Dispute resolution in Bermuda

Conyers Dill & Pearman

Frequently involved in leading commercial litigation work, Conyers Dill & Pearman has 'an exceptional team of offshore lawyers, who regularly appear in the largest cases and have a strength in depth across a range of disciplines'. The Bermuda practice is singled out for its strength in international commercial litigation, trust disputes and restructuring, insolvency, and insurance cases. Christian Luthi, who leads the litigation and restructuring departments, recently worked with the firm's Hong Kong office to advise Noble Group Holdings on the successful $3.5bn debt restructuring of Noble Group of Companies, which involved parallel schemes of arrangements in both the UK and Bermuda. Jeffrey Elkinson is a highly regarded trusts and estates practitioner, and Ben Adamson has been involved in high-value cross-border commercial and trust disputes. Also key to the group are Scott Pearman and associate Rhys Williams.

Practice head(s):

Christian Luthi

Testimonials

Simply the best in Bermuda‘.

Christian Luthi is held in very high regard‘.

Jeffrey Elkinson is smooth as silk and an extremely skilled and accomplished litigator and advocate, who has an excellent rapport with the court‘.

Ben Adamson is highly intelligent and a real pleasure to work with‘.

Scott Pearman is a real asset to the firm‘.

Jeffrey Elkinson and Ben Adamson are five-star practitioners in all areas of dispute resolution because of their knowledge of law and practice, their judgment, their tactical acumen, their diligence and the exemplary service provided to clients. They are supported by first-class teams of other lawyers.

Key clients

Noble Group

HSBC

The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son

KPMG

E&Y

Bermuda Monetary Authority

Viking River Cruises

American International Company

Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce

Work highlights

  • Acted for the trustee of a private trust company in a contentious trust dispute.
  • Acted for an infrastructure fund in various actions surrounding a failed hotel project’s guarantees.  
  • Acted for the Bermuda Monetary Authority in the presentation of a winding up petition against Petroleos de Venezuela’s captive insurer.

Appleby

Appleby fields 'an excellent offshore litigation team that is responsive but also self-sufficient, easy to deal with and takes its place in a multi-jurisdictional group'. The practice is highly regarded locally and internationally for its advice to major Bermuda and global corporations on litigation, insolvency and regulatory issues, alongside its ability to handle large trust matters. Other areas of contentious expertise include fund, insurance and employment disputes. John Wasty was recently appointed global co-head of the dispute resolution practice group; senior counsel John Riihiluoma focuses on reinsurance disputes, directors’ and officers’ liability actions, and shareholder and corporate disputes; and recently promoted partner Steven White leads the trust and employment and immigration teams. Hannah Tildesley was promoted to counsel.

Practice head(s):

John Wasty

Other key lawyers:

John Riihiluoma; Steven White; Hannah Tildesley; Sam Riihiluoma; Jordan Knight

Testimonials

It has a strong book of work and is often seen in the big cases‘.

Specialised knowledge with established regulatory relationships, commercial awareness and a pragmatic approach to resolution that is tailored to clients’ specific needs‘.

John Wasty is super-smart and a great tactician on behalf of clients‘.

Steven White and counsel Hannah Tildesley are an excellent team, combining local knowledge with quality drafting and advice and good response times‘.

Key clients

The ad hoc committee of bondholders and senior lenders of Noble Group.

Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda)

Deutsche Bank (London Branch)

Quintessence Fund

QVT Fund

VR Global Partners

Carpai Global Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised the ad hoc committee of bondholders and senior lenders of Noble Group on the $3.5bn financial restructuring of Bermuda-incorporated, global commodities trader NGL.
  • Defended Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) against claims issued by policyholders and individuals, which arose out of a significant fraud.
  • Acted for Deutsche Bank (London Branch), Quintessence Fund, QVT Fund, VR Global Partners and Carpai Global Investments, (as lenders to San Antonio Oil & Gas Services) in the enforcement of security interests and obtaining a winding-up order.

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

Carey Olsen's Bermuda office was opened in late 2017 and 'has taken the market somewhat by surprise, with nobody expecting the quality of the firm to be so high so quickly'. The dispute resolution department has been particularly active in high-profile litigation for global businesses and ultra-high-net-worth individuals including multi-jurisdictional freezing injunctions, asset tracing matters and cross-border restructurings. Michael Hanson has particular expertise in crisis management, corporate cases, employment and regulatory investigations, and executive disputes, while Keith Robinson is highly rated for trust litigation. Other key contacts are counsels Henry Tucker and Sam Stevens and senior associate Cheri Minors; Stevens recently joined from DLA Piper's Singapore office.

