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BVI Commercial Court grants worldwide freezing order in support of Swiss proceedings – Charles Samek KC


On 21 November 2023, Charles Samek KC, acting for a Swiss Bank, persuaded the Commercial Court (Wallbank J) of the Virgin islands (BVI) at a fully-contested inter partes hearing to grant a worldwide freezing order and disclosure order pursuant to section 24A of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) Act 1969 (as amended) – the equivalent of section 25 of the UK’s Civil Jurisdiction & Judgments Act 1982. The respondents to the application were (i) a cause of action defendant in Swiss proceedings brought by the bank; and (ii) a third party Cayman Islands fund in respect of which the bank contended there was good reason to suppose that the true owner of its assets was respondent (i). The Court followed the English cases (e.g. Credit Suisse Fides Trust SA v CuoghiMotorola Credit Corp v Uzan et al.) and the BVI Commercial Court’s previous decision in Claimant X v A TVI Company (BVIHC (COM) 2021/0037) on section 25 in granting relief against two defendants, both of which were not resident in the BVI and where the only evidence of assets within the jurisdiction was the right to receive a multi-million Dollar distribution from liquidators of a BVI company. Charles was instructed by Brian Lacy, Partner and Head of BVI Dispute Resolution at Ogier.

‘A Swiss Bank’ v Gilbert Chagoury, (2) The Blue Line Fund, (3) Matthew Richardson (as Joint Liquidator of Laurella Limited) BVIHC(COM) 2017/0076

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