Marjorie Rawls Roberts, known as “Jorie,” founded her private practice in 1999 after 19 years of working in both the private and public sectors in the US Virgin Islands. Her firm, Marjorie Rawls Roberts, P.C., specializes in taxation, corporate and securities law, estate planning, and business law in the US Virgin Islands.
Jorie advises clients on the Opportunity Zones incentives in the US Virgin Islands, as authorized by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which provides exciting investment opportunities for residents and non-residents. She also works closely with the Economic Development Commission and the Research and Technology Park of the University of the Virgin Islands, enabling her clients to obtain tax-incentive benefits in exchange for providing employment, invest capital in the territory, or collaborate with local civic organizations and the University of the Virgin Islands to expand the territory’s technology sector. In addition, Jorie works with the local Division of Corporations to establish and operate US Virgin Islands exempt companies, which are primarily foreign-owned corporations that receive significant tax benefits for their global operations.
Jorie received an A.B. from Smith College, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with High Honors in History. She spent her junior year at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was Developments Editor of the Harvard Journal of International Law and Editor in Chief of the Harvard Law Record (the school newspaper). She worked for a law firm in Guam after her first year of legal studies and wrote a paper on “Taxation of Foreign Investment in US Territories.” After law school, Jorie studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, on a Frank Knox Memorial Scholarship awarded by Harvard University, earning an LLB. She also holds an LLM (Executive) in taxation from New York University School of Law.
Jorie practiced law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in London and Washington, D.C., from 1981 to 1985. She served as an attorney-advisor in the US Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy in Washington, D.C., from 1985 to 1988, during the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Throughout the negotiations over the Act, Jorie was the Office of Tax Policy’s point person for excise taxes (including the rum tax cover-over that benefits the US Virgin Islands), individual tax provisions, and below-market loan provisions, among other issues.
Jorie moved to the US Virgin Islands in 1988 to serve as Technical Advisor and Chief Counsel to the US Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, a post she held for seven years. While at the Bureau, she helped draft the territory’s economic development legislation. She also traveled globally with the then-Industrial Development Commission to provide information about the US Virgin Islands “mirror” tax system, exempt company legislation, economic incentives, and foreign sales corporations to prospective investors and professionals. From 1995 to 1999, Jorie served as General Counsel, Vice President, and Director for Globalvest Management Company, LP. Globalvest was a St. Thomas-based company that managed investments in Central and South America and Russia At Globalvest, she handled tax and securities matters, including Globalvest’s investor advisor registration.
Publications, Presentations, Admissions, and Recognition
Jorie has written many articles on international taxation and US Virgin Islands investment incentives, among other topics. She frequently speaks at professional conferences on topics such as taxation in the Caribbean and Central America, US Virgin Islands investment laws, captive insurance companies, international estate planning, offshore and mutual funds, and residency. Jorie is admitted to practice law in California, Washington, D.C. (inactive), the US Virgin Islands, and before the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Tax Court. She is also licensed as a solicitor in England and Wales and in the British Virgin Islands. Jorie and her firm are rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest level of professional excellence), a recognition she has had for more than 24 years, and she is one of five “Band 1” attorneys (the highest rank) in the US Virgin Islands, as determined by Chambers and Partners.