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BVI's Strongest: Harneys BVI makes impressive progress post-Irma

12 October 2017

Several weeks after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, Harneys BVI reports impressive progress on the return to business as usual in the firm’s BVI office.

Harneys weathered Hurricane Irma in the BVI with a full complement of staff and was the first law firm to re-open following passage of the hurricane. As of this week, some 126 staff are back to work in the firm’s flagship BVI office, including 19 lawyers. The firm expects this number to grow steadily over the coming weeks.

BVI Managing Partner Colin Riegels stated: “The majority of our staff remained in the Territory during and after the hurricane, which put us in a much better position to resume full operations than many. Of those who did leave, a number have already returned and the remainder are anticipated back over the next couple of months.

"Our legal and fiduciary teams have been flat out with client work since the storm. Q4 is typically our busiest period each year, and this year looks to be no exception," Riegels added.

As an adjunct to its BVI operation, Harneys has sent senior litigators to a temporary “pop-up office” in St Lucia, where the BVI Commercial Court was temporarily relocated following Irma.

Head of BVI Litigation & Insolvency Andrew Thorp commented: “Like Harneys, the Court barely blinked in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Within days it was dealing with the list as well as hearing urgent matters. The appointment of provisional liquidators in the global Pacific Andes bankruptcy was an especially clear message that there would be no interruption of Court business.
 
Thorp said that the Commercial Court is expected to return to the BVI by the end of 2017.
 
Riegels concluded: “Harneys remains absolutely committed to the British Virgin Islands. Irma tested us all when she struck the BVI on 6 September and I am nothing but proud of the way Harneys and our extraordinary BVI team were steadfast responding to the challenges that she left in her wake.”