Press Release

BVI Finance
Release Date:
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 - 9:05am

Local lawyer, Ms. Vanessa King of O’Neal Webster, has been awarded the ninth STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is the worldwide professional association for professionals who help families plan for their futures including everything from drafting a will and advising family businesses, to helping international families and protecting vulnerable family members. The organisation has over 20,000 members across 95 countries working as lawyers, accountants and other trust and estate specialists.

According to the organisation’s website, the STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement recognises “members who have made an exceptional and outstanding long term contribution to the Society above and beyond that which is normally expected of a member through office in his or her branch or elsewhere in the voluntary life of the Society”.

Nominees for the 2016 award Nominees were assessed by a panel made up of the four most recent Chairs of the Society; Mr. Michael Young from England and Wales, Mr. Richard Pease from Switzerland, Mrs. Helene Anne Lewis from the Caribbean and Ms. Rosemary Marr from the Channel Islands, along with Mr. John Lawrence representing Caribbean and Latin America and Mr. Michael Cadesky as Chair of the Panel and representing Canada, Asia and Australasia. Despite the large number of impressive nominees, only a handful was chosen and of those special few, was none other than local lawyer Ms. Vanessa King of O’Neal Webster.

Ms. King has been the chair of the British Virgin Islands branch of STEP for a number of years and in that capacity has taken the British Virgin Islands branch to new heights. Amongst her many achievements, she was instrumental in introducing the first one-day STEP BVI Conference last year which was an outstanding success.

She has, for several years, also been a highly regarded member of the STEP Caribbean Conference steering committee and, last year joined the Caribbean and Latin America Regional Committee where she also plays an active role.

She has also served on the Regional policy sub-committee, the efforts of which ultimately resulted in the dilution of the EU's proposals to introduce compulsory trust registers in Europe.

In her capacity as chair of STEP BVI, Ms. King has been appointed to a number of Government committees including member of the interim board responsible for guiding BVI Finance as it transitions to become BVI Finance Ltd. She also chairs the Trust and Succession Law Review Committee of the BVI branch of STEP, the proposals of which led to all the BVI's highly regarded 2013 trust law reforms.

Interim Executive Director of BVI Finance, Mrs. Lorna Smith, OBE, congratulated Ms. King on this remarkable achievement saying, “The STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement is a prestigious award given only to those who have truly worked to promote the organisation’s vision, mission and value, so it was no surprise to me that she has been named one of the 2016 recipients.”

She added, “Ms. King has done remarkable work as the Chair for STEP BVI and I would like to congratulate her on behalf of BVI Finance for her commitment to promoting high professional standards and ensuring that the BVI remains a relevant, innovative and hyper competitive jurisdiction in the international financial services industry.”


Notes to Editors

  • BVI Finance is responsible for marketing and promoting the BVI’s financial services industry. More information can be found at, by contacting or by following BVI Finance on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.