Business BVI

Raising Our Gaze: Arbitration the Next Horizon

Five years ago, the BVI decided to embark on the journey to develop as an international arbitration centre and since then much has been accomplished; the jurisdiction enacted arbitration legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model, became a party to the New York Convention and adapted its immigration and labour laws to welcome and facilitate the business of arbitration in the territory. Most impressively, the BVI opened a world class Arbitration facility. We at Business BVI are very pleased that the second BVI International Arbitration Conference will take place at the new BVI International Arbitration Centre

Concurrent with its opening, the BVI IAC, published modern rules and selected a second to none Panel of Arbitrators. A well-run and well-equipped ‘state of the art’ centre, together with the globally respected quality of the BVI legal framework and the stable political environment position the BVI to become the leading arbitration hub in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The conference programme is designed to explore how arbitration is evolving; poles of attraction are shifting, players are becoming more diverse, legislation, rules, and practices are adapting as new realities and centres of excellence emerge. Delegates to the Conference will also have the opportunity to join ancillary events such as CIArb and Young ICCA workshops and a mock arbitration to further develop their skill set and learn about arbitration practice.

Arbitration Week 2017 in the BVI will incorporate a never ending flurry of networking opportunities, including lectures, presentations, daily social events and even a post conference Friday afternoon day sail to Tortola’s sister islands. With this networking event you will get to appreciate why the BVI is renowned globally for its sailing as the Yachting Capital of the Caribbean.


Topics and areas of concentration for the conference will include the following key presentations and sessions:

  • Building an Arbitration Culture in the Caribbean and Latin America.
  • Arbitration: Enforcement vs. Sovereign Immunity – a Clash of Policy
  • Breaking the Mould: Is Arbitration Becoming Truly International?
  • Deliberate Diversity: A New Model for Arbitration.
  • Third party Funding – Evolution or Revolution?
  • Getting into the Game: How to Build an Arbitration Practice
  • Conduct of Arbitration
  • The perfect Arbitrator; a Client, Arbitrator and Centre Perspective
  • The BVI IAC and the London Centenary Principles.


This must attend event is designed for anyone with an interest in international arbitration in the BVI. With this in mind, the programme has been intentionally pitched to be of interest to persons and practitioners with a keen appreciation and knowledge of international arbitration while also targeting those who are new to the space. We see the conference adding to the continuum of knowledge and experience.

  • Arbitrators
  • Dispute Resolution Practitioners
  • Corporate Counsel
  • In-house Counsel
  • Mediators
  • Experts
  • Business professionals
  • SME executives involved in international business activities
  • Mid level department managers and senior public servants
  • Persons/businesses keen on providing support and ancillary services to the arbitration centre
  • Academics

Please join us for what will be an exciting conference week, packed with highly anticipated discussions, professional development courses and unique networking opportunities.

Business BVI

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

9:00am to 4:00pm
CIArb Workshops:

  • Accelerated Route to Fellowship with Award Writing Exam
  • Accelerated Route to Membership

Please note that CIArb's workshops are not included in the conference registration fee.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

9:00am to 4:00pm
CIArb Workshops:

  • Accelerated Route to Fellowship with Award Writing Exam
  • Accelerated Route to Membership


Monday, May 29, 2017

9:00am to 4:00pm
CIArb Workshops:

  • Accelerated Route to Fellowship with Award Writing Exam
  • Accelerated Route to Membership


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

9:00am to 4:00pm
CIArb Workshops:

  • Introduction to International Arbitration

2:30pm to 5:15pm
Young ICCA Workshop
Open & Free

  • Welcome Remarks
  • Panel Discussion

5:30pm - 7:30pm
Keynote Address
Delivered by The RT. Hon. Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice

Cocktail Reception: Sponsored by the BVI International Arbitration Centre.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

8:30am to 4:30pm
Mock Arbitration Session - Planning the International Arbitration
Open & Free

  • Introduction of the fact pattern and what the audience will see.
  • The existence of the dispute, the meetings between in-house counsel, outside counsel and CEO.
  • The selection of the arbitrator (interviewing and appointing party-appointed arbitrator).
  • Challenge to the arbitrator (deciding whether to challenge the party-appointed arbitrator, court deliberations on the challenge to the party-appointed.
  • Similarities and differences in procedure (strategy conference on preliminary procedural issues, arguments on said issues, hearing and tribunal deliberations on the preliminary procedural issues, hearing on the merits and further tribunal deliberations.

5:00pm to 6:00pm
ArbitralWomen Panel - Enforcement of Arbitral Awards

Speakers: Dana MacGrath, Shan Greer, Yasmine Lahlou, Natalie Reid, Angeline Welsh

6:00pm to 8:00pm
Dr. JS Archibald, QC Memorial Lecture
Delivered by Mr. John Beechey CBE, Chairman of the Board, BVI International Arbitration Centre

Cocktail Reception – Sponsored by the BVI Bar Association


Thursday, June 01, 2017

8:30am to 9:00am
Collection of Badges, Coffee & Tea

9:00am to 9:10am
Welcome Remarks
Russell Harrigan, Managing Editor – Business BVI

9:10am to 9:30am
Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, Premier and Minister for Finance, Government of the Virgin Islands

First Session
Building an Arbitration Culture in the Caribbean and Latin America.

