An Overview Of Trusts In The BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey And New Zealand

This client briefing provides a brief overview of trusts in The

British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey and New

Zealand. For further information, please contact those listed in

this briefing.


The British Virgins Islands is a British Overseas Territory with

a strong constitutional relationship with the UK. It is responsible

for its own internal self-government, most notably in relation to

taxation. The British Virgin Islands has an independent legal

system based largely on that of the UK, with most law derived from

English common law, and the final appeal remains to the English

Privy Council. The economy is one of the most prosperous in the

Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands has developed into a

well-established jurisdiction for financial services as a result of

the government's commitment to business.

With the introduction of the VISTA legislation, it has been said

by leading practitioners that the British Virgin Islands has the

most modern and coherent trust legislation globally. Policies and

legislation have been developed in close partnership with the

private sector, and as a result responds well to the needs of

business and demonstrates a sophisticated and cutting edge


British Virgin Island trust law is based predominantly on

English trust law, but has developed beyond English law to permit

purpose trusts, extend the perpetuity period and most notably to

create the unique VISTA trust. Trusts in the British Virgin Islands

are exempt from registration under the Registration and Records Act

and trustees are exempt from any reporting and filing requirements,

ensuring a high degree of confidentiality.

Trusts are protected by the requirement that companies carrying

on trust company business must obtain a licence and conform to

various requirements (with the exception of private trust companies

which meet the criteria in the relevant regulations).

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is a group of three islands situated in the

Western Caribbean, 500 miles and one hour flying time south of

Miami, Florida. As a United Kingdom Overseas Territory with

responsibility for its own internal affairs, the Cayman Islands is

one of the world's most sophisticated offshore jurisdictions

More than 80% of the world's largest banks have a presence in

the jurisdiction. Political, social and economic stability, and a

strong business infrastructure with experienced professionals, make

the Cayman Islands a perfect choice for...

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