Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Baker & Partners LLP‘ practice received a notable boost in 2023 with the addition of Mungo Lowe in the BVI, who has significantly strengthened the team with his expertise in cross-border insolvency and asset recovery proceedings..
Martin Kenney & Co.‘s founder and managing partner Martin Kenney is an expert in asset recovery disputes, specialising in multi-jurisdictional economic crime and international serious fraud. The firm’s profile was further bolstered by the addition of Dan Wise, who joined from O'Neal Webster in April 2023.

Dispute resolution in British Virgin Islands

Conyers

As 'a quintessential BVI outfit', Conyers' litigation and restructuring team handles local and global litigation and often appears before the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, acting for a client roster of financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies and private equity houses. Recent areas of activity include handling shareholder disputes, insolvency litigation, asset tracing matters and enforcement proceedings. The team notably handled some of the largest asset tracing litigation involving CIS states, and more recently ventured into emerging areas, including cryptocurrency disputes. The ‘very smart and practical’ Mark Forte sits at the helm of the department and acts in cross-border litigation, insolvency proceedings and emergency interim relief work, while Richard Evans excels in shareholder disputes, with a particular focus on those stemming from Asian jurisdictions. Triple-qualified Tameka Davis regularly acts in insolvency, conspiracy, and asset tracing claims and also handles enforcement work, and recently promoted partner Matthew Brown is praised as 'level-headed and thoughtful, and always takes care to talk through the rationale for strategic decision making', while Jerry Samuel is singled out as 'first class, extremely hard working and very client focused'.

Practice head(s):

Mark Forte


Other key lawyers:

Richard Evans; Jerry Samuel; Tameka Davis; Matthew Brown; Charles Goldblatt


Testimonials

‘Conyers BVI are outstanding: a quintessential BVI boutique outfit, spearheaded by Mark Forte, which handles bit ticket litigation from all around the world. The numbers at stake are eyewatering which is matched by the complexity of the legal and factual issues. Conyers BVI are smart can-do litigators, and highly skilled at delegating and collaborating with off island counsel where the case demands it.’

‘Richard Evans: you will not find a more knowledgeable and seasoned BVI litigator. He has seen it all, been there and done it. Yet he is utterly charming and unflappable – and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Mark Forte is a huge force in the BVI. Great strategist and tactician. Goes the extra mile for clients. Richard Evans has enormous experience across all fields. Excellent lawyer and very commercially astute. Jerry Samuel – first class, extremely hard working and very client focused. Jane Fedotova – excellent on detail and full dedication to clients.’

‘I regularly work with both Charles Goldblatt and Matthew Brown on a number of innovative and interesting engagements. They are both knowledgeable, approachable and commercially brilliant.’

‘Charles Goldblatt – Senior Associate – Charlie is clearly going to be heading toward partnership ultimately. He is very bright and able and excellent at identifying upcoming steps and planning accordingly.’

‘Matthew Brown – Partner – Matt has recently been promoted to partner, and deservedly so, he is extremely responsive. He is level-headed and thoughtful, and always takes care to talk through the rationale for strategic decision making. His attention to detail is meticulous and he does a fine job of summarising complex matters into key critical components.’

‘Mark Forte is our go-to lead lawyer for BVI related disputes – he is a great tactician, fantastic with clients and very user friendly. He also always makes himself available for us.’

Key clients

Finaro


Rangecroft Ltd.


King Bun


Symphony Partners Limited


WWRT Limited


Haimen Zhongnan Investment Development (International) Co. Ltd


Grove Services, Inc


All Year Holding Limited


Sustainable Investment Enterprises Ltd.


Work highlights


  • Acted as BVI counsel to Symphony Partners Limited, Next Global Investments Limited and Dynamic Link Ventures Limited in registering three arbitral awards with a combined value in excess of $100m.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to US-based commodities business Grove Services in a large cross-border alleged fraud claim arising from the long running Ablyazov fraud, involving 54 named defendants.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to All Year Holdings and to its joint provisional liquidators in pursuing its Chapter 11 restructuring and related BVI plan of arrangement.

Harneys

Harneys‘ litigation, insolvency, and restructuring practice often appears before the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal in high-value and highly complex proceedings. Praised for its ‘smart, commercial and strategic’ approach, the team's workload regularly spans liquidations, restructuring and insolvency proceedings, complex shareholder disputes and trust litigation, as well as crypto asset disputes, asset tracing issues and arbitration proceedings. With Andrew Thorp stepping down as head of the group, the practice is now co-led by ‘remarkable litigator’ Claire Goldstein, who has notable expertise in contentious trust and multi-jurisdictional fraud cases; and Christopher Pease, who is an expert in disputes concerning fraud and bribery elements. Other key individuals include global contentious co-chair Peter Ferrer and Philip Kite, who is an ‘extraordinarily well versed lawyer’. Jonathan Addo is noted for his injunctive relief work expertise, and Kimberly Crabbe-Adams excels in assisting ultimate beneficial owners in contentious company restorations, while recently promoted to counsel Marcia McFarlane regularly assists high-net-worth individuals, law firms and office holders.

