Banking, finance and capital markets in British Virgin Islands

Conyers

Under the leadership of ‘pragmatic solution providerRobert Briant, who is skilled in a wide range of financing transactions, ConyersComparative Guides promotional icon’ team has an enviable track record in the full spectrum of banking, finance and capital market transactions in the BVI. In the capital markets sphere, the key strengths are notes issuances, private placements, share subscriptions and IPOs; Anton Goldstein , in particular, has a strong reputation regionally for his close involvement in many of the BVI’s largest and most complex IPO deals. Promoted to partner in April 2021 partly in recognition of her burgeoning finance capabilities, Audrey Robertson specialises in syndicated loans, refinancings and asset financing matters concerning commercial and private aircraft. Rachael Pape  and Nicholas Kuria, both of whom sit as counsel in the department, provide key supporting roles in corporate finance, capital markets, derivatives and securitisation matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Briant

Testimonials

‘Accurate, timely and responsive.’

‘Rob Briant is a pragmatic solution provider. Advice is accurate, timely, and well researched. Rob actively engages in and around the subject matter to address core as well as tangential aspects of the subject matter.’

Efficient and pragmatic advice delivered directly.’

Hands-on, practical, thorough advice, with a preference for simple solutions delivered without fuss.’

Key clients

Fix Price Group Ltd.

Telegram Group Inc

Deutsche Bank AG

Bank of America, N.A., London Branch

Wells Fargo

Madagascar Mineral Investments Limited

Despegar

King Street Capital

AdvancedAdvT Limited (formerly Marwyn Acquisition Company I Limited)

Marwyn

Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Bank of Asia

BVI Government

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Bank of Asia with obtaining a restricted banking licence and then a general banking licence, as well as with capital raising requirements.

Harneys

Harneys‘ ‘top class’ transactional team, led by investment funds specialist Philip Graham, assists a broad range of clients in banking, finance and capital markets matters, with notable strengths in complex syndicated lending, margin financing, asset and real estate financing, and structured finance deals. Tanya Cassie-Parker, the local managing partner, retains an impressively varied client roster, advising leading financial institutions as well as high-profile international property and fashion conglomerates. Michelle Frett-Mathavious has extensive expertise in property and project finance transactions emanating from Asia and Europe; and George Weston shines in public and private share offerings and capital raisings; while the vastly experienced Peter Tarn is noted for sitting on the board of BVI Finance. Another standout name is Odane Lennon, who is praised as ‘a rock star associate’ who ‘really goes above and beyond to get the deal through’. In January 2021, Ellie Crespi joined Collas Crill.

Practice head(s):

Philip Graham

Testimonials

The team are top class in the British Virgin Islands legal market. They have a phenomenal commercial understanding of what we are trying to achieve on each deal and constantly deliver for us. They are extremely responsive and cater to our every need expediently – I can’t recommend them enough.’

Odane Lennon is a rock star associate and is among the best lawyers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He really goes above and beyond to get the deal through.’

‘Very good team of outstanding professionals possessing impressive knowledge and experience in this practice area. Very responsive and punctual.’

‘I would mention Tanya Cassie-Parker and Melissa Thomas, a managing partner to the firm and an associate respectively, both incredibly talented professionals, very approachable on a personal level. ’

In comparison with other firms, Harney gave its feedback faster than others and Harney’s service charges are reasonable.’

Michelle Frett-Mathavious has been proved to be my reliable working partner and I personally deeply appreciate the good quality and efficiency of services provided by Harneys and Michelle.’

The team is very responsive to Asian clients even though they are located offshore. The team is able to provide commercially reasonable legal advice. The team is able to provide continued legal support even at the partners’ level when someone in the team is away from the office.’

Maples Group

Working in close collaboration with colleagues across the firm’s wider international network, from the Cayman Islands to London, Maples Group demonstrates particular expertise in highly complex cross-border deals. Key pillars of the offering include financing transactions involving corporate and fund clients, secured financing transactions, real estate finance work, debt restructurings, capital markets transactions, asset and project finance mandates, and secured lending issues arising from the private wealth space. Active on both the borrower and lender side of transactions, the group is spearheaded by Richard May , whose personal practice focuses on transactions emerging from the natural resources sector. Elsewhere in the group, Christopher Newton specialises in complex restructurings while Ruairi Bourke  is highly adept in debt and equity capital market transactions. Chartered legal executive Chloe Harris also contributes to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard May

Key clients

Arcos Dorados

Biohaven Group (including Bioshin)

EZGO Technologies Ltd.

