Corporate and commercial in Bermuda
Appleby is praised for its 'responsiveness, technical skills, commerciality, knowledge of the client's business and familiarity with the structures and transactions'. The practice regularly assists global FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies with strategic growth and restructuring initiatives, and clients also benefit from the group's expertise across the insurance, banking, technology, funds, transport, energy and natural resources sectors, regulatory and corporate finance work and extensive M&A experience. In recent highlights, the team advised Fabian Bello on his purchase of a majority interest in Longtail Aviation, a Bermudian-based charter jet operator; and acted as Bermuda counsel to Rewire and Vida on the launch of new insurance-linked securities manager, Merion Square. Bermuda managing partner Tim Faries leads the Bermuda corporate and insurance groups; other key advisers include insurance and reinsurance expert Alan Bossin, Clive Langley, who has extensive experience in corporate and commercial law; joint global head of technology and innovation Steven Rees Davies, and Sally Penrose, who specialises in the structuring, management and operation of investment funds. Matthew Ebbs-Brewer and Jerome Wilson are also highly regarded, while Josephine Noddings is the senior associate to note. David Clark joined the Bermuda corporate practice group from the firm's BVI office.
Other key lawyers:
‘Clive Langley is experienced, responsive and dedicated, with a determination to get deals done on time and a practical approach‘.
‘Matthew Ebbs-Brewer and Sally Penrose possess excellent technical skills and are highly responsive and dedicated‘.
Rewire Bermuda Feeder Fund
Siris Capital Group
Aspen Insurance Holdings
- Advised Belmond on its sale to LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton.
- Advised Siris Capital Group on its acquisition (together with Elliot Management) of Travelport Worldwide.
- Acted for Globant Espana on its acquisition of cloud transformation company, Avanxo.
Conyers Dill & Pearman is well respected for its experience in M&A and corporate restructuring mandates. Graham Collis leads the corporate department in Bermuda; his practice covers general corporate and commercial work, with particular expertise in insurance, securities and financing matters. Marcello Ausenda led advice to LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, which owns iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Dom Pérignon, on its acquisition of the Belmond hotel group; Neil Henderson and Niel Jones acted for Thomson Reuters on the sale of a majority stake in its financial and risk unit to The Blackstone Group; and David Cooke assisted Nuance Communications with the $400m sale of its document imaging division to Kofax. Also key to the group are Bermuda fintech head Chris Garrod, Jason Piney, who handles international asset finance and corporate transactions; and Guy Cooper, who has a particular focus on securities work, financings and group restructurings and regularly acts for public companies. Other recommended directors include Elizabeth Denman, Chiara Nannini and Sophia Greaves, while David Stubbs is a well-regarded associate.
Other key lawyers:
Liberty Latin America
- Assisted Sagicor Financial Corporation with its sale to Alignvest Acquisition II.
- Advised Odfjell Drilling on its purchase of a semi-submersible, harsh-environment drilling unit.
- Advised Nephila Holdings on its sale to Markel.
Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited regularly advises international clients on the Bermuda elements of multi-jurisdictional M&A deals, with expertise in the captive insurance, natural resources, aviation, shipping, investment funds, retail and telecoms sectors. Managing director Ernest Morrison's work includes corporate governance and regulatory issues, M&A transactions, particularly relating to insurance companies and other regulated entities, and private equity investments. Also key to the group are senior associates Janice Gutteridge, who advises Bermuda-based and international clients on a range of corporate and commercial matters, and Kathleen Moniz, who is particularly focused on IP migrations, life sciences and bio-tech restructurings, securities and financings, as well as investment business and partnership matters. Moniz recently joined from Conyers Dill & Pearman.
Symetra Life Insurance Company
- Advised Symetra Life Insurance Company on the Bermuda law aspects of a reinsurance arrangement, which transfers financial responsibility for its structured annuity contracts to Resolution Re.
MJM Limited 'spends time researching and understanding what clients are trying to achieve' and is experienced in significant M&A deals including cross-border transactions that involve Norway and Asia; it is also expanding its regulatory advisory practice. The 'very responsive team' also has an extensive list of international shipping industry clients. Counsel Peter Martin recently stepped down from a management role, while newly promoted director Jeremy Leese now leads the corporate and finance department. Leese's practice includes corporate finance and M&A work, corporate reorganisations and restructurings, and regulatory and legislative compliance issues, while senior associate Brian Holdipp advises on M&A, corporate restructurings and redomiciliations, partnership issues, and compliance with Bermuda’s economic substance legislation and regulations.
‘Its lawyers understand how to bring all parties to the same place quickly and reduce legal costs without compromising the terms of the deal‘.
‘Good market and legal knowledge‘.
‘Jeremy Leese is a standout partner, with a sharp streetwise manner‘.
‘Peter Martin is well versed in all technical company law matters, including restructuring and corporate governance‘.
