Banking, finance and capital markets in Bermuda

Appleby

Experienced on the lender and borrower sides of transactions, Appleby’s ‘solution-oriented’ practice advises a diverse range of clients including banks, financial institutions and insurance entities on financial issues and transactions. In addition to its sizable client roster of ship and aircraft owners, lessors and lessees, which it primarily assists with asset finance transactions, the group is also highly rated for its knowledge of project and infrastructure financings, syndicated loan facilities and reviewing facility and security documentation. Tim Faries spearheads the team, which includes a number of practitioners with strong track records in this space. Energy and natural resources group head Tammy Richardson-Augustus  wins praise for her ‘great expertise regarding capital markets and her responsiveness and timeliness’, Clive Langley  specialises in asset finance transactions, and David Clark is increasingly active in Bermuda financing matters in tandem with his international practice. Other practitioners of note are Jerome Wilson  and counsel Tiffany Boys.

Practice head(s):

Tim Faries

Testimonials

‘The Bermudan jurisdiction is a complex one in regards to corporate rules. The Appleby team has the expertise to support the company in understanding regulatory and corporate requirements for financings and filings under such jurisdiction.’

‘Tammy Richardson-Augustus has great expertise regarding capital markets and her responsiveness and timeliness is above what we expect from our outside counsel.’

‘The department is very solution-oriented, focused on finding practical solutions, and great to work with.’

‘Tammy Richardson-Augustus is street-smart, commercial, easy to work with, good at dealing with people, and has a practical approach when solving issues.’

Key clients

HSBC Securities (USA)

Goldman Sachs & Co.

Eldridge Industries, LLC

Floatel International Ltd.

Deutsche Bank AG (London and Sydney Branches)

Investment Energy Resources Limited

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Brookfield Asset Management

JP Morgan Securities LLC

Borr Drilling Limited

Brookfield Renewable Partners and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP) and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) in their respective unit splits and special distributions of class A shares to create Brookfield Renewable Corporation and Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation, each a dual-listed Canadian corporation.
  • Advised Investment Energy Resources Limited (IERL) on an inaugural issuance of $700m of green bonds at an interest rate of 6.250% and expiring in 2029, and a syndicated loan of $300m to refinance all of its project finance indebtedness.
  • Advising a syndicate of banks, including ABN, HSBC, Natixis, UOB, SMBC and Credit Agricole, on a framework agreement for a Dutch energy and commodity trading company in relation to the replacement of numerous bilateral trade finance facilities.

Conyers

Under the leadership of Charles Collis  following Graham Collis ’ retirement, Conyers’ practice possesses an enviable track record in high-end IPOs, note and debt offerings, securitisation matters, and shipping and aircraft financing. The department has recently been involved in several major deals involving large cruise companies, and continues to retain major oil and gas clients, particularly for note offerings. Within the group, Victor Richards  specialises in high-value shipping and aircraft ship financings, Jason Piney is noted for his knowledge of aircraft securitisations and financings as well as capital markets work, Marcello Ausenda  is an all-rounder with extensive experience across a host of financing and capital markets deals, while Sophia Greaves  exhibits expertise in the regulations that affect public companies and financial institutions. Counsel Angela Atherden and Edward Rance , who was promoted to director in April 2021, are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Charles Collis 

Key clients

Carnival Corporation

Viking Cruises Ltd.

Textainer Group

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A

Nabors

Aircastle Limited

Avolon Limited

Bank of N.T. Butterfield

Work highlights

  • Advising Textainer Group Holdings Limited on its issuance of depositary shares representing an interest in its 7.00% Series A Preference Shares at an aggregate public offering price of $150m.
  • Advised Viking Cruises Ltd on its offering of $350m aggregate principal amount of 7.00% Senior Notes due 2029 and to Viking Ocean Cruises Ship VII Ltd in connection with its offering of $350m aggregate principal amount of 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2029.
  • Advised Carnival Corporation on a private offering of $775m aggregate principal amount of 10.775% second-priority senior secured notes due 2026 and €425m aggregate principal amount of 10.125% second-priority senior secured notes due 2026.

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

As ‘a well known offshore firm with a new, hungry and capable Bermudian team’, Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited’s banking, finance and capital markets team (which sits within the larger corporate group) is underpinned by considerable expertise in advising large insurance groups, funds, financial institutions and alternative capital lenders on transactions. Mary Ward and Gavin Woods share responsibility for leading the team, which places an emphasis on corporate and banking, finance, capital markets, debt restructuring, financial restructuring and structured finance matters. Steven Rees Davies joined from Appleby in August 2021, bolstering the group’s capital markets credentials in particular.

Practice head(s):

Mary Ward; Gavin Woods

Testimonials

‘A well known offshore firm with a new, hungry and capable Bermudian team, Carey Olsen have shown their commerciality, responsiveness and expertise to provide a credible alternative to the two largest Bermudian firms.’

‘Gavin Woods is a very effective deal doer, able to judge and deliver on our needs every time.’

‘The team is technically excellent, commercially practicable, reliable and generally a pleasure to work with. Mary Ward is technically excellent, commercially practicable, reliable and generally a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is extremely responsive and always willing to help. Sound practical advice is given – they possess both excellent legal knowledge and business common sense. Always looking for practical solutions.’

‘Mary Ward is particularly good – very switched on and super responsive. Also thinks creatively and works efficiently.’

