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Cayman Islands

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Cayman 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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Maples and Calder advises on the full range of corporate matters, including formations and constitution, general company administration, regulatory compliance, best corporate governance practices, directors’ duties and shareholders’ rights. The M&A team is able to draw upon the expertise of the firm's specialist antitrust, real estate, employment, IP, trusts and financial services' lawyers; it is also supported by the firm's affiliated company MaplesFS, a provider of fiduciary and corporate services. Recent work includes advising Vista Oil & Gas, a Mexico-incorporated Latin American oil and gas company, on its agreement to purchase a fully operational oil and gas platform from Pampa Energía and Pluspetrol Resources, along with interests in certain exploitation concessions, assessment blocks and exploration permits in Argentina. It also acted for Vantiv on its acquisition of British-based competitor Worldpay Group as part of Vantiv's bid to create a $29bn global payments powerhouse, and assisted with the Cayman aspects of a business combination between a Delaware-incorporated, NASDAQ-listed public investment vehicle and a waste management company. Matthew Gardner is Cayman Islands (Cayman) corporate practice head; Kieran Walsh and Simon Firth co-head the Latin America group. Other recommended names partners include Suzanne Correy, Christopher Capewell and Michael Johns. Daniel Lee and Shari Seymour were promoted to partner.

'Providing superb service', Walkers is 'timely, cost-effective, experienced and expert; its team consistently exhibits exceptional judgement, a deep commercial sensibility and a keen sense of practical lawyering that is a rarity in the finance world'. The practice includes corporate matters, restructuring, regulatory issues and insurance law; highlights include James Burch leading advice as Cayman counsel to Apollo Aviation Group on its acquisition of 24 aircraft. Other matters include Rob Jackson acting as Cayman counsel for Phoenix Group Holdings on the corporate aspects of its acquisition of Standard Life Aberdeen’s UK and European insurance business, and Ramesh Maharaj advising Uber Technologies as Cayman counsel on the sale of its Southeast Asian business to Grab for a 27.5% stake in Grab. Other highly rated advisers are Philip Paschalides and Alexandra Woodcock. Former Cayman managing partner Antonia Hardy retired from the firm, and Richard Munden joined Carey Olsen.

Appleby regularly advises on M&A, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and investment funds; on the M&A side, the client base includes major sponsors, public companies, and technology start-ups. The team advised Cunningham Lindsey on the Cayman law aspects of its sale to Sedgwick Claims Management Services, which marked a significant transaction in the insurance sector between two private equity-backed firms. Bryan Hunter is Cayman corporate group head and Simon Raftopoulos is private equity group head. Other highly rated advisers include Benjamin Woolf, Caroline Barton and Jacob MacAdam, who was made partner and is very active in M&A. Counsel David Bulley has acted on significant restructuring deals. Alex Brainis joined Trident Trust Company.

Conyers Dill & Pearman's Richard Fear leads the Cayman corporate team and is recommended for M&A, private equity portfolio transactions, venture capital deals and corporate reorganisations. He led advice as special legal counsel in Cayman to PagSeguro Digital, which provides online and in-store payment services, on a restructuring matters and a high-value New York Stock Exchange IPO. Other highlights include Craig Fulton's assistance, as Cayman legal counsel, to Chrysaor on its purchase of a package of oil and gas fields from Royal Dutch Shell. Kevin Butler heads the Cayman office and has extensive experience in M&A and insurance matters. Also highly regarded are Matthew Stocker and Gene DaCosta. Derek Stenson and associate Michael O’Connor joined from Walkers and Campbells, respectively, while Martin Lane joined Lane Family Investments and former senior associate Charlie Pywell left for Campbells.

Mourant Ozannes regularly acts on high-profile and complex cross-border transactions; the practice is highly rated for advising significant private equity sponsors and has particular expertise in advising on S238 applications in the context of going-private deals. It also has a robust restructuring practice. The Cayman corporate team advised, alongside Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York, Spotify on its equity investment transactions with Tencent Holdings and its subsidiary, Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Hayden Isbister leads the Cayman corporate practice; Neal Lomax's corporate and commercial experience includes M&A and joint ventures; Alex Last specialises in private equity, investment funds and corporate and commercial work; and Catherine Pham advises on joint venture arrangements, acquisitions and other corporate transactions, and drives the Cayman office's Canadian practice and fintech group. Counsel Nathaniel Luker joined from the firm’s BVI office, and Barry McEwan is a key senior associate.

