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Conyers Dill & Pearman’s ‘responsive, diligent and thorough team’ has substantial experience advising on M&A, finance, banking and aviation matters. British Virgin Islands (BVI) leader Robert Briant, who oversees the corporate and finance team, acted as BVI counsel for Nordic Aviation Capital (the world’s largest lessor of turboprop aircraft) on its acquisition of Jetscape Aviation Group, which is known for regional jet leasing. Recent buy-side deal highlights include Anton Goldstein – a ‘gem’ of a lawyer who is ‘knowledgeable, practical and responsive’ – advising Danish transport and logistics group DSV on the completion of its $1.35bn acquisition of UTi Worldwide, which is one of the largest ever takeovers of a publicly listed BVI company. Counsels Audrey Robertson and Cora Miller are also recommended.

Evidencing the firm’s sell-side credentials, HarneysGreg Boyd recently acted as local counsel for global supply chain services and solutions provider UTi Worldwide (as part of a London and BVI cross-office team) on its $1.35bn sale to DSV. Corporate and commercial head Jacqueline Daley-Aspinall advised TSX and FSE-listed Energulf Resources on its acquisition of TSX-listed Columbus Copper Corporation by way of a plan of arrangement. Other key advisers include transactional head Russell Willings, head of banking and finance Tanya Cassie-Parker, head of investment funds and regulatory Philip Graham, and global head of banking and finance Colin Riegels. Senior associate Oliver Bell is recommended for funds advice.

Walkers BVI saw change in its team with David Collins, who is ‘an incredibly strong lawyer with a very sound commercial mind’, and BVI investment funds head Ashley Gunning arriving from the Cayman office and Ashley Davies relocating from the firm’s Hong Kong office; former investment funds head Marianne Rajic joined Campbells’ new Hong Kong office in 2016. Davies, who ‘knows what the client needs and is very efficient’, recently acted for the mandated lead arrangers on a high-value financing. Other highlights include the team providing BVI law advice to Colombian infrastructure company Grupo Odinsa on the acquisition of certain BVI holding companies that hold a stake in Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport from Toronto-listed Aecon Group. John Gosling and senior counsels Nick Egan are recommended along with regulatory department head Lisa Penn-Lettsome.

Appleby stands out for its BVI advice to the energy, infrastructure and natural resources sectors, with a particular emphasis on investments into Asia, Latin America and Africa; the team also has specialised insurance expertise. Key Russia-related finance deals included office managing partner Jeffrey Kirk assisting Gazprombank with its provision of a $585m loan to Group, which was partial consideration for the purchase of a 48% stake in David Clark and recently promoted partner Andrew Jowett are recommended. Former counsel Nadia Menezes left the firm.

Maples and Calder’s Richard May who serves as BVI managing partner as well as head of corporate and finance, is recommended for M&A, joint ventures, stock exchange listings and corporate reorganisations; he also acts for investment managers and private equity houses on the structuring, formation and financing of funds. Funds and regulatory head Tim Clipstone has particular expertise in advising managers and institutional investors; together with the firm’s Dublin and London offices, he acted for Permal Group on the transfer of assets and investors from BVI funds to an Irish collective asset management vehicle structure.

Ogier’s team is ‘highly responsive, commercially sound and succinct in its approach’. Finance head Ray Wearmouth advised Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan on the structured $1.3bn acquisition of 13% of Socar Turkey Enerji. Corporate head Michael Killourhy is praised for ‘his leadership and has an unruffled, efficient and clear style, which helps achieve clients’ unreasonable deadlines’; he is recommended for public offerings (equity and debt), M&A and complex corporate restructurings. His recent experience includes acting for a BVI joint venture vehicle that was established to acquire a UK-based food manufacturer, as well as assisting Electrum Special Acquisition Corporation with its establishment and subsequent IPO on Nasdaq. Christopher Newton is a key managing associate.

Carey Olsen is ‘very responsive, it has good systems in place to cover absences and time-zone difficulties, and delivers sensible and accurate advice in a timely manner’. Department head Clinton Hempel, who divides his time between BVI and South Africa, was part of a cross-jurisdictional corporate team that advised on the BVI and Guernsey elements of a fully secured and collateralised loan facility to enable GVC to fund its successful $1.7bn public takeover bid for the Bwin gambling group. ‘Very good’ senior associate Sharon Mungall handles corporate, finance and insolvency matters. The practice recently hired of counsel Patrick Ormond from Conyers Dill & Pearman.

Forbes Hare’s ‘team is responsive, good value for money and takes a commercial approach’. Global head of corporate José Santos is ‘very responsive’ and has ‘deep knowledge’ – he led the advice to Clairmont Partners and other group companies on an investment in the client by shareholders and a third party investor. Andrew Coddington leads on work pertaining to the CIS and CEE.

Evidencing Mourant Ozannes’ private equity and corporate capabilities, BVI managing partner Rachael McDonald recently provided BVI law advice to Peppertree Capital Management regarding a complex joint venture, which spanned several territories in Central and South America. Counsel Nathaniel Luker and associate Marianne Wilson are key advisers. Counsel Marie-Claire Fudge returned to the firm from Ogier’s Jersey office while former senior associate James Webb joined Walkers’ Hong Kong office.

O'Neal Webster’s client list includes UTi Worldwide and Freescale Semiconductor. Head of the commercial department Vanessa King – who is ‘reactive, commercial and a trusted adviser; always accommodating and a pleasure to work with’ – regularly handles banking, finance, corporate and commercial, M&A and IP matters. Also recommended are investment business and regulatory head Kerry Anderson, Christopher Simpson and Willa Tavernier, who advises on a broad remit including real estate and employment issues, business contracts, joint venture structures, shipping, and aviation matters.

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