In a region of 645 million people, what does the future hold for the development of arbitration as an option for settling disputes? This session will examine the characteristics of the dispute landscape in the Caribbean and Latin America and debate how arbitration can advance the social and economic wellbeing of this diverse region.

Speakers: Michael Black, Arabella Di Iorio, Natalie Reid, John Bassie
Moderator: Hélène Anne Lewis

11:00am to 11:30am
Arbitration: Enforcement v Sovereign Immunity – a clash of policy

Speakers: Hermione Rose Williams

11:30am to 12:45am
Second Session:
Breaking the Mould: Is Arbitration becoming truly international?

Panelists will discuss the successful rise of arbitral institutions to rival New York, London and Paris. What are the lessons for regional new and aspiring jurisdictions?

Speakers: Angeline Welsh, Anthony Gafoor, George Spalton & Timur Aitkulov
Moderator: Andrew Thorp

12:45am to 1:45pm

1:45pm to 3:00pm
Third Session:
Deliberate Diversity: A New Model for Arbitration.

Panelists will discuss how arbitration would benefit from improved diversity, in respect of gender, nationality and ethnicity.

Speakers: Mélida Hodgson, Nancy M. Thevenin, John Beechey, Yasmine Lahlou
Moderator: Lawrence Schaner

3:00pm to 3:30pm
The different approaches to investment arbitration in Sub-Saharan countries: is there a hidden proposal to arbitrate?

Speakers: Nuno Ferreira Lousa

3:00pm to 4:00pm
Fourth Session:
Third party funding– evolution or revolution?

Speakers: Gerard St. C. Farara QC, Hefin Rees QC; Benno Kimmelman, Susan Dunn
Moderator: Mark Forte

4:00pm to 5:00pm
Breakout Session:
(1) Getting into the Game: How to Build an Arbitration Practice OR
(2) Conduct of Arbitration

Speakers: Shan Greer (1), Niccolò Landi (1), Lawrence Schaner (1), Nicholas Burkill (1) Murray Smith (2), Yasmine Lahlou, Hefin Rees QC (2), Ben Love (2)
Moderator: Nadine Whyte


Friday, June 02, 2017

8.30am to 9.00am

9.00am to 10:15am
Fifth Session:
The perfect Arbitrator, a client, counsel, arbitrator and centre perspective

Speakers: Karl Hennessee, João Vilhena Valério, Ben Love, David M. Lindsey
Moderator: Dawn Smith

10:15am to 10:30am
Coffee break

10:30am to 11:45am
The BVI IAC and the London Centenary Principles.
In the inaugural JS Archibald Memorial Lecture held on the eve of the 2015 BVI International Arbitration Conference, Lord Goldsmith foreshadowed the LCP which were later unveiled in London at the Centenary Conference of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. This panel explores the progress of the BVI IAC since that lecture and measures it against the LCP 2015.

Speakers: Kedrick Malone, Felice Swapp, Dancia Penn OBE QC
Moderator: Callum McNeil

11:45am to 12:00pm
Closing remarks
Russell Harrigan, Managing Editor – Business BVI

12:30pm to 6:00pm
Boat Excursion and Networking Afternoon

Business BVI

2017 BVI CIArb International Arbitration Workshops

CIArb will be running three courses between May 27th and May 30th:
Accelerated Route to Fellowship with Award Writing Exam

27th to 29th May 2017
Course Fee: US$2,000

Accelerated Route to Membership

27th to 29th May 2017
Course Fee: US$1,500

Introduction to International Arbitration

30th May 2017
Course Fee: US$400

For more information and to register please click here.

2017 Young ICCA Arbitration Workshop

Young ICCA will be running a workshop on Tuesday May 30th.
Young ICCA is a world-wide arbitration knowledge and skills network for young practitioners, established in 2010. It aims to:

  • provide a forum for young students and professionals to exchange ideas about international arbitration;
  • provide young professionals interested in dispute resolution with access to each other and to the international arbitration community;
  • promote the use of arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution by introducing new practitioners from all corners of the globe into the practice of arbitration.
Participation in Young ICCA is open to law students, faculty members and young practitioners and is free of charge. To register, please contact Angélica Huacuja, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Business BVI


Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron was born in Basseterre, St. Kitts. Sir Dennis won the Leeward Islands Scholarship in 1960 and went on to read law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University from which he graduated with an M.A and an LL.B. In 1965, he was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Sir Dennis Byron distinguished himself in private practice as a Barrister‐at‐Law and Solicitor throughout the Leeward Islands, with Chambers in St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla from 1966 to 1982. His judicial career began in 1982 when he was appointed as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. In 1999, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, having acted in that position for two years.