Practice head(s):

Claire Goldstein; Christopher Pease


Other key lawyers:

Andrew Thorp; Peter Ferrer; Phillip Kite; Jonathan Addo; Marcia McFarlane; Kimberly Crabbe-Adams; Victoria Lissack; John McCarroll SC


Testimonials

‘Harneys team is not only responsive, transparent and reliable, but also and most importantly, the team is creative. The team keeps assessing the dispute constantly and provide clear input to its clients explaining pros and cons and detailing the different options and way-forward. I enjoy personally interacting with Harneys Dispute Resolution team and consider them as my most reliable source in the BVI.’

‘Claire Goldstein is a remarkable litigator with extensive experience in the BVI. She seamlessly combines commercial nuance, analytical thinking and legal expertise and is supported by a great team of dedicated associates.’

‘Jonathan Addo and team are excellent litigators. Respected by the judiciary and peers, they are a formidable team to have on your side, and every time we have used them, we’ve won. Peter Ferrer is an elegant and cerebral adviser, with real international arbitration experience.’

‘Harneys offers noteworthy expertise across a range of offshore work and its team has solid experience in appearing in high-value disputes in front of the BVI courts. They truly are the go-to firm for high value offshore litigation.’

‘Harneys BVI disputes team have strength and depth. They have talented individuals at all levels. They are well established in the jurisdiction and immersed in the island’s legal culture, meaning you can trust their judgment on tough decisions.’

‘A household name in the international legal market place. Wonderfully talented lawyers such as Jonathan Addo, Phillip Kite and Claire Goldstein, all immensely capable, engaging and highly respected internationally.’

‘The Harneys team is absolutely top of the market – smart, commercial, strategic, responsive; everything one could wish for. My absolute go to for anything complex in the BVI, particularly with a trust, equity or insolvency dimension. Collaborative approaching when working with multiple counsel in different jurisdictions.’

‘John McCarroll SC – one of the if not the leading silk. Great to work with. Insightful, strategic, smart. All around advocate and litigator.’

Key clients

Unsecured Creditors Committee of Voyager Digital


Sian Participation Corp (in liquidation), Intimere Holdings Limited and SGS Universal Investment Holdings Limited


Interpath Advisory


Wilmington Trust


Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.


Kipford Ventures


MBS Software Solutions Ltd


DotC United


Meta Platforms (Facebook)


Shareholder in Mobike


Commercial Bank of Dubai


Haitong International Securities


Work highlights


  • Representing the bankruptcy trustee in a very high-profile, sprawling case concerning controversial exiled Chinese billionaire, Kwok Ho Wan, also known as Miles Guo.
  • Advising the Unsecured Creditors Committee of Voyager Digital and the plan administrator for the proposed Voyager wind-down entities.
  • Acting for entities associated with one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen who owns Summa Group, which is focused on transport, construction, management and logistics, and with annual revenues of $10bn.

Ogier

Renowned for its expertise in complex commercial disputes and fraud cases involving asset tracing, shareholder disputes, and injunctive relief, Ogier’s team is frequently sought out by Middle Eastern and former Soviet Union-based clients. Well-regarded for its prowess in insolvency and restructuring mandates, the team also frequently lends its support to contentious trust issues, collaborating closely with the firm’s Hong Kong and other global offices. Splitting his time between Jersey and BVI, Brian Lacy has ‘vast amounts of commercial litigation experience’ and co-heads the team with the ‘exceptionally capable’ Nicholas Brookes. Lacy is active before the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, while Brookes regularly advises on an array of interim matters, including applications for receivership and cross-border conflicts of law. ‘Very experienced in all matters BVI and crypto’, Grant Carroll is a key port of call for multinational corporates and consultancies, while Nicholas Burkill‘s expertise extends to civil fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and asset tracing cases. Counsel Alexander Muksinov is experienced in cases involving Russia and other emerging markets, and Ewelina Clyde-Smith and Daniel Mitchell are key names at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Brian Lacy; Nicholas Brookes


Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Burkill; Grant Carroll; David Welford; Alexander Muksinov; Ewelina Clyde-Smith; Daniel Mitchell


Testimonials

‘Unequivocally the strongest litigation team in the BVI. Ogier are extremely responsive, commercial and client focused. There is also significant strength in depth to the team, with various associates who are extremely competent and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Nicholas Brookes is exceptionally capable, commercial, hard-working and intellectually rigorous. He has excellent judgement and is always able to make the right call to drive the litigation forward to achieve results.’

‘Personally I think Ogier has the best staffed office in the BVI with both fully staffed litigation teams covering insolvency and commercial disputes and non-contentious lawyers who are experts in their field. This is my “go-to” firm.’

