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Cayman Islands > Investment funds > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Investment funds
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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'Enormously co-operative and highly experienced in Cayman law', Maples and Calder's 'outstanding team provides typically excellent response times and presents the best combination between professionalism, service, reputation and cost'. In the hedge funds space, the practice reportedly recently advised seven of the world’s top ten largest single-manager hedge fund firms that use the Cayman Islands (Cayman) as a jurisdiction. In private equity matters, it represents a wide range of managers and institutional investors across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia. Grant Dixon advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on the formation of a fund platform that will undertake core investment transactions, and David Marshall and global private equity head Iain McMurdo advised Strategic Partners, Blackstone’s dedicated secondary and fund solutions platform, on its seventh global secondary private equity fund. Global head of the investment funds group Jon Fowler 'provides very practical, business-oriented advice', Jonathan Green is Cayman investment funds head and Julian Ashworth's 'strengths are expertise and responsiveness'. Andrew Keast is appreciated by clients for his focus on and experience in the Israeli market. Other key advisers are Michael Richardson, Jeremy Bomford, Tim Frawley, Jo Cunningham, Sheryl Dean and Christina Bodden, along with Gwyneth Rees, Philip Dickinson, Christie Walton and Andreas Haug. Tim Coak was made partner, and Michelle Richie and Lee Davis are experienced associates.

'A go-to firm in Cayman', Walkers' 'overall level of service is excellent; there is always a large team dedicated to each matter with appropriate levels of seniority and oversight, and continuity over the individuals servicing each client; the lawyers are also responsive, going above and beyond if asked, and have in-depth knowledge of the legal area and any changes in law that need addressing'. The practice advises almost all the leading managers and sponsors in the investment funds industry, including hedge fund and private equity fund managers, fund administrators, institutional investors and onshore law firms. Rolf Lindsay, who 'provides commercial and practical advice and is very responsive', and Caroline Williams acted as Cayman counsel to Carlyle on a number of fund launches, including Carlyle’s fifth Asia-focused buyout fund as well as its third global financial services fund, which invests in management buyouts, growth capital opportunities and strategic minority investments in the financial services industry. Tim Ludford-Thomas' advice 'goes well beyond the black-letter law'; he is 'incredibly practical with his approach'. Global managing partner lngrid Pierce, Ashley Gunning, Nicholas Pattman and Tim Buckley are also names to note. Theo Lefkos and Andrew Barker were made partners, and senior counsel Bicrom Das is 'technically excellent, very commercial and extremely responsive'. Oliver Bell, who advises on pre-formation strategy, organisational structure, regulatory compliance, document preparation and transactional activities for private equity funds and hedge funds, was hired from Harneys' BVI office. Dawn Howe left to join Genesis Trust.

Mourant Ozannes' 'response times are as good as any in New York and defy the Caribbean paradise stereotype; and as far as knowledge and acumen go, the practice always provides short, practical, and correct answers'. The team advises on the formation, structuring and regulation of investment funds; it also provides ongoing legal advice to funds and fund managers. It acted for Athanor Capital Management as Cayman counsel on the establishment of a master-feeder fund, which had two Cayman feeder funds as part of the structure. Hayden Isbister is Cayman investment funds and corporate head. Neal Lomax is 'incredibly smart, creative, practical and hardworking, and is not only a brilliant attorney but also has a business mindset that resonates with clients'. Catherine Pham is 'diligent and practical', and the 'excellent' Alex Last leads the private equity sector group. Barry McEwan is the senior associate to note.

Ogier's 'overall service level is very good and the practice has a knowledgeable and well resourced team, with very good experience of Cayman funds'. It advises on all aspects of the investment fund life-cycle, as well as downstream transactional matters, and assists with the full spectrum of fund structures, including hedge, private equity, real estate, venture, cryptocurrency and hybrid. The team advised Aryeh Capital Management as offshore counsel on a master-feeder fund launch that involved a Cayman-exempted limited partnership as the master fund and Canadian, US and Cayman feeder funds. Giorgio Subiotto is global investment funds head; Nick Rogers is private equity and cryptocurrency funds head; and James Bergstrom is the principal architect of the firm's investment funds practice. Also recommended are Angus Davison, Joanne Huckle and Bradley Kruger. Justin Savage was made partner and Emma Sutherland is a key counsel.

