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BVI Domestic Business

Expertise > Jurisdictional Expertise > BVI > BVI Domestic Business
Harneys’ domestic practice is the high-end leader for complex commercial transactions and regulatory matters as well as high-value real estate deals in the BVI.


While Harneys is best known for our international legal services, we are also a niche domestic BVI law firm specialising in the highest end of the local market. We advise a select number of local private clients on legal issues related to private island developments, multi-million-dollar enterprises, complex commercial transactions and estate planning. Coupled with our international offerings, no other law firm in the BVI has the resources, experience or international network as Harneys.

We take pride in the strength of the relationships we build with our clients who include high-net-worth individuals and families, international investors and well-known public figures. We are experienced at handling both routine and novel matters with speed, expertise and discretion, and we work with clients to arrive at the best commercial and legal solution to meet their needs. In addition to private clients, we also act for many of the BVI’s leading banks, resorts, trust companies and businesses, as well as public utilities, statutory boards and government entities, advising on a wide range of commercial, employment and regulatory issues.


  • Acquisition, ownership and disposition of BVI Property
  • Commercial and residential leases
  • Property development and management agreements
  • Business sales and purchases of varying complexity
  • Structuring transactions, negotiating and drafting purchase and sales agreements
  • Asset securitization structures and operating and financial lease structures
  • Acquisition, registration, financing, disposal and operation of ships
  • Provisional and permanent registrations, parallel (bareboat) registrations, transfers of ownership
  • Maritime disputes and Implementation of maritime claims
  • Trade licences, Work permits, Hotel Aid licences and Pioneer Status
  • BVI immigration law, residence, citizenship and belongership requirements
  • Other regulatory concessions, consents and approvals, whether in the context of a larger transaction or otherwise


Banking and Finance

Experience is what sets our banking and finance team apart from competitors and it is why clients trust Harneys for complex and challenging finance and banking work.Read More


Harneys’ depth of knowledge and experience in the BVI is unmatched. We have been an integral part of the British Virgin Islands’ development as a premier offshore centre since its inception and no team has a better understanding of the...Read More

BVI Banking & Finance

Our BVI based finance lawyers together have over four decades on the ground in the BVI, a level of experience that none of our competitors can approach.Read More

BVI Litigation & Insolvency

Partner-led service, jurisdictional expertise and a unique global footprint give Harneys a significant edge; an edge we leverage for our clients.Read More

BVI Regulatory

Harneys is the only law firm in the British Virgin Islands with a dedicated regulatory law practice and the firm has over 15 years of experience with the BVI’s investment business regime. We are highly experienced in the provision of bespoke...Read More

Shipping and Aircraft

The firm's shipping and aircraft law practice has gained an international reputation for commercially sensitive legal advice relating to all aspects of the acquisition, registration, financing, disposal and operation of ships and aircraft in the...Read More

Tax and Regulatory

Harneys has established a full-service regulatory practice and a highly qualified and experienced regulatory team. We provide regulatory advice in relation to BVI, Cayman Islands, Cyprus and Anguilla and we are the only law firm to have regulatory...Read More

Trusts & Estates

Harneys’ Trusts & Estates practice advises individual and commercial clients on the establishment, administration and structuring of all types of BVI, Cayman Islands and Cyprus trusts.Read More


Michelle Frett-Mathavious
Michelle Frett-Mathavious

British Virgin Islands
Sheila George
Sheila George

British Virgin Islands
Johann E. Henry
Johann E. Henry

British Virgin Islands
Hazelann Hannaway
Hazelann Hannaway

British Virgin Islands
Paul   Mellor
Paul Mellor

Senior Associate
British Virgin Islands
Matthew Howson
Matthew Howson

British Virgin Islands


Video: Directors' duties in the BVI 

Articles & Updates

New rules for deceased persons holding BVI shares or other BVI assets 
Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria - Important information for BVI property owners 
BVI Government raises charter cruising permit fees effective 1 August 
BVI's new beneficial ownership regime to take effect on 1 July 2017 
BVI enacts minimum compulsory retirement age 
BVI Business Companies: new Registry fees from 1 January 2018 

Recent Experience

Harneys advises on largest-ever domestic M&A deal in BVI 
Harneys advises Virgin on acquisition of renewable energy group