‘The personalised service we received from Brian Holdipp sets the firm apart from others. He is very attentive to detail and almost always readily available to answer questions which is a real plus in a lawyer! He is very knowledgeable about Bermuda’s economic substance regulations.‘
Ship Finance International
Golden Ocean Group
Nordic American Tankers
Hermitage Offshore Services
- Advised a leasing company, which is part of a large Chinese bank, on a sale and leaseback transaction with Hoegh LNG for a new-build vessel.
- Advised Hemen Holding, an existing shareholder in oil rig firm Seadrill, on Seadrill’s restructuring.
- Acted for DigiCert on its acquisition of Bermuda-founded QuoVadis Group from Switzerland’s WISeKey International Holding.
Wakefield Quin is singled out for its expertise in M&A deals and sales, hotel-condo real estate developments and acquisitions, cross-border reorganisations and restructurings, insurance and reinsurance matters, and advising public companies and private equity funds. In addition to M&A matters, Erik Gotfredsen has significant experience advising on joint ventures, partnerships, asset and fund management, and regulatory compliance matters; he also has an active general corporate practice including advising on the establishment of companies in Bermuda. Also key to the practice is Ian Stone, whose experience includes offshore corporate and partnership structures, M&A, insurance and reinsurance law, group restructurings and general corporate work. Nicholas Hoskins leads the department.
AmTrust Insurance Group
Bermuda Broadcasting Company
Dragon Oil Group
H&K AAG Holdings
National General Insurance Group
- Advised H&K AAG Holdings on its sale of the Apollo Aviation Group (together with its affiliates) to The Carlyle Group.
- Acted for East End Group on the sale of its asphalt manufacturing, paving and aggregate supply business to Polaris Holding Company.
- Advised the shareholders of Avanxo (Bermuda) on the sale of their interest in Avanxo to Globant.
Walkers' Bermuda office is building a strong reputation for its advice on corporate and M&A matters, joint ventures, public listings, take-privates and buy-outs as well as assisting with investment fund structuring, insurance matters and regulatory issues. In a recent highlight, practice head Jonathan Betts was Bermuda counsel to an affiliate of Apollo Global Management on the $2.6bn cash acquisition of the Aspen Insurance Group. Natalie Neto's practice includes takeovers, tender offers and squeeze outs, amalgamations, mergers, and schemes of arrangement; and Paul Nystrom is an experienced senior counsel, whose general corporate practice includes advising on the establishment of Bermuda entities and assisting companies and directors with corporate governance and regulatory matters. Sarah Demerling joined from Estera; she specialises in funds and investment services, insurance-linked securities, regulatory compliance work and M&A. Ariane West left for an in-house role at Nephila Climate.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Standard Chartered Bank
Apollo Global Management
- Advised Parkland Fuel (with the firm’s BVI and Cayman offices) on its acquisition of 75% of SOL Investments and its subsidiaries.
- Advised Onex on its recent investment in Convex Group and the associated fund and co-investment structuring matters.
ASW Law Limited
ASW Law Limited's 'prompt and responsive team is friendly to deal with' and has longstanding experience advising on large M&A transactions involving Bermuda stock exchange-listed insurance companies and other business structures. Corporate head Neil Horner has extensive experience advising on large commercial and corporate finance transactions, and is particularly focused on the reinsurance and financial services sectors; and insolvency group head Kehinde George is a corporate restructuring expert. Senior counsels Kim Willey and Rebecca Vernon, and counsel Hanno Tolhurst are also experienced practitioners.
Neil Horner; Kehinde George
‘Neil Horner is highly responsive and fully engaged, and he gives timely and thoughtful advice‘.
‘Rebecca Vernon is excellent – a real expert that clients happily recommend‘.
AXA XL Group
American International Group
Catalina Holdings (Bermuda)
Apollo Global Management
FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda)
Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
United Natural Foods
- Advised XL Group on its sale to French multinational insurance firm, Axa.
- Advised American International Group on the acquisition of Validus Holdings.
- Acted for Markel on its acquisition of Nephila Holdings.
Carey Olsen's Bermuda corporate and commercial department was formally established in 2018 with the recruitment of commercial and corporate law expert Mary Ward from Conyers Dill & Pearman; Ward also advises on insurance matters including the incorporation and ongoing regulatory requirements of commercial insurers. The practice also saw Gavin Woods join from Appleby, who specialises in corporate finance, corporate structuring and insurance and reinsurance matters. The team has a significant insurance and financial sector focus, and advises on creating new structures for commercial growth as well as public and private M&A; it also acts for boards and shareholders.
Other key lawyers:
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Hamilton Insurance Group
- Advised Marsh & McLennan Companies on its $5.6bn acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.
- Advised Apex Group on its acquisition of Beacon Fund Services (Bermuda), Beacon Corporate Services (Bermuda) and Beacon Management.
- Acted for Rothesay Life on its disposal of a €140m portfolio of Irish annuities to Laguna Life, a subsidiary of Monument Re.