Practice head(s):

Michael Hanson; Keith Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Henry Tucker; Cheri Minors; Sam Stevens

Testimonials

The practice has depth of talent throughout the team but the key difference between it and other firms is its strategic thinking and work product‘.

The team has a client-focused approach and is extremely responsive, with hiring focused on client needs‘.

Michael Hanson has become the gold standard in Bermuda with regard to employment law matters – he is a very insightful adviser and always keen to help‘.

Keith Robinson is the best commercial litigator in Bermuda. Despite his academic presence and intellect, it is his responsiveness and commercial pragmatism that put him on the top of the pile‘.

Senior associate Kyle Masters provides excellent advice‘.

Key clients

VMS Investment Group

Butterfield Trust (Bermuda)

Hiscox Group

JetBlue Airways

Lyndhurst

KRyS Global

Argo Group International Holdings

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company

Third Point Reinsurance

Bermuda Electric Light Company

Arch Capital Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for VMS Investment Group in an urgent winding-up petition against Hsin Chong Group Holdings in Bermuda.
  • Acted for Hiscox against its former chief financial officer in claims relating to theft and fraud.
  • Acted for Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) in an application for a declaration that a protector appointment was invalid.

Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited

Cox Hallett Wilkinson Limited's team is 'dynamic, responsive and experienced' with disputes expertise covering commercial litigation, insolvency and restructuring claims, shareholder and director disputes, and contentious trust and estate matters; it also handles insurance, regulatory and public law, professional negligence, banking and construction disputes. Practice head Craig Rothwell is a specialist in employment litigation and personal injury claims; Kim White is experienced in civil and commercial litigation, arbitration, mediation, and governmental and regulatory matters; and senior counsel David Kessaram is a 'very experienced and smart practitioner'. Senior associate Matthew Watson is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Craig Rothwell

Testimonials

It is an extremely user-friendly and accessible firm‘.

The practitioners are accessible and available and immerse themselves in the detail of cases, showing great commitment to clients’ causes‘.

David Kessaram is a very experienced and smart practitioner, who is quick to pick up on the detail of matters and judge things in the wider context‘.

Senior associate Matthew Watson is a very able and up-and-coming practitioner, who has good client management skills and is a talented court room advocate‘.

Key clients

KPMG

PT Satria Tirtatama Energindo

Bermuda Monetary Authority

State House Trust Company

Sturgeon Central Asia Balanced Fund

Medical Protection Society

Ascendant Group

Caroline Bay

Work highlights

  • Acted for KPMG, as liquidator, in the liquidation of Par-la-Ville Hotel and Residences.
  • Acted for PT Satria Tirtatama Energindo before the Privy Council in a case concerning the right to develop and operate a geothermal power station in Bali.
  • Provided urgent advice to the Bermuda Monetary Authority on the appointment of provisional liquidators in relation to a failing insurance company.

MJM Limited

MJM Limited fields experts in corporate and commercial litigation including insolvency work, banking-related disputes, contentious trusts and estates, employment law claims, and regulatory matters. Fozeia Rana-Fahy heads up the dispute resolution team, as well as the contentious trusts practice and the employment and immigration team. Recently promoted partner Jennifer Haworth is experienced in a broad range of areas including employment claims, property disputes and general civil litigation. Former group head Alan Dunch and Andrew Martin are now senior counsels.

Practice head(s):

Fozeia Rana-Fahy

Testimonials

What makes this practice unique is the quality of each of its legal practitioners. The practice always ensures that it employs people of the highest quality and has not traded quality for expansion‘.

The reputation of the directors is such that the firm is able to attract international business as well as Bermuda-based work‘.

Senior counsel Andrew Martin is a standout litigator who is also a decisive, firm and very articulate advocate‘.

The team is efficient, reputable and experienced. They provide excellent service and are gifted in communicating complicated items in easy to understand content.

Fozeia Rana-Fahy has a very thoughtful approach, she is tenacious and very client focused with quality dedicated service.

Key clients

HSBC Bank Bermuda

Renaissance  Holdings

Menzies Aviation (Bermuda)

Electricity Supply Trade Union

Bermuda Press Holdings

Bermuda Tourism Authority

The Royal Gazette

The Reefs Beach Club

The Gibbons Group of Companies

Clarien Bank

Bermuda Hospitals Board

Bermuda National Trust

Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority

Rosewood Tucker’s Point (Bermuda)

Golar LNG

KPMG Bermuda

Deloitte

Work highlights

  • Acted for a branch of a family, which objected to a trustee’s application for directions relating to the future administration and restructring of the trusts.
  • Advised Renaissance Holdings on employment, immigration, regulatory and general litigation issues including employment tribunal actions and a defamation dispute.
  • Acted for the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority in a contentious contractual dispute against CCS Group.

