Dispute resolution in British Virgin Islands

Conyers

As ‘one of the stand-out teams in the BVI‘, ConyersComparative Guides promotional iconComparative Guides promotional icon is routinely instructed in the BVI’s largest and most high-stakes disputes, often with a multijurisdictional element. It has substantial expertise in commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, emergency interim relief, the enforcement of global arbitration awards, and insolvency and restructuring matters involving schemes of arrangement, liquidation and asset tracing. The team is spearheaded by the ‘very experienced and knowledgeableMark Forte, who regularly appears as lead advocate in both the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal and has built a sizable practice involving CIS states, particularly fraud and asset tracing work. Elsewhere, Jerry Samuel  wins praise as ‘an experienced litigator who has the ear of the court’, while Richard Evans  places a special focus on shareholder disputes, with particular expertise in Asia-related instructions. Restructuring expert Tameka Davis, ‘future starMatthew Brown  and Alecia Johns  are additional key advisers.

Practice head(s):

Mark Forte

Testimonials

‘Conyers has the cross-jurisdictional depth that is unrivalled compared with its competitors. It has lawyers based in Hong Kong and BVI that are uniquely placed to serve, in particular, the needs of Chinese investors who incorporate BVI companies.’

‘Norman Hau is a driven lawyer who always looks out for his clients’ best interests. Alecia Johns is undoubtedly a star in the making and is destined to rise to the very top.’

‘Mark Forte is very experienced and knowledgeable; strong strategic mind; not afraid of difficult points. Matthew Brown is very thorough and responsive; a future star.’

‘A hugely experienced and knowledgeable team, with excellent response times, and who provide very good individual client care.’

‘Jerry Samuel is very commercially minded, an experienced litigator, and really trusted by clients as a safe pair of hands. Jane Fedotova is highly intelligent, really on top of the detail, and a real asset to a legal team.’

In my view, the Conyers team is one of the stand-out teams in the BVI. A really great litigation outfit attracting the very best work.’

Richard Evans is fantastic to work with: upbeat, can-do, unflappable, always positive and absolutely determined.’

A true disputes powerhouse in BVI. Conyers are brought into the big cases for good reason, with strength across all levels of seniority. I have been particularly impressed by the quality of senior associates/counsel.’

Key clients

Ming

Kwok

Dos Santos v BFXWW Inc

Rangecroft Ltd

King Bun Limited (and Others)

Symphony Partners Limited and Next Global Investments Limited and Dynamic Link Ventures Limited.

Karver

Wilton Trustees IOM Ltd

Net International

Harneys

Under the leadership of Andrew Thorp, Harneys’ team stands out for its deep bench and wide-ranging litigation capabilities, handling all manner of trial work and interlocutory applications before the Court of Appeal and Privy Council. It continues to be instructed in many of the largest and most complex liquidations, shareholder disputes, insolvency proceedings, corporate restructurings and contentious trusts disputes; it also attracts praise for its ‘unique experience in assets tracing and fraud litigation’. Further names to note are global practice co-head Peter Ferrer; Claire Goldstein, who focuses on complex contentious trusts and enforcement matters; the ‘very proactive and client-friendlyJonathan Addo, who maintains a burgeoning fund-related litigation practice; and Christopher Pease, who displays knowledge of applications for interim injunctive relief and pre-action and third-party disclosure.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Thorp; Peter Ferrer

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Addo is very proactive and client-friendly – he has lead a very important difficult matter very impressively.’

‘They are a very capable and hard-working team. I enjoy working with them. They are diligent and creative.’

‘I worked with Kimberly Crabbe-Adams and Claire Goldstein. They were both very intelligent, diligent, and good team players.’

‘The firm has a unique experience in assets tracing / fraud litigation. They effectively succeeded in a cornerstone jurisdictional question that may become a starting point or even a precedent in litigation against fraudsters who aim to hide their assets abroad (in BVI).’

‘We are grateful to Peter Ferrer and Christopher Pease. They kept us in the loop on the developments which were helpful.’

Efficient and creative, with an in-depth knowledge of particular features of dispute resolution in the jurisdiction.’

Peter Ferrer is always quick to reply and come up with a solution to a challenging problem, very resourceful and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Convoy Collateral Limited

Hengde Co (PTC) Ltd

VEB. RF (The Russian State Development Corporation)

Haitong Bank

Fulcan Capital Partners

2024 Noteholders Group

Hotel Cipriani S.p.A

Curi Investment Ltd

Rock International Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in a share dispute in respect of BVI holding companies owning real estate in the PRC.
  • Acted for Convoy Collateral Limited in a HK$591m multijurisdictional fraud claim against a former director of Convoy, who is alleged to have misappropriated assets at the parent company level (Convoy).
  • Acting for the sole director of BVI company Seapack Investment Ltd.

