British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2021

VI Gov’t retains Withers law firm & UK MP C. Geoffrey Cox QC for CoI

VI Gov’t retains Withers law firm & UK MP C. Geoffrey Cox QC for CoI

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said in an effort to ‘merely ensure transparency,’ his administration has retained international law firm Withers in the Virgin Islands (VI) and London, together with leading counsel, the Right Honourable Sir Charles Geoffrey Cox QC MP for the Upcoming Commission of Inquiry (CoI).

The CoI was announced by outgoing Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, as a parting gift to the ruling administration, after years of alleged political interference into the affairs of local government and now new accusations of questionable governance practices and victimisation in the Fahie Government.

A statement from the Government said that the law firm, together with Hon Cox; a recent former Attorney General of England and Wales, will “ensure a transparent process and to advise upon issues arising from this decision by the Governor in this matter and upon all matters relating to the Commission of Inquiry.”


The CoI was announced by outgoing Governor Augustus J.U. Jasper, as a parting gift to the Fahie administration, after years of alleged political interference into the affairs of local government and now new accusations of questionable governance practices and victimisation in the Fahie Government.

"Pleased with Legal representation" - Hon Fahie


Premier Fahie said Hon Cox was retained because “he is Lawyer of great experience.”

“I am pleased that the Government of the Virgin Islands will have Withers to advise Government - in particular the expertise of Rt Honourable Sir Geoffrey Cox, MP with his extensive legal knowledge and professional experience regarding Overseas Territories,” the Premier said in the release.

A statement on the legal representation noted that Section 12 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1880, as amended, provides that persons or entities that have a concern in the inquiry or who are the subject of the inquiry, shall be entitled to have legal representation in the proceedings.

The new announcement comes as news surfaced that Governor Jaspert 'directed' that the meetings of CoI be held in private and away from public scrutiny, in stark contrast to government's bid of having the inquiry broadcasted live in its entirety across media platforms and the internet to ensure transparency since the VI's reputation is on the line.


In 2014, Mr Charles Geoffrey Cox, QC (in photo) successfully defended the former Premier and current Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands, William McKeeva Bush, on charges of corruption and misuse of office.

Who is Charles Geoffrey Cox, QC?


Mr Charles Geoffrey Cox, according to Wikipedia, is a British Conservative Party politician and barrister serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Torridge and West Devon since the 2005 general election. Cox worked as a barrister from 1982 onwards and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 2003, two years before his election to Parliament.

On 9 July 2018, he was appointed Attorney General by then Prime Minister Theresa M. May; however, he was dismissed by current UK PM Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson in February 2020.

Mr Cox was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours for parliamentary and political service.

Notably, in 2014, Cox successfully defended the former Premier and current Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands, William McKeeva Bush, on charges of corruption and misuse of office.

Mr Bush had described the charges against him at the time as part of a "political witch hunt" led by then Governor Duncan J. R. Taylor and Members of the Opposition.

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