Gerdau Trade

HL Acquisitions Corp

Work highlights

  • Advised a club of lenders led by HSBC and Citibank to the QGOG Constellation Group on its $1bn restructuring.
  • Advised Biohaven, a clinical-stage biopharmaceuticals company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, on a number of deals ranging from $450m to $500m.
  • Advised Brazilian BVI incorporated and NYSE listed Arcos Dorados on its $138m Exchange Offer.

Collas Crill

Following the departure of managing partner Ian Montgomery to Mourant in March 2021, the corporate, finance and funds team at Collas Crill is now steered by the vastly experienced Ellie Crespi, who arrived from Harneys during the same month. Instructed by both borrowers and lenders, the department is particularly active in real estate finance work for developments and acquisitions in both the US and UK, debt and refinancing matters, ship and marine finance issues, and capital markets work, including SPACs, equity fundraisings and debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Ellie Crespi

Other key lawyers:

Aliki Skelton-Lettsome

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive and decisive advisers. Creative problem solving as part of an innovative deal structure.’

Collas Crill’s hire of Ellie Crespi as Managing Partner and head of Corporate, Finance and Funds was a real coup. When it comes to structured finance and secured lending, there is simply no one else in the offshore market with greater depth and breadth of experience than Ellie.’

‘Aliki Skelton-Lettsome is a hard-working and highly promising home-grown talent.’

Key clients

AFRA (Panama)

Alcogal (Panama)

Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

ATU General Trust

Bank of America

BSG Valentine

Citco

Dajani & Associates

Drew and Napier LLC

Eversheds Sutherland (Dubai and Amman)

Extell Capital Partners LLC

Grant Hermann Shwartz & Klinger LLP

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

iMena

M1 Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Mail.ru Group, Russia’s largest internet business and e-commerce business, on a $200m equity fundraising of GDRs and $400m debt offering of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2025.
  • Advising Extell Limited, a BVI company acting as guarantor to a US borrower, on obtaining a substantial loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, to discharge existing loans relating to the luxurious oceanfront condominium residences known as The Lofts Pier Village in New Jersey.
  • Advised 4D Pharma Plc, a pharmaceuticals company leading the development of live biotherapeutic products, on a merger with Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), trading on Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange.

Ogier

Ogier differentiates itself through its considerable experience in debt and equity capital markets transactions and complex financial reorganisations and reconstructions. Notably, practice head Ray Wearmouth acts as a senior strategic adviser to the Government of the British Virgin Islands on financial services issues, while fellow co-head Michael Killourhy concentrates on equity capital markets matters. In a recent standout matter, Killourhy advised Kismet, a BVI-incorporated and NASDAQ-listed special purpose acquisition company, on its $250m IPO and associated $50m private placements. Other names to note are managing associate Rebecca Clark and senior associate David Mathews, who flourishes in digital asset issues.

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca ClarkDavid Mathews

Testimonials

‘Responsive, commercial and a pleasure to work with.’

Great team, lots of experience and available when needed. They are a trusted partner for BVI matters.’

Michael Killourhy and Dave Mathews are great. Responsive and great members of team to collaborate with. Work seamlessly with our team and have great knowledge of the law and industry. Very client-focused.’

Key clients

Kismet Acquisition One Corp

Constellation Oil Services Holding S.A.

Eucrates Biomedical Acquisition Corp.

DNB Bank ASA

Citibank

HSBC (New York)

Work highlights

  • Advised Kismet on its $300m total Nasdaq IPO and associated private placements in August 2020.
  • Advised a leading global natural resources conglomerate on an over $4bn financing package.
  • Advised Eucrates on its $110m total Nasdaq IPO and associated private placements in October 2020.

Walkers BVI

The finance, corporate and funds group at Walkers BVI is jointly overseen by managing partner Matthew Cowman and Omonike Robinson-Pickering, the latter of whom was promoted to partner in 2020 and is noted for her ‘realism and practicality‘. Both advise clients on all elements of banking and finance work, most frequently the BVI law dimensions of secured and unsecured financings, subordinated and syndicated lending work, security issues, leverage and acquisition finance mandates, project and real estate finance matters, and derivatives and structured products.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Cowman

Other key lawyers:

Omonike Robinson-Pickering

Testimonials

‘They are super responsive and will get on the phone to discuss strategy and explain the market and the law. I’ve had local counsel before where I worked primarily with associates or everything happened via email – sometimes people speak past each other, and it’s nice to know the facts and where people are coming from.’

