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Who Represents Who

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Appleby is ‘a standout litigation firm on the island, and the only one with a wider international network’. The firm handles a range of disputes, such as professional regulatory matters, and commercial and trusts litigation, including ones where allegations of fraud are involved. Christopher Cope is a ‘superb strategist, with one eye on the deemster and what they will think of the submissions’. ‘Extremely bright, appropriately cautious and a smooth advocate’, Cope acted alongside senior associate Claire Collister for a number of creditors seeking to enforce a judgment from Nevada and set aside an allegedly fraudulent transfer of $30m to a Manx company from a Vincentian trust. Mark Holligon is ‘a great litigator and an accomplished advocate, with an instinctive grasp of the commercial drivers behind a case’; he heads the firm’s global restructuring and insolvency practice, and also has civil fraud expertise. Charles Davies has a strong professional regulation practice, and recently acted for the Isle of Man’s Financial Services Authority in director disqualification proceedings concerning those involved in the Louis Group collapse. He also advised the Lieutenant Governor on disciplinary proceedings against the Isle of Man’s former Attorney General. Caren Pegg’s work ranges from employment litigation to sensitive proceeds of crime matters. Other clients include Douglas Borough Council.

Covering the gamut of litigation, from insolvency and commercial disputes through to trust cases, Cains and its ‘strong senior individuals’ provide ‘excellent service – it delivers what it promises’. ‘Great communicatorPeter Clucas has been involved in a number of insolvency cases; he represented Brooks Macdonald Asset Management in a case involving winding-up order against Origo Partners, which settled, and advised Hirco on the Manx aspects of its multi-jurisdictional dispute with the Hiranandani family, which ended in October 2016 by the winding up of Hirco. Seth Caine is representing Woman LLC in a case concerning the allegedly fraudulent receipt of $30m from a Vincentian trust, and is acting for space tourism company Excalibur Almaz in a case brought by Japanese internet entrepreneur and potential space tourist Takafumi Horie in which the client is seeking an injunction for Horie’s alleged violation of a settlement by bringing of proceedings in Texas. Robert Colquitt is ‘very knowledgeable in the field of trust litigation and thinks deeply about the problems presented to him’. He represented a trust protector in a case regarding variations to the deed of a $230m trust. Other clients include liquidators and trust companies.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Gough Law

Gough Law is a specialist Isle of Man litigation practice. The firm is the premier destination in the Isle of Man for any client or referring law firm seeking the best contentious legal representation.

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An excellent firm involved in very high-level and high-value litigation’, Gough Law is ‘well-equipped for cross-border litigation intellectually, experience-wise and logistically’. With 40 years of experience in high-stakes litigation, Alan Gough’s ‘presence underlines to the other side that there is a serious matter at issue’; he is defending several former directors of the Louis Group in director disqualification proceedings, and the liquidators of Heather Capital, a hedge fund, in negligence claims against accountants and other directors. Associate Chiva Arthurs is developing a good reputation in a number of areas, including employment. Other clients include the estate of Albert Gubay, who founded retailer Kwik Save, and various Isle of Man advocates, which it acts for in professional discipline and negligence cases. Charles Coleman is now at Keystone Law.

Extremely strong in this practice area’, Callin Wild handles a range of matters including directors’ duties cases, cross-border litigation, shareholder disputes and insolvencies. Jonathan Wild (‘an excellent lawyer; very intelligent, shrewd and hardworking’) represented Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala in the Hirco case, in which the wound-up Hirco claimed over £220m of fraudulent losses. Wild is also representing the directors of Gulf Hibiscus, a shareholder of Lime Petroleum, which is in liquidation, in a derivative application concerning alleged breaches of fiduciary duties. Kathryn Clough is ‘extremely capable and exceptionally thorough – she handles her cases with a meticulous eye for detail and is calm and composed in court’. Her work includes property litigation, construction disputes and insolvency matters.

DQ’s clients ‘take great comfort from its advice and feel well-supported throughout proceedings’. The firm provides ‘good solid commercial advice’ on debt recovery and asset recovery matters, as well as director disqualification, trusts litigation, personal injury and insolvency. Giles Hill is ‘commercially aware, and brings knowledge of the local factors at play’ – he is representing the liquidators in cases regarding the collapse of the Louis Group, and, with associate Tara Cubbon, Lloyds Bank International in a case concerning a £3m debt. New director Leanne McKeown’s work includes professional and medical negligence cases, including handling work on behalf of the Medical Defence Union, as well as claimant actions such as a cancer misdiagnosis case which, for the first time in the Isle of Man, necessitated a deposition hearing to be held in the patient’s home. She also represented Origo Partners in a company dispute. As part of his shipping practice, Stephen Dougherty is acting for Lombard on the repossession of both a superyacht and a private jet from the same borrower, which has launched an appeal to the Privy Council. Other clients include Peacock Management and Turnstone, which Hill and Cubbon defend in a directors’ duties claim brought by Axiom Legal Financing Fund, which is in receivership after funding personal injury cases in England brought on conditional fee agreements.

