Arbitration Centre To Become Operative By The End Of 2016


By year end, the Territory’s newly established Arbitration Centre will begin to function. This is according to Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. Orlando Smith who recently announced that he is pleased that efforts to position the BVI as a player in the international arbitration space has gotten off to a promising start.

Hon. Smith gave the update on the Centre during his budget address on 8 February. The Premier disclosed that the newly established Arbitration Board has recruited a new CEO and has set itself to having the Centre outfitted and up and running before the end of 2016.

Last year during the inaugural Board meeting, Chairman of the Board of the BVI Arbitration Centre, Mr. John Beechey mentioned that a suitable location has been identified for the Center; and interviews were carried out to fill the post of CEO.

Since its formation, the Board had to deal with the finalisation of Rules for the Centre and the formation of a panel of arbitrators – “the constitution of which would reflect the ethos of a new and vibrant Centre open for business to users worldwide, not least those in the Caribbean, Hispanic Latin America, and Brazil,” a release said.

The inaugural Board meeting was the first opportunity for members to discuss outstanding actions required for the successful realisation of the Centre’s establishment.

The Board of the BVI International Arbitration Centre was appointed on 7 September 2015 under section 95 of the Arbitration Act, 2013. The Board comprises the Chairman – Mr. Beechey, Mr. Cherno Jallow QC, Mr. Mark Forte, Mr. Murray Smith and Ms. Felice Swapp.

The BVI Arbitration Act came into force on 1st October. The legislation strengthens the Territory’s position as a thriving financial centre where commercial disputes are resolved by an efficient court system.