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Maples Group's 'excellent team is always responsive and knowledgeable about Cayman regulations and market practice'. The practice specialises in aircraft and shipping finance, banking and structured finance, including collateralised loan obligations (CLOs), derivatives and repackagings. Other areas of strength are fund finance, insurance-linked securities, listings and regulatory advice; the firm also fields lawyers who regularly assist with debt and equity capital markets. Highlights included advising Intertrust SPV (Cayman), acting as trustee of the Energuate Trust, on the issuance of $330m-worth of senior notes that are jointly and severally guaranteed by Guatemala-structured corporations; and acting for WAVE 2017-1 and WAVE 2017-1 on the Cayman Islands (Cayman) legal aspects of an approximately $578m portfolio finance transaction, which related to approximately 19 aircraft on lease to operators across 14 countries. Mark Matthews is global finance head, structured finance and fund finance specialist Scott Macdonald also heads the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange listing group, Tina Meigh is fund finance leader, Wanda Ebanks is recommended for 'her responsiveness and good commercial sense', and Jonathon Meloy's 'strengths are good availability, rapid response times and high-quality advice'. Also recommended are Sherice Arman, Dale Crowley, John Dykstra and Nicola Bashforth. Growth in the team saw Anthony Philp and James Reeve become partners.

The 'very user-friendly' team at Walkers is 'adept at dealing with New York law firm requests for overnight action, and consistently provides a very high level of client service; the team is always responsive and strives to meet client goals such as desired commercial outcomes and ambitious timing requirements'. The practice is highly rated for its experience in structured products, aviation finance, commercial real estate-related finance deals, and banking. The team is also frequently instructed on fund finance, project finance, regulatory issues and capital markets; it advised, as Cayman counsel, Bridge Investment Group on its issuance of an approximately $500m collateralised loan obligation (CLO) product that was backed by multi-family and office real estate. In other matters, Alexandra Woodcock led advice as Cayman counsel to Brookfield Property Partners on securing an approximately €165m facility from a consortium of banks (Barclays, HSBC and National Westminster) to finance a development project in Ireland, including the construction of a 500-lodge forest resort. Philip Paschalides is 'smart, responsive and creative'; Rob Jackson 'provides an extremely client-focused service and dovetails seamlessly with leading UK firms on cross-border deals'; Ramesh Maharaj is highly regarded for finance transactions involving Cayman entities; and James Burch specialises in structured and asset finance. The recommended senior counsels are Paul Osborne  and Paige Gaston-Thiery. Former Cayman managing partner Antonia Hardy retired from the firm, and Richard Munden joined Carey Olsen.

Appleby regularly acts on structured finance deals and is particularly highly regarded for its assistance to collateral managers; it is also experienced in shipping and aircraft finance and structuring Property Assessed Clean Energy  securitisations, as well as advising on fund finance lending and the full spectrum of acquisition and leveraged financing, loan financing and novel structures. M&A, public-to-private deals, corporate finance and restructuring are also areas of expertise. It advised HPS Investment Partners (HPS) on the Cayman aspects of an equity commitment by HPS and other investors; this was in connection with the bid by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Baring Private Equity Asia to take private Nord Anglia Education, a Hong Kong-based operator of international schools. The key advisers are group banking and asset finance head Caroline Barton, Simon Raftopoulos, who handles a wide variety of corporate finance transactions, and Benjamin Woolf, who advises extensively on collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) as well as other structured finance products. Anna-Lise Wisdom is also highly regarded, and Liesl Richter was promoted to counsel. Derivatives expert Dean Bennett joined as associate from Baker McKenzie in London.

Harneys' Nicole Pineda, previously at Travers Thorp Alberga, leads the banking and finance practice in Cayman. Pineda, whose practice is focused on structured finance and securitisation, international capital markets, secured lending and project and infrastructure finance, advised Banco do Brasil, acting through its Grand Cayman branch, on the issuance of $750m senior unsecured notes. The other key contacts are managing partner Marco Martins, fund finance expert Matt Taber, and Ian Gobin, who advises on the regulatory treatment of investment and private equity funds and Cayman- and BVI-established management companies. Louise Groom left the firm.

Mourant's 'consistently excellent, timely and reliable team' has extensive multi-disciplinary and offshore legal expertise across capital markets and banking and finance work. Cayman banking and finance practice head Hayden Isbister led Cayman law banking advice to Credit Suisse on the financing for Project Fairway, namely the acquisition by SS&C Technologies of DST Systems. Neal Lomax's experience includes advising on equity and debt capital markets, structured finance transactions and Cayman Islands Stock Exchange listings, and Catherine Pham assists with public offerings as well as driving the Cayman office’s Canadian practice and fintech group. Alex Last is 'excellent'. Counsel Nathaniel Luker joined from the firm's BVI office and Barry McEwan is a key senior associate.

Ogier fields 'extremely clear, business-focused experts'. The practice stands out for its experience in fund finance, particularly in relation to private equity, advising both sponsors and an increasing number of lenders; the team is also experienced in structured finance, capital markets and Stock Exchange listings, and has a robust Latin American banking and finance practice. The practice advised PCMS Group, a provider of point-of-sale software for major retailers, on the listing by Torwood Midco of secured loan notes on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Angus Davison is the global banking and finance head; James Heinicke is the global fund finance head. Other names to note are Bradley Kruger, recently promoted partner Mark Santangeli and senior associate James Lydeard.

Campbells' practice covers capital raising and debt issuance transactions as well as banking, finance and secured lending; the team is also experienced in the financing of yachts and commercial vessels in Cayman. The key advisers are managing partner John Wolf and senior associates Damien Magee and Daniel Russell, the latter joining from Ogier's BVI office.

Conyers Dill & Pearman's Kevin Butler has extensive experience in project financing, aviation finance, private placements and public offerings. Richard Fear leads the corporate team, and Matthew Stocker is a highly rated aviation lawyer. Recent matters include acting as Cayman counsel to Seadrill on its comprehensive restructuring plan, which will raise $1.06bn of new capital, comprising $860m-worth of secured notes and $200m-worth of equity. Martin Lane left to join Lane Family Investments.

Carey Olsen's practice comprises acquisition finance, fund finance and real estate finance; the group increasingly acts as listing agent on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Nick Bullmore, Jarrod Farley and Alistair Russell are experienced practitioners.

Collas Crill is regularly instructed by large law firms on debt and equity financings as well as on fund finance. The team recently acted for Albaugh as Cayman counsel on its refinancing with HSBC Bank, USA. Managing partner Alan de Saram is a key contact.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries' areas of work include acting for borrowers and lenders on loans, handling the establishment and licencing of banks and other financial institutions, advising on ongoing operational and regulatory requirements and compliance matters, assisting with ISDA agreements, and acting on bank reorganisations. Managing director Chris Humphries is the key contact.

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