BVI News

Major global law firm opens office in the BVI

Photo credit: Employee Benefits

At a time when the COVID-19 crisis is impacting multiple industries such as tourism and financial services, one of the world’s largest law firms, Dentons, has expanded to the British Virgin Islands.

Commenting on the move to set up shop in the BVI, Dentons described the territory as a leading international financial centre that plays an essential role in the global economy.

It further said the BVI has a well-developed and professional corporate infrastructure, political and economic stability, an internationally-renowned and respected commercial court and tax-neutrality.

“Our new offices in the British Virgin Islands … complement our strategy to enhance our offshore practices across the Caribbean, as well as in other offshore financial and corporate centres, such as Panama, Uruguay, Mauritius, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Singapore,” the law firm’s CEO for the Latin America and Caribbean region, Jorge Alers said.

A media release from Dentons said one of its partners within the firm, Stuart Bruce, will head its new BVI office. He has been described as having “extensive experience handling complex, high-value cross-border matters across Banking and Finance, M&A, Private Equity and Joint Ventures, Corporate and Regulatory advice”.

Dentons is said to have has offices in 25 countries and is now present in virtually all of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to the BVI, it also recently opened a firm in St Lucia.

Dentons continues to execute its strategy to scale the firm across the Latin America and the Caribbean region despite the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19,” the firm’s Global Chairman, Joe Andrew said.

COVID-19 has caused major disruptions and lay-offs locally. Lay-offs have even happened within locally and internationally-based offshore law firm, Harneys.

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27 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh ohh, here come he chinese!

    Like 10
    Dislike 19
    • HUH! says:

      Dentons is a UK firm, with offices all around the world!

      Like 16
      Dislike 1
    • Yup says:

      That’s exactly correct. The Chinese are trying to expand globally especially in developing and third world areas. This is just the start of the Chinese to infiltrate and influence. Once the corrupt politicians of the BVI get a wiff of the Chinese money then it’s all over. You thought the Chinese pandemic was bad, just wait for what they are bringing you next.

      Like 12
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      • @Yup says:

        There were three major issues that contributed to the disillusion of the people and the dissolution of the former ruling party. There were:

        1. The not giving the civil servants their earned increments over twelve years.

        The current governing party seems to be following the same path and taking the civil servants for granted, while dishing out rediculous questionable contracts and questionable spending and raises for board members, while leaving the masses devoid of what they have already earned but did not receive, rendering them poor, broke and hungry.

        2. The lack of initiatives to improve the economic conditions of the least with a living minimum livable wage and,

        3. The courting of and inviting the chinese to take over the economics of the country and establish their colony by establishing the teaching of mandarin in the schools.

        They fail to realize by not scrutinizing their practices across the globe, Africa, the Carribean and Asia, that that was their first or second step in the recolonialization of the territory.

        The first one being giving exorbitant unpayable trapping loans. After the loans cannot be paid, which was the trap set for the borrowing country, they take control of the country, its economics, resources, ports and education system, import their own people to control, manage and run every aspect of the country.

        Jamaica in the Carribean and Zambia and others in Africa are poignant examples of recolonialization and take over of countries and their wealth through financial trickery by the chinese. Thought the IMF was/is horrible?

        The local then becomes their servants and second class employees and citizens.

        That was a very aggregious concern for many. We still love our local gentlemen, but those three issues are what sunk the confidence level of the people for them, primarily.

        Going forward, the territory must elect foresighted, but also proactive and protective leaders to manage the sustained development and protection of our nation and its people. We can’t aford to continue to sell out and sell our. future generations any more. Enough of that was done already.

        Sure, we welcome investments, but such must be accompanied with strict guidelines in preserving a mutually beneficial working relationship.

        No, we must never and will never again become second class citizens or slaves again. The chinese, as are the europeanss, view us as equal to monkeys. That is how they portray us in their museums to this very day. Do you expect a mentality like that to come into your country and home and show you respect or treat you fearly?

        Like 13
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        • @@Yup says:

          The traditional Chinese view is that anyone non-Chinese as lessor than them including whites and blacks. Not sure they think of us as monkeys, but not far from it.

          BVI probably needs a big brother to protect it. The sun has set on the British Empire, and the future is Chinese. Not sure the US will allow the BVI to become the Chinese Virgin Islands though…they would probably invade us if that happened and the Brits could and would do nothing to stop them.

