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Cayman Islands

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    • Zoe Hallam - Walkers Cayman

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Always carrying out an outstanding job’, Maples and Calder’s ‘solid team adds great value to matters involving Cayman corporate law’. The practice’s M&A work encompasses public and private transactions, both domestic and cross-border, frequently drawing on the expertise of the firm’s specialist real estate, employment, IP, trusts, and financial services lawyers. The corporate practitioners also routinely work alongside their insolvency colleagues on complex corporate restructurings and insolvencies; and the firm has a significant regulatory compliance practice. Cayman Islands (Cayman) corporate practice head Matthew Gardner and Michael Johns acted for Yatra, an online travel company in India and the country’s largest platform for domestic hotels, on the merging of its business with Terrapin, a NASDAQ-listed Delaware corporation that was established as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Suzanne Correy acted for Francisco Partners, a global technology-focused private equity firm, in the acquisition of a majority stake in SmartBear Software, known for software quality tools for teams. Paul Lumsden is Cayman managing partner, while Kieran Walsh, who is ‘a hands-on partner who knows the law’, and Simon Firth jointly head the Latin America group. Christopher Capewell advises on Cayman offshore investment funds and general corporate restructurings.

Walkers Cayman recently hired Lucy Frew from Kemp Little LLP to lead a standalone global regulatory Cayman-headquartered department. The practice is highly rated for high-profile, complex and innovative finance transactions and it regularly assists with corporate matters, M&A, restructuring, insurance, and regulatory work. James Burch acted as Cayman counsel for Liberty Media Corporation on its acquisition of Formula One, the global motorsports business, from a consortium of sellers led by CVC Capital Partners, and Rob Jackson, who ‘has excellent experience and is good at meeting deadlines’, led advice as Cayman counsel to Microchip Technology Incorporated (MTI), a NASDAQ-listed provider of micro-controller, mixed-signal, analogue and flash-IP solutions, on its approximately $3.5bn acquisition of NASDAQ-listed Atmel Corporation and the subsequent integration of the Atmel group into the MTI group. The client list also includes Apollo Aviation Group, Bank of America, Blackstone, Cerberus, Phoenix Group Holdings, and Shelf Drilling. Antonia Hardy is Cayman managing partner; other highly rated partners include Tim Buckley, Ramesh Maharaj, Richard Munden, Philip Paschalides and Rolf Lindsay, alongside Jason Allison, Caroline Williams, Melissa Lim and Alexandra Woodcock. Senior counsel Zoe Hallam is ‘always efficient and good at liaising with London-based law firms’.

Applebyhas deep knowledge across multiple offshore jurisdictions’. The team assists with Cayman cross-border M&A deals as well as complex high-value multi-jurisdictional restructuring matters, and it recently launched a dedicated technology and cyber team that sits within the corporate group. Recent highlights include advising, as Cayman counsel, Fosun International on its sale of Ironshore to Liberty Mutual Insurance, which involved regulatory approvals in multiple jurisdictions; it also acted for SoftBank in an internal restructuring of a share ownership structure. Other notable clients include 3i, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Golub Capital, Invesco and TPG. The ‘responsive and commercial’ Bryan Hunter is Cayman office corporate group head and Simon Raftopoulos is private equity group leader. Benjamin Woolf, Caroline Barton, Sailaja Alla, Alex Brainis and counsel Anna-Lise Wisdom are key contacts.

Conyers Dill & Pearman is ‘knowledgeable as well as responsive, which is an ideal combination when seeking external advice for transactions‎’. The Cayman team advises on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, corporate restructurings and complex insurance regulatory matters. It assisted Fiera Capital Corporation with the acquisition of Charlemagne Capital, a specialist emerging markets investment manager, by way of a Cayman scheme of arrangement. Richard Fear is Cayman corporate head; Kevin Butler is Cayman office head; and Gene DaCosta has a broad corporate and commercial law practice, with extensive expertise in investment funds. Other recommended names include Craig Fulton, Matthew Stocker and Martin Lane, together with counsel Maree Martin and senior associate Charlie Pywell.

Mourant Ozannes’ Cayman corporate lawyers ‘provide an excellent service and are very responsive, efficient and knowledgeable’. They advise on significant cross-border M&A and private equity transactions, as well as the formation of SPACs and Cayman Companies Law section 238 applications for going-private transactions. Cayman group head Hayden Isbister advised Sofinnova Ventures, together with onshore counsel, on the establishment of a Cayman-incorporated SPAC, which intends to focus its search on a biopharmaceutical sector business. Other key matters included acting as Cayman counsel to Valor Resources on its acquisition of Fossores, a Cayman- exempted company that owns part of a Peruvian entity, which owns the Berenguela Copper-Silver-Manganese Project. Corporate and private equity specialist Alex Last, Neal Lomax and Catherine Pham are also highly rated.

