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Jurisdiction

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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 | 30 May 2019

Scope of disclosure orders and contempt of court

A BVI court recently considered a contempt application seeking further disclosure by way of an 'unless' order and whether cross-examination of the respondents should be ordered to determine the issue of contempt. This decision highlights the exceptional nature of cross-examination orders and the high standard of proof required for contempt orders.
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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 | 25 Apr 2019

No more second chances: Court of Appeal guidance on strike out

The Court of Appeal recently clarified the procedural considerations required following the strike out of an action pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 26.3. All three of the appellants' procedural grounds of appeal were rejected by the court, which held that (among other things) a judge must give a party which has a defective pleading an opportunity to put right any defect.
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 14 Mar 2019

This is not a wind up: BVI court approves restructuring provisional liquidation

In a major development in BVI insolvency law and practice, the Commercial Court recently held that provisional liquidation is available to facilitate a restructuring. The objective of a restructuring provisional liquidation is to provide a better outcome for creditors than would be likely on a winding up. The Commercial Court's decision will certainly influence the current debate in the......
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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 | 8 Nov 2018

Receivers – gateway to unlocking disabled bearer shares

In two recent BVI Court of Appeal decisions, disabled bearer shareholders were found to have a constitutional right not to be deprived of their property without compensation. It is now abundantly clear that even where BVI disabled bearer share companies are still without functionaries (ie, directors) to facilitate the traditional redemption of those shares, the court has flexible jurisdiction......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 29 Oct 2018

Are you wearing the right hat? Directors' duties revisited by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal judgment in Antow Holdings Limited v Best Nation Investments Limited continues the development of the law regarding BVI directors' duties following the Independent Asset Management appeal, which established – for the first time in the British Virgin Islands – clear guidance regarding the proper purpose test. The decision is arguably at the extreme end of the spectrum, with......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 25 Oct 2018

Are you wearing the right hat? Directors' duties revisited by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal judgment in Antow Holdings Limited v Best Nation Investments Limited continues the development of the law regarding BVI directors' duties following the Independent Asset Management appeal, which established – for the first time in the British Virgin Islands – clear guidance regarding the proper purpose test. The decision is arguably at the extreme end of the spectrum, with......
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Harneys | British Virgin Islands | 18 Oct 2018

Think before you blink: court halts cross-border requests without consideration

The BVI courts have again stepped in to ensure that proper thought and process is applied to requests made by foreign governmental bodies. In the first case of its kind to successfully challenge the exercise of the attorney general's powers under the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act, the BVI High Court held that the attorney general is required to do more than rubber stamp the......
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