BVI News

Other OT’s offer better pay to gov’t lawyers than BVI — Scatliffe-Esprit

Tiffany Scatliffe Esprit

Principal Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit has said the British Virgin Islands is not up to par with the other Overseas Territories (OT’s) in terms of their compensation packages for government lawyers.

She gave that indication while addressing the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) recently. 

And according to the subsequent SFC report for 2020, Scatliffe-Esprit said: “There was a small group comprised of persons from the ODPP and the Attorney General’s office who were doing active research in comparing the BVI to other Overseas Territories in terms of compensation.”

“While the BVI might be better off than most of the Eastern Caribbean, the BVI would be ranked at the bottom. She (Scatliffe-Esprit) stated that the BVI must take into account the cost of living, among other things,” the SFC report stated.

The Principal Crown Counsel then urged the government to “become more competitive with the private sector”.

“The reality was that the government was unable to compete with the private sector in terms of their compensation packages,” Scatliffe-Esprit further told the SFC.

Lengthy recruitment process 

In the meantime, Scatliffe-Esprit said the lengthy recruitment process for additional attorneys to join the Office of the DPP was a concern.

The in summarising that concern from the prosecuting attorney, the SFC report said: “The ODPP continues to face hurdles such as the length of time of the recruitment process, which has now been excessively lengthened as a result of the new initiatives by the Ministry of Finance, where a department has to apply to have an approved position advertised in addition the lack of proper financial remunerations.”

According to the Principal Crown Counsel, the hiring process takes between six to eight months. This she said sometimes encourages qualified Virgin Islanders or persons with ties to the BVI to “travel to other Overseas Territories to seek employment”. 

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  1. UM says:

    Nuts!!! Where in the world is pay competitive between public and private sectors attorneys. Public Interest Lawyers will never make as much!

    Like 9
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  2. Government worker says:

    The government is not up to par with pay in many areas. Ask the doctors and the nurses. Ask the teachers, lecturers and other qualified government workers. This can be the reason they get work done in a sub- standard way. It’s like people deliver what you pay for. They can do better in many instances because a lot of money is spent in other areas. Government must realise that their human resource is their most important resource.

    Like 15
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    • @ Government Worker says:

      I am a Government worker and the problem with some of us, is that we are to damn lazy to work and that is the reason why the pay is like it is. If you do your work you get evaluated for you work and some of our work ethics are disgusting.

  3. Me again says:

    What Mrs Espirit said is all relevant to her Office and Profession BUT what about the 45-55%i of the work force who earn minimum wages and are forced to live in conditions that Many resident pet owners won’t allow their pets to spend ONE night ?
    These people feel the effects of cost of living in the BVI more than any other segment because they DO NOT have alternative solutions . They live in Over crowded conditions/ substandard homes ( with outside plumbing in this age). It is either they keep a shelter over their heads and eat un healthy to the expense of our Health Care System.
    Had it not been for the “ transshipment location and Helpful female migrants “ this place will have CLEAR CLASS STRUCTURE lines demarked ; but because – – ssy got power the game is open to who is up to it
    Government has a Lot of restructuring to do when it comes to STANDARD OF LIVING in the BVI

    Like 11
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  4. The Truth says:

    Guarantee she makes 6 figures or close to it. SMH

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  5. strupes says:

    Them cant win a decent case and want more money? The audacity of these people!

    Like 14
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  6. Mike says:

    You clearly do not know.

  7. Buckle DOWN says:

    Buckle down and do your job and then ask for a increase. Prove to them that you deserve it! Too many unsolved and unsuccessful cases.

  8. Shorty says:

    I would have to agree with her. If people in the BVI just take a look at the starting salary of a crown counsel it is between 31-38 thousand dollars a year. That is beyond ridiculous. The reality is the BVI government hasn’t had a salary revisions in more than 10 years. No individual with relevant qualifications in a professional capacity should be making less than $40k a year and the sad reality is majority of public officers with post graduate qualifications who do not hold management positions all make under $40k a year. The BVI government does not pay for post graduate degree so they should stop making it a requirement in their job advertisements if individuals won’t be compensated.Even the good lady does not make three figures many senior government employees don’t make 3 figures only the contracted ones who come for overseas makes that type of money.

    • Professor says:

      The median US salary for a public prosecutor is about $65k. They contribute to their own pensions via a 401 plan

      BVI Crown Counsel – $42k to $67k. No pressure to perform. Plus full pension after 25 years, do they even contribute to that? If they want big money let them go into the private sector, or work for themselves.

  9. Ausar says:


    With such substandard salaries, “Shorty”,why are there any governmental attorneys left?

    It’s quite obvious that Mrs. Esprit is correct, but all things are relative.

    Ya kant hawe some making minimum wage for thirty or so years and expect salaries for other disciplines in this country not to be recessed!

    An actual living minimal wage would actually lead to comparable salaries on a varied of disciplines!

    • Shorty says:

      There are actually more expat prosecutors than locals in her office. Majority of local attorneys choose the private sector where they are paid their worth. Bvi government ever understand deliverables. The public service is beyond bloated they can do so much more with less but no one wants to listen in turn salaries stay below average.

  10. B.S says:

    The reason they can’t pay qualified people what they are worth is because they have too many other people hired who are doing absolutely nothing on a daily basis. So instead of hiring 20 good people, they have 60 and 40 of the 60 aren’t pulling their weight.

  11. DG says:

    And then there is the DG and PS’s salaries that are through the roof

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