‘Omonike Robinson-Pickering was my primary contact, and she was super responsive. She foresaw problems and gave us warnings about them, along with her suggestions for dealing with each challenge. She knew when to stick to her guns, and when to give in gracefully since we needed to get a deal done. I appreciated the realism and practicality.’

Key clients

The Central America Bottling Corporation

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Citibank

JPMorgan

Santander

Deutsche Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

China Minsheng Banking Corp

Macquarie Group

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to NCL, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, as it closed its private offering of $675m aggregate principal amount of its 12.25% senior secured notes due 2024.
  • Acted for The Central America Bottling Corporation in connection with its issuance of an additional $200m of its 5.75% Senior Guaranteed Notes due 2027.
  • Acted for Citibank, JP Morgan and Santander, the initial purchasers, in relation to the issuance of $150m aggregate principal amount of 5.875% Senior Notes due 2027 .

Appleby

Appleby combines corporate and commercial capabilities with experience in large banking, finance and capital markets deals. In particular, it handles an array of secured syndicated facilities, project finance issues and asset-backed finance work, most notably in relation to shipping and aircraft assets. Practice head Jeffrey Kirk  also has extensive experience in Islamic finance matters. Shana Simmonds, who provides assistance to financial institutions on the full gamut of financing transactions, was promoted to partner in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Kirk

Other key lawyers:

David Clark; Shana Simmonds

Carey Olsen

Acting for a mixture of financial institutions, corporates, borrower groups and investment managers, Carey Olsen derives strength from its expertise in real estate finance transactions, specifically those with significant UK dimensions. Managing partner Clinton Hempel , who divides his time between the firm’s South Africa and BVI offices, also handles refinancing mandates and secured facility matters. Providing assistance on the most complex transactions are senior associate Katrina Lindsay  and Elizabeth Killeen , the latter of whom was promoted to partner in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Clinton Hempel

Key clients

M7 Real Estate Ltd

Canopy Properties Holdings Limited

Serabi Gold Plc

Mourant

Responsive, highly knowledgeable and user-friendly’, the practice at Mourant is now spearheaded by Ian Montgomery, who joined from Collas Crill in May 2021 following the departure of former practice head Rachael McDonald in late 2020. Montgomery’s group focuses on real estate finance transactions, chiefly in relation to UK-based commercial and residential property, and also has expertise in asset, leveraged, structured, Islamic and project finance matters. Marianne Wilson, who was elevated to counsel in 2021, plays a key role in many real estate finance and fund finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ian Montgomery

Other key lawyers:

Marianne Wilson; John Rochester

Testimonials

‘I have found the team to be responsive, highly knowledgeable and user-friendly. We had a potential issue on a transaction and they were able to provide detailed analysis, such that the other side did not even raise it as a point for further discussion. The fact that a number of the team are based in London also makes it easier, as that eliminates time difference issues.’

‘John Rochester and Marianne Wilson are the individuals I have worked with. The level of advice and detailed insight they provide stands out. In many instances, their advice is of real value for the wider deal and not just the BVI law aspects.’

‘Great responsiveness, attention to detail and confidence that the service provided will be exactly what is expected by the client.’

The MO team is always very responsive and takes full charge of the BVI deliverables which is much appreciated.’

John Rochester and his team are always very thorough both prior to closing and also in terms of the post-closing work which can sometimes receive less attention, so that is great and much appreciated.’

Key clients

L Catterton

Monazita Resources Ltd.

Montage Gold Corp.

Wheaton Precious Metals International Ltd

ZK International Group Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised L Catterton on its investment in one of Latin America’s leading online travel firms, Despegar, to assist with Despegar’s liquidity levels during the current global crisis for the travel industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Assisting Monazita Resources Ltd. with the sale of its securities in Toronto Stock Exchange listed company (Aura Minerals Inc.) on the IPO.
  • Acting for Montage Gold Corp. on BVI matters in connection with its TSX Venture Exchange $30m IPO.