‘Nick Brookes, Nick Burkill and Brian Lacey are all superb, but then again so are all of their other lawyers! Nick Brookes is the guru of BVI procedural law (along with being a great litigator), Nick Burkill comes from being a partner in both a top city firm and in a top US law firm and has all the skills associated with that, and Brian Lacy is a litigator through and through with a superb sense of the best points to take and real quality as a pure advocate.’

‘A second to none commercial approach to achieving the client’s aims. Excellent strategic thinking.’

‘Brian Lacy – an urbane and dynamic litigator who is single-minded in fighting for his client. A truly talented advocate as well as strategic thinker. Nicholas Brooks – a bold and determined lawyer, with excellent analytical skills and sound judgment. David Welford – intelligent and skilled lawyer.’

‘Leaders in the field dealing with large multi-jurisdictional crypto liquidations. Talented partners who manage the teams well.’

‘Grant Carroll: very experienced in all matters BVI and crypto, stands out as a specialist.’

Key clients

Three Arrows Capital, Ltd (in Liquidation)


BTA Bank


Al Thani Royal Family


Nam Tai Property Inc


FTX Digital Markets Ltd. (in Liquidation)


Carosan Ltd


Tsinghua Unigroup International Co., Ltd and Unigroup International Holdings Ltd (both in Liquidation)


BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA.


Work highlights


  • Advising on all matters relating to liquidation of Three Arrows Capital, Ltd (in liquidation) – via its Joint Liquidators, Teneo.
  • Acting as lead counsel to BTA Bank, which alleges that is has been the victim of a complex scheme of civil fraud.
  • Representing two Qatari Royal Family members in a case revolving around the BVI Estate of the late Sheikh Saoud Mohammed Al Thani, a prominent art collector.

Walkers BVI

Walkers BVI is the preferred destination for a diverse clientele, including high-net-worth individuals, private equity and hedge funds, and other institutional clients, fielding a ‘formidable team of lawyers’. The group excels in shareholder disputes, corporate litigation, ultra-high-value asset cases, fraud, and contentious insolvency matters, frequently appearing in Commercial Court, Court of Appeal, and Privy Council proceedings. Specialising in fraud and asset tracing claims, Oliver Clifton is ‘hugely experienced in BVI litigation, with a strong instinct for the merits and strategy’. Clifton jointly leads the group with the ‘legally and tactically brilliant’ Rosalind Nicholson, a well-known barrister and a key contact for shareholder disputes and insolvency proceedings. Murray Laing is another ‘great member of the team’ and has a ‘superb eye for detail and strategic judgment’. Other noteworthy members of the team include Iain Tucker, a ‘very experienced and efficient litigator’ with a particular focus on contentious and insolvency-related mandates in the fintech space; and Cate Barbour, who acts for Central Asian and Middle Eastern clients.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Clifton; Rosalind Nicholson


Other key lawyers:

Murray Laing; Iain Tucker; Cate Barbour


Testimonials

‘Walkers BVI are top of their game: a boutique firm that lands prominent instructions in every big ticket piece of litigation on island, and with a formidable roster of talented lawyers.’

‘Rosalind Nicholson: she is the standout company lawyer in the BVI. Legally and tactically brilliant. A huge asset to Walkers – and a huge thorn in the side of any opposing legal team. Murray Laing: exceptionally diligent committed and kind, Murray is that rare kind of law partner who genuinely cares for the best interests of his client. Your faith in him will be repaid in spades. A class act.’

‘Oliver Clifton: hugely experienced in BVI litigation, with a strong instinct for the merits and strategy. Brilliant in cross border commercial litigation and a real heavyweight in this jurisdiction.’

‘Oliver Clifton is the real rain-maker in this team, which he leads with great energy and panache.’

‘Rosalind Nicholson has a wealth of experience which really makes her stand out above the crowd in her knowledge of the law, tactical judgment and how to manage litigation. On top of that she is a real pleasure to deal with.’

‘Walkers BVI are undoubtedly one or the major players in the BVI dispute resolution space. They are a large team with considerable combined experience and expertise.’

‘A genuine offshore heavyweight with strength across jurisdictions and populated by seriously talented people who are a joy to work with. Walkers offers a seamless service across the international dispute resolution arena. I love working with them.’

‘Iain Tucker – a clever lawyer with an eye on the detail. Able to bring a fresh perspective to a case in a way that makes his client’s position seem like the only sensible answer. A pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Pfizer Inc.


FTX Trading Ltd. and associated debtors


HSBC


SinoJet (Beijing) Ltd


Richcourt Allweather Fund


Nokian Shina LLC


BlockFi International Ltd


Broad Idea International Limited


Multi-Bank Group, Dubai


Formal Holdings Limited


Work highlights


  • Acted as BVI counsel to Pfizer Inc. on its $11.6bn cash acquisition of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd.
  • Representing MBFX in ongoing disputes with Von Der Heydt S.A. MBFX as part of the Multibank Group.
  • Represented HSBC in the application to appoint Provisional Liquidators to two BVI subsidiaries of NewOcean Energy Holdings, a Bermudan company, listed on the HK Stock Exchange.