Ogier’s practice handles downstream corporate transactional work for private equity and hedge funds, and restructuring matters. It also has a growing commodities practice, which advises oil and gas and mining sector clients, and fields financial services regulatory lawyers who work with Canadian and Latin American financial institutions. James Heinicke led advice as Cayman counsel to BTG Pactual Participations, and certain of its affiliates, on the restructuring of its interests in Brasil Pharma. Bradley Kruger, alongside the BVI office, acted for Pacific Special Acquisition Corp on its announced proposed merger with Beijing-headquartered Borqs International Holding Company. Latin America practice leader Giorgio Subiotto’s ‘strengths are cordiality, efficiency, practicality, accuracy and thoroughness’; and James Bergstrom, Nick Rogers as well as global head of banking and finance Angus Davison are also key practitioners. Other names to note include managing associate Justin Savage, who ‘has a pro-business approach’, consultant James Bagnall and newly promoted partners Joanne Huckle and Piers Dryden.

Campbells regularly acts in complex cross-border transactions, with particular expertise in M&A, reorganisations, joint ventures, and mining and natural resource transactions. The team acted for Barrick Gold Corporation, and its Cayman subsidiaries, regarding the Cayman legal aspects of the sale of a 50% interest in the Veladero gold mine and the establishment of a joint venture. It also advised eFuture Holding, a software and solution provider and mobile business enabler to China’s retail and consumer goods industries, on its merger with Shiji (Hong Kong) and eFuture CI. Managing partner John Wolf, Alan Craig, Richard Spencer and Mark Adams are highly rated.

Carey Olsen is ‘knowledgeable and always offers very practical advice’. The practice regularly advises on large cross-border M&A deals involving Cayman companies, as well as real estate-related M&A mandates. Nick Bullmore advised, alongside a UK-based law firm, Samsung SRA Asset Management on the successful £210m sale of 30 Crown Place to Beijing Capital Development Holdings. Other key contacts include Cayman managing partner Jarrod Farley, recently promoted partner Alistair Russell, who is ‘thoughtful, effective and service focused’, and consultant Henry Harford. At the end of 2016, the firm opened a Hong Kong office and Anthony McKenzie relocated to the firm’s Singapore office, while Lauren Fletcher relocated to Cayman from the firm’s Jersey office and Alastair King joined from Ashurst’s London office.

Harneys’ ‘team is extremely client friendly and proactive, and its value for money is very difficult to beat’. The corporate and commercial team is experienced in complex cross-border transactions, including complex mega-deals, high-value private equity transactions, and the full spectrum of M&A and joint venture deals. The team provides ongoing legal advice to Atlantic Security Bank on its Cayman regulatory requirements and the operation of its private banking investment fund platforms. It also recently assisted BRT with private equity matters and corporate structuring issues. Managing partner Marco Martins is ‘intelligent and pragmatic’; Louise Groom, Matt Taber, Ian Gobin and Africa group head Patrick Colegrave are also widely praised. Carolynn Vivian and Jonathan McLean are key senior associates.

Providing a service that is very good value for money’, Collas Crill’s ‘responses are always prompt and the firm’s lawyers deliver appropriate detail based on in-depth knowledge of Cayman laws, regulations and guidelines’. The Cayman office regularly acts in M&A deals involving stock exchange-listed companies, and also has a significant technology and start-up practice. Alan de Saram is the corporate and commercial and investment funds head in Cayman; Joss Morris has extensive corporate and funds experience; and ‘the very pleasant to deal with’ Stephen Nelson ‘provides advice that is good, timely and comprehensive’. Aoife Madden joined as an associate from Walkers Cayman.

Solomon Harris’ ‘understanding of issues is superb’. The practice has particular expertise in corporate, banking, insurance and real estate transactions in Cayman. Sophia Harris is managing partner and has significant domestic corporate and commercial law experience; the international corporate and finance group is led by Richard Addlestone, who is ‘very collegial and professional, and has a very good understanding of issues’; and Ian Jamieson heads up the inward investment group. Former corporate and commercial head Paul Scrivener retired from the partnership, but remains a consultant to the firm.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries’s ‘responsive practice provides a more personal service than some of the larger firms’. The team’s key areas of work are M&A deals, restructuring, real estate and company incorporation services, as well as private equity and insurance matters. Clients include Citibank, Starbucks Corporation, Aureum Reinsurance Company, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Managing director Chris Humphries, chairman Andrew Hersant and senior associate Aaron Walker are the names to note.

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