BVI News

$400K attorney hired by gov’t was ‘highly recommended’ — Premier

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said Cabinet was able to waive the tendering process to retain Queen’s Counsel Michael Furness for up to $400,000 because the attorney came “highly recommended”.

Dr Smith said the recommendation came from both BVI and UK experts in financial services – the area in which Furness was contracted to draft a law for the BVI.

“He’s actually one of the leading experts in tax law and he should be able to help us to develop the necessary regulations and necessary laws to support what we’re doing as far as the European Union (EU) regulations are concerned,” Dr Smith said.

Furness was specifically hired to draft local laws in an area of financial services known as ‘economic substance’, which the EU says the BVI is deficient in.

Economic substance is achieved when a business’ economic activity is proportionately reflected in the jurisdiction where it generates its profits and pays its taxes.

The BVI government has been instructed to implement the requisite legislation that supports economic substance by the end of December 2018. The BVI will be added to the European Union’s (EU) dreaded ‘blacklist’ of tax haven jurisdictions and subjected to diplomatic sanctions if it does not have these laws in place by the mandated time.

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  1. Only Angels says:

    The BVI has been at risk of being black-listed for decades and the government only now at the LITERALLY the 11th hour chose to hire someone to draft this legislation? I’m sure the learned QC has added a few zeros for having to deal with this urgently to meet an end of 2018 deadline. I’m consistently mortified by the lack of vision and proper planning repeatedly demonstrated by this Government in The Sunshine. STILL can’t understand where the audited accounts are….but don’t get me started on that!

    Like 17
  2. Legal Mind says:

    Spending $400K on a well respected attorney to save our $200mil industry seems well worth it to me. The sad thing is people in the BVI will complain because they think it’s a lot of money for a learned attorney, not realizing there are many right here making that and more annually for doing less.

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  3. Hmmm says:

    Never elect a medical doctor for any seat. They do not know anything about finances. Never been taught to handle finances in any medical school in the world.
    Only fools elect them.
    Name one medical doctor on earth who did a good job as a president or premier. Syrian president is an ophthalmologist; you can cross him out.

    Like 10
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    • LOL says:


    • Reasoning says:

      @At around the middle 1990s I heard for the first time the term “Square Peg in a round hole”; as in, Never ever put a square peg in a round hole”. That is exactly what we did in the case of choosing an NDP government; and to make matters worst, we did what Albert Einstein described as INSANITY; “doing the same thing over and over expecting different result”.
      A Nice Guy isn’t necessarily a a Premier or Capable Leader.
      Even now we blog about our political parties as if our election is a horse race or cock fight.; when in fact we are making decisions that can have far reaching ramifications on unborn generations.
      Over on the US Virgins side in the 80s I think, they also choose a doctor to head their government; and what did they get? You guessed it; a bankrupt US Virgins. Things got so bad that government vehicles were ordered off the streets and parked by early evenings with the idea of saving tax payers dollars..

  4. I Wonder says:

    My concern is that the principals of the airline company that went bottom up were also ‘highly recommended.’ We can only hope that due diligence was properly executed in this case.

  5. Hmm says:

    For that kind of money I don’t want to hear “should” this man better DELIVER! This is foolishness to the highest degree now.. time for value for money!

  6. ndp heckler says:

    He look like he don’t have a problem giving away our money

    Like 6
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  7. Oh please! says:

    Instead of paying him that amount, why not pay him a fraction and use the rest to sponsor 2 or 3 bvi students to be his understudy so they can develop legal drafting skills if you have a clue of what you’re doing or if u give a sh** about the bvi, struupes.

    Like 6
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  8. Cromwell says:

    It would appear that a miracle is expected for the $400,000, something that might be difficult if not impossible to achieve.
    The said legislation would appear to require BVI corporations to carry out it’s activities in the BVI and pay taxes here, something 99% do not, and, will not do.

  9. oh yeah says:

    I remember him saying that the guys for BVI Airways were also highly recommended. I guess it is quite easy to fool this man over and over again and again. All you have to be is a different skin colour.

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  10. Well says:

    At least we can do a simple google search and see who this guy is and what he brings to the table. The same amount of money was spent on a med school study that we still cant find. Google the company that got that money and see of you find them. BVI Airways was a well intentioned deal with a bunch of broke con men. Govt needs to just admit they made a huge blunder and move on.

    Like 2
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