Ogier

Committed to the offshore jurisdiction but with onshore talent’, Ogier excels in a wide range of disputes and has substantial expertise in commercial disputes, fraud cases, restructuring and insolvency matters and contentious trusts work. The ‘immensely talented group of lawyers at all levels of seniority’ is led by Brian Lacy , who is a go-to name for complex contentious matters for Russian and CIS clients, especially in asset tracing and recovery matters. Recognised by clients as ‘outstandingly good’, Nicholas Burkill  stands out for his international arbitration experience and is frequently instructed in civil fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder and trust disputes. ‘First-rate partnerGrant Carroll , ‘real assetNicholas Brookes and senior associates Ewelina Clyde-Smith and Alexander Muksinov are other highly rated names in the group, which in June 2020 also welcomed David Welford from Maples Group.

Practice head(s):

Brian Lacy

Testimonials

‘Ogier is the Rolls Royce firm in the BVI. It has an immensely talented group of lawyers at all levels of seniority.’

‘Deep knowledge of litigation – built up through many years experience at top commercial firms before taking that experience to the BVI. Committed to the offshore jurisdiction but with onshore talent.’

‘Nick Burkill has deep knowledge and appreciation of all aspects of contentious litigation. Excellent strategist. Excellent team builder.’

Grant Carroll has great client focus. Highly experienced in developing offshore R&I.’

Nick Brookes has an incredible capacity for work, great legal knowledge, and is an excellent researcher, wholly reliable in drafting pleadings/skeletons etc. A real asset to any litigation team.’

‘Ogier are going from strength to strength in the BVI.’ 

‘Grant Carroll is a first-rate partner much loved by clients; Dan Mitchell is an excellent associate who has excelled on the Pakistan litigation; and Brian Lacy is a fantastic old hand and rainmaker.’

‘Offices around the world staffed by BVI qualified lawyers who also have a wealth of experience with high-value multi-jurisdictional litigation.’

‘Nicholas Burkill is outstandingly good and is the go-to partner for the most complex cases.’

Daniel Mitchell is a star of the future. He is great with clients and extremely efficient.

Key clients

IsZo Capital LP

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

King Bun

Phoenix Liquidation (multiple creditors)

Dreams International

Sparkle Roll Holdings

QGOG Constellation

Dakota

Work highlights

  • Advised IsZo Capital on a first instance case concerning the effective intervention of the BVI Court to protect investors on NYSE.
  • Advising the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in arbitration recognition and enforcement proceedings.
  • Representing Phoenix Liquidation in the $1bn liquidation of Phoenix Commodities Pvt. Limited, including Ancile as the largest single creditor.

Walkers BVI

Jointly led by oligarch litigation expert Oliver Clifton  and corporate dispute specialist Rosalind Nicholson , the insolvency and dispute resolution team at Walkers BVI is lauded as ‘confident, diverse, very well resourced, very experienced and able to mix it with the very best in the BVI’. Combining ‘huge intellectual rigour with the very best in commercial acumen and client care’, the team is notable for playing a leading role in a large proportion of high-value disputes concerning ultra-high-value fraud disputes emanating from Russia, the CIS and Africa. Iain Tucker brings to bear extensive experience in freezing orders and other urgent injunctive relief, often in support of foreign Court and arbitration proceedings, while Murray Laing attracts plaudits as ‘one of the very wisest and coolest heads’ in complex proceedings in the region. Another name to note is senior associate Cate Barbour.

Testimonials

Walkers DR team is very supportive from the beginning. Great communications, very easy to work with. Down-to-earth litigators with strong ethics and clear vision. Detail-oriented. Able to cope with emergency situations.’

Oliver Clifton is a guru in offshore litigation. He is very quick to catch every single detail and react. Oliver’s presence is key to a smooth trial.

The Walkers practice is confident, diverse, very well resourced, very experienced and able to mix it with the very best in the BVI. The team combines huge intellectual rigour with the very best in commercial acumen and client care.’

Murray Laing is a newish partner but with one of the very wisest and coolest heads. He delivers advice clearly and coolly and with impeccable judgment. Ros Nicholson is the stand-out corporate / chancery lawyer on the island in my view. Her corporate knowledge is encyclopaedic and her legal judgment sharp and brilliant.’

