BVI Update: "Black Swan" Legislation Passed

On 31 December 2020, the BVI House of Assembly passed the so-called "Black Swan" Bill amending section 24 of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) Act (Cap. 80) so as to confer jurisdiction on the BVI Court to grant interim relief in support of foreign proceedings. The Bill is expected to pass into law and come into force early in 2021.

In May 2020, in Broad Idea International Limited v Convoy Collateral Limited (BVICMAP 2019/0026), the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (Pereira CJ;, Blenman and, Michel JJAA) ruled that the BVI Court lacked jurisdiction to grant a free standing freezing injunction against a BVI company where that company was not a party to substantive proceedings either in the BVI or elsewhere and that legislation would be required before the BVI Court could grant such relief. In so holding, the Court of Appeal determined that the case of Black Swan Investments ISA v Harvest View Limited (BVIHCV 2009/399) ("Black Swan") was wrongly decided and should be overruled. Convoy Collateral Limited's appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal' is due to be heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on 16 and 17 February 2021.

Walkers partners Rosalind Nicholson and Murray Laing act for Broad Idea International Limited. Walkers are instructing Richard Morgan QC and Andrew McLeod of Maitland Chambers.