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BVI Cross-Border Litigation: The Current State of Cost Recovery

March 2022 Jerry D. Samuel

The Legal Profession Act 2015 (as amended) (the “LPA”) introduced significant changes to regulation of the legal profession in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)1, including restrictions aimed at preventing persons not admitted in the BVI from recovering fees2. This article reviews the leading cases on recoverability of fees of non-admitted persons since enactment of the LPA, highlighting uncertainties addressed by the courts and issues that require regulatory intervention.

Key statutory provisions

The important statutory provisions related to recoverability of fees are sections 2(1) and 18 of the LPA. Section 2(1) defines a legal practitioner as a person whose name is entered on the register of legal practitioners, known as the Roll, and states that “practise law” means “to practise as a legal practitioner or to undertake or perform the functions of a legal practitioner, as recognised by any law…” before or after commencement of the LPA. Sections 18(1) and (2) impose criminal sanctions for unlawful practice, while section 18(3) prevents recovery of fees “in respect of anything done by a person whose name is not registered on the Roll or to whom subsection (2) relates, acting as a legal practitioner…in any action, suit or matter by any person.”


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BVI Cross-Border Litigation: The Current State of Cost Recovery


Jerry D. Samuel

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1116

This article was originally published by ThoughtLeaders4.

1Those changes included introduction of a General Legal Council, a Code of Ethics and a Disciplinary Tribunal.
2See sections 15 and 18 of the LPA.


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