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A Summary of Recent Legislative Developments in the BVI: Trusts, Succession, Data Protection and Consumer Protection

On 9 July 2021, a number of important pieces of legislation were brought into force in the BVI on the same day. Those enactments have made significant changes to the law in their respective areas, namely trusts, probate, data protection and consumer protection.

Below is a summary of the main changes that each of the new Acts has made to the existing legal position.

Trustee (Amendment) Act 2021

The Trustee (Amendment) Act 2021 has made various amendments to the Trustee Act 1961: the main legislative provision governing BVI trusts. The general purpose of those amendments is to modernise and strengthen the BVI’s trust offering, in order to maintain the territory’s position as one of the premier jurisdictions for private clients. The main amendments are:

  • Providing the Court with a new power to vary certain trusts without the consent of the beneficiaries.
  • Placing the rule in Re Hastings-Bass on a statutory footing, and strengthening that rule by formulating it in the way that it was formulated prior to the UK Supreme Court decision in Pitt v Holt; Re Futter. The new section applies to any fiduciary power, such that it appears to be capable of applying outside of the trustee context (e.g. to directors).
  • Increasing the powers that a settlor may reserve to himself in a trust instrument, without (among other things) invalidating the trust or preventing the trust taking effect according to its terms.
  • Strengthening the existing “firewall provisions” which protect BVI trusts and trustees against forced heirship and matrimonial claims in foreign countries

The new Act is based on recommendations made by the Trust and Succession Law Review Committee.

 

To continue reading full articles in PDF format:
A Summary of Recent Legislative Developments in the BVI: Trusts, Succession, Data Protection and Consumer Protection

 


Matthew Brown
Counsel

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1121


Mark J. Forte
Partner, Head of BVI Litigation & Restructuring and Office

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1113


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