Recognition of foreign office holders in the BVI: the sequel

By Andrew Willins

Unlike any of the other jurisdictions in which Appleby operates, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is unique in having implemented, but not brought into force, the UNCITRAL Model Law. In the last edition of Resolution, Eliot Simpson contrasted the treatment that Irvin Picard, the trustee in bankruptcy of the estate of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, received in the courts of the Cayman Islands and in the BVI. He obtained recognition in the former, but not in the latter.

In this sequel, Appleby explains the evolution of the jurisdiction to recognise foreign office holders in the BVI and suggests that, were Mr Picard to apply again, he would most likely receive the order he sought.

The Insolvency Act 2003 contains two sets of material provisions. Part XVIII is entitled ‘cross-border insolvency’. It is, in short, an enactment of the UNCITRAL Code — but it is these provisions that have not been brought into force…

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