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Appleby provides ‘very good service – fast and efficient responses with a helpful and constructive attitude’. The firm is frequently instructed in deals with multiple offshore jurisdictions involved and has particular strength in online gambling-related work; Kyle Sutherland and Clare Milne, who has intellectual property and gambling law expertise, advised SBTech on its re-domiciliation from Gibraltar to the Isle of Man. Other mandates in 2016 include Simon Harding, Simon Cain and senior associate Helen Fretwell’s advice to affiliates of a Blackstone private equity fund on the purchase of the BioMed group for a reported $8bn. Faye Moffett assisted RL360° with its purchase of licensed investment platform Ardan International from Rowan Dartington. Andrew Harding, who was elected to the partnership in April 2017, advised Advent International Corporation on the Manx law aspects of its purchase of a majority stake in V.Group, which owns ship manager V.Ships, from OMERS Private Equity. The firm also acts for Barclays.

Cains handles the Isle of Man aspects of significant international transactions and restructurings. Tim Shepherd and Andrew Baker handle the Isle of Man aspects of prestige onshore property deals involving Manx SPVs, while Richard Vanderplank handles major cross-border corporate restructurings for corporates and family offices, in addition to M&A. Tristan Head advised Fiera Capital Corporation on its £41m acquisition of Charlemagne Capital, including its Manx subsidiary.

Responsive, proactive and understanding of clients’ needs’, DQprovides commercially sound and consistently reliable support in various corporate matters’. Practice head Mark Dougherty is ‘responsive and very knowledgeable in company law’; he acted alongside senior associate Hazel Dawson for GVC Holdings on matters including the completion of its £1.2bn purchase of online gambling website He also advised Tynwald Mills on the sale of one of its subsidiaries to SandpaperCI Retail, and the HMC Group on the sale of HMC Properties, as part of the care home group’s wider sale. Stephen Dougherty, with associate director Donna Matthews and associate Adam Killip, advised Partitionware on its £4m sale to Manx Telecom, and advised Rowan Dartington on its sale of Ardan International to RL360°. Tom Maher has retired.

Established in Douglas in January 2016, Keystone Law handles a range of deals concerning onshore real estate and is ‘highly responsive and provides an excellent service – it is hungry and energetic when other firms are asleep’. Geoff Kermeen is ‘technically very good, commercial and responsive’ – he acted along with Stephen Rodd and the ‘very user-friendly’ Sally Cranshaw (a new hire from Cains) on the England and Manx law aspects of several transactions for Henley Investments, including the purchases of £18m of student accommodation and a former quarry near Ebbsfleet with planning permission for over 10,000 new houses, and the sales of an industrial site worth £11.5m and an office building in Milton Keynes for £4.5m.

Simcocks is ‘excellent – its knowledge base is of great help for M&A buyers, and it backs it up with first-class response times’. Alongside sale and purchase matters – often regarding Isle of Man companies owning property in the United Kingdom – the firm handles matters such as re-domiciliations (an area of expertise for Alex Spencer), data protection and restructuring. Practice head Irini Newby is ‘excellent in her work – clients consider her part of their team when engaged with the other side of the deal’. 2016 highlights included advising an investor on the termination of a £160m property partnership. Clients include Redefine International, and corporate service providers such as Equiom, Fedelta Trust and Sovereign Trust.

M&P Legal’s commercial practice, headed by Christopher Murphy acts alongside major international firms on multi-jurisdictional deals, as well as parties to agenda-setting local deals. Working with Clifford Chance, he advised a bank on the Manx aspects of selling a cross-border fiduciary business. Other highlights include advising a local business on the purchase of a book of trusts business, and acting as lead transaction adviser on the sale of a local business.

MannBenham Advocates Limited provides ‘prompt service, measured and tailored to meet what is needed’. The practice, led by the ‘very efficient’ Carly Stratton, provides ‘advice in a friendly and professional manner – responses are timely, with considerable knowledge of Manx corporate law backed up with commercial acumen’. Miles Benham has ‘strong professional credibility and provides robust assistance’. In addition to advising the Manx Deaf Society on its transition from an unincorporated status to company registration, in 2016 the firm handled several M&A deals (including advising an insurance group on its purchase of a trading partner) and restructurings (including one involving a timeshare business).

Advocate Marina Warwick is ‘a very efficient lawyer with an excellent work ethic – she conducts business in a highly professional manner’. In addition to being ‘particularly recommended for owners of intellectual property rights established in the Isle of Man’, Marina Warwick – who is also qualified in Russia – has expertise in transfer pricing, cryptocurrency and online gambling.

Quinn Legal attracts praise for its ‘responsive and informed level of service – the team has a collective experience that is wide-ranging and allows it to drill down on the issues and provide well-thought-out solutions’. Stephen Savage, who has a ‘great understanding of the complexities of what clients do’, joined the firm as corporate and commercial head from an in-house role. Highlights handled by James Quinn included local company sales, corporate tax and capital restructurings.

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