The team is led by partners with vast experience and excellent insight, the associates work around the clock to meet the demands of a substantial case. The team is agile enough to react with exceptional speed when called for, yet has the breadth and depth to run a heavyweight case for years with all the strategy and skill expected of a top global team.’

I consider Oliver Clifton to be the go-to lawyer for litigation in the BVI Commercial Court. Iain Tucker is also a very sophisticated lawyer and an expert in international fraud and insolvency litigation.’

The disputes team at Walkers are an impressive full-service litigation outfit able to handle the full gamut of offshore disputes. They give the other main players a run for their money in delivering an efficient, high-quality service.’

Rosalind Nicholson is the doyen of corporate and shareholder disputes and without peer on any particularly difficult commercial chancery issue. She is pragmatic, knowledgeable and invaluable to have on your side of the trenches. Murray Laing is thoughtful and incredibly responsive and is always across every detail. He has a real depth of expertise across civil fraud, commercial and insolvency matters that makes him an asset for any heavy commercial dispute.’

Key clients

Emmerson International Corporation

Court-appointed receivers over A.P.F Group Co. Ltd

Broad Idea International Limited

Formal Holdings Limited

Nam Tai Property Inc.

Deposit Insurance Agency and Mezhprom Bank

Mass Energy Group Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Oligarch and former Russian Government Minister Mikhail Abyzov in his claims against Viktor Vekselberg, Russia’s third-richest man, with appeals concerning a freezing order obtained over assets valued at more than $1bn.
  • Acting for Broad Idea and a Respondent to a Black Swan freezing order brought by Convoy Collateral.
  • Acting for the Ninth and Tenth Defendants in a claim brought by the Trustees of the Erica Trust against 27 defendants relating to the propriety of a transfer out of a substantial portion of the Trust’s portfolio of properties in London valued at approximately £60m.

Appleby

Under the leadership of Andrew Willins, a ‘superb advocate’ who ‘would be an asset in any courtroom anywhere in the world’, Appleby’s BVI litigation team specialises in shareholder disputes and insolvency work. Alongside these longstanding strengths, two of the main areas of growth for the department are trusts litigation and cross-border fraud and asset tracing work, especially for Russia and CIS clients. Primarily active in a broad range of commercial disputes, banking litigation and debt enforcement issues, Olwyn Barry (who divides her time between the firm’s Jersey and BVI offices) is a key name in the group, which also features associate Laure-Astrid Wigglesworth.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Willins

Testimonials

‘Andrew Willins is a superb advocate, and would be an asset in any courtroom anywhere in the world. He is immensely knowledgeable on questions of civil procedure, which means his clients are always at maximum tactical advantage.’

‘Andrew Willins is one of the best advocates on island in the BVI. He has very sound judgment and a lot of experience on the island. He has more than his fair share of very high value work.’

‘Andrew Willins is one of the leading litigators on the BVI. He formulates excellent strategies and is intelligent and creative, whilst being pragmatic and user friendly. He also has been building a great team.’

‘Olwyn Barry is great.’

‘When we worked together with them as the one team, they achieved everything, which was needed and anticipated from them. We simply could not wish anything more than that.’

‘Andrew Willins is definitely a star. He is one of the most noticeable lawyers in the jurisdiction and a pleasure to work with. He is quite busy but this is because clients trust him a lot.’

Key clients

Pakistan International Airlines

Halimeda International Corporation

Victory Success Holdings Limited

Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Limited

Liquidators of Unicorn Worldwide Holdings Limited

Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund, LP

Witel AG

Lunan Pharmaceutical Corp.

Stockman Interhold

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pakistan International Airlines in its successful defence of applications by a creditor of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to enforce a $6bn arbitral award over its BVI assets.
  • Acting for Lenox International Holdings and a creditor in both of the key decisions concerned with the use of the winding-up jurisdiction in cases where the underlying obligations are subject to an arbitration agreement.
  • Acting for Pacific Alliance in litigation to recover a $120m judgment debt owed by a Chinese dissident and obtaining injunctive relief and a series of Norwich Pharmacal orders to establish his ownership of his BVI assets.

