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Harneys

CRAIGMUIR CHAMBERS, ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, VG1110, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Tel:
Work +1 284 494 2233
Email:
Web:
www.harneys.com

British Virgin Islands

Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Harneys

Harneys’ ‘service is always efficient and the advice is appropriate; there is also always good support across the team, often on short notice’. The practice spans equity capital markets and listings, finance transactions, derivatives, and financial regulatory matters. Highlights included advising the VTB Capital-arranged syndicate on the BVI aspects of $3.9bn worth of facilities made to the Essar Group. Global chairman Peter Tarn returned to the BVI in early 2017 after several years as managing partner of the firm’s London office, Colin Riegels is global head of banking and finance, Russell Willings is a derivatives specialist, and BVI banking and finance head Tanya Cassie-Parker is ‘highly regarded for her strong technical knowledge, in-depth responses and proactive approach’. Hamish Masson, who is ‘very responsive and able’, and Michelle Frett-Mathavious are recently promoted counsels.

Leading individuals

Colin Riegels - Harneys

Next generation lawyers

Michelle Frett-Mathavious - Harneys

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Corporate and commercial
Corporate and commercial - ranked: tier 1

Harneys

Harneysprovides an outstanding level of service; the team’s response times are very impressive, it always manages clients’ expectations, meets deadlines, and the advice is to the point’. The corporate practice spans high-value M&A deals and significant funds matters. Greg Boyd advised Emerson Electric Company’ on the BVI law aspects of its $3.15bn acquisition of the valves and controls business of Irish public limited company, Pentair. Key partners include BVI corporate and funds head Philip Graham; Greg Boyd, who has a strong emerging markets focus; BVI corporate and commercial head Jacqueline Daley-Aspinall, who is ‘very responsive, knowledgeable and gets to the point’; recently promoted partner Oliver Bell; and Peter Tarn, who returned to the BVI after several years as London managing partner. The recommended senior associates are George Weston and Sarah Rockhead. Nadia Menezes joined as counsel from Appleby.

Leading individuals

Philip Graham - Harneys

Next generation lawyers

George Weston - Harneys

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Harneys

Harneys’ ‘knowledge of BVI law and practice, developed over decades, is unsurpassed; it is the go-to law firm for any dispute of any complexity’. The team regularly acts in large, complex and high-profile disputes, with specific experience in hedge fund disputes, significant insolvency matters, and administrative law disputes. It also has a strong Latin America practice and handles Russia and CIS-related matters. The team acted for FTI, the liquidator of a number of Pacific Andes entities, in a high-profile $1.6bn insolvency matter involving multiple proceedings in the US, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands (Cayman). Andrew Thorp’s ‘knowledge is second to none and he is an international insolvency specialist, whose advice is regularly sought in the most complex of cases’; and recently promoted partner Claire Goldstein’s ‘charming courtroom manner belies a steely determination to do the very best for her clients’. The ‘hardworking and persistent’ Jonathan Addo, Peter Ferrer, who is ‘a seasoned, convincing advocate whose persuasive eloquence is much in demand’, and Stuart Cullen, who is ‘a strong and very responsive lawyer that works hard for his clients’, are key counsels. Former counsels Mungo Lowe and Peter Tyers-Smith joined Maples and Calder’s London office and Kobre & Kim in Cayman, respectively.

Leading individuals

Andrew Thorp - Harneys

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Addo - Harneys

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Harneys

Harneys’ ‘lawyers are knowledgeable and give practical advice, taking into consideration clients’ business needs, local law and industry’. The practice has longstanding experience in advising on major real estate development projects in the BVI, whether as counsel to developers, financiers or purchasers. It acts for foreign and other investors on the acquisition, ownership, structuring and development of private islands, hotels and resorts, villas, marinas, restaurants and bars, and office buildings; and it has particular strength in advising foreign investors on the acquisition of BVI real estate, including devising ownership structures to satisfy tax, regulatory and succession planning needs. Sheila George leads the private client department and has extensive experience in commercial property acquisitions and disposals. The ‘knowledgeable and responsiveJohann Henry advises local and foreign institutional and private clients on commercial and real property matters, including corporate restructurings, the acquisition and disposal of real property and businesses with underlying real estate interests, and property financings. He also advises on major infrastructure development projects in the BVI. Other notable advisers include the ‘versatile and respectful’ senior associate Paul Mellor, who has a particular focus on the office, retail and leisure sectors.

Leading individuals

Sheila George - Harneys

Next generation lawyers

Paul Mellor - Harneys

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Trusts/private client
Trusts/private client - ranked: tier 1

Harneys

Harneys is ‘responsive, has a good team approach and knows its way around local practices and the law’. The team advises on some of the largest trusts and private client matters in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), including the establishment and restructuring of BVI trusts, including Virgin Islands Special Trusts, private trust companies, purpose trusts, unit trusts, and employee benefit trusts. The practice recently experienced high levels of instructions from South America and the Far East for new trusts and the restructuring of existing structures. Contentious highlights include acting for the former Premier of the Republic of Georgia and his immediate family, who are beneficiaries of the Mandalay Trust (the Trust), in an action against Credit Suisse Bank, Credit Suisse Trust and Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda), regarding the Trust’s multimillion-dollar losses. Private client department head Sheila George advises high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and families in all aspects of multigenerational planning, charitable giving, and issues involving redomiciling to the BVI, as well as setting up bespoke multi-tier corporate and trusts structures for investment into private islands, businesses, luxury yachts and residences in the BVI. Group head Henry Mander divides his time between the Cayman Islands (Cayman) and the BVI. Other key lawyers include Johann Henry and the ‘very responsive’ counsels Jonathan Addo and Hazelann Hannaway, who specialise in contentious issues involving complex tax and trusts structuring, cross-border probate, succession planning, and international trusts disputes.

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Further information on Harneys

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Harneys in other jurisdictions.

Bermuda

Offices in Hamilton

Cyprus

Offices in Limassol

Foreign firms

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Cayman Islands

Offices in Grand Cayman

British Virgin Islands

Offices in Tortola

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