BVI News

Gov’t paying up to $400K for UK lawyer to draft special law

Governor Augustus Jaspert (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

Government has retained a UK attorney at a cost of up to $400,000 to draft a piece of legislation for the territory’s financial services industry.

Specifically, the Premier Smith government hired Queen’s Counsel Michael Furness to draft laws in an area referred to as ‘economic substance’.

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. With only three months remaining till that deadline, Cabinet decided to waive the tendering process that was required to contract attorney Furness.

The waiver was approved during the September 12 sitting of Cabinet.

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.

The blacklist was created to categorise jurisdictions that ‘do not respect the EU’s tax transparency standards’.


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  1. ndp heckler says:


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  2. Good job says:

    This was needed for the future of the territory. Good job. Now continue doing good things and fix the country (you know: schools, infrastructure etc.)

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  3. Ok says:

    The real story is, what is the cost of NOT doing it!

    Like 20
  4. Oh, dear says:

    Shame the EU can’t add us to a blacklist for not having a Freedom of Information Act or for not having many other laws to guarantee accountability and transparency! Guess that’s when we’d see action.

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  5. ndp heckler says:

    We always behind the 8 ball

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  6. Very skeptical says:

    Will he draft a piece of legislation that will be friendly to and protective of the Territory’s Financial services and against the wishes and political desires of the UK?

    Why we know not much from the public view as to the political chemistry and details, but it appears from recent political financial disagreements with the UK, that that might be a case of the zebra sleeping with the lion only to be eaten for breakfast.

    Let’s hope not.

    Lastly, that’s a lot of money. That legislation better be rock hard and impenetrable from anything the UK can muster politically.

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  7. they killing us says:

    we are still slaves, they killing us with all these law’s,they can find $400,000.00 to pay people to right laws but cant find money to deal with us local’s needs.EU needs to be put on trail for all these about black list and who does more BAD than they do but they are good at hiding, who hide more money than all of those WHITE people who by the way are doing more wrong but because we are black we as a people should not have but they want us to kiss their dirty feet. This government has put us BVI lander,s at risk all because of there self gain. Who is to say that there action of making deals with all

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    • Anonymous says:

      Once again with the slave bullshit. The reason the government is spending $400k is to protect themselves. The offspring of the slaves. If the beneficial owners are made public then the world would see that some of the government politicians, ruling families and relatives have offshore accounts where they are hiding money. Now you all wonder where the decendants of slaves get millions of dollars? Perhaps there is a reason why there is no accountability for anything the government does. You blame the white man. Your own people keep you enslaved and down trodden. It’s the same in Africa, the islands, Europe and North America. The African gets wealthy on the backs of Africans.

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      • Realist says:

        Spot on, even when slave ships were around, picking up black people in Africa, it was the BLACK tribal leaders who sold them to the WHITE slave ships.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Very true. The only problem is you are asking the local population to learn history. They are not taught these lessons in school. They are only taught to hate the white man because they enslaved our ancestors. And…..I don’t see any locals packing their bags to move to Nigeria and live with their relatives. If they hate the white man so much, then why don’t they move back to the motherland. Try reading what the politicians there are doing to their own people.

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  8. Sam the man says:

    The NDP ( No Direction Party) live up to their commonly used Nick name yet again! I’ve another for this bunch of losers… The KJR party ( Knee Jerk Reaction ) party! Not only do they waste thousands of dollars on paying Fararah to assist them they now wake up from their last ineptness and realise they are F….ed without some decent UK Silk that actually knows what to do! Unbelievable he’ll now charge what he wants and it will be a lot more than $400,000.00 I can guarantee. Yet another NDP C…k up….how many more do we have to endure as they empty the coffers of an almost bankrupt Country?

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  9. concerned citizen says:

    Clearly this governor is looking out for the best interest of the UK. Who is looking out for us, no wonder why we cannot see any progress on the schools because all of the money going right back to them. sets of thieves.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Only $400k. What a bargain. Let’s have a look at the contract. Please post it so we can all see the terms. People don’t pay teams of lawyers that much for a murder trial. Let me see, a document such as this does not exist anywhere else on the planet? Starting from scratch? I don’t think so!!! Where are the prices from other attorneys?

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  11. the public says:

    This Territory is swarming with lawyers and “legal scholars”, so am just wondering if not even one of them could have been of some use in drafting this legislation for us? Probably could have slashed the price in half to boot or is money not an issue for our big spenders in government?

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  12. /////// says:

    Why at the last hour be concerned… So you could waive the tender process? Why not hire a team of you own? NDP, why why why why is the question on most everything you do.

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  13. Hmmm says:

    Are there no BVI islander lawyer who can do this? Why hire?

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  14. A Historical Truth and Fact says:

    To those who are not reading and accumulating historical facts, be herewith informed.

    95% or more of the Africans exported to the west in horrendous conditions were kidnapped by Arabs, Spanish, Jews and Europeans.

    Credit to the European, he was last to enter the trade, but not out of decent humanity however.

    However, he was the most prolific and inhumane of them all.

    The Africans did not send out no advertisement for the sale of humans to the world. They were not then mentally made up like that.

    Further,the Africans at that period had no means of kidnapping millions of people. Thay had no guns!

