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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 6 Jun 2019

Taking charge: Commercial Court delivers judgment on its jurisdiction to grant charging orders

The Commercial Court recently confirmed that the BVI courts have jurisdiction to grant charging orders. Charging orders are a critically important tool, particularly when enforcing foreign judgments, as they allow creditors to take a proprietary interest over assets owned by a debtor and can ultimately facilitate the sale of such assets to allow creditors to realise their debts.
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 2 May 2019

Relief all round – Court of Appeal upholds relief from sanction

The BVI Court of Appeal recently denied an appellant declaratory relief and upheld the respondents' relief from sanction, as granted by the lower court. While this judgment will inevitably provide some comfort to those that find themselves facing sanctions having inadvertently failed to comply with a rule, practice direction or order, it is a timely reminder for everyone that it is better to......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 29 Nov 2018

Reverse engineering: Court of Appeal in rare reversal of findings of fact

The BVI Court of Appeal recently considered the scope of its jurisdiction to interfere with findings of fact made at first instance. This is the second time in 2018 that the court has addressed this issue. While the threshold for intervention is high, the court will intervene on appropriate occasions. The thoroughness of the evaluation of evidence and the credibility of the judge's......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 20 Sep 2018

Revisiting costs awards – BVI Court of Appeal varies costs order based on US appeal decision

In Fairfield Sentry Limited (In Liquidation) v Farnum Place LLC the BVI Court of Appeal varied a costs order based on a material change of circumstances – namely, a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The BVI court held that the US decision was a "material change of circumstances" which allowed it to vary the costs award by disallowing the costs of Farnum's expert.
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Harneys | Cayman Islands | 24 May 2018

Court reaffirms high threshold for case management stays

In a recent case, a petition to wind up a company was issued by its majority shareholder. The minority shareholder – a Samoan entity – issued an application to stay the petition on the basis that there were related proceedings in Samoa and held that Samoa was the proper forum in which to argue these matters. The court refused to grant the stay, finding that the high burden imposed in stay......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 17 May 2018

Court strikes out passing-off claim in relation to goodwill held outside British Virgin Islands

Claims of passing off are rare in the British Virgin Islands and a recent attempt to bring a BVI action in relation to goodwill held outside the jurisdiction has failed. The court examined the law and relevant English authorities on the tort of passing off. It opined that goodwill is governed by territoriality and that in order to succeed, the claimant must prove that it has goodwill in the......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 29 Jun 2017

Guidelines adopted for communication and cooperation between courts

The British Virgin Islands recently adopted new guidelines for communication and cooperation between courts in cross-border insolvency matters. The guidelines are designed primarily to enhance communication between courts, insolvency representatives and other parties in the context of global restructurings and insolvency. As a result of the increased efficiency, it is hoped that stakeholders......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 26 Jan 2017

Commercial Court appoints three new judges

There have recently been three judicial appointments to the Commercial Court designed to increase the capacity of the court in 2017. The appointments should provide further momentum and expertise to the BVI Commercial Division and enhance the court's ability to deal with complex cases promptly and effectively.
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 24 Jan 2017

Commercial Court appoints three new judges

There have recently been three judicial appointments to the Commercial Court designed to increase the capacity of the court in 2017. The appointments should provide further momentum and expertise to the BVI Commercial Division and enhance the court's ability to deal with complex cases promptly and effectively.
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 1 Sep 2016

Costs clarity: Commercial Court finds foreign lawyers' costs generally recoverable

The BVI Commercial Court recently handed down new guidance which clarifies its position on the recoverability of foreign lawyers' costs and underlines its clear intent to accommodate and provide practical solutions for international litigation in the British Virgin Islands. The decision will give considerable comfort to those already engaged in matters before the court and to those advising......
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