The Legal 500

British Virgin Islands


Top marks for Harneys in Chambers 2011 global directory

International law firm Harneys has once again earned stellar recognition from Chambers and Partners as one of the leading firms in the British Virgin Islands, with its practices in the Cayman Islands and Cyprus and recent expansion into Latin America also receiving positive reviews.

In its just released 2011 global directory, Harneys once more earned top rankings for its corporate and finance and dispute resolution practices in the BVI. Chambers says the firm’s “corporate, banking and finance and investment funds departments all play a central role on transactional matters, while its growing insolvency expertise has also proved useful in the current financial climate.”

Chambers takes note of Harneys’ growth in recent times saying the firm “operates on a global basis via its network of international offices, with the London and Hong Kong offices being especially important. Also of note is the firm's merger with Cypriot firm Aristodemou Loizides Yiolitis, which reflects a focus on key emerging markets.”

The commendation from clients is also very positive with Chambers quoting one as saying Harneys is “very responsive and reliable, with a good understanding of the local laws".

In its review of the firm’s dispute resolution practice, Chambers states that Harneys “maintains its long-established reputation as one of the biggest and best in the BVI for disputes work,” adding that “one of its main sources of recent work is trusts litigation, while contentious regulatory matters, fraud litigation and commercial insolvency are also steady areas of activity.” Making specific mention of some notable cases and what it terms the “particularly fruitful“ relationship with the Hong Kong office, Chambers mentions that the firm has advised on “a major dispute involving a Chinese company, as well as carrying out work on fund issues concerning the Madoff collapse.”

With regard to the firm’s BVI litigation practice, clients say “brilliant and helpful lawyers - on top of all the legal procedures, and great at strategy. Good operators with both depth and very broad experience - and easy to deal with, too”.

Globally, twelve of the firm’s lawyers have been individually recommended by Chambers for the quality of their work, knowledge of the law and understanding of the market. In the BVI office these key individuals are managing partner Richard Peters; banking and finance partners Colin Riegels and Russell Willings; litigation and insolvency  partners Phillip Kite and Andrew Thorp, investment funds partner Ross Munro, and litigation and insolvency associate Ian Mann. In Cayman litigation and insolvency partner Sarah Dobbyn and investment funds partner Tim Clipstone are recognised, and in Cyprus, Chambers recommended tax and regulatory partner Emily Yiolitis and banking and finance partners Pavlos Aristodemou and Nancy Erotocritou.

Recognising Harneys’ “impressive geographical reach” Chambers says Harneys is a “familiar name in the offshore space and is particularly well known for its leading position in the BVI”. In Cayman, the firm is credited with having lawyers who are responsive, thorough and offer quality advice. In Cyprus, Chambers takes note of strength of Harneys’ international corporate and finance practice, saying: “While more modest in size than some firms in Cyprus, it enjoys a strong reputation with international clients, who appreciate the team's dynamic attitude.”

Chambers is one of the leading independent legal directories and it has been publishing its global directory for the past 12 years. Chambers’ rankings and editorial comments are based on independent research including interviews with lawyers and clients.


Harneys is a leading international offshore law firm providing British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla and Cyprus legal advice. Through its offices in the BVI, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Hong Kong, London and Montevideo the firm provides legal services to the world’s top law firms, financial institutions and corporates. Over its 50 year history Harneys has been consistently ranked as the top law firm in the British Virgin Islands. For more information please visit