Agon Litigation

Led by Arabella di Iorio, the ‘small but high-performing team’ at Agon Litigation is regularly instructed by onshore firms and multinational companies in complex cross-border disputes including restructuring, insolvency, trust and probate matters. The ‘incredibly experienced and clever’ di Iorio routinely provides expert advice on matters of BVI law, frequently appearing as an advocate at all court levels in the BVI and the Privy Council. The practice has been bolstered by the addition of Brian Child from Campbells, whose practice encompasses all areas of commercial litigation, insolvency claims and regulatory matters, as well as Paul Griffiths from Carey Olsen. Griffiths, who splits his time between London and BVI, frequently appears on BVI cases before the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council, both as an advocate and in a solicitor role.

Practice head(s):

Arabella di Iorio


Other key lawyers:

Brian Child; Paul Griffiths


Testimonials

‘Agon Litigation were great advocates for us in a trust dispute case. They listened and represented us strongly, ensuring our best outcome. Their professional network and choice of people brought in to help with the case was also extremely useful.’

‘We worked with Arabella di Iorio. She was passionate and persistent especially when coming up against the trying other parties. Without her dedication to our case it’s unlikely it would have come to a resolution in the time in which it did.’

‘Very strong litigation boutique.’

Key clients

Renova Industries Limited


Digital Asset Capital Management Inc


Redhouse Holdings Limited and British Caribbean Bank


Work highlights


  • Acting for Renova Industries Limited in a complex ongoing case in the BVI involving approximately $2bn.
  • Acting for the Administrators of a Deceased Russian regarding issues and claims in the millions of dollars.
  • Acting for Digital Asset Capital Management in relation to claims of approximately $11m.

Appleby

Appleby leverages the firm's global network of offices to handle a broad spectrum of cross-jurisdictional disputes and remains a key name in the BVI market for shareholder disputes and insolvency issues; it is also active in asset tracing and trust litigation. At the helm of the team is ‘extremely clever’ Andrew Willins, a seasoned practitioner with a strong reputation in insolvency, asset tracing and fraud work. Olwyn Barry excels in insolvency proceedings, debt enforcement work and commercial disputes, cementing her position as a notable figure in these areas, while associate Laure-Astrid Wigglesworth focuses on international litigation. Adding to the group's strength, the firm welcomed Dan Mitchell in July 2023, who made the move from Ogier, further enhancing the team’s capabilities in the insolvency and cryptocurrency spaces.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Willins


Other key lawyers:

Olwyn Barry; Laure-Astrid Wigglesworth; Dan Mitchell; Tamara Cameron


Testimonials

‘Great team and client service.’

‘Andrew Willins – excellent lawyer and advocate.’

‘Best lawyer in BVI -in Andrew Willins, and a very experienced litigation department.’

‘Appleby’s dispute resolution team has great strength in depth. They coordinate well across offices, and are perfectly placed to advise on complex global asset recovery exercises.’

‘Andrew Willins is a star litigator and an outstanding advocate. He leads a team of exceptional associates in the BVI, who can be relied on to run the most complex and contentious disputes.’

‘Appleby has, indeed, one of the strongest dispute resolution teams in the BVI. I can limitlessly describe how good they are. When we instructed them to receive the injunctive relief from the court, they did so flawlessly and promptly: we were absolutely happy with the quality of their services.’

‘Andrew Willins is the engine, brain and goodwill of Appleby’s dispute resolution team in the BVI. Everyone knows him and, I believe, everyone trusts him. He has built a terrific practice, which delivers great results, and he remains hands on. His reputation is impeccable, so is the quality of service.’

‘Andrew Willins is hugely experienced in the BVI and extremely clever. His attention to detail and work ethic is exceptional, married with great common sense and commercial awareness.’

Key clients

Snapper, Basic and Putney


Pakistan International Airlines


Halimeda International Corporation


Pacific Asia Opportunity Fund


Alfa Bank


Victory Success Holdings Ltd


Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Limited


Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Ltd


Witel AG


Stockman Interhold SA


Lunan Pharmaceutical Group


Work highlights


  • Acted for Pakistan Airlines in defeating an attempt to enforce a $5bn arbitral award over its BVI assets, in a case which raised questions of public international law.
  • Acted successfully on behalf of Halimeda International at every stage in bringing winding up proceedings in relation to a $200m debt, and in defending conspiracy claims on jurisdictional grounds.
  • Acting on behalf of Pacific Asia in its attempts to recover a $120m judgment against a Chinese dissident, a billionaire now residing in New York.

