Mr Jonathan Addo

Jonathan Addo

Updates

Arbitration & ADR

Sixtieth anniversary of New York Convention – time to choose BVI arbitration and enforcement
British Virgin Islands | 05 July 2018

The British Virgin Islands is a pro-arbitration jurisdiction. Under the Arbitration Act, with regard to both New York Convention awards and non-New York Convention awards, the party against which the award has been made can make representation to the court regarding a refusal to enforce. An example of the British Virgin Islands' pro-enforcement approach can be seen in Belport Development Limited v Chimichanga Corporation.

The BVI Commercial Court – interfacing with arbitration
British Virgin Islands | 27 February 2014

Recent Commercial Court decisions have shaped the applicability and enforcement of arbitration clauses and how they interface with BVI statutory remedies and liquidations. Parties to arbitration should have one eye on the efficacy of future enforcement and be aware that blurred awards containing matters that may not properly have been subject of arbitration may prove to frustrate the ability to enforce in the British Virgin Islands.

Company & Commercial

Court of Appeal provides guidance on directors' powers
British Virgin Islands | 22 January 2018

A recent Court of Appeal ruling provided guidance on directors' powers after considering whether a fresh issuance of shares by directors which altered the balance of voting power between the shareholders was done for a proper purpose. The court held that directors should not issue shares in a manner that could affect the balance of power between groups of shareholders or create new majorities, irrespective of whether the old or new majority have a proprietary interest in the fund.

Litigation

Think before you blink: court halts cross-border requests without consideration
British Virgin Islands | 23 October 2018

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 requests received under the act.

Court of Appeal reaffirms that it will rarely reverse findings of fact
British Virgin Islands | 07 August 2018

The BVI Court of Appeal recently dismissed an appeal against the liquidators of BVI company Pioneer Freight Futures Company Limited and reaffirmed the established law regarding reversing findings of fact. The court held that it will intervene only in rare cases, such as when there is no evidence to support the conclusion, the conclusion was based on a misunderstanding of the evidence or the conclusion was one that no reasonable judge could have reached.

Trusts and disclosure: a recent lesson
British Virgin Islands | 31 July 2018

A recent BVI decision highlights the need for trustees to think carefully and, if in doubt, take advice before refusing an information request from a beneficiary. The consequences of getting this wrong (not least in potential personal cost exposure for the trustee) can be severe.

Avoiding evasion: court takes pragmatic approach to serving uncooperative defendants abroad
British Virgin Islands | 19 June 2018

International litigation and asset recovery require the pursuit of defendants and their assets across borders; therefore, it is a routine aspect of BVI litigation for claimants to serve legal documents abroad. Two recent decisions should significantly decrease the delay in effecting service abroad and pave the way for a more efficient approach to service out in the future.

BVI case notes
British Virgin Islands | 17 September 2013

Recent cases from the BVI courts include further developments in Black Swan relating to free-standing relief, insolvency assistance to foreign office holders, economic torts and unjust enrichment and clarification of the meaning of 'member' under BVI company law.

Private Client & Offshore Services

Think before you blink: court halts cross-border requests without consideration
British Virgin Islands | 18 October 2018

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 requests received under the act.

Court of Appeal reaffirms that it will rarely reverse findings of fact
British Virgin Islands | 09 August 2018

The BVI Court of Appeal recently dismissed an appeal against the liquidators of BVI company Pioneer Freight Futures Company Limited and reaffirmed the established law regarding reversing findings of fact. The court held that it will intervene only in rare cases, such as when there is no evidence to support the conclusion, the conclusion was based on a misunderstanding of the evidence or the conclusion was one that no reasonable judge could have reached.

Trusts and disclosure: a recent lesson
British Virgin Islands | 02 August 2018

A recent BVI decision highlights the need for trustees to think carefully and, if in doubt, take advice before refusing an information request from a beneficiary. The consequences of getting this wrong (not least in potential personal cost exposure for the trustee) can be severe.

Sixtieth anniversary of New York Convention – time to choose BVI arbitration and enforcement
British Virgin Islands | 05 July 2018

The British Virgin Islands is a pro-arbitration jurisdiction. Under the Arbitration Act, with regard to both New York Convention awards and non-New York Convention awards, the party against which the award has been made can make representation to the court regarding a refusal to enforce. An example of the British Virgin Islands' pro-enforcement approach can be seen in Belport Development Limited v Chimichanga Corporation.

Avoiding evasion: court takes pragmatic approach to serving uncooperative defendants abroad
British Virgin Islands | 14 June 2018

International litigation and asset recovery require the pursuit of defendants and their assets across borders; therefore, it is a routine aspect of BVI litigation for claimants to serve legal documents abroad. Two recent decisions should significantly decrease the delay in effecting service abroad and pave the way for a more efficient approach to service out in the future.

Court of Appeal provides guidance on directors' powers
British Virgin Islands | 18 January 2018

A recent Court of Appeal ruling provided guidance on directors' powers after considering whether a fresh issuance of shares by directors which altered the balance of voting power between the shareholders was done for a proper purpose. The court held that directors should not issue shares in a manner that could affect the balance of power between groups of shareholders or create new majorities, irrespective of whether the old or new majority have a proprietary interest in the fund.

The Commercial Court – interfacing with arbitration
British Virgin Islands | 27 February 2014

Recent Commercial Court decisions have shaped the applicability and enforcement of arbitration clauses and how they interface with BVI statutory remedies and liquidations. Parties to arbitration should have one eye on the efficacy of future enforcement and be aware that blurred awards containing matters that may not properly have been subject of arbitration may prove to frustrate the ability to enforce in the British Virgin Islands.

BVI case notes
British Virgin Islands | 12 September 2013

Recent cases from the BVI courts include further developments in Black Swan relating to free-standing relief, insolvency assistance to foreign office holders, economic torts and unjust enrichment and clarification of the meaning of 'member' under BVI company law.

Court clarifies the meaning of 'member' under the BVI Company Law
British Virgin Islands | 05 September 2013

In a recent case the defendants' application for a stay in favour of arbitration in New York was refused because the defendants were not members of the respondent claimant company for the purposes of the articles of association and/or the BVI Business Companies Act 2004. The corollary of their inability to demonstrate membership was an absence of standing to invoke an arbitration clause in the articles of association.

Commercial Court rules on third-party costs and freezing relief
British Virgin Islands | 27 June 2013

Recent cases out of the BVI Commercial Court deal with issues including third-party costs and the applicability of Black Swan freezing relief in support of foreign derivative claims. The former has now become an authority for the proposition that a non-party cannot be liable for costs in proceedings where it has not been joined and which were not being conducted with its approval or for its benefit.