. Standing to…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, International Arbitration

See All Updates »

Costs in Derivative Actions

Derivative Actions Defined - A derivative action occurs where a member of a company, usually a minority shareholder, pursues a cause of action on behalf of the company. S184(c) of the BVI Business Companies Act 2004 (BCA)…more

BCA, BVI Business Companies, Derivatives, Directors, Minority Shareholders

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Islamic finance: From the Cayman Islands to the Middle East and beyond

Benefits of using a Cayman SPV in Islamic financing - There are numerous reasons for Cayman’s popularity among Islamic investors. As a British Overseas Protectorate, Cayman is politically stable and its laws are based on…more

Foreign Banks, Religion, Religious Institutions

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The Mergers & Acquisitions Review - Sixth Edition: Chapter 13: British Virgin Islands

I OVERVIEW OF M&A ACTIVITY - Given the international financial climate, it is perhaps unsurprising that the past 12 months have seen unpredictable deal flows involving British Virgin Islands (‘BVI’) companies, with spikes…more

BVI Business Companies, Chapter 13, Enforcement, EU, International Arbitration

See All Updates »

The Many Benefits of British Virgin Islands Investment Funds

One of the main reasons the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is often chosen as a jurisdiction for investment managers to set up their fund vehicles is the flexibility the legislative regime provides for structuring these funds…more

International Tax Issues, Investment Funds

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Creating and Registering Security Interests Over Assets of a BVI Business Company

Entering into security financing transactions with BVI Business Companies (BCs) is a familiar part of the global financial services landscape given the use and presences of BCs. The ease of use of BCs in these types of…more

Foreign Jurisdictions, International Tax Issues

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The impact of the upcoming AIF Law in Cyprus on private ICIS

The Central Bank of Cyprus (“CBC”) held a seminar in Nicosia on 20 June 2014 on the impact of the upcoming Alternative Investment Funds (“AIF”) Law on private International Collective Investment Schemes (“private ICIS”),…more

AIFMD, EU, Foreign Investment

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Cayman Liquidation Committees – What Prospective Members Need to Know

In this guide Harneys considers the role and function of a liquidation committee appointed under the Cayman Islands’ Companies Winding Up Rules. A vital component in the liquidation of a Cayman Islands company is the…more

Liquidation, Offshore Companies, Oversight Committee, Wind-Up Process

See All Updates »

Latest Cyprus decrees relaxing restrictive measures in banking

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 2 June 2014 which provide further relaxation of restrictive measures, including abolishing restrictions on the opening of new bank accounts…more

Bank Accounts, Banks, Central Bank of Cyprus, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Banks

See All Updates »

Cayman Islands Roundup - January 2013

Following is a roundup of recent legislative and industry news from the Cayman Islands. CIMA commissions corporate governance survey - The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) announced on 14 January 2013 that it…more

CIMA, Corporate Governance, Investment Funds, Listing Agents, Transparency

See All Updates »

The Mergers & Acquisitions Review - Seventh Edition: Chapter 16: Cayman Islands

I OVERVIEW OF M&A ACTIVITY - Despite signs of a stabilising economy, the Cayman Islands witnessed a 1 per cent decrease in new company registrations in 2012 compared to 2011; 8,971 new companies were incorporated compared…more

Australia, Canada, China, Competition, Cross-Border

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BVI Case Notes, July 2013

Below is a summary of recent cases out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Commercial Court, compiled by Harneys’ Litigation team…more

Foreign Banks, Insolvency, Unjust Enrichment

See All Updates »

New amendments keep BVI trusts at cutting edge

The British Virgin Islands is a well respected and sophisticated jurisdiction for the establishment of trusts. The general principles of BVI trust law are derived from those of English law and they have been supplemented by…more

BVI Business Companies, Private Trust Companies, Proposed Amendments, Trustees, VISTAs

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Cayman Liquidation Committees – What Prospective Members Need to Know

In this guide Harneys considers the role and function of a liquidation committee appointed under the Cayman Islands’ Companies Winding Up Rules. A vital component in the liquidation of a Cayman Islands company is the…more

Liquidation, Offshore Companies, Oversight Committee, Wind-Up Process

See All Updates »

BVI's National Risk Assessment scheduled

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is scheduled to undergo its Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluation by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in 2017 based on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) International…more

Anti-Money Laundering, FATF, Risk Assessment

See All Updates »

Cayman Islands Director Registration and Licensing Law

The Cayman Islands Director Registration and Licensing Law (2014) (the Law) was recently gazetted along with the related regulations which set out in more detail the registration requirements and fees. The Law came into effect…more

Directors, Investment Funds, Licensing Rules, Private Funds, Registration

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The Effects of a Mandatory Register of Beneficial Ownership

Some of the many attractions of the British Virgin Islands (the BVI) for both corporates and lenders are the relatively sophisticated legal system, low operating costs and creditor friendly insolvency regime. In recent times the…more

Business Ownership, BVI Business Companies, Transparency

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BVI Case Notes, July 2014

Recent cases before the British Virgin Islands courts include matters dealing with arbitration agreements and awards, and default judgments. Arbitration Agreements: BVIHCMAP0013/2014: Anzen Ltd and others v Hermes…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitration Awards

See All Updates »

Cayman Islands Director Registration and Licensing Law

The Cayman Islands Director Registration and Licensing Law (2014) (the Law) was recently gazetted along with the related regulations which set out in more detail the registration requirements and fees. The Law came into effect…more