Appleby advises on the structuring of all types of investment funds, investment management and co-investment arrangements, and separate account mandates; it also assists with the spectrum of alternative asset classes, including hedge funds, private equity, real estate, venture capital and infrastructure, as well as Shari’ah-compliant and hybrid strategies. The team was recently particularly active in advising on the establishment of investment funds that focus on investing in cryptocurrencies and related asset classes. Bryan Hunter is investment funds group head; Simon Raftopoulos is global private equity head. Other notable advisers are Sailaja Alla, Anna-Lise Wisdom and counsel Christian Victory. Alex Brainis departed for Trident Trust Company.

Led by managing partner Jarrod Farley, Carey Olsen's growing practice includes Nick Bullmore and Alistair Russell. Farley advises on the establishment of both regulated and unregulated investment funds in Cayman and assists investment funds and other vehicles with transactional, financing and compliance matters, including local business licensing. Bullmore recently worked alongside Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York to advise Balbec Capital Partner on its third global credit fund, InSolve Global Credit Fund III.

Conyers Dill & Pearman's Cayman office head Kevin Butler focuses on the structuring, formation and management of private equity funds and represents a broad range of investment managers; Craig Fulton acts for funds and investment managers, but also a range of service providers, including banks, custodians, trust companies and administrators; and Matthew Stocker advises on open-ended and closed-ended investment funds, encompassing hedge fund work and private equity matters. The team advised IFM Investors on the set-up of an open-ended investment fund, which will invest in primary and secondary infrastructure debt. Associate Michael O’Connor was hired from Campbells; Martin Lane left to join Lane Family Investments.

Harneys 'team is practical, responsive and knowledgeable'. It is increasingly experienced in the digital asset space and blockchain technology platforms, and in working with issuers of tokens on those platforms. Recent work included the team's advice to Mirae Asset Global Investments (USA) on its launch of a regulated fund. Ian Gobin spearheads the firm's investment funds marketing campaign and strategy in the US; managing partner Marco Martins is particularly focused on the establishment and structuring of investment funds. Matthew Taber is also highly regarded and Jonathan Bernstein and Daniella Skotnicki, the latter having joined from Ogier, are key senior associates. Patrick Colegrave left to join Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc.

Campbells advises on the structuring, formation and launch of a wide range of investment funds, including hedge, venture capital, private equity and hybrid funds. The team acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel on establishing GenBridge Capital I and other related entities. Alan Craig has a significant private equity and venture capital practice, and advises some of the world’s largest funds managers on the capital raising process. The other key practitioners are Simon Thomas and Richard Spencer.

Collas Crill particularly stands out for its work in the sub-$1bn fund range. The team is also noted for its emerging markets experience on the fund formation side and its advice to institutional investors on the investor-side; it also recently developed a strong practice advising clients globally on the establishment and launch of cryptocurrency funds. 'Providing invaluable advice', Alan Desaram is the Cayman office managing partner and head of the corporate and commercial and investment fund departments. Joss Morris, Stephen Nelson and associate Aoife Madden are also key team members.

Solomon Harris merged with Channel Islands-based Bedell Cristin in late 2018. The practice specialises in acting as lead counsel on the establishment of new funds, but it also works on a regular basis in a support role to onshore counsel. Advising sponsors, investors and secured lenders, Richard Addlestone has particular expertise in hedge, venture capital and private equity funds. Nick Reid, who specialises in the structuring, formation, operation, regulation and wind-down of all types of investment funds, recently relocated back to Cayman. Rob Humphries is the associate to note.

The key areas for Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries' 'knowledgeable and commercial practice' are fund formation and fund (re)structuring, including of funds investing in cryptocurrencies; fund and portfolio transactions; and assisting smaller clients and fund managers with preparing fund documents where there is no onshore counsel. Other areas of note are regulatory matters and the liquidation and termination of funds. Chris Humphries is 'excellent, responds quickly and knows all aspects of the fund industry'; chairman Andrew Hersant and Aaron Walker, the latter recently making partner, are also key contacts. Simon Yard and the recently promoted James Smith are experienced senior associates.

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