Walkers

Walkers is 'a new generation of law firm in Bermuda that is a very welcome entry into a marketplace'. The practice has been particularly active in matters involving commercial disputes, insolvency issues, schemes of arrangement, insurance claims, minority oppression actions, shareholder claims and professional negligence disputes, as well as trust litigation and contentious estates, debt recovery work and employment claims. Kevin Taylor heads up the insolvency and dispute resolution practice, and Nicole Tovey specialises in cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters. Senior associate Benjamin McCosker and Kai Musson are also noteworthy practitioners. Peter Dunlop recently joined the practice from ASW Law Limited and specialises in insurance and reinsurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Taylor

Testimonials

Already a leading practice in Bermuda‘.

Growing rapidly and well connected globally, with increasingly extensive service offerings‘.

A very strong leader in Kevin Taylor – he is a hardworking, knowledgeable sensible lawyer‘.

Nicole Tovey is one of the leading litigators in Bermuda and a go-to lawyer for liquidators; she provides clear and concise advice in even the most complex of situations‘.

Benjamin McCosker is a detailed and meticulous lawyer‘.

Key clients

Randall Krebs

CITGO Petroleum

Clarien Bank

Ernst & Young (Bermuda)

RSM Corporate Advisory (Hong Kong)

Athene Holding

KPMG Advisory (Bermuda)

Standard  Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)

PT Tenaga Bumi Bali

Panacorp Casa de Valores

Work highlights

  • Acted for a former shareholder of Meritus Trust Company in share valuation proceedings.
  • Acted for Athene Holding, a provider of retirement savings products, in proceedings against its former directors and officers.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Clarien Bank on complex mortgage recovery and unsecured debt recovery actions.

ASW Law Limited

ASW Law Limited's commercial litigation and arbitration practice is highly regarded for its experience in insurance, reinsurance, insolvency and cross-border commercial disputes. The group also fields experts in disputes involving banking elements and hedge funds,  fraud, public law, shipping and admiralty issues, telecoms aspects and trusts. Jan Woloniecki leads the team, which also comprises Rod Attride-Stirling, insolvency head Kehinde George and Nathaniel TurnerPeter Dunlop left for Walkers.

Practice head(s):

Jan Woloniecki

Testimonials

The size of the team means that clients get a personalised, responsive service. Its senior lawyers are highly experienced and keep up to date with developing areas of the law and practice‘.

Rod Attride-Stirling and Kehinde George are experts in their fields and have a wide base of knowledge and understanding of the Bermuda market‘.

Key clients

Ernst & Young

OUTBermuda

Ford Motor Company

Deloitte

Finance & Risk Services

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Work highlights

  • Acted for the former director, chairman and CEO of Brunswick Rail Group and Brunswick Rail in seeking a declaration that he is entitled to whistleblowing-related bye-law and contractual indemnities.
  • Acted in a groundbreaking human rights case that confirmed that same-sex marriage is lawful in Bermuda.

Kennedys

Kennedys is 'very strong in litigation and advocacy matters, and provides excellent advice and service'. The team has a strong track record in commercial disputes, trusts litigation, insurance and reinsurance claims, professional negligence disputes, contentious restructuring and insolvency issues, and public law and regulatory disputes. Bermuda managing partner Mark Chudleigh and Alex Potts QC are highly experienced in commercial litigation, and senior associate Lewis Preston was hired from Maples Group's Hong Kong office.

Practice head(s):

Mark Chudleigh

Other key lawyers:

Lewis Preston; Alex Potts QC

Testimonials

The firm has a small core team that ensures clients get personal attention, good intra-team communications and exceptional responsiveness‘.

It combines local Bermuda knowledge with the strength of being part of an international insurance practice‘.

Mark Chudleigh is well recognised in the insurance and reinsurance sector and is hugely knowledgeable‘.

Key clients

Blink Health

Annuity & Life Re

Reignwood International Investment Group

Apex Fund Services

Markel Catco Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Acted for the managers, developers, and long-term leaseholders of the Coral Beach Club in Supreme Court litigation against the freeholder.
  • Represented Blink Health in a substantial minority shareholder dispute with a minority shareholder and business competitor.
  • Acted for Annuity & Life Re, a substantial minority shareholder of Full Apex Holdings, in pursuing a winding-up petition.