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The British Virgin Islands – the right choice beyond COVID-19
Private Wealth

The British Virgin Islands – the right choice beyond COVID-19

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) comprises of approximately sixty stunning islands, islets and cays located circa sixty miles east of Puerto Rico. This British Overseas Territory, with its outstanding natural beauty, professional service providers and English common law traditions is proving itself to be a highly desirable location for those seeking a safe haven or those wanting to substitute cold winter climates for warmer destinations. The property market in the BVI has been seeing an increase in demand as many investors are more motivated than ever to own alternative homes in jurisdictions with smaller populations and with stricter and proven approaches to dealing with natural disasters and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Important updates to the BVI trust legislation ensure that it remains a leading jurisdiction of choice for international high net worth families
Private Wealth

Important updates to the BVI trust legislation ensure that it remains a leading jurisdiction of choice for international high net worth families

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has often led the way in offshore legislation - The BVI International Business Company Act 2001 which brought about the “BVI co” used round the world today; The VISTA Trust; The first offshore reserved powers trust legislation; and now the jurisdiction has produced a raft of new legislation to fully modernise the BVI trust regime.
Cayman Islands and the recent FATF listing
Investment Funds

Cayman Islands and the recent FATF listing

At its plenary session on 25 February 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) included the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction being monitored for the active resolution of identified deficiencies in its regimes for the countering of anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. While no significant issues were identified with the Cayman Islands compliance regimes, the Cayman Islands were given three action items aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of its compliance regimes and therefore included on the list of jurisdictions being monitored.
Succession Planning - British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands
Private Wealth

Succession Planning - British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands

Succession planning has always been a difficult topic of conversation for families, but in recent years and against the backdrop of an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it’s become a priority for those looking to protect their assets for current and future generations. With renewed interest and demand for succession planning, Henno Boshoff of Harneys’ Asia Trust and Private Client Advisory Group, outlines some of the key aspects of succession planning offshore.
We have great news - our BVI borders are reopening!
Private Wealth

We have great news - our BVI borders are reopening!

1 December 2020 marks the dawning of a new day in the British Virgin Islands, as the BVI reopens its borders to all categories of travellers inclusive of tourists, residents, belongers and work permit holders.
How will breaches of the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership reporting regime be enforced?
Investment Funds

How will breaches of the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership reporting regime be enforced?

In June 2020 we alerted clients to the introduction of fines for breaches of the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership reporting requirements. The client alert can be found here. The new fine system is in addition to the penalties that already exist for committing an offence under the beneficial ownership regime laws.
The "flee clause" and trusts - How to adjust when trouble strikes
Private Wealth

The "flee clause" and trusts - How to adjust when trouble strikes

The world of trusts continues to change. One technical but important point to consider is when an event leads to a trustee resigning and the trust fund appoints a different trustee in another jurisdiction. The “flee clause” is designed to protect assets during emergencies or crises - wars are obvious examples, as are cases where governments try to confiscate assets and persecute individuals.
A COVID-19 relief measure – stamp duty waiver on sale or transfer of property in BVI
Private Wealth

A COVID-19 relief measure – stamp duty waiver on sale or transfer of property in BVI

As part of the COVID-19 stimulus package promised by the Government of the Virgin Islands, the Stamp Duty Act, Cap 212 of the Laws of the Virgin Islands, (the Stamp Act) was amended by the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Act, 2020, (the Amendment). The Amendment was passed on 19 June 2020, assented to by the Governor on 23 July 2020 and gazetted on 28 July 2020.
Is it time to push the envelope (or unwind the trust)?
Corporate

Is it time to push the envelope (or unwind the trust)?

The UK Government has, over the past few years, substantially revised the tax rules relating to the ownership of residential property in the United Kingdom held indirectly by non-domiciled individuals or excluded property trusts.