At Keystone Law, ‘response times are excellent: the team has extensive experience and an excellent approach to understanding clients’ needs, addressing them in a professional and proficient manner’. Gillian Christian, formerly of Cains, has ‘a wealth of knowledge and provides clear guidance;her strengths are her professionalism and solution-driven approach to the most difficult problem’. She has a strong track record in trust litigation and advised the claimants in AB v CD, the Isle of Man’s first-ever case concerning the applicability of the rule in Hastings-Bass. She also acted for the liquidators of MRP Brazil, which involves a freezing order connected to a failed project to construct a Trump-branded property in Rio di Janeiro. Charles Coleman, who joined from Gough Law in early 2017, is ‘a favourite with clients – he combines proactive enthusiasm with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Manx law and practice’. Other highlights included shareholder disputes and professional negligence concerning law firms. Rachel Berry, who joined from Appleby, has a track record in personal injury law and Inheritance Act claims.

Simcocks covers the gamut of litigation from complex insolvencies to significant matters for individuals. Christopher Arrowsmith is ‘extremely knowledgeable, very sensible and easy to work with – his experience as an Acting Deemster means he is a standout Manx litigator’. He spearheaded a team representing the liquidator of KMQT Enterprises concerning a loan used to purchase film rights. He is also representing a defendant in a directors’ duties case brought by Metro Baltic Horizons, a real estate investment company which made significant losses in the mid-2000s. Associate Elizabeth Simpson’s work included fraud cases and cross-border insurance litigation. Also an associate, Winston Taylor has a diverse practice, including personal injury cases, immigration and crime – he defended a vessel captain who was fined £26,000 for illegal fishing. Also recommended are Caroline Jennings, who handles heavyweight family law litigation, and Kevin O’Loughlin, who is praised for his ‘knowledge, attention to detail and professional guidance’, which he deploys on matters concerning trusts and pensions.

Long & Humphrey is ‘extremely professional and efficient – its industry knowledge makes it incredibly effective’. Areas of work include professional discipline and employment work, generally for employees, as well as insolvency and, meshing with the firm’s real estate expertise, property litigation and planning. Mark Humphrey has ‘a professional, no-nonsense approach’ – he advised the then-Attorney General on various disciplinary matters, prior to the Attorney General’s retirement on ill health grounds. He also acts as independent counsel to creditors in the liquidation of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander. Associate Oliver Helfrich is ‘a highly-skilled professional with a considered approach, strong skillset and wide knowledge base’ – he successfully represented a pilot in a long-running employment case, securing a £62,000 compensation award in an unfair dismissal case, and is defending the Isle of Man Department of Education and Children in a claim concerning an alleged failure to identify special educational needs in a child.

Clients have nothing but praise forM&P Legal, which has particular strength in medical-themed matters. Counsel Damian Molyneux is ‘very good at reassuring clients during difficult times – his calm character hides his determination and drive to ensure the best outcome for his clients’. His work includes personal injury cases (often relating to motorcycling) and medical negligence litigation, including cancer misdiagnosis cases. In addition to handling birth injury cases, practice head John Aycock is representing a dentist before the General Dental Council Professional Conduct Committee, represented a hospital in an inquest concerning the death of a man who died under police guard in hospital following a catastrophic cocaine overdose. Counsel Christopher Brooks handles insolvency matters, and Molyneux is assisting Petrodel Resources with issues arising from Prest v Petrodel Resources, a UK Supreme Court case concerning piercing the corporate veil and resulting trusts in the context of a divorce.

MannBenham Advocates Limited is ‘very efficient – it does what it says it can do and keeps clients informed throughout’. The firm has particular strength in insolvency cases; Christopher Webb advised on liquidation proceedings concerning a super yacht and the rescinding of a sealed winding-up order. In addition to shareholder litigation and disputes, the firm also handles professional regulation cases, professional negligence and family law matters, and is defending a retailer in a multi-defendant personal injury case. Miles Benham is also a name of note, as is Tim Mann, who returned to the firm as a consultant.

Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd’s wide-ranging expertise covers insolvency disputes and asset tracing to family and medical law. Hazel Smith handles medical negligence and personal injury cases including multimillion-pound birth injury cases for claimants, and defendant work for major insurers. Darren Taubitz’s practice includes a strong strain of criminal law work, including Proceeds of Crime matters, white-collar crime and some of the jurisdiction’s most-serious non-financial crime. He also handles complex child law matters, including abuse cases with complex factual matrices, and represented the family of the deceased in an inquest after a man died following a cocaine overdose while under police guard in a hospital. On the commercial litigation front, Vicki Unsworth is representing Kaupthing and its subsidiaries in a dispute concerning the liquidation of Isis Investments, of which Kaupthing is a significant creditor; she also successfully defended the beneficiaries of a trust from a claim brought by the English Crown Prosecution Service for £3.3m following the conviction of the settlor. Associate Paul Rodgers represented the applicant, who was successful, in the Isle of Man’s first ever oral parole hearing.

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