Harney Westwood & Riegels

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Jonathan Addo

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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Pavlos Aristodemou

Decrees 19 and 10 from Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 2 August 2013 pertaining to the relaxation of restrictive measures. Legal updates regarding these decrees, from Harneys' Cyprus Banking Group, are below…more

EU, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Banks, New Regulations

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Jacqueline Daley Aspinall

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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Colin Berryman

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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Leonard Birmingham

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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Timothy Bridges

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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Richard Brown

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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Adrienne Chan

Recent judgment a reminder of Hong Kong Court’s limited jurisdiction over foreign companies

We are reminded that shareholders of BVI holding companies may well have to look to the BVI Court to resolve unfair prejudice claims in seeking a buy-out order or other relief…more

China, Foreign Corporations, Jurisdiction, Sufficient Nexus

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Jeremy Child

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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Lewis Chong

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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Kissock Christopher Laing

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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Patrick Colegrave

Staying Ahead Of The Game - Marco Martins And Patrick Colegrave, Of Harney Westwood & Riegels, Explain How Cayman Is Adapting To Change So As To Remain The Jurisdiction Of Choice For The Alternative Investment Industry

2013 is lining up to be a pivotal and successful year for both the Cayman Islands and the global hedge fund industry. Many of the developments which started in the last decade, ranging from worldwide regulatory and financial…more

Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, Alternative Investment Funds, Corporate Governance, FATCA, Hedge Funds

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Aki Corsoni-Husain

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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Jonathan Culshaw

BVI and Cayman to enter into FATCA Model 1 agreements with United States

Both jurisdictions also pledge to sign up to “UK FATCA” - The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, commonly referred to as FATCA, became effective earlier this year, and foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”) in every…more

FATCA, Intergovernmental Agreements, IRS

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Jacqueline Daley-Aspinall

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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Michael Doyle

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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Nancy Erotocritou

New Cyprus decrees issued for 31 March to 4 May, 2014

The Republic of Cyprus has issued new decrees pertaining to the relaxation of restrictive measures which are in force from 31 March to 4 May, 2014. Legal updates regarding these decrees, from Harneys' Cyprus Banking Group, are…more

Banks, EU, Financial Regulatory Reform, Foreign Banks

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Colleen Farrington

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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Sheila George

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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Philip Graham

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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Louise Groom

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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Margarita Hadjitofi

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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Hazelann Hannaway

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 »

Lucy Hickmet

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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Joanna Hossack

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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Simon Hudd

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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Jason Jagessar

Succession planning for your shares in a BVI company

Death and taxes, despite our best laid plans, are still with us. While trying to legally reduce your tax liability has become politically unacceptable and unfortunately, there is still not much we can do about death, there are…more

Estate Planning, Offshore Companies, Offshore Funds

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Phillip Kite

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 »

Marios Koutsios

New Cyprus decrees issued for 31 March to 4 May, 2014

The Republic of Cyprus has issued new decrees pertaining to the relaxation of restrictive measures which are in force from 31 March to 4 May, 2014. Legal updates regarding these decrees, from Harneys' Cyprus Banking Group, are…more

Banks, EU, Financial Regulatory Reform, Foreign Banks

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Jonathan Law

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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Wendy Lee

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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Mungo Lowe

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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Henry Mander

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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Ian Mann

BVI Case Notes, October 2013

Below is a summary of recent cases out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Commercial Court, compiled by Harneys’ Litigation team. Ruling on the use and status of ancillary relief proceedings and forum non conveniens…more

BVI Business Companies, Deed of Trust, Forum, Forum Non Conveniens

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Mirza Manraj

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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Marco Martins

Cayman Islands retain Moody's Triple A rating

The Cayman Islands Ministry of Public Finance has reported that the jurisdiction has retained its very high “Aa3” rating from Moody’s, one of the world’s foremost financial rating agencies. Cayman has held this status non-stop…more

Moody's, Offshore Banks, Rating Agencies

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Marcia McFarlane

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

See All Updates »

Andrew Morehouse

Cayman Achievements in Peer Reviews and AIFMD Compliance

The Cayman Islands have moved forward in terms of peer reviews and AIFMD compliance. OECD – Successful Compliance Ratings The Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development met in Jakarta…more

AIFMD, Compliance, Investment Funds, OECD, Peer Review

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Ross Munro

BVI concludes negotiations with US on FATCA

The British Virgin Islands Government has today announced the conclusion of negotiations with the United States on a Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)…more

FATCA, IGAs, Negotiations

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Demetris Nicolaou

Bank of Cyprus issues two milestone decisions

On January 30 2014 the board of directors of the Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd approved two important decisions, thereby meeting the expectations of its depositors and the general public in Cyprus for enhancing liquidity in…more

Foreign Banks

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Lisa Pearce

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 »

Andrea Psara

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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Colin Riegels

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 »

Murray Roberts

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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Claire Robey

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 »

Sean Scott

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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Peter Tarn

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

See All Updates »

Andrew Thorp

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 »

Kirill Vahonin

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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Russell Willings

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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Emily Yiolitis

Decrees 19 and 10 from Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus issued new decrees on 2 August 2013 pertaining to the relaxation of restrictive measures. Legal updates regarding these decrees, from Harneys' Cyprus Banking Group, are below…more

EU, Foreign Bank Accounts, Foreign Banks, New Regulations

See All Updates »

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