Carey Olsen

Carey OlsenComparative Guides promotional icon ‘continues to go from strength to strength in the BVI’. Headed up by Alex Hall Taylor QC, who is a ‘heavyweight litigator with a commanding courtroom presence‘ and arrived from Maples Group in August 2020, the team is building out its capabilities in commercial litigation and dispute resolution, encompassing the full spectrum of shareholder, trusts, insolvency, restructuring, civil fraud and asset tracing disputes. Tim Wright  (who ‘gets things done efficiently to City of London high standards’) rejoined from Bedell Cristin in December 2020, while Sharon Mungall  left to set up a consultancy firm. Also added to ranks from Maples Group in 2020 was counsel Simon Hall , who is singled out as ‘a rising star in the BVI legal market’.

Practice head(s):

Alex Hall Taylor QC

Other key lawyers:

Tim Wright ; Simon Hall 

Testimonials

‘The BVI office of Carey Olsen has two main strengths. First, it has built up a collection of some of the most talented litigators in the BVI market through shrewd lateral hiring and good recruitment at the lower levels. Secondly, it has a strong presence in other offshore jurisdictions which enables it to service clients from those regions, particularly in Asia, which represents an increasingly large part of the litigation market.’

‘Tim Wright is superb with clients, a confident advocate in his own right and approaches legal problems with an abundance of energy and real intellectual rigour. In my view, one of the best lawyers in the BVI market.’

Alex Hall-Taylor QC is an outstanding advocate who is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get involved in all aspects of a case. Handles even complex legal matters with an assured manner which clients clearly value.’

Simon Hall is a rising star in the BVI legal market. Simon is a confident and highly competent lawyer, who is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Tim Wright is very much our man in the BVI and remains a pleasure to work with. He is no-nonsense and gets things done efficiently to City of London high standards.’

‘Tim Wright is commercial, understands clients’ needs and just gets on with it. His knowledge of derivative actions and BVI law and procedure in relation to shareholder disputes is spot on. He is also friendly and amiable and as a result knows all the key players in the BVI.’

Excellent and intellectual drafting and legal skills coupled with top advocacy capability. Alex Hall-Taylor, in particular, has excellent drafting and advocacy skills. Simon Hall also has great knowledge of law and practice.’

Carey Olsen has grown from strength to strength in the BVI. It is highly responsive, with a cohesive team operating from Hong Kong, London and the BVI to produce a first-rate offering. Alex Hall-Taylor QC is a heavyweight litigator with a commanding courtroom presence.’

Key clients

Tahakom Investments Company & Sakab Saudi Holding Company

PIA Investments Limited, PIA Hotels and Minhal Incorporated

Various senior managers of the Renova Group

Ikana

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Liquidators of Exential Investments Inc

Delco Participation B.V.

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained a $3.5bn worldwide freezing order for Tahakom Investments Company and its subsidiary, Sakab Saudi Holding Company against BVI company Dreams International Advisory Services Limited under the new section 24A of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) Act.
  • Acted for PIA Investments Limited, PIA Hotels and Minhal Incorporated in proceedings relating to the enforcement of a $6bn Singapore arbitration award by an Australian copper mining company against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • 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

The various members of the BVI litigation practice at Maples Group are cited as ‘qualified and experienced advocates in their own right’. The group specialises in international commercial litigation, tapping into the firm’s international network, particularly its Hong Kong office. With considerable experience at interlocutory, trial and appellate levels, Adrian Francis  oversees the department, which primarily assists clients with restructuring matters, shareholder disputes, contentious trusts, civil fraud claims, asset tracing litigation and contractual disputes. In September 2021, Matthew Freeman joined from Campbells.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Francis

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Freeman

Testimonials

‘The Maples’ Team is very hands on and focused on the clients’ needs and objectives. Their advice and solutions are sound and well thought out and at the same time, very practical. Maples is highly responsive and their turnaround time is impressive by any standards. It is a pleasure to work with highly driven professionals who are passionate in providing quality legal services.’

‘The Dispute Resolution team in Maples has been attentive and meticulous in their work. They take the initiative to understand the clients’ situation and position and, by combining that with their legal knowledge, the advice and solution provided will always be practical, sensible and in the clients’ best interest.’

‘Many of the members of the Maples (BVI) dispute resolution team are qualified and experienced advocates in their own right, which enables the client to get an early and reliable view on how the matter is likely to play out in court.’

‘Approachable team that is great to work with whilst also getting the job done.’

‘Adrian Francis has exceptional knowledge and very good client management. A safe and reassuring pair of hands.’

‘The team is excellent. They can and do cover all the angles, and have very deep knowledge of the local law and procedures.’

