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Update on the British Virgin Islands

14 Sep 2017

On 6 September 2017, the British Virgin Islands sustained considerable damage during the passage of category 5 Hurricane Irma. In the aftermath of the storm, we have worked diligently to assess the situation and would like to reassure clients that all is well with regard to the well-being of our staff members and our ability to continue offering services to our BVI clients.

Our People

We are pleased to report that all of our BVI colleagues have been located and are safe. As expected, there has been considerable damage to personal homes and property and we are in the process of relocating a number of BVI staff members to our other offices together with their families.

Business Operations

We have activated our business continuity plan to service our BVI clients remotely, utilising our global network of BVI-qualified lawyers.

While our BVI office, located in Road Town, sustained minimal damage, the telecommunications and utilities infrastructure was compromised, and we are continuing to assess the impact that this will have on our ability to re-establish communication and full operations from our BVI office in the short term.

Financial Services Industry

While there has been widespread damage, the Financial Services Commission (which houses a number of services, such as the corporate registry) is intact and secured. 

The BVI Financial Services Commission announced that its online company registration portal, VIRRGIN, has been restored and they have been responsive to our business requests. 

Efforts are continuing to get the BVI's busy courts operational as soon as possible. 

The BVI's business sector plays an important role in the global economy and the BVI government has recognised the cooperation of the private sector to rebuild the country, expecting a full recovery over time. 

Humanitarian Response

Our endeavours to deliver the vital support and assistance that is needed are ongoing so that we can offer some relief to those who have been impacted by the hurricane. 

We are aware of a number of humanitarian agencies that are focused on providing immediate assistance to the BVI in a variety of ways and we are supportive of their efforts. The BVI government has established a crowd-funding initiative, "BVI Hurricane Irma Relief Fund", facilitated by Just Giving and the Maples group, along with many other firms within the financial services sector, are doing our part to help the BVI in its time of need. 

Looking Forward

While the BVI is facing a number of challenges in the coming months as the jurisdiction sets about rebuilding and returning to normal, we are confident that it will be business as usual for our clients.
We will continue to work with the BVI government, the relevant agencies and the business sector to ensure that there are no significant disruptions to client business.  We will utilise our global resources as needed to work efficiently and effectively to facilitate transactions and advice required by BVI clients. 

All other offices of Maples and Calder are open for business as normal and able to assist you. 

The primary contacts at our other locations are listed above.