Harneys has been shortlisted for Legal Week’s International Law Firm Innovation Award for its Economic Substance Classification Solution. The firm is listed among top onshore law firms including: Ashurst, Herbert Smith Freehill, Paul Hastings and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Designed by Harneys lawyers and developed in house, the Solution was created as a direct response to legislative change in the British Virgin Islands when in 2019 it became compulsory for all BVI entities to conduct a classification exercise and determine their ongoing regulatory burden under new economic substance laws. With the vast number of active BVI companies on one of the world’s largest and most successful registries, Harneys moved quickly to support the market.
Philip Graham, the firm’s global head of Investment Funds and Regulatory, commented: “Our team was able to create a highly innovative legal tech product that delivers real time results – a true pioneering move for the BVI jurisdiction. This product is a superb example of our team thinking outside the box of conventional legal services and seizing an opportunity to disrupt the market. We are extremely honoured to be shortlisted and look forward to the virtual award ceremony in October.”
The Solution provides an automated and cost effective way for BVI entities to demonstrate formally that they have considered their position under the economic substance legislation and determine whether they are conducting a relevant activity. Classification results and legal advice are generated instantly after completion of an interactive questionnaire.
The Solution was launched through Harneys online portal in June 2019 and has English, Simplified Chinese and Spanish language capability.