Key clients

QGOG Constellation Group

Showa Holdings Co., Ltd

Wedge Holdings Co., Ltd

Sunpower Business Group PTE Ltd and Tournan Trading PTE Ltd

The Joint Liquidators of the Estates of Kildare, Durant and MacDoel

Numerous defendants to claw-back claims by the liquidators of the Fairfield Funds

PT Ventures SGPS SA

Work highlights

  • Acting for the lenders in respect of Constellation Overseas Limited’s restructuring, which is being undertaken in both the US and Brazil and involves a number of BVI entities.
  • Acting for the majority board of Showa Holdings Co. Ltd, primarily in relation to the BVI receivership granted over Showa’s majority shareholder.
  • Advising Sunpower Business Group PTE Ltd, Tournan Trading PTE Ltd and the Chairman and Executive Director of a Singapore publicly listed company, who are the victims of a sophisticated stock loan fraud in respect of shares held by them in that Singapore company.

Mourant

The dispute resolution practice at Mourant fields ‘very capable and experienced litigators, who understand the practical realities of litigating in the BVI’. Though the group has a long-established reputation in the market for insolvencies, frequently acting for clients in high-profile liquidations, it is also skilled in the handling of shareholder disputes and complex contentious trusts and probate litigation. Eleanor Morgan, the local managing partner who leads the department, is singled out as ‘a dominant player in the BVI for trusts disputes’. In recent news, highly regarded litigator Shane Donovan was promoted to partner in August 2021, the same month that signalled the arrival of Jenni Jenkins from Memery Crystal LLP in London.

Practice head(s):

Eleanor Morgan

Testimonials

‘A fantastic team – great to work with, very reliable and on top of the (legal and factual) detail. A first rate outfit.’

‘Eleanor Morgan is a standout partner in the BVI. Excellent on strategy and in knowing what the court will (and will not) be interested in. Sophie Christodoulou and Greg O’Keefe-Davis – both excellent on the law, hard-working and dependable. ’

‘Eleanor Morgan and her team and world-class players in the contentious private client space. Very high profile and very intelligent individuals who work well together and with onshore lawyers and counsel.’

‘Eleanor Morgan is a big hitter with an envied practice, presence in the court, and excellent client management skills. She is a dominant player in the BVI for trusts disputes.’

‘Very capable and experienced litigators, who understand the practical realities of litigating in the BVI. They are not afraid to take on difficult points. They run a small but very good litigation team, meaning that you always get input from those who know what they are doing.’

‘Eleanor Morgan leads the team with aplomb, giving very effective and focused advice.

‘Shane Donovan is one to watch: very experienced and effective in court, with good legal analysis backing up his position.’

Key clients

Borrelli Walsh

Hollysys Automation Technologies

Kalo (BVI) Limited

Mongbwalu Goldfields Investment Ltd

HWH Holdings Limited.

R&H Trust

Liquidators of Nuoxi Capital Limited

R&H Restructuring

Work highlights

  • Acting for Borrelli Walsh as Receiver and Manager of Emmerson International Corp. and related companies to preserve the value of its assets up to the maximum sum of €120m.
  • Acting for Hollysys Automation Technologies Limited in a claim by shareholders to challenge amendments made by the board to the Company’s M&A and allege that they were made for the improper purpose of thwarting a takeover.
  • Acting for the joint liquidators of the two Kingate Funds (one of the largest Madoff related liquidations), including advising generally on the conduct of the liquidations, the liquidators’ various recovery efforts and adverse proceedings around the world, communications with investors and the future distribution of the Funds’ respective estates.

Agon Litigation

Praised as a ‘rising star of litigation work in the BVI’, litigation boutique outfit Agon Litigation is spearheaded by the ‘hugely experienced‘ trust litigation expert Arabella di Iorio, who is praised as ‘an exceptional litigator and class act with razor-sharp judgment‘. In addition to its track record in complex, multi-jurisdictional trust litigation, the department also acts for clients in a wide range of commercial, corporate, fraud and insolvency matters. Di Iorio is ably assisted by associate Shane Quinn.

Practice head(s):

Arabella di Iorio

Other key lawyers:

Shane Quinn

Testimonials

Arabella di Iorio is outstanding; able and hard-working.’

Agon is the rising star of litigation work in the BVI. It has pioneered a partner-led approach to dispute resolution that boutique litigation-only firms in London have now shown is immensely successful for clients in heavy weight commercial disputes. The firm combines deep local knowledge of BVI law and practice with an agility in tailoring solutions to the needs of any particular client and any particular matter.