In March 2001, Chief Justice Byron as he then was, as a member of an international delegation of jurists travelled to Zimbabwe on a fact‐finding mission on behalf of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, inquiring into reports of abuses against the Rule of Law by the Government. Mr. Justice Byron was subsequently appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to replace Judge Lloyd George Williams, where he served as a Judge of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from June 2004. He was elected President of the Tribunal in May 2007, succeeding former President Erik Møse of Norway and was re‐elected for a second term as President in May 2009.

In 2000, Mr. Justice Byron was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and he was appointed a member of the Privy Council in 2004.

The Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron took the oath of office as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice in his home country before His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Sir Dennis Byron’s inauguration comes further to his appointment by the Conference of Heads of Government upon the retirement of The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide TC, former President of the CCJ.

Business BVI
Russell Hariggan

Additional speakers to be announced

Business BVI

Bronze Sponsor

New Square

Networking Reception Sponsors


Supporting Sponsors

Harneys SL


CIArb Young ICCA Arbitral Women IAC

Media Partner

Arbitral Women Arbitral Women
Business BVI

Connecting airports surround the BVI, making arrivals and departures an easy part of your travel itinerary. When travelling to the BVI, there are no direct flights from the USA, Canada, Europe, or South America to the British Virgin Islands' main airport, the Terrence B. Lettsome Airport (EIS).

All flights must connect through another Caribbean airport on islands such as Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, or St. Maarten. Your travel agent or international airline will be able to assist with booking flights. If you plan to make reservations online, remember that you will have to request flights to Tortola (EIS).

The most direct way to arrive to the BVI from North America is via San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). Frequent connecting service is offered by Cape Air and Seaborne and interCaribbean Airways, with occasional service offered by other airlines and charter flights. Charter airline service can be arranged from almost anywhere in the Caribbean. See our Inter-Island Aviation section for more information on airline charter companies.

Flights via St. Thomas - Airport Code [STT]
If you choose to arrive via St. Thomas, you can catch regular flights to Tortola on Cape Air and Seaborne. Antilles Helicopter Services and Caribbean Buzz Helicopters also offer airport transfers to/from Beef Island [EIS] and STT.

Most travellers take one of the frequent ferries that travel between downtown Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook, St. Thomas and the BVI. Ferry service is available to Tortola every day via West End or Road Town. Getting to the next ferry is very easy - just take a taxi at the St. Thomas Airport and let the taxi driver know that you need to take the next ferry to Tortola.

Please note: Ferries from St. Thomas to Tortola only operate during daylight hours - so the last ferry is usually around 4:30/5pm. Make sure that your flight arrives in time for the transfer to Charlotte Amalie (approximately 10 minutes) or Red Hook (approximately 45 minutes) or make arrangements to overnight in St. Thomas and catch the ferry the following morning. Ferry service starts at approximately 7:30am. Click here for more information on ferry schedules.

Flights via Antigua - Airport Code [ANU]
Travelers from the UK may find it easiest to travel directly to Antigua. Connecting flights to Tortola can be booked with LIAT a regional airline. interCaribbean Airways and VI Airlink (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) offer non-stop flights for passengers on Virgin Atlantic and British Airways with Coast to Coast World Wide Travel. Private charter flights are also available. Check each airline’s website for any fares and schedules.

Passport Requirements
US citizens require a valid passport to enter the British Virgin Islands with proof of a return or onward ticket.

European citizens require a valid passport to enter the British Virgin Islands with proof of a return or onward ticket. Visitors from some countries may require a visa - if in doubt please check with your nearest BVI Tourist Board. If you are traveling to the BVI via the United States of America you will need to be in possession of a machine-readable passport.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
International travelers who are seeking to travel to/from the British Virgin Islands via the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are now subject to enhanced security requirements and will be required to pay an administrative fee. Applications can be made online.

ESTA application
Please remember to bring a printout of the authorisation with you.

The BVI has established a Visa Exemption Program which allows nationals of a country that require a BVI visa, but who also hold a United Kingdom, United States of America or Canadian Visa and are visiting the Territory for business, tourism and other related matters, to enter and remain in the BVI for a period less than six months. See additional entry requirements information.

Business BVI

There are a variety of hotels and properties available on Tortola and the surrounding islands that are only a short ferry ride away from the capital, Road Town. From modest to luxury, there are options to suit all budgets.

Coldwell Banker BVI is the official concierge partner of the International Arbitration Conference 2017. We are delighted to offer all conference delegates exclusive rates at hand selected properties, specially chosen for their proximity to the conference venue or secluded situation at one of our beautiful beaches. Take advantage of our transportation package that includes transport from your chosen accommodation to the main conference date and events.

Tap in the local knowledge of the experienced team at Coldwell Banker BVI who are happy to make recommendations of experiences to help you get the best out of your time in the BVI. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on +! 284 495 3000.

Business BVI

Be a part of the future. To find out available sponsorship opportunities please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.