          Like 4
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          • @@@Yup says:

            “Not sure they think of us as monkeys, but not far from it.”
            Why make stetements before obtaining concrete knowledge?

            A brief search would have informed otherwise this statement.

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    • Read and Understand says:

      Dentons is the only Pan-Caribbean law firm, and with more offices in all of Latin America and the Caribbean than any other law firm, Dentons is the first truly Pan-Latin American and the Caribbean law firm in the history of the legal profession.

      KEY CONTACTS

      Elliott I. Portnoy
      Global Chief Executive Officer, Washington, DC

      Joseph (Joe) Andrew
      Global Chairman, Washington, DC

      Jorge Alers
      Latin America and the Caribbean Chief Executive Officer, Washington, DC

      Dustin D.P. Delany
      Managing Partner, Barbados

      MEDIA CONTACT

      Astrid Egerton-Vernon
      Global Director of Communications, Washington, DC

      https://www.dentons.com/en/whats-different-about-dentons/connecting-you-to-talented-lawyers-around-the-globe/news/2020/may/dentons-opens-offices-in-the-british-virgin-islands-and-st-lucia

      Like 8
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      • Respect says:

        so why the chinese insignia? Is this a front then for the newest colonialist on the block?

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        • Hmmm says:

          Chinese firm

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        • Never Assume says:

          This was a 2015 article

          Dentons plans to merge with one of China’s biggest law firms to create the largest global law firm by attorney headcount, in a bid to provide legal services to Chinese companies that are increasingly looking overseas for expansion.

          A Dentons spokesperson said partners of Dentons and Dacheng had agreed to the deal, which would create a firm of 6,600 lawyers in 120 offices in more than 50 countries. The deal is awaiting Chinese regulatory approval. A formal announcement is expected next week.

          The new firm is to be known as Dentons outside of China and Dacheng inside China. It will have a logo that begins with the two Chinese characters for Dacheng and ends with the name “Dentons”.

          The combined firm will surpass the current largest firm by attorney numbers, Baker & McKenzie, which has more than 4,000 lawyers.

          The news comes in the same week that New York-based Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson said it was closing its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices.

          “Some international law firms in China are struggling because of the economic downturn and the drop in inbound M&A,” said Dan Roules, a lawyer in the Shanghai office of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. “Though outbound M&A has risen, it is very price sensitive,” he added.

          Chinese law prevents a full merger of domestic and international law firms so Dentons, a global law firm, and Dacheng, a rapidly growing local firm, have chosen a Swiss verein structure that allows firms based in different countries to combine under a single brand while keeping their finances separate, said legal experts.
          “You can put two firms side by side but not do any profit sharing. As a co-branding device it can be quite useful,” said Mr Roules, pointing to the 2011 merger between China’s King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons, which was then the first tie-up of a leading Chinese firm with a sizeable western firm.

          Dentons itself is the product of a 2012 merger between three law firms — US-based SNR Denton, Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain and Paris-headquartered Salans. That merger is also a Swiss verein tie-up which is a brand-share rather than a profit-share.
          Chinese firms such as Dacheng tend to have close relationships with their clients. But most do not have a strong presence overseas, making it hard for companies to use them on outbound transactions. That dearth makes a merger with an international law firm attractive to some of them, said legal experts.

          They added that cross-border law firm mergers can be tricky to pull off, not least because of the cultural issues involved.
          King & Wood, for example — which chose a name that appeals to westerners rather than the name of any founding partners — had to dissolve an earlier merger with Hong Kong- registered Swiss firm SG Fafalen.

          https://www.ft.com/content/a70f0cb2-a225-11e4-aba2-00144feab7de

  2. Jack says:

    This is great news, especially at a time when things are collapsing.

    Like 21
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  3. Ausar says:

    So, will the principals of this firm, place BVIslanders in top ranking, interest bearing positions?

    I’m very sure, that their offices in Europe, have high ranking European attorneys, and those with large interest bearings!

    Let’s see if such, be the case for our native born attorneys, barristers, and solicitors!

    Like 11
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    • Locals says:

      You can rest assured that they will hire your local great minds so that they look good. They will be the props for the local good image. The “real” brains will be behind the scenes taking care of the Asian money. Do you really think that the local negro attorney that went to school in Jamaica is of the caliber for a firm such as this. Get real.

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      • hm says:

        You are a hater. Atleast Jamaica has proper universities and colleges.I bet Dagon lives within you….