Arabella di Iorio is an exceptional litigator and class act with razor-sharp judgment. She is hugely experienced and trusted implicitly by BVI judges, which often gives her clients a massive edge. She’s also a delight to work with.

Key clients

Renova Industries Limited

Administrators of the estate of deceased Russian

Former Administrators of the estate of deceased Russian

Insurer of a Dutch/South African Retail Conglomerate

Sumner Group Mining Limited

Redhouse Holdings Limited and British Caribbean Bank

Cukurova Holdings AS

Work highlights

  • Acting for Renova Industries Limited in very complex proceedings traversing several jurisdictions and currently in its eighth year of existence, though no trial date has been set.
  • Acting for a creditor and member of a company on the removal of a liquidator for misconduct.
  • Acting for an adult beneficiary in a dispute over a trust, the settlor of which fathered two children by a surrogate mother in his advanced years.

Campbells

Campbells ‘excels in asset tracing, freezing and recovery and in particular multi-jurisdictional high-value claims involving PEP clients’. In addition, the department also handles a range of liquidations, commercial fraud matters, company litigation, trust litigation, and corporate reorganisations. The team is led ‘very ably’ led by Brian Child, who has ‘extensive offshore litigation experience’. Recently, Child’s group experienced an upswing in freezing and disclosure orders, as well as third-party debt orders, against cryptocurrency held in custodial exchanges registered in the BVI.

Practice head(s):

Brian Child

Testimonials

‘Campbells BVI litigation partner Brian Child and his team excels in asset tracing, freezing and recovery and in particular multi-jurisdictional high-value claims involving PEP clients. Their ability to comprehend the intricacies of delicate geo-political and legal issues makes them quite unique.’

‘Brian Child is exceptionally good with difficult, demanding clients and deals with his cases with a hands-on approach. He is, in addition, technically good and creative.’

A team very ably led by Brian Child, a robust yet user-friendly and experienced offshore litigator.’

Brian Child has extensive offshore litigation experience, always available should clients need to confer with him. He exhibits robust legal advice combined with sound commercial judgment.

Campbells is my go-to firm for any dispute involving the Caribbean jurisdictions. The lawyers have a great substantive knowledge of Commonwealth law as it affects both the offshore world and the UK.’

Brian Child is the ultimate professional. He is talented, knowledgeable, creative and absolutely dedicated to his work. He never misses a detail, and always gives not just good legal advice, but practical advice as well.’

Excellent individuals who are really strong on both technical legal issues and strategic aspects of cases.’

Campbells BVI is a small firm but it has one outstanding lawyer: Brian Child. But what is particularly appreciable is the speed, efficiency and the sheer 24 hour a day availability of Brian Child and his colleagues.’

Key clients

Dreymoor Fertilizers Overseas PTE Limited

LOPAG Trust Reg. and Admintrust Verwaltungsanstalt as trustees of the Lake Cauma Trust (a Liechtenstein family trust)

Borrelli Walsh

FFP

Kalo

Alvarez & Marsal

R&H Restructuring

Cable & Wireless (BVI) Limited (“FLOW”)

Alvarez & Marsal

Flash Lighting (Company) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as BVI counsel for Dreymoor in its defence of claims made against it and others by JSC MCC Eurochem and Eurochem Trading GmbH in relation to transactions allegedly involving two former employees and companies dealing with Eurochem.
  • Acting for the JPLs of Luckin Coffee, Inc., – Alvarez & Marshall – in the restructuring of the group, to ensure that it is recognised in the BVI and that the BVI assets of the Cayman holding company cannot be subjected to creditor claims that would undermine the restructuring process.
  • Instructed by Flash Lighting Company to oppose an application to appoint liquidators.

HFW

HFW (formerly Lennox Paton) ‘has a great boutique litigation team‘ headed up by Scott Cruickshank. More specifically, it handles an array of shareholder disputes, fraud and asset tracing matters, trust litigation, and corporate and commercial disputes. Cruickshank (who is singled out as ‘very tough and unflappable and with great commercial acumen’) forms an ‘excellent team‘ with senior associate Jonathan Child , who draws praise as a ‘first-class, committed and smart commercial lawyer and litigator’, best known for his involvement in cross-border insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Scott Cruickshank

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Child 

Testimonials

‘Scott Cruickshank is a knowledgeable and experienced counsel with an engaging manner, both for clients and court. Jonathan Child is clever and works very hard and will develop into an excellent senior.’