    Less than 10% were sold by their own. Those that were, were prisoners of tribal warfare mostly. That is as far as the complicity went. And that portion of history began to occur centuries after the horror had begun.

    Lastly, no where in the passing down of history from generation to generation has such a statement been told by ancestors.

    To the contrary,to told of the kidnapping of Africans by outsiders, and that is the historical fact that has been passed down for centuries.

    If the right authors and literature is read and studied, the truth will found.

    The first human raiders were the Arabs followed by the Jews then the Portegese, Spanish and the Europeans.

    Those people never had it in them to pay the African for anything and they did not. They simply went, raided and took people, gold, diamonds, rubie, pearls and all other resources. That practice is still going on today.

    Some are still perpetuating a historical lie in an effort to denegrate us as a people, and to ease their own unconscious/sunconscious guilt, but historians and scholars know better. They know the truth!!

    So, some may try to fool others, but not all will be so fooled.

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    • I Concur says:

      @Historical Truth and Fact. In the 21st Century Information Age- soo many of our people are still prone to manipulation as in the days of old. Thank you for at least setting the record straight. Alot more can be added to clarify the propaganda of past history to our story, but I think your contribution can suffice.

      Those who have the “will” to explore other possibilities must challenge their deep-seated beliefs by conducting their own research and learn for themselves. The spoon-feeding has to stop for actual progression of our people to take place.

      We are where we are today because no one wants to do the heavylifting but everyone wants to eat; as a result, we turn our destinies over to a few elected leaders (in the Caribbean to Africa and elsewhere) who themselves can be easily manipulated, because they too- are unaware and possibly, perhaps, do not care to know the truth- truth that may change their indulgence, position, or status.

      Conversely however, whenever our destinies are threatened, we blame those same leaders who we handed the well-fare of our lives over too, without any care of engaging and participating in the process, until we have been compromised; adding more insults to our wounds, we pathetically blame everyone else (other ethnic groups, etc.) instead of our ourselves. For any substantive change to occur for our people, we all must look within our own dark mirrors and face the truth.

      Likewise, this hand me down education our people have been taught has to be challenged someday and overturn- in order to empower our people (not for hate), but from being soo cripplingly debilitated.

      Last thoughts. “The greatness of the ocean comes-forth because it does not rejects any rivers connected to it. It accepts them all, which makes it great.” “Know Thyself.”

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please enlighten me as to how the Arabs and Jews bought and sold slaves. I apparently missed that part of history. As I recall the Jews were slaves themselves. The word “ghetto” resulted from Jews being kept in Venice in a locked and cordoned off area that was a foundry. Thus the term ghetto meaning foundry in Italian. As for the Arabs, again I guess you need to educate me as to where and when Africans were enslaved by the Muslims of the world. Poor, poor African black man. The only persecuted people in the whole wide world. The shame is that you use your ancestors slavery for the way you behave and do things today. What a rotten people.

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      • @Anonymous says:

        Attack facts wih facts, not lizard brained, unread and unknowledgable rubbish.

        The facts are there. Go find them and expand your knowledge.


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        • @@Anonymous says:

          Great answer back to Annonymous. “Let him/her go educate themselves. That is why some of the children and adults around the BVI are so ignorant of facts because they are always looking for someone to “tell them”, then they repeat foolishness and lies as facts. BVI society would be sooo much better off if the people was just read for themselves.

      • Here goes says:

        The arabs were big slave traders, mainly on the east coast of Africa though, go check Zanzibar’s history if you want more information on that. Agree with the jews though, not sure of their big part in the slave trade…

        My biggest concern with “historical truths” post is the fact that last time I looked Spain and Portugal were part of Europe.

        Also worth noting is that North African slavers raided Europe as far as the south coast of England for their slave trade.

        The general fact I take from this is that people of all races can be total jerks, try not to be one of them…

  15. well meh boi says:

    So bvislanders cant do anything else but vote? We could vote out too

    • @well meh boi says:

      Clear the smoke in the mirror and don’t be afraid to look in it to uncover our own hypocrisy. BVI News, please do not hold back contributions that may interrupt our patterns of thinking; we can not afford to bury “freedom of speech” in this space in time in our development. “Out of chaos comes order as it is written and has been proven.” The absolute proof is in the cycle of life-no one will escape it.

  16. @I Concur says:

    Thank you for your knowledge of and support of truth and facts, relative to our past great and tumultous history.

    Many of us know our history and self, and as a result, we the Black African will continue to evolve back to greatness as is already written in our earthly destiny.

    Indeed, more could’ve been written, but the main focus was to inform a misinformed blogger who was quite wrong in the assertions presented as truths and facts, relative to our past ancestral history..

    Our haters,[ of the African race} most of whom are unread, misinformed, miseducated, and reeking with prejudice, hate and jealousy, and are totslly ignorant of our past history, but still they try to project us negatively to the largely misinformed world.

    Thus, some of us will not stand by and allow such anymore. Every falsehood will be challenged with facts, relative to our history!

    So, when such occurs, we must educate them with truth and facts.

    We know ourselves, and our scholars, Black French scholars, Africans scholars, West Indian scholars and African Americans scholars are daily unearthing and recording our factual history!!

    I predict that within fifty years our history will again be taught from primary to university level and beyond, just as it was in our distant past.

    So,keep spreading truth!

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