BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
COURT OF APPEAL
DISCOVERY – BVI APPEALS – DOCUMENTS PASSING BETWEEN PARTY AND LEGAL ADVISERS – WHETHER DOCUMENTS ARE PRIVILEDGED – CASE MANAGEMENT DISCRETION OF THE TRIAL JUDGE – BASIS ON WHICH AN APPEALLATE COURT WILL INTERFERE
Seven brothers owned a BVI Company. A dispute arose between the six Appellants and the other brother which was settled by the single brother buying all shares in the Company. In the buy/sell process the Appellants received advice from a Lawyer engaged by the Company. The Respondent found these documents on the Company’s computer equipment now owned by him. He wished to rely on such documents in the subsequent dispute as to ownership of the Company. The Appellants argued the terms of engagement with the Lawyer adapted over time to be his advice to them as shareholders and not the Company, and that such variation to the terms were authorised by them as directors. The trial Judge disagreed and found no privilege or confidentiality and ordered at the Case Management hearing that disclosure be made.