Advising local and international clients that range from start-ups to multinationals, Ogier's 'excellent team is effective and proactive and delivers commercial, bespoke advice'. The corporate practice includes M&A, asset and share disposals, corporate reorganisations, regulatory advice and day-to-day corporate governance; the office stands out for its corporate Latin America practice and its dedicated digital and fintech team. It advised longstanding client Dream Global REIT on its acquisition of a portfolio of 135 office and light industrial properties from a private equity syndicate, and acted as Cayman counsel to Deutsche Bank on the disposal of its corporate services and fund administration services businesses. Bradley Kruger heads the firm’s Caribbean and Asia corporate practice, Giorgio Subiotto is global Latin America practice leader, and James Heinicke 'combines a masterful knowledge of his areas of expertise with the ability to break down the issues clearly for clients'. Other notable advisers are Nick Rogers, Angus Davison, recently promoted partner Mark Santangeli and 'hardworking, proactive' senior associate James Lydeard.

Campbells is praised for its 'diligence, experience, subject matter knowledge and timeliness'. The practice has particular expertise in M&A, reorganisations, joint ventures, and mining and natural resources transactions. It acted as Cayman legal counsel to VivaReal, an online real estate search and advertising business, on a merger with one of its competitors, Zap. John Wolf is managing partner; corporate department head Alan Craig is 'analytical, experienced and intelligent'; and Richard Spencer advises on cross-border M&A, joint ventures, shareholder arrangements, group reorganisations and downstream transactions. Senior associate Daniel  Russell joined from Ogier's BVI office.

Carey Olsen's corporate team assists with M&A, joint ventures, corporate regulation, compliance and corporate structuring. Recent work includes the team providing Cayman legal advice to Bank of NT Butterfield & Son on the acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s banking and custody business in Cayman; it also provided Cayman advice to Equinix on the acquisition of the Zenium data centre business in Istanbul. The names to note are Cayman managing partner Jarrod Farley, Nick Bullmore and Alistair Russell. Counsel Dylan Wiltermuth joined from Appleby.

Collas Crill's 'very good team is highly responsive and knowledgeable'. It acts for major corporates, private equity firms, financial institutions, and large law firms on M&A involving listed companies. It also assists listed companies and funds with corporate governance issues, director duties and liabilities, and shareholder meetings. Stephen Nelson advised Cirtek Holdings Philippines on its acquisition of Quintel Cayman, by way of statutory merger with Cirtek Cayman. Cayman managing partner Alan de Saram is 'reactive and flexible', and the 'experienced' Joss Morris is 'attuned to clients’ needs'. Aoife Madden is a notable associate.

Harneys' Cayman office managing partner Marco Martins recently led advice on the restructuring of a Cayman-based corporate group that owns hotels throughout the Caribbean. Ian Gobin advises on the regulatory treatment of investment funds, private equity funds and Cayman and BVI-established management companies, and Matt Taber is also recommended. The senior associates to note are Carolynn Vivien, whose 'advice is always robust, pragmatic and creative, and who gets strong commercial results', and Jonathan McLean. Nicole Pineda, previously at Travers Thorp Alberga, joined to lead the banking and finance practice in Cayman, Louise Groom left the firm, and former Africa group head Patrick Colegrave joined Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc.

Solomon Harris, which provided 'real value for money compared to a lot of the larger law firms, with clients receiving a similar level of service for a significantly reduced hourly rate', recently merged with the Channel Islands-based Bedell Cristin. The group stands out for its transactional insurance practice and has experienced a significant increase in hotel- and tourism-related deals. Department head Richard Addlestone advised a Fortune 500 healthcare industry company on a U$6bn cross-border reorganisation; banking and real estate finance attorney Ian Jamieson leads the inward and domestic investment practice; and Sophia Harris is also a principal contact. Nick Reid relocated back to Cayman in 2018 to bolster the group's corporate law presence.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries 'impresses clients with its responsiveness, industry knowledge and value for money, especially when compared to some of the larger firms in the domicile'. The corporate practice covers M&A and private equity deals, including LBOs and group restructurings; start-ups, disposals and joint ventures; the incorporation of corporate vehicles, investment trusts and partnerships; and cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It advised Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas on the sale of Deutsche Bank’s US private equity access fund platform, which comprised 33 funds, to Institutional Capital Network. Corporate and commercial head Chris Humphries 'adds value', Andrew Hersant is chairman and Aaron Walker recently made partner.

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