Investment funds in British Virgin Islands

Harneys

Led by Philip Graham, who serves as chairman of the executive council of the BVI Investment Funds Association, Harneys' practice advises on a sizable portion of the region's investment fund vehicles, particularly in relation to fund formations and restructurings. Renowned locally for its regulatory and fund compliance work, the team fields several practitioners who consulted with the government in relation to the implementation of the economic substance regime and the updates to the private funds legislation; in 2019, the firm created an automated economic substance classification solution to guide clients through the new legal framework. The team is also handling increased numbers of emerging manager instructions and is advising on BVI vehicles from Latin America and Asia. Counsel Paul Waldron joined from Walkers BVI and has experience in pre-formation strategies, restructurings and regulatory issues, while counsel Ayana Hull has experience advising BVI-regulated entities on licensing issues, continuing obligations, and regulatory and enforcement actions.

Practice head(s):

Philip Graham

Other key lawyers:

Paul Waldron; Ayana Hull

Testimonials

‘This practice has the expertise needed for our funds (specifically BVI) so we know we are in safe hands, our queries will be answered accurately and with some suggestions that make commercial sense.’

‘The individuals we work with are extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and are able to address all our queries relating to our funds promptly and thoroughly. They are also very commercial and to the point which we appreciate.’

Maples Group

The funds and investment management team at Maples Group advises on fund formation, maintenance and registration matters, acting for many of the largest financial institutions that use the BVI as a fund domicile. The group also assists with the licensing options available for fund managers, advisers and administrators, as well as other investment business entities aiming to be licensed in the BVI. While the team is highly involved in instructions for open-ended funds, several group members were also involved in the development of the updated closed-ended funds regulatory regime, including BVI practice head Richard May, who acts for some of the world's largest US and UK managers. Chris Newton's practice also encompasses downstream investment work in the funds space and fund financing mandates, and of counsel Guy Williamson is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Richard May

Other key lawyers:

Chris Newton; Guy Williamson

Testimonials

‘Richard May is very knowledgeable and provides information in a detailed manner which we appreciate. Guy Williamson also has been stellar.’

Key clients

Angelo Gordon

Blackstone

Bridgewater Associates

Frontera Energy Corp.

K2 Advisors

Conyers

The team at Conyers advises clients (particularly large BVI hedge funds) on the day-to-day operations of funds ranging from structuring issues to complex restructurings and winding up matters. Functioning as part of the firm’s corporate department, which is led by Robert Briant, the group is also noted for its experience in initial fund formations. In particular, Anton Goldstein has recently been involved in the establishment of a range of new BVI funds. Also noted is counsel Audrey Robertson.

Practice head(s):

Robert Briant

Other key lawyers:

Anton Goldstein; Audrey Robertson

Key clients

King Street Capital

ACE & Company

Baron Capital

Thybo Advisory Limited

Orchard Funds

Ikebena Funds

Pabrai Investment Fund

Kawa Capital Management

Adler Real Estate Partners

KKR

Asset Value Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised Kawa Capital Management on the establishment of a new $76.5m fund to acquire a portfolio of US operating properties with mostly single tenant triple net real estate assets.
  • Provided BVI legal advice to ACE & Company on the establishment of all of its private equity vehicles.
  • Provided BVI legal advice to Adler Real Estate Partners on the formation and final closing of its Fund IV ($138m) as well as ongoing day-to-day matters.

Ogier

Dividing his time between the firm’s BVI and Jersey offices, Simon Schilder leads Ogier’s funds practice, specialising in assisting clients with complex fund formations and fund structures. As well as acting as the lead counsel to investment managers, particularly on the fintech aspects of new investment structures including digital asset and cryptocurrency trading, Schilder also advises on regulatory frameworks; he helped draft the Private Investment Funds Regulations 2019, a new regulatory regime applicable to closed-ended BVI funds. Michael Killourhy is also noted for his expertise in investment funds.

Other key lawyers:

Marie-Claire Fudge

Key clients

Appaloosa Management

Graham Capital

Passport Capital

Man Group

Global Sigma Group

AEW Capital Management

Alpine Associates Management

EFG-Hermes

GPS Investimentos

Digital Asset Capital Management

Next Alpha Capital Management LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Blue Investment Advisors Ltd as lead counsel on the establishment of Global Alternative Platform SPC Ltd, a closed-ended fund structured as a segregated portfolio company and also establishing and licensing each of the investment manager and investment adviser to the fund.
  • Advising Global Sigma Group on the setup and licensing of Global Sigma Fund, Ltd.
  • Advising Digital Asset Capital Management Inc as lead counsel on the setup and licensing of DAF Greeks Fund Inc.

Walkers BVI

Acting for hedge, private equity and distressed funds, Walkers BVI has seen an uptick in restructuring work, as well as private equity downstream transactions involving BVI entities. The firm’s investment funds group also advises on fund formations, financing work, buyouts, direct investments and joint venture transactions. Patrick Ormond, who heads up the finance, corporate and funds group in the BVI, recently relocated to London. Associate Jude Hodge is the BVI-based lawyer of note.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ormond

Other key lawyers:

Jude Hodge