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen‘s ‘boasts some of the most talented litigators in the BVI‘ who provide ‘an excellent all-round service’ on the full spectrum of contentious issues for a client roster of high-net-worth individuals, family offices, banks, companies, and hedge funds. The firm's global network also allows for coordination of complex cases, offering a ‘seamless 24/7 service’ that proves especially beneficial to clients in Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. Praised as a ‘true Rolls Royce of the BVI litigation scene’, practice head Alex Hall Taylor KC frequently handles cases before the Commercial Court and is also an accredited mediator, while the ‘highly intelligent’ Tim Wright is a go-to name for insolvency matters. Recently promoted to the partnership, Simon Hall ‘has a superb client manner, and shows real tactical flair’ in insolvency, fraud, contentious trust and corporate litigation. Associate Sara Malik also shines, with ‘judgment and self-sufficiency that are years beyond her experience.’

Practice head(s):

Alex Hall Taylor KC


Other key lawyers:

Tim Wright; Simon Hall; Sara Malik


Testimonials

‘Formidable team led by Alex Hall-Taylor KC. Smart lawyers who are client friendly. Necessary resources allocated to address the issues and importantly the team is on hand during UK and BVI time. Go to firm for complex and high value commercial or trust disputes.’

‘Tim Wright: A highly intelligent and vastly experienced partner who leads from the front. Superb with clients and a delight to work with.’

‘Alex Hall-Taylor KC is a true Rolls-Royce of the BVI litigation scene. Fiercely intelligent, utterly charming, and fearless in making even the most difficult of arguments. A rare example of a barrister who is every bit as good a leader as he is a lawyer.’

‘Sara Malik: An excellent recent addition to the BVI disputes team. Sara is incredibly hard working and responsive, and her attention to detail is second to none. A rising star in the BVI legal market.’

‘Tim Wright has phenomenal commercial insight, and a real gift for translating a client’s objectives into courtroom outcomes. It’s no wonder insolvency practitioners keep coming back to him time and again – he knows the law and the business inside out.’

‘Sara Malik is one of the brightest junior solicitors. Her judgment and self-sufficiency are years beyond her experience. Very obviously a partner-in-waiting.’

‘They have one of the largest teams in the jurisdiction, they are a relatively new team with very capable and experienced practitioners working efficiently. They have offices in key offshore jurisdictions that they are able to collaborate seamlessly with. They are very much in the ascendancy, getting the important things right for their cases, their clients and their team.’

‘Simon Hall more than deserves his recent promotion to partner. He has a superb client manner, and shows real tactical flair. His skills of legal analysis are impressive.’

Key clients

Von der Heydt Invest SA


Various senior managers of the Renova Group


Ikana Holdings S de RL (a subsisiary of the InterEnergy Group)


Federal Republic of Nigeria


Geneva Trust Company


Sancus Financial Holdings


Izit Management Limited


Tahakom Investments Company & Sakab Saudi Holding Company


The Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan


Sukhbaatar Batbold & ors


Kenworth Industrial Limited


Work highlights


  • Acting for von der Heydt Invest SA, a Luxembourg fund manager, in a case involving multiple funds victimised by fraud, with ongoing proceedings initiated in the BVI against entities within the Multibank Group and its chairman.
  • Acting for two individuals in a dispute concerning the assets of the a deceased wealthy and prominent Ukrainian businessman, and particularly his interest in the prominent West Oil Group and Continuum Group in Ukraine.
  • Acting for a number of senior managers of the Renova Group in the long-running litigation in the case of Renova & Ors v Emmerson & Ors in relation to a dispute over a joint venture.

Maples Group

Maples Group excels in insolvency and restructuring proceedings and also leverages the firm's global network, particularly the Hong Kong office, to act for clients throughout Asia Pacific. Adrian Francis leads the department and is praised as 'a safe pair of hands' for trials, appeals and arbitration proceedings. Also noted is Matthew Freeman, who is a trusted adviser for clients navigating intricate shareholder disputes and insolvency and restructuring matters, and counsel Stuart Rau, who focuses on banking litigation, while recently promoted of counsel Scott Tolliss handles a broad spectrum of disputes and restructuring engagements, often appearing before the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Francis


Other key lawyers:

Matthew Freeman; Stuart Rau; Scott Tolliss


Testimonials

‘In my experience the Maples team is always very well-resourced – including between offices/jurisdictions – which enables them to be incredibly responsive. They are always totally on top of case management and attentive to their clients.’

‘Adrian Francis is a really safe pair of hands. Scott Tolliss is one of the best.’

‘Scott Tolliss is very proactive and responsive. He is extremely personable and clearly very committed to delivering the best service to clients. As well as being an exceptional technical lawyer, he is very commercially minded.’

‘Matthew Freeman: Relaxed and informal whilst remaining professional – Commercial mindset – Quick thinking and solutions based.’

‘Stuart Rau: – Regimented, methodical, considered and precise – Always available and quick to respond to instructions – Provides thorough and specific advice with clear conclusions.’

‘Good team to handle cross-border disputes.’

