Banking, finance and capital markets in Bermuda

Appleby

Appleby advises its impressive client roster on a range of issues and transactions, and is especially prominent in handling syndicated loan facilities, reviewing facility and security documentation, as well as advising on the global project financing of power projects and telecoms and oil and gas ventures. As well as advising banks, financial institutions and insurance entities on financing transactions, the department also has a large client base of ship and aircraft owners, lessors and lessees, with particular expertise in asset finance transactions. Bermuda managing partner Tim Faries heads up the team, which also includes energy and natural resources group head Tammy Richardson-Augustus, transport and logistics specialist Clive Langley, and Jerome Wilson. Further names to note include counsel Tiffany Boys and David Clark, who regularly handles cross-border financing structures and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Tim Faries

Testimonials

‘Responsive, excellent communication and technical skills, practical and commercial outlook.’

‘I have worked with Appleby’s team for a few years now, I am incredibly happy with their straightforward answers, their availability and willingness to help. I mostly work with Tammy Richardson-Augustus, who is always available and open to assist us in any matter with top quality. They deliver in time, they are flexible and attend our needs in a professional manner.’

‘Tammy Richardson-Augustus is a top lawyer, not only technically but for the client attention she brings to the table. Gives practical and clear solutions and adapts easy to the needs of our structure.’

Key clients

Allergan plc: Warner Chilcott Limited

Abu Dhabi investment Authority

Sonnedix Solar Holdings Limited

Sierra Re Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Allergan plc: Warner Chilcott Limited on its acquisition by AbbVie via a high-value cash and stock transaction.
  • Acted as counsel to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) on an equity capital investment in Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited made by one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.
  • Advising Sonnedix Solar Holdings Limited on the restructuring and sale of its defaulting borrower’s business in Thailand, including 17.5MW of operating ground-mount solar PV assets in Thailand.

Conyers

While the team at Conyers is highly regarded for its expertise in IPOs and securitisations, it has also seen an uptick in international asset finance transactions, particularly matters relating to shipping and aircraft financing issues; the group has key expertise in the shipping and offshore energy sectors in Norway, North America and Asia. The practice is spearheaded by Graham Collis, and includes directors Neil Henderson, Sophia Greaves, Marcello Ausenda, Jason Piney and Victor Richards, who has a particular focus on shipping and aircraft matters. In a recent highlight, a team led by Richards advised Carnival on the completion of its $6bn financing via two tranches of notes. Counsel Angela Atherden and associate Edward Rance are key junior members of the practice. David Cooke retired in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Graham Collis

Key clients

Aircastle Limited

Carnival Corporation

Roivant Sciences

Nabors Industries

Castlelake

Bacardi

Pepsi

Work highlights

  • Advised Carnival on the completion of its $6bn financing in the face of COVID-19 challenges.
  • Advised Nabors Industries Ltd. and Nabors Holdings Ltd on its $1bn notes offering.
  • Advised Castlelake, L.P. on its $867.6m sixth structured ABS financing.

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

The team at Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited, which attracts praise for being ‘dedicated, knowledgeable, and hardworking’, is jointly led by Mary Ward and Gavin Woods, who both have a significant focus on the insurance and financial sectors. Ward is noted for her expertise in securities law and equity and debt financings for insurers and insurance groups, while Woods has extensive experience in alternative risk financings, capital markets and derivatives matters, insurance-linked securities work, investment fund issues and catastrophe bond structures. Senior counsel Michael Frith, who was previously at Conyers, joined the team in early 2020, whilst Adam Bathgate departed for Walkers.

Practice head(s):

Mary Ward; Gavin Woods

Other key lawyers:

Michael Frith

Testimonials

‘We work closely with Mary Ward and Gavin Woods in Bermuda on insurance matters. They are a dedicated, knowledgeable, and hard working team. Their relatively new presence in this area in Bermuda means they are not constrained by legacy conflicts and are hungry to grow their business.’

‘Gavin Woods is my go-to person for complex Bermuda law issues. He is always available, approachable, and willing to give clear, practical and firm advice. He is also a very nice guy.’

‘Carey Olsen is one of the most responsive law firms I have interacted with. They are also very knowledgeable of the jurisdictions they operate in.’

‘Gavin Woods’ professionalism, expertise, and responsiveness has made him the partner of choice for our Company.’

‘We came to Carey Olsen with the desire to continue to work with Mary Ward, who we’ve found, over the 10 or so years that we’ve worked with her, to be a valued counsellor who is well-versed in all aspects of Bermuda law and the regulatory environment.’

Key clients

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

National Australia Bank Limited

Hiscox Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to  Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland – the arrangers and lenders – in relation to credit facilities provided to Elysian Capital for its acquisition of a majority stake in the Mergon Group.
  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to the mandated lead arrangers and global co-ordinators in connection with the senior secured term and revolving facilities provided to PPF Group N.V. for the acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.
  • Acting as Bermuda counsel to National Australia Bank Limited and The Bank of Nova Scotia on the grant of a letter of credit facility agreement to Enstar Group Limited and certain of its subsidiaries.

Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited

Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited has a notably track record in assisting clients with IPOs and public company fund raisings, structured financing matters, and banking and asset financing work, particularly in the aviation and shipping sectors. Managing director Ernest Morrison and senior associates Janice Gutteridge and Kathleen Moniz are the names to note.

MJM Limited

Alongside its international equity offering and listing capabilities, MJM Limited has a strong local reputation for asset and ship finance work, most notably in cross-border deals involving Norwegian and Asian shipping and offshore drilling clients. Following the departure of Peter Martin, Jeremy Leese now leads the firm’s corporate and finance department, which also handles a diverse array of international banking and finance mandates, real estate finance work, and corporate borrowing transactions. The experienced Brian Holdipp, who was promoted to counsel in late 2019, is another key practitioner in this space.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Leese

Other key lawyers:

Brian Holdipp

Key clients

Avance Gas Holding Ltd.

Borr Drilling Ltd.

Clarien Bank Limited

FLEX LNG Ltd.

Frontline Limited

Golar LNG Limited

Golden Ocean Group Limited

Hermitage Offshore

Services Ltd.

HSBC

Nordic American Tankers Ltd

Nordic American Offshore Ltd

North Atlantic Drilling Ltd.

Northern Drilling Ltd.

Northern Ocean Ltd.

SFL Corporation Ltd.

2020 Bulkers Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Borr Drilling Limited on the secured financing arrangements which were used to refinance Borr Drilling’s credit facilities; assisted with refinancing transactions while also advising with regard to its impending IPO.
  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to 2020 Bulkers Ltd for its listing on Oslo Axess.
  • Acting for a leasing company, Compass Shipping 24 Corporation Limited, with regard to a sale and leaseback transaction with Höegh LNG Ltd. for a new build vessel.

Wakefield Quin

As a go-to firm for real estate financing projects in Bermuda, Wakefield Quin fields a banking, finance and capital markets team, which primarily advises clients on banking issues, project finance work and structured finance matters. The practice also has experience assisting with debt and equity offerings, banking and financial services mandates, and secured lending matters. The department's work is primarily handled by director and CEO Erik Gotfredsen, alongside fellow director Ian Stone. Managing partner Nicholas Hoskins also has experience in this area.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Hoskins

Other key lawyers:

Erik Gotfredsen; Ian Stone

Key clients

Accenture Group

AmTrust Insurance Group

ATN International, Inc.

Bermuda Broadcasting Company Limited

Dragon Oil Group

H&K AAG Holdings LLC

National General Insurance Group

Nordic Trustee ASA

Seacrest Group

VEON Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Sonnedix USA Services Ltd. on its second tranche financing of a major solar energy project in Chile.
  • Acted for The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited on its loan to the Bermuda Government to enable the government to purchase secured debt from financiers for the redevelopment of Morgan’s Point in Bermuda.
  • Assisted Citigroup Global Markets with a restructuring (including Bermuda scheme of arrangement) and exit from debtor-in-possession and US Chapter 11 proceedings for Weatherford International.

Walkers

At Walkers, the corporate team provides asset finance, banking, capital markets, fund finance and regulatory advice to a range of clients, including leading global financial institutions, private equity funds, sponsors and corporations. The team is led by Jonathan Betts, who has extensive experience in syndicated, bilateral, secured and unsecured finance transactions, particularly in the shipping and aviation spaces. Elsewhere in the team, Natalie Neto has particular expertise in debt and equity capital markets mandates, while Sarah Demerling has a notable track record in insurance-linked securities work. The finance group has been bolstered by the recruitment of Adam Bathgate from Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited, while Paul Nystrom left the team for an in-house role. Senior associate Nathalie West is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Betts

Testimonials

‘The Walkers team (particularly Natalie Neto, Sarah Demerling, and Rachel Nightingale) are responsive, creative, flexible, and smart. They are very connected within the Bermuda legal and business community, getting us meetings and audiences on very short notice when needed. They also handled a sensitive and challenging issue smoothly. I cannot say enough good things about that.’

‘Responsive, business-friendly, motivated, super smart and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Onex Corporation

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Elysian Capital

New World Development

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Société Générale

JPMorgan Chase

Standard Chartered Bank

Apollo Global Management

Work highlights

  • Acted as offshore counsel to Norwegian Cruise Line on three separate significant financing transactions, equating to $2bn, which were completed during 2020.
  • Acted as both Bermuda and BVI counsel on New World Development’s recent acquisition of FTLife Insurance from the JD Group.
  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to Gemini, the US regulated cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, on its application to the Bermuda Monetary Authority to launch its captive insurance company, Nakamoto, Ltd – the world’s first captive to insure crypto custody.