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British Virgin Islands > Corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Robert Briant - Conyers Dill & Pearman
    • David Collins - Walkers BVI
    • Jacqueline Daley - Harneys
    • Anton Goldstein - Conyers Dill & Pearman
    • Philip Graham - Harneys
    • Jeffrey Kirk - Appleby
    • Richard May - Maples and Calder
    • Ray Wearmouth - Ogier

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Conyers Dill & Pearman's BVI corporate department head Robert Briant  focuses on M&A, joint ventures and investment vehicles; he also provides specialist advice to hedge funds and private equity funds. Briant led the BVI law advice to Major League Baseball (MLB) during a BVI company's acquisition of an MLB franchise, including assisting with issues such as the ability to transfer shares. Also highly rated is Anton Goldstein, who has particular expertise in M&A and private equity matters. Goldstein provided BVI legal advice to Vinci Airports on its acquisition of the airports management portfolio of Airports Worldwide, which includes Orlando Sanford Airport, Stockholm Skavsta Airport, Belfast International Airport and the Liberia and San Jose airports in Costa Rica. Audrey Robertson and Cora Miller are key counsels, while Eric Flaye, formerly of Harneys' BVI office, and Rachael Pape, previously at Carey Olsen, are well regarded associates.

Harneys regularly advises on large and complex M&A involving BVI companies, many of which recently included equity investment or joint venture elements. Highlights included the corporate team advising Hyatt, the international hotel chain, on its acquisition of preferred shares in (and on related joint venture arrangements with) a BVI company, which owned a major hotel and resort in Latin America. Philip Graham is BVI corporate, investment funds and regulatory team head; Jacqueline Daley leads the BVI-based corporate team; and Greg Boyd recently advised on a joint investment venture through an investor club equity financing deal, which involved the corporate expansion of a confectionery business. The recommended senior associates are George Weston and Sarah Lou Rockhead.

Maples and Calder's corporate and commercial lawyers handle complex M&A, private equity, restructuring deals and corporate advisory work. BVI managing partner and corporate and finance head Richard May advised Rio Novo, an emerging gold company that is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold mineral resource properties in South American mineral jurisdictions, on the BVI aspects of its merger with Aura Minerals. Ruairi Bourke advises on a variety of corporate transactions including M&A, joint ventures and corporate reorganisations, and Christopher Newton plays a key role in the firm's public equity group. Guy Williamson is a notable associate.

Ogier was recently involved in a number of significant BVI deals. In a large public transaction, Ray Wearmouth, who has advised on many of the jurisdiction's most significant deals over the last 15 years, led advice to Suez on its acquisition of GE’s global water business, which included BVI-based assets. BVI corporate head Michael Killourhy acted for Pacific Special Acquisition, a Nasdaq-listed BVI company, on its merger with Borqs International Holding, a global product and technology provider. Senior associate Rebecca Clark is recommended for cross-border M&A. Managing associate Christian Burns-Di Lauro relocated to the firm's Jersey office.

Walkers BVI has an impressive portfolio of clients from Asia, Europe and North America that it assists with public and private M&A, corporate restructurings, plans of arrangement and joint ventures. In a recent high-profile M&A transaction, BVI managing partner David Collins led advice to Didi Chuxing, China's ride-sharing conglomerate, on the BVI elements of its highly-publicised $1bn acquisition of a controlling stake in 99 Taxis, a ride-sharing app in Brazil. Other notable highlights include Patrick Ormond, previously at Carey Olsen, providing BVI law advice to Total, in connection with its $7.45bn acquisition of Maersk Oil. Senior counsel Lisa Penn-Lettsome is a regulatory specialist and Omonike Robinson-Pickering is a key senior associate. Jude Hodge was hired as senior associate from Mourant Ozannes, while Ashley Davies and Rowena Lawrence joined Campbells' Hong Kong office and the British Foreign Office, respectively, and former senior counsel Nick Egan left the firm.

Appleby fields lawyers with substantial experience in M&A and restructuring and who have sector experience in energy and natural resources, infrastructure and insurance. The team advised a private equity and investment advisory firm on the regulatory aspects of the acquisition of a provider of specialist business services. BVI corporate department head Jeffrey Kirk advises on public and private M&A, capital markets, banking and finance, investment funds, private equity, (re)insurance and other corporate-related matters. The other key contacts are David Clark and Andrew Jowett.

Mourant Ozannes' practice covers corporate restructurings and reorganisations, mergers, ongoing corporate maintenance issues, private client matters with corporate dimensions, and directors’ duties. BVI managing partner Rachael McDonald also heads the BVI finance and corporate department; she advised MegaFon, a major Russian telecoms company, on its $740m acquisition of a majority stake in Mail.Ru Group, a Russian internet and social media group, from USM Holdings. Saraid Taylor is an experienced senior associate; associate Gary Hall relocated to the BVI from the firm's Guernsey office.

Carey Olsen's BVI corporate practice is regularly involved in international M&A involving the BVI as a jurisdiction, and it has a strong reputation for advising BVI-registered clients listed on the London Stock Exchange and other exchanges. Clinton Hempel splits his time between South Africa and the BVI. Elizabeth Killeen and Sharon Mungall are highly regarded counsels.

Forbes Hare is 'wholeheartedly recommended'. José Santos is global head of corporate and is well known for M&A, joint ventures and offshore investment funds; he also has vast expertise in US- and Latin America-related offshore transactions. Stuart Bruce is a well-regarded associate.

O'Neal Webster 'always provides excellent service; the work ethic of the firm, especially in terms of turnaround times, is also exemplary'. The practice is noted for corporate formation, restructuring, M&A, and regulatory advice during cross-border deals. Recently appointed managing partner Vanessa King heads the corporate and commercial department. Christopher Simpson acted as BVI Counsel to the Nasdaq-listed SBA Communications, a large owner and operator of wireless communication infrastructure, on the acquisition of certain towers in Columbia. Kerry Anderson heads the investment funds and regulatory team.

Price Demers & Co provides legal opinions on international business transactions as well as deals involving BVI companies. The practice also advises on the sale and purchase of shares, and on the formation and management of BVI companies, mutual funds and partnerships. Name partner Susan Demers is the key contact.

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