Key clients

China Evergrande Group


Teneo


Teneo (previously KPMG)


Grant Thornton


Interpath


ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE. LTD and ADM Germany GMBH


Happy Lion Ventures Limited and Chinex Limited


Sunpower Business Group PTE Ltd and Tournan Trading PTE LTD


Directors of Masirah Oil Limited


Work highlights


  • Advised China Evergrande Group on its restructuring in excess of $300bn.

Mourant

Mourant's 'extremely knowledgeable' team is a ‘go-to for complex trusts matters in the BVI’, as well as shareholders disputes and fraud cases. Counting banks, trusts and high-net-worth individuals as clients, the group is particularly noted for its cross-border expertise, where it also utilises the firm's practitioners in Cayman and Hong Kong. Team leader Eleanor Morgan is described as ‘responsive and pragmatic’ and handles trust and probate litigation, commercial disputes and insolvency cases. Other standout team members include Shane Donovan, who is a trusted resource for liquidators and creditors seeking advice on complex disputes with connections to BVI law; and Jennifer Jenkins, whose practice consistently draws in major multinational corporations. Sophie Christodoulou is the key name at counsel level, and senior associate Greg O'Keefe-Davis is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Eleanor Morgan


Other key lawyers:

Shane Donovan; Jennifer Jenkins; Sophie Christodoulou; Greg O’Keefe-Davis


Testimonials

‘Mourant was extremely responsive, provided timely and good advice and was able to cut through complex issues with practical and economical solutions.’

‘Eleanor Morgan is a force to be reckoned with – tenacious, clever and great fun to work with. Greg O’Keefe-Davis is a senior associate to watch.’

‘Excellent practice, extremely knowledgeable in their field and highly responsive. Our go to firm in the BVI.’

Key clients

Grant Thornton


Interpath BVI


Cithara Global Multi Strategy SPC


Prosper Way Holdings Limited


Mishmeret Trust Company Ltd


Campbells

Campbells‘ team is lauded for its ability to integrate technical expertise with commercial considerations, making it ‘a valuable asset for anyone involved in litigation’, including multinational companies and high-net-worth individuals. At the helm of the team is Mark Goodman, who splits his time between BVI and Cayman, and frequently represents liquidators, shareholders, creditors and managers in a variety of liquidation disputes. Sarah Thompson, who joined from Harneys in October 2022, adds a wide-ranging dispute resolution practice, particularly within the technology and financial services sectors. Brian Child departed to Agon Litigation in mid-2022.

Practice head(s):

Mark Goodman


Other key lawyers:

Sarah Thompson


Testimonials

‘Campbells offers an experienced team in investment funds litigation. Their technical knowledge blended with commercial experience makes them a valuable asset for anyone involved in litigation.’

‘Mark Goodman is technically strong and very easy to work with. His industry experience is second to none and I felt very comfortable in his hands.’

‘Campbells are a small but very capable firm in the BVI. A firm that very much work with you rather than for you. There is little that Campbells cannot take on in the insolvency and restructuring sphere.’

‘Mark Goodman – a great technical and commercial lawyer you can rely on for practical advice, particularly in a time critical setting. Sarah Thompson provides solid support bringing her own positive values and influence to the overall package.’

‘Great group to work with. Always responsive and provide commercial, solution-driven advice.’

Key clients

Three Arrows


LOPAG Trust and Admintrust as trustees of the Heritage Trust


Liquidators of Torque Group Holdings Limited


Fourth Series of Halycon Trading (MI) LLC, HFC Kingate Limited and Venor Capital Master Funds Ltd


RAGOF


Cable and Wireless (BVI) Limited (FLOW)


Jive Asset Gestão De Recursos LTDA


Creditors’ committee of Kingate Global Fund Ltd


Work highlights


  • Acting for Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency exchange, in respect of loans advanced to Three Arrows of $680m and Voyager’s related Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.
  • Acting for the liquidators of Pickle Properties, a BVI holding company which held various property interests which became involved in litigation in England & Wales, which was appealed to the Privy Council.
  • Acting for the statutory creditors’ committee of Kingate. The committee is comprised of redemption creditors who between them hold claims in excess of $300m.

Collas Crill

The team at Collas Crill is ‘adept at handling the most challenging and complex cases’ surrounding insolvency, fraud and contentious probate issues, often collaborating with the firm's Guernsey office, particularly for matters involving European and Middle Eastern parties. David Harby is a ‘first-class litigator’ who handles fraud and asset tracing work, and is increasingly active in contentious insolvency mandates. Other key names include associates Dave Marshall, who frequently appears before Caribbean courts, and Fay O’Halloran, whose broad practice encompasses an array of dispute resolution matters.

Practice head(s):

David Harby


Other key lawyers:

Dave Marshall; Fay O’Halloran


Testimonials

‘We have been working together on a large, multi-jurisdictional claim. The team is commercial, collegiate and responsive, a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team at Collas Crill punch above their weight. They are adept at handling the most challenging and complex cases.’

