Nevis: one of the worlds most secretive offshore havens

In terms of Caribbean jurisdictions, I’ve previously mentioned – 

These are the two most popular but there are probably dozens of attractive offshore jurisdictions to consider.  Including Nevis. 

The title is derived from an article published in the Guardian in 2018 –

In the article, the Guardian explains that – In the world of offshore, Nevis is a bottom-feeder. It specialises in letting its clients create corporations with greater anonymity than almost anywhere else on earth. Last year, information on 70,000 Nevisian companies was leaked as part of the Paradise Papers investigation, but that didn’t help us find out who owns them: ownership information is so secret there that even the island’s own corporate registry doesn’t know. In other words, there was nothing substantial to leak.

“We feel very strongly that people are entitled to some semblance of financial privacy,” the Nevis premier, Mark Brantley, himself an offshore lawyer, told me when we met in his office in January. “Why shouldn’t you be entitled to a secret?”

The secrets don’t belong to residents of Nevis, of course: it would be hard to keep anything quiet for long on an island this size. The secrets belong to foreigners and are being kept from other foreigners, with Nevis getting paid to protect them.

Despite the negative tone of the article, in 2018, the EU removed Nevis from the black list which speaks volumes –

We think it is an attractive alternative to the BVI and Caymans and a good summary as to why would be as follows – 

The 2015 Nevis LLC Ordinance clari­fies and enhances the Prior Ordinance.  Foreign judgments against a member are no longer a threat to assets held in a Nevis LLC if the assets are held in Nevis or in another jurisdic­tion respecting the New Ordinance. 

The Nevis Ordinance specifically applies to the single-member LLC. A creditor attempting to collect in Nevis must now relitigate the remedial portion of a foreign judgment in Nevis. The sole remedy against Nevis LLC equity, the charging order, is limited to the amount of the judgment, if it can be collected within three years. Lastly, fraudulent transfers to a Nevis LLC are no longer the major vulnerability they once were. A creditor seeking assets in Nevis or in other jurisdictions respecting the New Ordinance must relitigate a fraudulent transfer claim by proving his case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The creditor is left with a limited and unat­tractive remedy. For practitioners and their clients, these are welcome addi­tions that strengthen and update the Nevis limited liability company.

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