Board of Directors

The current five members of the BVI International Arbitration Centre Board were appointed by Cabinet effective 7 September, 2015 under section 95 of the Arbitration Act. They are Mr. John Beechey, Mr. Mark Forte, Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, Mr. Murray Smith and Ms. Felice Swapp.

Mr. John Beechey, former President of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce and recently honored by the Queen on his appointment as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), serves as Chairman. Members of the BVI IAC Board were selected based on their relevant knowledge, experience and expertise which could aid the BVI IAC in the performance of its functions.

Speaking on the appointments of the Board members, Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE commented:

“The development of the arbitration sector is one of my Government’s priorities as we work towards further growth and diversification of the BVI economy. I am therefore very pleased to welcome the first board members of the BVI International Arbitration Centre. I have every confidence that their respective expertise and insights will be invaluable and very beneficial to the growth and development of the Centre and of arbitration and dispute resolution services in this Territory.”

Newly appointed Chairman Beechey commented:

“The decision of the Cabinet and the generous endorsement of the Premier are signals of government's serious intent to promote the establishment of an international arbitration centre in the BVI, which will offer a service of the highest quality and integrity to its users. It is an honour to be asked to serve on this inaugural IAC Board and to have been entrusted, with my colleagues on the Board, with the task of taking forward the development of the new Centre."

Board Members


Mr. John Beechey CBE

Mr. John Beechey CBE

Chairman

Mr. John Beechey CBE (Chairman) is an independent arbitrator. He was President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration from January 2009 until June, 2015, Mr. Beechey oversaw the introduction of the new ICC Arbitration and Mediation Rules and new Rules for Experts. He was primarily responsible for the Court's move to new premises and he proposed and implemented the establishment of the new Governing Body, which has the responsibility for long-term strategic planning for the Court. During his term of office, the Court opened operations in New York and saw the inception of the Jerusalem Arbitration Centre and many changes to the practices of the Court, the principal purpose of which has been to improve the efficiency of the Court and the quality of the service that it offers to its users. Before assuming the Presidency of the ICC Court, he had founded the international arbitration practice at Clifford Chance, where he was a Partner for 25 years. He has a long and distinguished career in dispute resolution.

Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC

Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC

Deputy Chairman

Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC was Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands from 1999 to 2007.  A well respected and proficient legislative draftsman, he was a member and later Chair of the Focus Group established by the BVI Financial Services Commission in 2011 to see to the enactment of modern arbitration legislation for the British Virgin Islands and related issues. He is currently the Director of Policy, Research and Statistics at the BVI Financial Services Commission.

Mr. Mark Forte

Mr. Mark Forte

Member

Mr. Mark Forte is a Partner and Head of Litigation & Restructuring in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) office of Conyers Dill & Pearman. He specializes in complex cross-border dispute resolution and contentious cross-border insolvency. Mark also advises foreign states, government agencies and liquidators on international asset tracing measures.

Mr. Murray Smith

Mr. Murray Smith

Member

Mr. Murray Smith is a chartered arbitrator with extensive experience in commercial litigation and arbitration. He has acted as arbitrator in international commercial arbitrations and has served as chairman, as party appointed arbitrator and as sole arbitrator. For more than 20 years, Mr. Smith has also been involved in international commercial arbitration continuing legal education programs in England, British Columbia, Yukon, the United States and the Caribbean (including the BVI). He was a founding member and Chairman of the North American Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators from 2005 to 2008 and collaborated with Martin Hunter and Allan Redfern in writing the second edition of the leading text “Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration”.

Ms. Felice Swapp

Ms. Felice Swapp

Member

Ms. Felice Swapp is the Chief Operating Officer of Harneys. She joined Harneys in 2013 after working as Executive Operating Director of San Francisco Jazz (SFJAZZ) with responsibilities for fundraising, marketing, education, finance and administration, and the $65M SFJAZZ Center construction project. Ms. Swapp has a broad background as an engineer, strategic management consultant and business executive.

Toby Landau QC

Mr. Toby Landau, QC

Advisor to the Board

Mr. Toby Landau QC is a Barrister and Arbitrator in independent practice at Essex Court Chambers since 1994. He specializes in international and commercial law, and in particular international and commercial arbitration. He regularly advises and appears as Counsel before English and foreign Courts, and international arbitrations worldwide.

Both as counsel and arbitrator, Toby has substantial experience in Foreign Investment, International Trade, Joint Ventures, Power and other large scale infrastructure projects, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Shipping, Agency and distribution (including commercial agency), Conflict of Laws and Public International Law. He has argued over 280 major international arbitrations worldwide, as well as appearing regularly before the English Courts at all levels. In particular, he has argued many of the leading cases under the Arbitration Act 1996 (which he co-drafted), including several ground-breaking cases before the UK Supreme Court. As Arbitrator, he sat in over 80 major international cases, including appointments as President and Co-Arbitrator in numerous ICSID, NAFTA and ad hoc investor-State disputes and institutional and ad hoc commercial arbitration cases worldwide (including ICC; LCIA; Stockholm Chamber of Commerce; Netherlands Arbitration Institute; International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber; ARIAS; CCIG (Swiss Rules); UNCITRAL).

Toby is a Director of the LCIA; Board Member of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC); Fellow (previously Trustee) of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Chartered Arbitrator; long-standing UK Delegate to the UNCITRAL Working Group on Arbitration (where he has played a key role in drafting the UNCITRAL Rules 2010 and amendments to the Model Law). He was one of the draftsmen of the English Arbitration Act 1996, the Pakistan Arbitration Ordinance of 2005; the Mauritius Arbitration Act of 2008; and the 2010 IBA Rules on Evidence. He currently serves on the IBA sub-committee responsible for updating the 2004 IBA Rules on Conflicts of Interest.