‘David Harby is a first-class litigator with a great tactical mind. He is an obvious choice for large and complex claims.’

Key clients

Domidias Limited and Merbau Synergy Limited


Flemingo International (BVI) Limited


ARF SV 1 Sarl


Shenzen Skyworth Digital Limited


Begbies Traynor


Denmark Properties Limited


Arricano Real Estate Plc


Chiverton Construction


Work highlights


  • Defending the former Nissan Motor Co CEO against a claim for BVI situs assets of $35m, and other claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty brought by their former employer.
  • Advising Domidias Limited and Merbau Synergy Limited in the defence of a claim brought by SGS Universal Holdings Limited and others for damages concerning alleged unlawful means conspiracy valued in excess of $1bn.
  • Assisting an individual and other defendants/respondents in the defence of a BVI freezing order and ancillary disclosure orders for $1bn brought by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank following the administration of Abu Dhabi healthcare company, NMC.

Dentons

Operating both independently and in close coordination with colleagues spanning Asia, the wider Caribbean, the UK, US, and Latin America, the team at Dentons is regularly entrusted with cross-border commercial disputes, with a notable focus on insolvency and restructuring matters. Clients describe Stuart Cullen, who leads the team, as ‘one of the few genuine insolvency specialists on the island’; he is frequently involved in high-value cases before the BVI Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, and his multifaceted advisory role extends to complex matters with a Latin American element.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Cullen


Testimonials

‘Stuart Cullen has grown the team and case load impressively in his first 18 months at Dentons. Stuart Cullen’s hire was a real coup for Dentons – he is one of the few genuine insolvency specialists on the island.’

‘Stuart Cullen is highly intelligent and a real match for any of the chancery barristers. Stuart is the go-to lawyer for Latin American clients.’

‘Team with good experience. Knowledge of the available legal remedies.’

Key clients

Petroci


Kroll


Judicial Administrator of Banco Santos SA


Deloitte


Work highlights


  • Representing PETROCI (the state-owned oil company of Cote d’Ivoire) in a multi-million dollar unfair prejudice claim.
  • Advising Kroll as the office holders on all aspects of the provisional liquidation of a BVI incorporated tech investment company, including in successful Court proceedings to resist an application by a company director and to obtain Court sanction to participate in a New Zealand claim against the company.
  • Representing the Brazilian court appointed judicial administrator of Banco Santos, in particular regarding its status as a creditor seeking to recover assets expropriated by a BVI company that is now in liquidation.

Forbes Hare

Forbes Hare's BVI-based practice frequently collaborates with the firm's Caribbean, London and Asia offices to provide advice on intricate offshore cases that involve companies, trusts, and investment funds, as well as corporate insolvency issues. The team also has significant expertise in arbitration proceedings, particularly pertaining to offshore companies and investment funds. Leadership responsibilities are shared between Robert Nader, a highly experienced practitioner in all facets of civil and commercial litigation, and William Hare, who is a trusted resource for international corporates seeking guidance on a wide spectrum of disputes.

Practice head(s):

Robert Nader; William Hare


Key clients

Floreat Real Estate Limited


Xin Gang Power Investments Limited


National Commercial Bank of Anguilla


EY


Grant Thornton


PwC


Emergent Fidelity Technologies (in liquidation)


Morden Finance Limited


Discovery Key Investments Limited


Hector Finance Group Limited


Work highlights


  • Acting for investment managers from the Floreat Group in the RAGOF litigation in the BVI and in related funds litigation in Cayman.
  • Defending Xin Gang Power Investments Limited in just and equitable winding up proceedings in the BVI.
  • Acting as lead offshore counsel for National Commercial Bank of Anguilla in the long-running restructuring of the Anguillan banking industry.

HFW

HFW in BVI  ‘has tremendous experience in offshore commercial and insolvency cases‘, regularly providing advice to a range of high-net-worth individuals, commercial banks and international corporates. The team has recently been active in the commodities, energy and shipping sectors, and is increasing its presence in crypto and virtual asset-related instructions. The ‘extremely bright’ Scott Cruickshank leads the team and is praised as ‘one of the best advocates in BVI’, focusing on shareholder, insolvency, and asset tracing claims, in addition to general commercial disputes work. Other notable team members include associates James Henson, who frequently appears before the High Court and Court of Appeal, and Hugo Costa Liziario, who regularly handles BVI disputes involving Brazilian entities.

Practice head(s):

Scott Cruickshank


Other key lawyers:

James Henson; Hugo Costa Liziario


Testimonials

‘A relatively new kid on the BVI block – but which promises much and under the redoubtable leadership of the excellent Scott Cruickshank.’

‘Scott Cruickshank: Scott is a hugely experienced BVI litigator and knows his way around the complexities and challenges of the BVI litigation scene as well as anyone. He is extremely bright, energetic and able – and a pleasure to work for and with.’

