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St Vincent

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) consist of a group of islands approximately 100 miles due west of Barbados. The main island is St. Vincent, the islets to the south of which consist primarily of Bequia, Canouan, Union Island and Mustique, the home of a large number of high-net-worth individuals.

After being a British (and sometimes French) colony for nearly 500 years, SVG gained its independence from Britain in 1979, as a legacy of which its system of government has always been based on the Westminster/ Whitehall model.

New developments

In 2008, St. Vincent and the Grenadines passed the Limited Liability Companies Act 2008 (the LLC Act). From a tax-planning point of view its two most interesting features are:

  • The introduction of the Series LLC much used in jurisdictions such as Delaware. The Series LLC could be a useful vehicle for those persons wishing to establish mutual funds in a jurisdiction but who do not wish to use an IBC structure.
  • Under section 61, a judgment creditor’s sole remedy against the economic interest of a member of an LLC is by way of charging order and such creditor does not have any right to obtain possession of or otherwise exercise legal or equitable remedies with respect to the property or assets of the LLC.

At the time the legislation was passed it was generally anticipated that it will prove attractive to (in particular) American clients. The world economic situation and regulatory framework has changed much since then.

1. Introduction

a. History and background

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) consist of a group of islands approximately 100 miles due west of Barbados. The main island is St. Vincent, the islets to the south of which consist primarily of Bequia, Canouan, Union Island and Mustique, the home of a large number of high-net-worth individuals.

After being a British (and sometimes French) colony for nearly 500 years, SVG gained its independence from Britain in 1979, as a legacy of which its system of government has always been based on the Westminster/ Whitehall model.

b. Legal system

The legal system of SVG is in many respects similar to that of England and Wales. The local law has its foundations in English legislation, English common law and the rules of equity. The country has, since independence, developed its own body of statutory laws, particularly in the areas of international financial services.

The primary court of first instance is the High Court of Justice, from which appeal is made to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. Both these courts derive their jurisdiction from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act. The court of final appeal is Her Majesty’s Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, based in London.

Editorial board
Isaac Legair TEP
Dennings (Trustees) Limited, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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