‘The firm is instructed in complex and very high-value Commercial Court claims in the BVI. The team benefits from its size and skillsets. It is a case of ‘less is more’ as clients deal directly with Scott Cruickshank and/or Jonathan Child.’

‘Scott Cruickshank is long established in the BVI in trust and commercial matters.’

‘Jonathan Child is without doubt ‘a star on the horizon’. Excellent organisational and client support skills. Most important of all – a first-class, committed and smart commercial lawyer and litigator. Great to have him on your side!’

The firm has a great boutique litigation team, headed by Scott Cruickshank, with huge experience in BVI litigation.’

Scott Cruickshank really is the stand-out individual in my view. Great to work with. Very tough and unflappable and with great commercial acumen: he will only fight if the fight is necessary and winnable and has a great eye for commercial solutions.’

They have in-depth knowledge of local matters, practice and the local legal community. They are incredibly responsive to emails and deadlines and the fact that Scott Cruickshank has been on island for such a long period of time means that he has real gravitas both with his contemporaries as well as with the judiciary.’

Scott Cruickshank and Jonathan Child form an excellent team and work effectively to support each other.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Kaupthing EHF

Kalo Advisers (As Liquidator of Crosscan Financial Corp)

Grant Thornton (as joint liquidators of Pioneer Freight Futures Company Limited)

Kopist Holdng Limited, Itrade Fertilisers S.A

Phoenix Commodities Pvt Ltd

Withers

Withers is routinely instructed in cross-jurisdictional commercial disputes and the department regularly collaborates with colleagues in the firm’s various international offices, putting such connections to use in multijurisdictional fraud and asset recovery cases and insolvencies in particular. The group is led by Niki Olympitis , who attracts praised as a ‘tactically excellent and experienced litigator’. At the senior associate level, Sara-Jane Knock (a ‘fantastically hard-working, highly competent and personable lawyer’) and Lauren Peaty (‘a star lawyer in the making’) are the key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Niki Olympitis

Other key lawyers:

Sara-Jane Knock; Lauren Peaty

Testimonials

What sets Withers apart is its truly global coverage. It is very common for a high-value commercial matter to be proceeding before the courts of the BVI, involving a company owned by e.g. a Russian or Chinese client.’

‘Niki Olympitis is a tactically excellent and experienced litigator who has good judgment, and an instinct for how judges in the BVI will receive arguments.’

Sara-Jane Knock is a fantastically hard-working, highly competent and personable lawyer, Sara-Jane is an absolute delight to work with. With Sara-Jane, clients will receive partner-level service from a Senior Associate.

Lauren Peaty is a relatively new but excellent addition to the team in the BVI office. She is a star lawyer in the making. Incredibly incisive, and quick to get to the nub of an issue, which I am sure that clients love. Also shows wisdom and good judgment.’

‘Niki Olympitis has great experience and leads the BVI team very well.’

Key clients

Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, Premier of the Virgin Islands, Ministers and Junior Ministers of the Virgin Islands, Cabinet of the Virgin Islands

Scholz Recycling GmbH and Scholz Hong Kong Limited

Government of the Virgin Islands (British)

Taurus Limited

Quantic Limited

Baylove International Limited

Hartree Partners Power & Gas Company Limited

Keyside Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by The Government of the Virgin Islands to provide advice and representation in relation to a Commission of Inquiry launched by the then Governor of the BVI (in Jan 2021) to establish whether corruption or abuse of office may have taken place in the BVI in recent years.
  • Instructed by two private individuals based in the BVI who are bringing a challenge to the decision to implement a Publicly Accessible Register of Beneficial Ownership in the BVI pursuant the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
  • Instructed by the trustees of two BVI trusts worth in excess of $400m, who are currently undergoing a restructuring exercise involving assets in multiple jurisdictions.

Collas Crill

Collas Crill‘s dispute resolution practice was bolstered in December 2020 by the arrival of new practice head David Harby from PCB Byrne, who is ‘an experienced advocate with a wealth of BVI experience‘ and adds ‘a real string to the team’s bow‘. Under the leadership of Harby, who ‘knows how to put together, motivate and support his team‘, the department specialises in contentious insolvencies but also handles fraud, asset tracing, and shareholder-related matters.

Practice head(s):

David Harby

Other key lawyers:

Dave Marshall

Testimonials

David Harby knows how to put together, motivate and support his team. He is also a wonderful tactician.’

The team is incredibly responsive and able to handle even the most challenging clients and cases.’