‘Scott Cruikshank is a hands-on and experienced lawyer.’

Key clients

Interpath


Deloitte


Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC


Grant Thornton


Work highlights


  • Advised the joint Liquidators of Three Arrows Fund, Ltd on various contentious matters in relation to the insolvency.
  • Advised the Provisional Joint Liquidators in Deloitte of RZ3262019 Limited on various matters in relation to a highly contentious insolvency, and investigations into potential fraud claims.
  • Advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in relation to its global litigation arising out of the high-profile collapse of the former UK FTSE 100 company, NMC Health plc.

O'Neal Webster

The ‘experienced and strategically sound’ team at O'Neal Webster excels in various forms of commercial litigation, including cases related to liquidations, shareholder disputes, probate issues and fraud claims, representing high-net-worth individuals and multinational companies. Department head Paul Dennis KC enjoys a strong reputation among both clients and peers, and, in addition to commercial litigation, he has notable expertise in admiralty and shipping law. Nadine Whyte Laing also leads many of the firm’s cases, and has particular focus on probate litigation. Associate Asha Johnson-Willins plays a pivotal role in the team, and is currently involved in a High Court claim involving fraudulent issues with bitcoin.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dennis KC


Other key lawyers:

Nadine Whyte Laing; Asha Johnson-Willins; Paul Edwards


Testimonials

‘Breadth and depth of the team are quite evident. Well-thought through strategies and tactical approaches to cases, which have resulted in positive outcomes to date are attributable to the wealth of knowledge and years of experience in the team. Advice from the team on approaches that could save time and cost were welcomed and appreciated.’

‘We have had the opportunity to work very closely with Paul Dennis KC and Nadine Whyte Laing who are quite thorough in their approach. They are pragmatic. Advice on pros and cons of particular approaches assisted in tempering expectations so that there were no surprises. They keep us informed at every stage of the process. Communication is often timely – queries and concerns have often been addressed to our satisfaction.’

‘The team are experienced and strategically sound. We felt like we were in good, capable hands and that the team knew the jurisdiction inside out and thus were well placed to advise on approach and what to expect.’

‘Nadine Whyte Laing is impressive and really knows her stuff.’

‘Paul Edwards was knowledgeable and strategically sensible.’

Key clients

Digicel


Work highlights


  • Represented Digicel, winning a significant judgment quashing a levy of over $1.6m imposed upon it by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) for the period 2019 to 2020.
  • Advised a client in court proceedings related to an application for the appointment of a liquidator, which raised complicated issues regarding a joint venture and an unpaid bank loan.
  • Representing two individuals in a very complex, cross-border dispute with over assets (stocks in BVI companies) left in an estate.

Withers

With ‘truly global coverage’, the team at Withers ‘has an excellent ability to coordinate between jurisdictions, involving, for example, the BVI, London and Singapore offices‘, acting on the full gamut of constitutional cases, trust and probate claims, and large-scale complex commercial disputes. Leading the team, Sara-Jane Knock is ‘superb with clients, a confident advocate, and approaches legal problems with an abundance of energy’, appearing regularly as an advocate in complex matters, including before the BVI Commission of Inquiry and in the Court of Appeal. London-based Sinead Harris is particularly well-versed in the strategic use of freezing orders, receiverships, and other office holder appointments, while associates Lauren Peaty and Martha Eker-Male, both dual-qualified in England and Wales and the BVI, are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sara-Jane Knock


Other key lawyers:

Sinead Harris; Lauren Peaty; Martha Eker-Male


Testimonials

‘Sara-Jane Knock: A brilliant lawyer and excellent leader of Withers’ BVI presence. Sara-Jane is superb with clients, a confident advocate and approaches legal problems with an abundance of energy. An absolute delight to work with.’

‘Lauren Peaty: Lauren is a rising star in the BVI market. Her approach combines intellectual ability with an instinct for the winning argument. She is quick to get to the heart of an issue, yet is able to explain matters with complete clarity, filling clients and colleagues with confidence alike.’

‘Small but mighty! Withers has an extremely well rounded litigation team, who take on cases ranging the full gamut of cases. They are a small team but there is no dead weight, and cases are staffed and resourced economically but effectively. All litigators I have worked with are bright, friendly and commercially astute.’

‘Sara-Jane Knock is charming with clients, who love her, but can hold her own against fierce opponents. She is extremely responsive and hardworking and very well versed in the specificities of BVI law and procedure. Special mention for associate Martha Eker-Male who is diligent and responsive, and impresses beyond the expected.’

‘Lauren Peaty is an accomplished and experienced litigation, who is undoubtedly future partner material.’

Key clients

Zhongshan Fucheng Industrial Investment Company Limited


R&H Restructuring


Goods Technology Starting International Limited and G-Force Investors Limited


Alvarium Pradera Holdings Limited