Corporate and commercial in British Virgin Islands
Conyers is singled out for its advice on large and complex transactions and M&A deals; the group also fields senior funds specialists. Head of the BVI corporate department Robert Briant is focused on M&A and acts for joint venture companies and investment vehicles; he also provides specialist advice to hedge funds and private equity funds, and handles a broad range of financing transactions. Briant recently advised Philips on its acquisition of EPD Solutions, a BVI company that is an innovator in image-guided procedures for cardiac arrhythmias. Anton Goldstein has a broad corporate practice with particular expertise in M&A and private equity work, while Audrey Robertson and Nicholas Kuria are the key names to note at counsel level. Rachael Pape and Marcus Hallan are experienced associates.
LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton
Intercontinental Hotels Group
Establishment Labs Holdings
Jefferies Financial Group
- Advised Luxoft, a software development company, on its proposed $2bn sale to DXC Technology.
- Advised LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton on its acquisition of the Belmond hotel group.
- Advised Pegasus Capital Advisors on the sale of Six Senses Resorts and Hotels to the Intercontinental Hotels Group.
Harneys has 'an established BVI-based corporate team with market leading experience'; the group advises on some of the most complex M&A deals involving BVI companies and has been particularly active in transactions involving the hotel and hospitality sector. Greg Boyd is also a member of the firm's fintech group and recently led advice to DXC Technology Company on its $2bn acquisition of Luxoft. Other key practitioners include Philip Graham, who is head of the BVI transactional team and co-head of the firm's global investment funds practice; and Jacqueline Daley, who advises on M&A, corporate restructurings and reorganisations, and handles the formation of joint venture and special purpose vehicles and partnerships. George Weston was promoted to counsel and senior associates Sarah Lou Rockhead and Joshua Mangeot are also recommended.
‘Harneys has deep experience and is at the top of the BVI legal market – this is based upon experience, reputation and execution‘.
‘Very professional, accurate and responsive‘.
‘Greg Boyd and counsel George Weston are responsive and thoughtful lawyers who dig in and take the time to understand and solve complex cross-border legal questions‘.
Greenland Global Investment
- Assisted Hyatt Hotels with the BVI aspects of its acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality.
- Advised the BVI Government on the jurisdiction’s new economic substance legislation.
- Advised a client on Severgroup’s announced takeover offer for Lenta, a Russian grocery retailer.
Maples Group's BVI corporate group regularly handles a variety of complex matters spanning corporate advisory work, M&A, private equity work and restructurings. In a recent mandate, the team acted for Tate & Lyle on its equity investment into Sweet Green Fields, a BVI company. Richard May's practice is focused on North America and Europe, with particular experience in the natural resources sector, Ruairi Bourke regularly acts on M&A transactions, restructurings and joint ventures, and Chris Newton's expertise includes downstream investment work in the funds space. Guy Williamson was promoted to of counsel.
‘Chris Newton stands out; he has exceptional knowledge and client handling skills‘.
The Stoneway Group
Tate & Lyle
- Advised Careem on the sale of its business to a subsidiary of Uber Technologies.
- Advised BNN Technology and Global Fintech Holdings (GFH) on a novel acquisition structure, pursuant to which GFH intends to become a NASDAQ-listed entity and acquire certain businesses and assets.
At Ogier, Ray Wearmouth has led many of the BVI’s most complex and high-profile transactions, and BVI corporate head Michael Killourhy regularly advises on public and private M&A, and complex corporate reorganisations. Killourhy is also highly regarded for his expertise in the use of BVI companies as listed special purpose acquisition companies. Wearmouth and Killourhy recently advised hypermarket chain Lenta on its takeover by Severgroup. Managing associate Rebecca Clark is experienced in multi-jurisdictional M&A deals.
Ray Wearmouth; Michael Killourhy
Other key lawyers:
Bison Capital Acquisition
Constellation Oil Services Holding
National Energy Services Reunited
Seven Energy International
Toys “R” Us
- Acted for National Energy Services Reunited on its simultaneous acquisition of Gulf Energy and National Petroleum Services.
- Advised Bison Capital Acquisition on its $350m merger with Xynomic Pharmaceuticals.
- Advised Toys R Us on the BVI corporate aspects of the $760m sale of its main Asian assets.
Patrick Ormond is now managing partner of Walkers BVI, where he leads the BVI finance, corporate and funds group, while former managing partner David Collins has relocated to the firm's Cayman Islands office. Matthew Cowman recently rejoined the group from an in-house role; he advises on joint ventures, M&A and corporate reorganisations. Omonike Robinson-Pickering and BVI office regulatory head Lisa Penn-Lettsome are the senior counsels to note. Jude Hodge is an experienced associate.
China Minsheng Banking
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Lai Fung Holdings
- Acted with the firm’s Cayman and Bermuda offices for Parkland Fuel on its acquisition of 75% of SOL Investments and its subsidiaries.
- Provided BVI law advice to Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics on its merger with MabSpace Biosciences.
- Advised Alpha Peak on the distribution, reduction of stated capital, and sale of shares in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Total Wonder Enterprises.
Appleby is 'extremely professional and its response times are very quick'. The BVI office is recognised for its corporate and M&A and corporate restructuring expertise, and fields specialists in the shipping, aviation, energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Jeffrey Kirk is the corporate department head, Andrew Jowett leads the natural resources and mining team, and senior associate Rebecca Jack has particular expertise in private equity mandates. Robert Varley, who was the funds head at Guernsey law firm Babbé LLP, joined the BVI office, while David Clark relocated to the Bermuda office.
‘The services provided span a wide spectrum of specialisms‘.
