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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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 court issues pivotal guidance on exclusive jurisdiction clause

In what is likely to be considered a landmark decision, the BVI Commercial Court has held that winding up proceedings brought on just and equitable grounds relating to BVI companies will not be caught by an exclusive…more

BVI Business Companies, Corporate Dissolution, Exclusive Jurisdiction, Shareholder Rights, Shareholders' Agreements

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Hastings-Bass and Mistake: Should the BVI follow Jersey’s example?

On 25 October 2013 the States of Jersey introduced never before seen statutory provisions which seek to clarify, as a matter of Jersey law, the existence and nature of the Hastings-Bass principle and the doctrine which allows…more

Rule in Hastings-Bass, Trusts, UK

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Cayman law amended to facilitate the grant of interim relief in aid of foreign proceedings

In modern litigation there is often a strong possibility that obtaining interim relief from the court of the jurisdiction in which you are suing your opponent will not fully protect you against the dissipation by him of assets…more

Banks, Foreign Jurisdictions, Fraud, Offshore Banks, Offshore Funds

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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

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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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Cyprus and US sign FATCA IGA

On 2 December 2014, the US and Cyprus governments signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). There are two types of IGAs known as "Model 1" and "Model 2". The…more

Cyprus, FATCA, FFI, Intergovernmental Agreements, IRS

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The Impact of FATCA on British Virgin Islands Funds

In March 2014, the British Virgin Islands Government announced that it had concluded negotiations with the US with respect to a Model 1B Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States (the IGA). The IGA (which was eventually…more

BVI Business Companies, FATCA, Intergovernmental Agreements, International Tax Authority

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The Mergers & Acquisitions Review: Eighth Edition: Chapter 11: 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 gradually improving global economic conditions have started to brighten…more

BVI Business Companies

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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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New Cyprus decrees further relax banking restrictions

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 8 December 2014. The new decrees provide further relaxation to banking restrictions, notably: Payments and/or transfers of funds abroad up to €2.000.000 (previously…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Cyprus, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Currency

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BVI’s Arbitration Act 2013 is now in force

The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) Arbitration Act 2013 came into force on 1 October 2014. It is a landmark piece of legislation which is expected to propel alternative dispute resolution in the BVI into high gear. The BVI is now…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, BVI Business Companies, International Arbitration

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The Issue of Priority and Statutory Ship Mortgages in the British Virgin Islands

Shipping business in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is fast developing, and with this development, it is important to understand some critical elements, being financing and taking of security; hence, the significance of BVI…more

Financing, Mortgages, Priority Debt, Shipping

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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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Power to Assist Foreign Insolvency Proceedings in the British Virgin Islands

The attention of foreign insolvency and bankruptcy professionals is often turned towards the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The volume of asset holding structures and the network of connected service providers and directors…more

BVI Business Companies, Commercial Bankruptcy, Foreign Judgments, Insolvency, Pricewaterhousecoopers

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Guide to the Russian “Deoffshorization” Law

The Federal Law No 376-FZ dated 24 November 2014 “Concerning the Introduction of Amendments to Parts One and Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (Regarding the Taxation of the Profit of Controlled Foreign Companies and…more

Controlled Foreign Corporations, Russia, Tax Code

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Using British Virgin Islands Companies for International Listings

The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) corporate statute is ideally suited for international listings. BVI companies have been used widely for listings on international stock exchanges in New York, London, Singapore and Oslo. They…more

BVI Business Companies, Financial Markets, Foreign Markets, IPO

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The use of offshore SPVs in Shariah compliant transactions post-FATCA

In recent years and in the wake of the global financial crisis, international financial centers (IFCs) such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman) have faced unprecedented political and regulatory…more

FATCA, International Tax Issues, Offshore Banks, Tax Evasion

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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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The use of offshore SPVs in Shariah compliant transactions post-FATCA

In recent years and in the wake of the global financial crisis, international financial centers (IFCs) such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman) have faced unprecedented political and regulatory…more

FATCA, International Tax Issues, Offshore Banks, Tax Evasion

See All Updates »

Guide to the Russian “Deoffshorization” Law

The Federal Law No 376-FZ dated 24 November 2014 “Concerning the Introduction of Amendments to Parts One and Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (Regarding the Taxation of the Profit of Controlled Foreign Companies and…more

Controlled Foreign Corporations, Russia, Tax Code

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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I am a Director of a BVI Company. Now What?

