The financial services and commercial litigation industry expects a marked increase in face-to-face transactions now that the BVI has relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in the territory.
According to Vanessa King, head of banking and financial services at law firm O’Neal Webster, the financial services and commercial litigation industry has been largely untouched by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. She further said the BVI was fortunate to have one of their main economic pillars still standing with how the virus has devastated the tourism industry.
âWe were not too impacted because many of our clients are abroad, we can continue to work as we have always done by email and Zoom. People are flexible now. They are fine with virtual meetings. So, I don’t think we are significantly impacted. I thought we would have been more affected than we have been. Fortunately, that pillar is still standing, âKing said recently.
However, she still expects an increase in operations as more lawyers return to the territory for trials in the courts, which she hopes will resume face-to-face operations very soon.
âFrom a financial services industry, we expect the courts to reopen with face-to-face cases. We expect customers to return to the territory to work instead of reopening everything remotely, âsaid the managing partner.
In-person testing will boost the economy
Meanwhile, Dan Wise, a partner specializing in corporate and commercial litigation at law firm O’Neal Webster, said the commercial litigation service offered to BVIs is lucrative. And when more in-person trials resume, it can help boost the territory’s economy.
âIn the commercial litigation service, the product we offer to BVI is made up of major litigation from all over the world. I think it will be dealt with a lot better when we come back to the in-person hearings and I think it will be good for the territory as there will be significant collateral expenses that will ensue in the community, âsaid Wise.
âYou have something like a five week trial, for example, with witnesses and wealthy clients from New York, London and other places and that puts a lot of money through the community and obviously with Zoom that money. does not filter in the daily operations of the territory â, declared the corporate and commercial litigator.
Wise was attending the opening ceremony for the new Seaview Wing block at Nanny Cay Resort and Marina, which he said he looks forward to once guests start returning to the territory.
He said it’s always good to have a place on the outskirts of town where the Queen’s advisers and clients can stay for a few weeks when trials take place.
Earlier this year, the BVI government reported an increase in financial sector growth in the first half of 2021. There had been a marked increase in corporate incorporation and registration of limited partnerships.
The financial services sector as well as the tourism industry are the two main economic engines of the territory.
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