‘Jeffrey Kirk and senior associate Rebecca Jack are incredibly responsive, commercially minded and skilled in working through potential issues to arrive at solutions that work for all parties‘.
- Advised a global bank on the reorganisation of its subsidiaries.
- Advised a multinational hospitality company on the acquisition of a hotel and spa business.
- Advised an international warehousing and logistics company on its acquisition of a frozen food business.
Collas Crill opened its BVI office in 2017 following a merger with local firm Farara Kerins, and has 'a highly responsive, professional and capable team that has the flexibility to accommodate all requests, however urgent, quickly and efficiently'. In 2018, the firm appointed Ian Montgomery, who was previously located in its Jersey office, as head of corporate, finance and funds in the BVI; his core corporate practice includes M&A work, corporate migrations, group restructurings, joint ventures, private equity issues, class rights, corporate governance mandates and directors' duties issues. Additional growth saw senior associates Richard Doyle and Natalie Bell join from Byrne Wallace in Dublin and Harneys, respectively, while associate Christian Hidalgo was hired from Carey Olsen's Jersey office.
‘They are very commercial and responsive, and provide a level of expertise equal to their larger competitors‘.
‘Ian Montgomery is particularly helpful and gives sound commercial advice‘.
M1 Real Estate
The Northern Trust Company
Mourant handles a variety of transactional and advisory corporate matters including mergers, joint ventures, private equity work, and corporate restructurings and reorganisations. BVI managing partner Rachael McDonald heads up the BVI finance and corporate department and advises on M&A work, private equity structures, corporate governance and regulatory matters, corporate reorganisations, directors' duties issues and joint venture arrangements. Saraid Taylor is an experienced senior associate and Gary Hall is the associate to note.
‘The team is incredibly responsive, practical and commercial; they really understood our need to get the transaction completed in the time available (which was very tight) and were able to tailor their advice and service to help us meet the deadline.‘
‘We worked with Rachael McDonald, Gary Hall and Saraid Taylor and found them all excellent – a really great team who were always available when we needed them and seamlessly covered for each other on the transaction.‘
Credit Suisse (London Branch)
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (London Branch)
Raksha Energy Holdings
Deutsche Bank (Suisse)
O'Neal Webster 'listens to clients' needs, is flexible and reasonable, and resolves issues in a timely manner'. Led by managing partner Vanessa King, the corporate and commercial department is highly regarded for its advice to international investors, companies, trusts, domestic statutory bodies and hospitality companies. Christopher Simpson is also a key adviser, while former managing partner Kerry Anderson now leads the firm's newly established New York office.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has a very strong team of commercial lawyers that deliver a high level of service efficiently and promptly‘.
‘They have a positive attitude in ensuring customer satisfaction‘.
‘Christopher Simpson was experienced and responsive to my needs. He was well spoken, courteous and extremely easy to work with. He communicated clearly the needs and requirements and provided reasonable and fair fee expectations.‘
National Bank of the Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation
Asian View Overseas
Partners for Growth
The BVI corporate practice at Carey Olsen is 'responsive and commercial in its approach to all matters' and regularly handles significant international M&A mandates involving the BVI; the group is also particularly noted for its advice to BVI-registered clients that are listed on the London Stock Exchange and other exchanges. Clinton Hempel, who divides his time between South Africa and the BVI, is the managing partner of the BVI practice group. Counsels Elizabeth Killeen and Sharon Mungall are also highly regarded.
‘It is a very quick and intuitive practice that is helpful, practical and pleasant to deal with, whilst being professional. Rather than offering advice or doing a given piece of work, the team takes ownership of the issue and partners with clients in fixing it. That is a rarity‘.
‘Elizabeth Killeen is excellent; she is responsive, clear and very practical, with an excellent understanding of business and a never-say-die approach to problem solving‘.
‘The team at Carey Olsen are experienced, highly competent and adopt a practical and commercial approach to transactions.‘
‘They can always be relied upon to provide an excellent standard of service, responding to the needs of clients and their other advisors, with a deep knowledge and awareness of legislative changes which need to be taken into account.‘
‘They take ownership of a project and can always be relied upon to produce timely and comprehensive advice.‘
‘Sharon Mungall is a very skilled and experienced lawyer, her combination of professionalism, approachable manner and practical application of the law make her a joy to work with.‘
‘The quality of work is exceptional, and there’s always attention to details.‘
‘Carey Olsen have strength in depth, with a team of experienced BVI practitioners offering sound commercially minded advice.‘
‘Always willing to go that extra mile to assist with advice. Elizabeth Killeen has a first-class understanding of BVI corporate law and is the go-to lawyer on Island for company queries.‘
TMF Group (BVI)
Tricor Services (BVI)
- Instructed by TMF Group, a registered agent in the BVI, on several matters including regulatory issues.
- Assisted with the sale of a London property, including conducting due diligence on the BVI entities involved.
- Assisted with the de-registration of a BVI licensee that held an approved manager’s licence.
Forbes Hare's corporate department is 'very knowledgeable and responsive' under the leadership of José Santos, and is experienced in general corporate work as well as international cross-border transactions including M&A, joint ventures, public and private equity transactions, and corporate restructurings. Stuart Bruce is a well-regarded associate.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent understanding of its clients, which translates into excellent services‘.
‘The team is extremely responsive to whatever the client’s needs are.‘
‘The group has well-rounded knowledge, strong technical skills, great responsiveness.‘
‘Because of their expertise on a wide range of issues, their advice goes beyond what we expect. It’s an excellent way to help us anticipate situations.‘
North and Western Insurance
First Names Group
The Plaza Group
National Bank of Anguilla
- Assisted the Veloqx Group (a family office comprising approximately 25 BVI companies) with the restructuring-related incorporation and liquidation of BVI companies.