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      • Really? says:

        Typical colonial mentality that qualifications earned in Europe are automatically of better quality than what is earned in the Caribbean region. No matter what fly by night UK university they get their degrees from…

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    • Slim Jim says:

      @Ausar

      Why should they “place” anyone? If a local or expatriate is interested in a position, applies for the job, interviews well… I think they would only be too happy to secure local talent with potential to be developed even further with exposure to their world-wide operations.

      Let’s be real people… as BVIslanders (and yes, I am a BVIslander) we expect that businesses have an obligation to hire us just because “I bahn here”… no frickin’ way!

      This is a business… and in business, you acquire and hire resources and assets to help you achieve your vision/goal and turn a profit while expanding your market base. While being local may help somewhat in negotiating and greasing local wheels, remember that their clientele isn’t local, doesn’t care “who you for” or any of that other small-island nonsense we keep spouting just because the politicians encourage us to keep thinking like that.

      So, young BVI man or woman, if you aim to climb the highest corporate heights and succeed in the real world of international law, finance, capital ventures, etc… listen to me. We come from a small peck on the globe that no one really cares about, your last name means squat on your resume, and your family connections won’t save you… rely on the God-given intellect and skills you were blessed with, sharpen that with scholastic excellence, and a chase your dream with ambition and perseverance.

      The world doesn’t owe you a free pass, and you are already under-estimated by virtue of being (mainly) black, from a “third world country” (so called), and perhaps not having gone to the “right” schools (again a matter of interpretation). Don’t make things harder for yourself by carrying someone else’s chip on your shoulder and neglecting to work for what you want. Aspire and perspire… and by God’s grace you will acquire!

      Like 14
      Dislike 1
  4. ? yes I was registered says:

    That’s all you people good for just to chat p**s all the time this is good news ooooo.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  5. Anonymous says:

    Ausar, such will only be standard practice if government and labour demand that it be. At this juncture, no such demands are in place through policy.

    Yet we know from history, there have never been a governent that has insisted on such protections for VIslanders.

    This currnet one is no different. The difference between us and the europeans. They look out for and take care of their own. We look out for them at the detriment of our own

    Since the beginning of the importation of these and other firms, hotels and others, 1960 to present at least, not one single upper level management position has been given to a local native.

    Like 7
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    • @Anonymous says:

      First, the local does not have the capacity nor the brain matter to hold any high level position. Second, as a Belonger they feel that they can come and go as they feel. Don’t feel like working? No problem. Thus, the local is totally unreliable. Last, the locals are always looking for a way to steal or scam. Just look at the government. So if you would like high end positions to be held by locals then properly educate them, provide them with good moral backgrounds and teach them right from wrong

      Like 7
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      • @@Anonymous says:

        Prove your assertions correct. Oh, forgot they are your facts fueled by hatred, racism and no scientific data to prove your ignorant rants are not ignorant. But yeah, we got yah! Donkey always braw loudly because that’as all he can do.

        Like 11
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      • To @ Anonymous says:

        First and foremost, things happen when you allow it. Your comment is so broad based by putting all locals in the same category. News flash a$$hole, not all locals are lazy, not smart or scammers/thieves. Furthermore, the problem in the BVI is foreigners controlling our narrative which should not be! I wish for the day a Government of the VI People can stand up and demand higher expectations of these foreign companies/expats. They most times are making huge profits without giving back to the very community that enriches them! I believe that is called usery!

        Like 11
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  6. More Europeans says:

    We need them like we need a hole in the head. It’s time to stop this madness.

    Like 4
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  7. A man says:

    who owns the trade license?

    best of luck Brucey!

  8. Eyes open says:

    Corona here a BVI labour dept selling out BVIslanders, who are getting fired while foreigners who do same work as we, stay hired and paid. VIP don’t care about we locals. Vote out VIP ASAP.

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  9. Brewster's millions says:

    A new dawn

  10. Seriously says:

    Following its merger with Chinese law firm Dacheng in November 2015, Dentons became the largest law firm in the world by number of lawyers and has the most offices of any law firm in the world, covering every continent. The firm is called Dentons in all languages other than Chinese, in which it is called 大成 (Dacheng). According to RED All-China at https://dialogochino.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Monitor-OFDI-2019english-2.pdf, 86.34% of Chinese direct investments in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2010-2015 involved Cayman and the Virgin Islands.

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