With the dust of the UK’s EU Referendum starting to
settle, Ogier BVI’s practice partner Ray Wearmouth has shared
an upbeat assessment of the likely impact of Brexit for the
jurisdiction at an industry seminar.
As an Overseas Territory, the BVI is not a member of the EU but
currently enjoys an indirect relationship with it via the UK. While
on the face of it Brexit will have limited repercussions for the
BVI on a geopolitical or sovereign level, the possible ripple
effects on its financial services industry called for a fuller
KPMG assembled industry experts from the banking, fiduciary,
accountancy and legal sectors to speak at the seminar and take part
in a panel discussion. The public sector was also represented by
Mrs Lorna Smith OBE, the Director of BVI Finance. The event was
fully subscribed and a large audience enjoyed a very topical
discussion at an opportune time.
Ray – who is recognized by leading legal directories as
one of the BVI’s leading corporate and finance lawyers -
presented his views on the likely implications for the BVI’s
global legal industry, giving a geographical summary, coupled with
a sector breakdown in each region.
Ray said: “In a nutshell, it seems unlikely that Brexit
will have any adverse impact on the BVI legal services industry in
Asia or North America, which are key markets for us across our core
service lines of corporate, finance, funds and dispute resolution.
This assumes no wider economic contagion affect and it may well be
the case that we will actually see new opportunities in those
markets and sectors as a result of Brexit, in the medium
“It is likely that we will see some slowdown in
transactional flows in London, particularly for corporate and
finance work which is often property related for BVI transactions.
On the positive side, we are likely to see increased levels of
regulatory and advisory work, together with some increase in
“As far as disputes work is concerned the message is good.
London has continued to be a very strong base for disputes work for
the industry and it gets stronger and stronger with each year. That
should not change as there is no suggestion of wider liquidity
concerns that might affect litigation funding or strategies. So we
should expect to continue to see solid growth.”
The Q&A session covered a lot of ground and touched upon
“hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit” outcomes
for the Territory. The likely dynamics facing International Finance
Centres going forward vis-a-vis OECD and EU initiatives, and the
interaction between those two bodies, was a fertile area for
discussion. Finally, the ability of the Overseas Territories and
Crown Dependencies to shape some of the negotiation parameters
which may impact the CDOT’s on the UK’s exit
discussions with the EU was also addressed at length by the
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