‘Very responsive and able to produce quick turnarounds under tight time pressures.’

‘Great combination of financial services regulatory expertise with banking/capital markets experience.’

‘Gavin Woods – extremely knowledgeable, always responsive with practical, sound advice. Gets things done.’

Key clients

Avianca Holdings S.A.

National Australia Bank Limited

Mapeley STEPS Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Avianca on its complex court-approved $2bn debtor-in-possession secured financing relating to Avianca’s emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Advised National Australia Bank Limited on the grant of $865m insurance letter of credit facilities to support Enstar Group Limited’s US regulatory collateral requirements.
  • Advised the ad hoc group of noteholders on the financial restructuring of Petra Diamonds Limited (a company listed on the London Stock Exchange) and its group.

MJM Limited

MJM Limited’s team, which is presided over by Jeremy Leese , specialises in asset and ship finance work, especially cross-border deals involving Norwegian and Asian shipping and offshore drilling clients. In addition, the department also receives a steady flow of real estate finance, corporate borrowing, acquisition finance and debt restructuring matters. Experienced counsel Brian Holdipp is another key name to note and regularly handles capital markets work such as high-value equity offerings and listings, most frequently in the shipping and oil and gas industries.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Leese

Other key lawyers:

Brian Holdipp

Key clients

Avance Gas Holding Ltd.

Borr Drilling Ltd.

Clarien Bank Limited

Frontline Limited

Golar LNG Limited

Golden Ocean Group Limited

Hermitage Offshore Services Ltd. (formerly Nordic American Offshore Ltd)

HSBC

North Atlantic Drilling Ltd.

Northern Drilling Ltd.

Northern Ocean Ltd.

SFL Corporation Ltd. (previously Ship Finance International Limited)

2020 Bulkers Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Hygo Energy Transition Ltd. on the acquisition of Hygo Energy Transition Ltd. by New Fortress Energy Inc.
  • Advised Dalea Partners, LP on the delisting of Transatlantic Petroleum Ltd. from the NYSE.
  • Assisted Golden Ocean Group Limited with a $ 338m Private Placement.

Walkers

The team at Walkers maintains an excellent client base of banks and financial institutions on the lender side, and also increasingly active on the borrower front, acting for clients from the energy, hotel and leisure, commercial shipping, fund administration, aviation and cruise line sectors. The department, which is steered by Jonathan Betts, regularly assists clients with project finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, structured finance and securitisation, debt capital markets, shipping and aviation finance and regulatory matters. Elsewhere, Adam Bathgate and senior counsel Nathalie West are singled out as ‘extremely pleasant to work with, knowledgeable and solution-oriented’, while Natalie Neto and Sarah Demerling provide key support on large instructions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Betts

Testimonials

‘Incredible service, rapid turnaround time, practical and solution-oriented.’

‘I worked with Adam Bathgate and Nathalie West. I would recommend both in a heartbeat. Extremely pleasant to work with, knowledgeable and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

JPMorgan

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

GAN Limited

McDermott Group

Carlyle Group

Alpha Innovations Ltd

Diamond Standard Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A in connection with Carnival Corporation’s Rule 144A offering of $4bn 11.5% first priority senior secured notes due 2023 and $2.0125bn 5.75% convertible senior notes due 2023, as well as the $1.86bn and €800m senior secured term loan agreement.
  • Acted as sole Bermuda counsel to Algoma Central Corporation on the refinancing of its senior secured debt that was due to mature during 2021.
  • Advised McDermott International group on all Bermudan (and Cayman) law aspects of its 2020 restructuring, including advising on finance and security issues related to the $2.81bn debtor-in-possession financing facility that closed in January 2020.

Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited

Particularly active in the aviation and shipping sectors, Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited has experience assisting clients with IPOs and other fund raisings, structured financing matters, as well as general banking and asset finance work. Managing director Ernest Morrison  and senior associates Janice Gutteridge  and Kathleen Moniz are among the key names.

Wakefield Quin

Wakefield Quin‘s ‘responsive, creative and business-minded’ team stands out in the market for its track record in real estate financing projects in Bermuda. Overseen by managing partner Nicholas Hoskins , the team also handles debt restructurings, project finance work and structured finance matters, among other general banking and finance issues. A key name to note in the group is Erik Gotfredsen , who is particularly skilled in handling complex finance and capital market transactions, with an emphasis on debt and equity offerings.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Hoskins

Other key lawyers:

Erik Gotfredsen ; Ian Stone 

Testimonials

The WQ team is responsive, creative and business-minded. They understood the client’s needs and succinctly distilled legal issues. I would recommend WQ wholeheartedly.’

They responded to all of our questions and concerns and, within the framework provided, we collaborated closely in resolving legal issues in an effective manner. I look forward to working with them again in the future.’

Key clients

Accenture Group

AmTrust Insurance Group

ATN International, Inc.

Bermuda Broadcasting Company Limited

Carlyle Aviation Partners

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

National General Insurance Group

Nordic Trustee ASA

Seacrest Group

VEON Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on the $2.44bn letter of credit facility and approximately $544m in funded debt for McDermott International in its successfully completed emergence from bankruptcy.
  • Advised Aurania on its $9.89m public offering of 2,300,000 units and warrants traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the Bank of NT Butterfield & Son Limited on its secured multi-tranche financing of the construction of the new St. Regis Hotel and related Resort Residences in St. George, Bermuda.