Given the share volume of British Virgin Islands Business Companies (BCs) in existence, there is at any given time in some part of the world a transaction involving a BC. Pursuant to the British Virgin Islands Business Companies…more

BVI Business Companies, Directors

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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 Islands Case Notes, October 2014

Caribbean Islands Development Ltd. (in Official Liquidation) v First Caribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited (unreported) - In a ruling handed down on 8 October 2014, the Cayman Islands Court sent a strong reminder…more

Foreign Jurisdictions, Foreign Markets, Liquidation

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BVI court issues pivotal guidance on exclusive jurisdiction clause

In what is likely to be considered a landmark decision, the BVI Commercial Court has held that winding up proceedings brought on just and equitable grounds relating to BVI companies will not be caught by an exclusive…more

BVI Business Companies, Corporate Dissolution, Exclusive Jurisdiction, Shareholder Rights, Shareholders' Agreements

See All Updates »

New Cyprus decrees further relax banking restrictions

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 8 December 2014. The new decrees provide further relaxation to banking restrictions, notably: Payments and/or transfers of funds abroad up to €2.000.000 (previously…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Cyprus, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Currency

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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

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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

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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

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Japan – BVI TIEA comes into force on 11 October

Further to our previous bulletin, following the Notification Ceremony on 11 September the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between the Government of Japan and the Government of the British Virgin Islands will come into…more

BVI Business Companies, Japan, TIEA

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Update to Banking Regulations Further Enhances Cayman’s Appeal

The Cayman Islands have for decades been one of the world’s leading banking and financial centres, currently ranking as the fifth largest banking centre worldwide, with over 200 banks, including 40 of the world’s 50 largest…more

Banking Reform, Banks, Basel Committee

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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

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The use of offshore SPVs in Shariah compliant transactions post-FATCA

In recent years and in the wake of the global financial crisis, international financial centers (IFCs) such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman) have faced unprecedented political and regulatory…more

FATCA, International Tax Issues, Offshore Banks, Tax Evasion

See All Updates »

FATCA in Cayman: Deadline Approaches

The deadline for compliance with both US FATCA and UK FATCA fast approaches. Cayman entities which are classified as Financial Institutions are within the scope of FATCA. A typical Cayman fund will fall within the…more

FATCA, FATCA Timeline, Financial Institutions, GIIN, IRS

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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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Cyprus and US sign FATCA IGA

On 2 December 2014, the US and Cyprus governments signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). There are two types of IGAs known as "Model 1" and "Model 2". The…more

Cyprus, FATCA, FFI, Intergovernmental Agreements, IRS

See All Updates »

New Cyprus decrees further relax banking restrictions

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 8 December 2014. The new decrees provide further relaxation to banking restrictions, notably: Payments and/or transfers of funds abroad up to €2.000.000 (previously…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Cyprus, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Currency

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

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Record Keeping Obligations for BVI Companies, Partnerships, Trusts and Other Organisations

The record keeping obligations applicable to BVI companies and partnerships were amended in November 2012 and again in September 2014. The changes have been introduced following OECD Peer Reviews of the Territory. The Reviews…more

BVI Business Companies, OECD, Recordkeeping Requirements

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The Mergers & Acquisitions Review: Eighth Edition: Chapter 11: 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 gradually improving global economic conditions have started to brighten…more

BVI Business Companies

See All Updates »

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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FATCA in Cayman: Deadline Approaches

The deadline for compliance with both US FATCA and UK FATCA fast approaches. Cayman entities which are classified as Financial Institutions are within the scope of FATCA. A typical Cayman fund will fall within the…more

FATCA, FATCA Timeline, Financial Institutions, GIIN, IRS

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Sanctions: European Union significantly toughens its stance towards Russia

Note: This is an update to our last bulletin on this subject of 13 August 2014. The new measures are relevant to Harneys' core jurisdictions: Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. Concurrent with…more

Asset Freeze, EU, NATO, Russia, SDN List

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Power to Assist Foreign Insolvency Proceedings in the British Virgin Islands

The attention of foreign insolvency and bankruptcy professionals is often turned towards the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The volume of asset holding structures and the network of connected service providers and directors…more

BVI Business Companies, Commercial Bankruptcy, Foreign Judgments, Insolvency, Pricewaterhousecoopers

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

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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 »

Cyprus and US sign FATCA IGA

On 2 December 2014, the US and Cyprus governments signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). There are two types of IGAs known as "Model 1" and "Model 2". The…more

Cyprus, FATCA, FFI, Intergovernmental Agreements, IRS

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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