David Harby is excellent. He is very client-focused and a good strategic thinker.’

Dave Marshall is a stellar performer – hugely industrious, charming and thoughtful. Every client’s dream, David Harby provides sagacious oversight and direction ensuring the very efficient timeous delivery of work product.’

The addition of David Harby is a real string to the team’s bow. He’s a robust litigator with excellent judgment.’

Collas Crill dispute resolution team is very professional, efficient, working to international high standards.’

David Harby is certainly a top lawyer to work with. He is a team player and a leader at the same time as he leads the practice very well and always with cooperative manners when it comes to a cross-border dispute.’

David Harby is an experienced advocate with a wealth of BVI experience. Quick response times, the advice often goes beyond what is needed and provides a clear road map for moving matters forward often before the client asks.’

Key clients

Alfa-Bank

Trident Trust

VP Bank

AFS Trustee

Alcogal

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Sequent

Pacor Secoma

Allied Health Professional Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Alfa-Bank on the recovery of $210m owed to it by former Russian Minister, Mikhail Abyzov, and various interests connected with him, in respect of alleged fraud connected with Abyzov’s E4 Group.
  • Defending the former CEO of Nissan in tracing claims brought against him and a superyacht allegedly owned by a BVI company connected with the client.
  • Representing Domidias Limited and Merbau Spinergy Limited  in relation to a claim in the BVI Commercial Court for recovery of funds for unlawful means conspiracy, fraud and breach of directors’ duties brought by SGS Universal Investment Holdings Limited and others.

Forbes Hare

Presided over by founding partner William Hare, Forbes Hare’ practice encompasses the full range of company litigation, contentious trusts, distressed investment fund disputes and corporate insolvency matters; it undertakes particularly complex cross-border insolvencies and shareholder disputes. The other key name from the wider group is Robert Nader, who has notable civil and commercial litigation experience. Mungo Lowe joined the department from Calibrate Law in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

William Hare

Other key lawyers:

Robert Nader; Mungo Lowe

Key clients

North and Western Insurance Limited

National Bank of Anguilla

Grant Thornton (BVI) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual and their interests in APF Group Co Ltd, a BVI company, in litigation proceedings in the BVI High Court and the Court of Appeal of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
  • Advising Chagala Group Limited on a minority shareholder dispute following the attempted squeeze out of the minority shareholder, orchestrated by the majority shareholder of the Company.
  • Advised a client on all BVI aspects of a large restructuring, including carrying out all required due diligence and preparing all required documentation.

O'Neal Webster

O’Neal Webster excels in high-value domestic BVI disputes, and also acts in cases concerning entities from the wider Caribbean region. Noted for its ‘self-restraint and patience’ in litigation, the group is spearheaded by the vastly experienced Paul Dennis QC. The main areas of strength are complex liquidations, shareholder litigation, bearer share disputes and matters involving issues of fraud. Dan Wise specialises in asset recovery matters and fraud issues, whereas the practice of Nadine Whyte  fuses commercial litigation and insolvency knowledge with experience in probate litigation.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dennis QC

Other key lawyers:

Dan Wise; Nadine Whyte 

Testimonials

‘The team is professional and experienced. The most impressive is their self-restraint and patience, they do not allow emotions to prevail over the sound sense.’

‘I would say about the team on the whole: the right people in the right place.’

The lawyers at O´Neal are absolute all-stars of the dispute resolution field. Their lawyers never disappoint, and they aim to find a solution to give their clients absolute confidence that they will find the best suitable solution for any of your legal problems.’

Paul Dennis QC’s expertise cannot be described in one paragraph. One could write several pages trying to convey to the reader of this message how valuable his expertise in court is to his clients. He is impressive in his versatility and gives you immediate assurance as to where to start and how it will end. He manages serious commercial litigation as it if were a business endeavour which should not worry you, the client, but just him.’

‘I would like to note that Dan Wise, in particular, proved to be very effective in the context of cooperation in a complex case. His approach was highly pragmatic and commercial.’

Key clients

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

Kalo (BVI) Limited

Gravendonck

Vision en Analisis and Estrategia SA

Work highlights

  • Mounted a successful defence in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and conservators in a claim of over $2m brought by depositors of two Anguillian offshore banks.
  • Acting for Kalo (BVI) Limited in an attempt to enforce an interim arbitral award of approximately $4bn.
  • Acting for Ukrainian clients seeking to recover control of Gravendonck, a BVI company, which owns land in the UAE.