O’Neal Webster recently contributed the British Virgin Islands chapter to Chambers Global Practice Guide: Enforcement of Judgments 2023 Law & Practice.
A judgment that cannot be enforced is of little or no value. It is therefore important for those involved in commercial disputes to understand, before embarking on legal proceedings, where an opponent’s assets are located, what judicial assistance (if any) will be available in locating assets against which to enforce and the process for enforcement.
Download this PDF to get an overview of judgment enforcement in the British Virgin Islands for both foreign and domestic judgments.
- You can download a PDF version of the British Virgin Islands Enforcement of Judgments 2023 Law & Practice and Trends & Developments from here.
- A sample excerpt and table of contents are provided below.
Identifying Assets in the Jurisdiction
Options to Identify Another Party’s Asset Position
The only publicly available information to identify the asset position of another party in the BVI is the register of land titles. A party may search the Land Registry to ascertain whether another party owns real estate and may pay a small fee and obtain certified copies of the relevant extract from the land register.
However, BVI real property is rarely a feature of international cases. In such cases, the question tends to be whether a person has assets in the form of shares in BVI companies or what assets are held by companies incorporated within the jurisdiction. Recent changes to the BVI Business Companies Act 2004 require companies to file annual returns in the form prescribed by the BVI Business Companies (Financial Return) Order 2023, which would ordinarily include a basic balance sheet.
Otherwise, the asset position of another party may be identified through the following:
- Pre- or post-judgment freezing orders
- A witness summons requiring a witness to produce documents to the court
- An order for specific disclosure
- An order for oral examination of a judgment debtor
- Service of a financial position notice on a judgment debtor, requiring them to complete a statement setting out their financial position
In some cases, Norwich Pharmacal (disclosure) relief will be available, but the nature of this jurisdiction means that it would seldom extend to disclosure of the assets of a party.
Table of Contents: BVI Law and Practice Global Guide
- Identifying Assets in the Jurisdiction
- Options to Identify Another Party’s Asset Position
- Domestic Judgments
- Types of Domestic Judgments
- Enforcement of Domestic Judgments
- Costs and Time Taken to Enforce Domestic Judgments
- Post-judgment Procedures for Determining Defendants’ Assets
- Challenging Enforcement of Domestic
- Unenforceable Domestic Judgments
- Register of Domestic Judgments
- Foreign Judgments
- Legal Issues Concerning Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
- Variations in Approach to Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
- Categories of Foreign Judgments Not Enforced
- Process of Enforcing Foreign Judgments
- Costs and Time Taken to Enforce Foreign Judgments
- Challenging Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
- Arbitral Awards
- Legal Issues Concerning Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
- Variations in Approach to Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
- Categories of Arbitral Awards Not Enforced
- Process of Enforcing Arbitral Awards
- Costs and Time Taken to Enforce Arbitral Awards
- Challenging Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
- British Virgin Islands Trends and Developments in Enforcement of Judgments Article
The information outlined in this guide is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal counsel. Should you require counsel or have further questions, we invite you to contact our authors: OW litigation head Paul Dennis, K.C., senior associate Asha Johnson-Willins, or associate Paul Edwards.