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Conyers Dill & Pearman’s ‘excellent practice provides timely and accurate responses, as well as sound advice and continued support’. The firm has a dominant practice in the BVI for significant litigation and arbitration matters, alternative dispute resolution, and restructuring and insolvency work. It was instructed by Dutch counsel to seek recovery of $200m in assets, which were allegedly stripped from a Swiss debtor, the work involved complex cross-border insolvency law, including jurisdictional conflicts. BVI litigation and restructuring head Mark Forte, who is ‘a trusted adviser with industry knowledge of the highest level’, is highly rated for his emergency interim relief work and considerable insolvency experience, he also advises on international asset tracing measures. ‘Team playerRichard Evanshas excellent knowledge of the law and is very responsive’, and Jerry Samuel specialises in asset tracing, insolvency and cross-border assistance, enforcement of security and foreign judgments, urgent injunctive relief, and shareholder disputes. Tameka Davis is a key counsel.

Harneys’ ‘knowledge of BVI law and practice, developed over decades, is unsurpassed; it is the go-to law firm for any dispute of any complexity’. The team regularly acts in large, complex and high-profile disputes, with specific experience in hedge fund disputes, significant insolvency matters, and administrative law disputes. It also has a strong Latin America practice and handles Russia and CIS-related matters. The team acted for FTI, the liquidator of a number of Pacific Andes entities, in a high-profile $1.6bn insolvency matter involving multiple proceedings in the US, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands (Cayman). Andrew Thorp’s ‘knowledge is second to none and he is an international insolvency specialist, whose advice is regularly sought in the most complex of cases’; and recently promoted partner Claire Goldstein’s ‘charming courtroom manner belies a steely determination to do the very best for her clients’. The ‘hardworking and persistent’ Jonathan Addo, Peter Ferrer, who is ‘a seasoned, convincing advocate whose persuasive eloquence is much in demand’, and Stuart Cullen, who is ‘a strong and very responsive lawyer that works hard for his clients’, are key counsels. Former counsels Mungo Lowe and Peter Tyers-Smith joined Maples and Calder’s London office and Kobre & Kim in Cayman, respectively.

Appleby’s BVI office is best known for shareholders disputes and insolvency work, but it has also experienced an increase in fraud and asset tracing work, particularly from Russia and the former CIS States, and is increasingly active in trusts litigation work. Recent matters included acting on behalf of the bond trustee in a high- profile dispute involving a series of bonds issued, with an aggregate face value of $575m. Local dispute resolution head Andrew Willins ‘provides high-quality legal advice and is a realistic, experienced litigator and advocate’; senior associate Sarah Masson has extensive experience of major, multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes; and recently promoted senior associate Olwyn Barry is ‘unflappable and deals with everything that is thrown at her’.

Ogierhas a tight, well-run group of clever, hardworking lawyers in a modern, efficient office; each lawyer has particular strengths, but they work well as an integrated team’. The firm hired Nicholas Burkill, who ‘has a very commercial approach’, from Dorsey & Whitney, where he headed the London trial group, while Andrew Wanambwa exited for Lewis Silkin LLP. Key features of the team include significant insolvency experience and a strong Russia and CIS as well as Far East client base. The ‘formidable’ BVI dispute resolution leader Brian Lacy is ‘charming, efficient, has excellent client-handling skills and a great knowledge of insolvency’; he acted for subsidiaries of Rusal on the enforcement of two arbitration awards. Managing associate Natasha Gunney and senior associate Nicholas Brookes are recommended.

Walkers BVI recruited commercial litigator Murray Laing as senior associate from Conyers Dill & Pearman. The practice is best known for corporate litigation; shareholder and boardroom disputes and related corporate governance advice; contested takeovers; and cross-border insolvency and contentious restructuring. It also regularly acts in work arising out of Russia, the CIS and Africa. Oliver Clifton has particular experience in fraud and asset tracing. He advised oligarch and serving Russian government minister Mikhail Abyzov in claims against one of Russia’s richest men, the matter involved the enforcement of joint venture agreements. Rosalind Nicholson and senior associates Grant Carroll and Jennifer Fox are other names to note.

Campbellsfields heavy-hitting litigators with an encyclopaedic knowledge of BVI law’. The BVI litigators act in cross-border liquidations, commercial fraud matters, company and trusts litigation, and corporate reorganisations. The team acted for the trustees of the Tchenguiz Family Trust and Vincent Tchenguiz in Kaupthing Bank’s collapse, which recently involved interlocutory hearings. Department head Callum McNeil is ‘tenacious and creative, and a worthy opponent in any courtroom battle’. Brian Child, who is ‘a favourite with clients and exudes the confidence of a first-class litigator who really knows his stuff’, and Jeremy Lightfoot are highly regarded senior counsels.

Carey Olsenprovides heavy partner input, and expert, responsive and reasonably priced advice’. Its practice covers corporate and commercial disputes, trust litigation, shareholder disputes, and fraud and asset-tracing, as well as corporate investigations, professional negligence, and contractual claims. The team acted for several defendants in a claim involving complex cross-border issues of conspiracy, breach of duty and asset tracing. Dispute resolution head Ben Mays is ‘very intelligent and focused, understands the commercial issues, and is incredibly responsive’. Tim Wright joined from Candey in London.

Forbes Harehas good knowledge of litigation matters and is very creative in coming up with resolutions’. The practice is recommended for contentious insolvencies, commercial injunctive work and shareholder disputes, distressed fund and investment fund disputes, and big-ticket trust litigation. Recent work included acting for the seven main defendants in a contested shareholder dispute, involving the ownership and control of a Hong Kong-listed Bermudian company. Litigation and insolvency head William Hare, Richard Baird, who transferred to the BVI team from the firm’s London office, and Robert Nader are recommended.

Maples and Calder specialises in complex international commercial litigation involving insolvency, distressed funds, shareholder issues, and asset tracing, as well as trust disputes, insurance and reinsurance, professional negligence, and contractual claims. The team acted for Cukurova Holding (CH) in long-running and highly complex litigation regarding an application for an order for sale by public auction of shares held by CH. David Welford, a barrister with a focus on cross-border company, trusts and insolvency matters, Simon Hall, who handles shareholder and director disputes, insolvency and contractual disputes, and John MacDonald, who has broad experience in offshore commercial litigation, contentious insolvency and contentious trust issues, are recommended associates. Adrian Francis, formerly a barrister at Three Stone in London joined, while BVI litigation and trusts head Arabella di Iorio intends to join Advocates BVI.

Mourant Ozannes is well known for its insolvency-related work, shareholder disputes and large-scale fraud litigation. BVI litigation and insolvency head Eleanor Morgan, who is ‘an excellent commercial litigation lawyer’, acted for the claimant in a claim for unfair prejudice and breach of partnership regarding the management of a group of companies predominantly based in China. Nicholas Fox ‘demonstrates real astuteness in identifying the issues at the heart of a dispute and willingness to come forward with insightful and innovative ideas to address them’. Shane Donovan is a highly regarded senior associate.

O'Neal Webster recently promoted Nadine Whyte to partner while department head Paul Dennis QC was appointed to the BVI International Arbitration Centre’s panel of arbitrators. The practice handles disputes involving onshore and offshore corporations, finance, banking, property, admiralty, and trusts; it also has a robust insolvency practice. Highlights included acting for the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) in the Court of Appeal in a significant breach of contract dispute with BVIEC’s supplier Delta Petroleum.

Withers’ BVI office has particular experience in advising on fraud and asset tracing, shareholder disputes, commercial litigation, trusts and insolvency. Niki Olympitis has over 30 years’ legal experience.

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