Directors, Investment Funds, Licensing Rules, Private Funds, Registration

See All Updates »

Cayman Revises the Exempted Limited Partnership Law

On 2 July 2014 the Cayman Islands government passed into law substantial revisions to its exempted limited partnership legislation in the form of the Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law). The exempted…more

Exempted Limited Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Private Equity, Venture Capital

See All Updates »

New security features added to ROCA certificates

The BVI Financial Services Commission issued the following announcement on 1 July 2014 regarding new security features for Registry of Corporate Affairs (ROCA) certificates: New certificates bearing a QR Code and a…more

BVI Business Companies, Information Security

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A Guide to the Cyprus Holding Company Regime

Why set up a holding company? In essence, holding companies are set up as an effective means of consolidating ownership of operating subsidiaries. Deciding where to set up a holding company is not always a tax driven exercise,…more

IRC, Offshore Companies, Subsidiaries

See All Updates »

Cayman Islands Roundup - January 2013

Following is a roundup of recent legislative and industry news from the Cayman Islands. CIMA commissions corporate governance survey - The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) announced on 14 January 2013 that it…more

CIMA, Corporate Governance, Investment Funds, Listing Agents, Transparency

See All Updates »

Cyprus concludes second hydrocarbon licencing round

In late 2011, Noble Energy International Ltd (“Noble”) announced the discovery of an average of 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Block 12 of the Republic of Cyprus’ (“Cyprus”) Exclusive Economic Zone (“EEZ”), which opened…more

EU, Exploration and Production Sharing Contract, Hydrocarbons, Licenses, Natural Gas

See All Updates »

BVI court ruling highlights potential risk in some standard form M&As

On 19 March 2014 the Commercial Court handed down its ruling in C v W Inc (BVIHC (Com) 2013/149). In that case a shareholder holding more than 30 per cent of the company’s shares tried to exercise its power to requisition a…more

Business Companies Act, BVI Business Companies, Shareholder Litigation, Shareholders

See All Updates »

The Mergers & Acquisitions Review - Seventh Edition: Chapter 13 - British Virgin Islands

I OVERVIEW OF M&A ACTIVITY - British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies are employed in geographically diverse corporate structures, with the effect that challenging global economic conditions have continued to dampen the…more

Acquisitions, BVI Business Companies, Foreign Corporations, Mergers

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BVI Case Notes, July 2013

Below is a summary of recent cases out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Commercial Court, compiled by Harneys’ Litigation team…more

Foreign Banks, Insolvency, Unjust Enrichment

See All Updates »

Update on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive

Harneys’ reaction to the Press Release from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) dated 30 May 2013 - Introduction - It has been announced today that ESMA has approved co-operation arrangements…more

AIFM, AIFMD, ESMA, EU

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Update: Impact of Sanctions in Ukraine and Russia Under the Laws of Cyprus, the BVI and the Cayman Islands

In an earlier update we outlined in summary the application of the first round of EU sanctions on Ukraine, relevant to former President Viktor Yanukovich and his close allies. Here we provide an update on the fast moving pace of…more

Foreign Policy, Russia, Sanctions, Ukraine

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BVI Case Notes, July 2014

Recent cases before the British Virgin Islands courts include matters dealing with arbitration agreements and awards, and default judgments. Arbitration Agreements: BVIHCMAP0013/2014: Anzen Ltd and others v Hermes…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitration Awards

See All Updates »

Cyprus concludes second hydrocarbon licencing round

In late 2011, Noble Energy International Ltd (“Noble”) announced the discovery of an average of 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Block 12 of the Republic of Cyprus’ (“Cyprus”) Exclusive Economic Zone (“EEZ”), which opened…more

EU, Exploration and Production Sharing Contract, Hydrocarbons, Licenses, Natural Gas

See All Updates »

EU, US add new names to Ukraine sanctions list

In legislative developments that took place simultaneously on Monday, 28 April, 2014 both the European Union and United States acted to expand the list of persons subject to economic sanctions. Expansion of EU sanctions,…more

Sanctions, U.S. Treasury, UK, Ukraine

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Derivatives in the context of Cyprus

When Cyprus and the Eurogroup (consisting of finance ministers of the EU member states having the Euro as their currency) decided on the terms of a memorandum of understanding with Troika (consisting of the European Commission,…more

Cyprus Bailout, Derivatives, EU, Foreign Banks, Foreign Investment

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Cayman Liquidation Committees – What Prospective Members Need to Know

In this guide Harneys considers the role and function of a liquidation committee appointed under the Cayman Islands’ Companies Winding Up Rules. A vital component in the liquidation of a Cayman Islands company is the…more

Liquidation, Offshore Companies, Oversight Committee, Wind-Up Process

See All Updates »

A Guide to the Cyprus Holding Company Regime

Why set up a holding company? In essence, holding companies are set up as an effective means of consolidating ownership of operating subsidiaries. Deciding where to set up a holding company is not always a tax driven exercise,…more

IRC, Offshore Companies, Subsidiaries

See All Updates »

Areas of Practice
  • Business Organizations
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Finance & Banking
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Litigation
  • Maritime Law
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Real Estate
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
See more
Locations
Other Countries
  • Anguilla
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Hong Kong
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
Number of Attorneys

50-100 Attorneys

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