Sir Geoffrey Cox MP, who was sacked as attorney general in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle early last year, has been hired by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration to present the government's interest in the corruption inquiry.
"The Government of the Virgin Islands announces today that it has appointed law firm Withers in the BVI and London, together with leading counsel, the Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Cox QC MP, the recent former Attorney General of England and Wales, to 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 Government said in a statement today, January 21.
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 of the inquiry.
“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,” Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie
The government's chief law officer had made clear in a speech on Wednesday that he wanted to hold on to the post, and said after his dismissal that he was 'leaving the government at the prime minister's request'.
Ensuring a Transparent Process International law firm retained for BVI Commission of Inquiry.
Following the statement of the Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Premier of the Virgin Islands, dated 19 January 2021, concerning the decision of the Governor, His Excellency Augustus J U Jaspert, to institute a Commission of Inquiry,
Geoffrey is consultant global counsel in the litigation and arbitration team.
Geoffrey was Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland from 2018-2020. He was tasked with advising the British Government on the Article 50 EU Withdrawal Agreement and on the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU, and for a time was part of its negotiating team.
He had wanted to hold on to the post, and said after his dismissal that he was 'leaving the government at the prime minister's request'.