Tom Bolt, Managing Attorney of the St. Thomas law firm of Tom Bolt & Associates, P.C. and President of the American Counsel Association met Thurday evening in Paris with representatives of the Association of European Attorneys (AEA) at the opening dinner of the AEA’s Annual Meeting. 

"It was unbelievable the diversity in the room," Bolt said.  "At my table alone there were attorneys from Belgium, Cyprus, France, Japan, Lebanon and Spain.  Our Belgian dinner partner, Dominique Grissay, has been an active member of the legal team at the trial of former Iraqi President Sadaam Hussein.  It is evident to all that lawyers throughout the world need to speak out in favor of the rule of law.  No one is above the law, not Sadaam Hussein…nor George W. Bush.  Lawyers are our last hope for advocacy in favor of rule of law"

The Association of European Attorneys meeting in Paris has drawn approximately 150 attorneys throughout the world.  "It is my hope," Bolt said, " to promote our Virgin Islands Economic Development Program to this diverse group.  Most of these attorneys are business lawyers.  Many representing software developers and others with hedge funds as clients.  Both these groups can take advantage of the 90% exemption from federal income tax."

The American Territory’s tax abatement program was recently bolstered by the Internal Revenue Service’s issuance of IRS Tax Notice 76-2006.  The August notice clarified that certain software development and other providers of intellectual property could utilize the tax abatement program.

Bolt said, "I hope we can reach out to the international legal community to bring attention to all that we have to offer in the United States Virgin Islands with business and that we can lend our voice in advocating the rule of law."