Banking, finance and capital markets in Cayman Islands
At Maples Group, the 'market-leading' team is particularly active in high-end structured financing transactions and is engaged on a large proportion of the region’s US collateralised loan obligation (CLO) deals with Cayman issuers. In a recent highlight led by 'brilliant' fund finance practice head Tina Meigh and James Reeve, the group acted for Bain Capital in a novel $501m deal - the first CLO in which a Cayman LLC was employed as the note issuance vehicle. Finance lawyers in the team also specialise in banking regulations, fund finance issues, insurance-linked securities, listings and asset finance mandates, particularly aircraft and shipping finance work. The group also receives instructions involving debt and equity capital markets, with Anthony Philp particularly effective in this field. Scott Macdonald heads up the firm’s global finance offering, while Jonathon Meloy and Sherice Arman are co-heads of the firm’s asset finance team in the region. Mark Matthews, Wanda Ebanks and John Dykstra are further names to note at partner level; Amanda Lazier and Lucy Sleep are highly regarded associates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Maples are the market leader and are outstanding in all areas when supporting our Cayman business. The response times, quality of first drafts, technical support and advisory support are all market leading. Additionally their charges are more than reasonable.’
‘I have had the opportunity to work with Maples on many occasions. Their team is thoughtful and creative and commercial. They are truly a pleasure to work with. They are at the top of my list if there is a Cayman entity in my deal.’
‘I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Tina Meigh. She is brilliant and a great person to have in your court. She always gets the job done and does it a commercial way. Her energy in focus on excellence in her team is also truly amazing.’
‘Wanda Ebanks – Relationship Partner and our main point of contact – extremely responsive and incredibly knowledgeable.’
‘Over the years, Tina Meigh has consistently been reliable and dependable in all finance, structured finance, and derivatives matters that my firm and my clients have involved her. She has an excellent pulse of the local market and is involved in cross border dealings and developments, including with the various industry associations.’
‘Maples’ Banking & Finance team is involved in all most relevant matters in the industry, making Maples the most effective go-to firm. The teams is consistently recognized by in-house counsel and other law firms as the first choice in the Cayman Islands.’
- Advised BOC Aviation on its $548m Silver ABS transaction, which comprised of three tranches of 144A / Reg S issued notes, all of which are listed on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.
- Advised Bain Capital on the first US CLO employing a Cayman Islands LLC.
- Advised Zephyrus Aviation Capital on its $350m warehouse finance facility with Deutsche Bank AG.
Philip Paschalides, Rob Jackson and David Collins lead the 'top-notch' practice at Walkers, which handles a wide range of transactions and regulatory advice. Jackson primarily acts for lenders, borrowers and sponsors on project finance transactions, hedge fund and private equity financings, and secured cross-border transactions and financial restructurings; while Paschalides specialises in debt capital market issuances, securitisations and structured products. Elsewhere, James Burch specialises in debt capital markets and structured finance work with extensive experience in CLOs, securitisations and secured note programme structures. The team also has a reputation in the region for routinely handling bet-the-company transactions and is regularly instructed to advise on pathfinder transactions. Another name to note is Paige Gaston-Thiery, who is adept in financing and refinancing mandates and bespoke investor-led restructurings. Sarah Humpleby, Paul Osborne and Hugh Anderson are key senior counsels within the team.
‘The Walkers team is top notch – a deep bench of experienced, commercially oriented attorneys that provide prompt feedback. They are very user friendly, and are always able to find workable solutions when problems arise. They manage staffing well and are able to keep up with tight closing timelines and last minute fire drills.’
‘Paul Osborne is exceptional for asset based deals. He has represented many of the principal participants in the fund lending markets for many years now, and it shows. He consistently delivers high quality, commercial advice and is able to propose commercial solutions for any issue that comes up.’
‘Paige Gaston-Thiery and the rest of the team are incredibly responsive, and are very commercial.’
‘Highly responsive and really know their stuff.’
‘Rob Jackson is outstanding. Always available and gives very good advice.’
Bank of America
Oak Hill Capital Management
The Carlyle Group
- Acted as Cayman counsel to Apollo in four legacy CLOs – ALM V, VI, VIII, and XII – and rolled those assets into one transaction – one of the largest CLOs of the 2.0 era.
- Acted for Thunderbolt III Aircraft Lease Limited as debt issuer and Thunderbolt III Limited as equity certificate issuer on an aircraft-backed securitisation with a portfolio of 19 jet aircraft.
- Acting as Cayman counsel for the issuer – Airborne Capital Limited and Elliot Associates- in relation to a 17 aircraft asset backed securitisation.
The focal point of Appleby’s banking and finance department in Cayman is structured financing mandates, in which it represents new and established managers; the group also handles corporate and fund financing work more broadly for a diverse and increasingly high-profile client roster. Structured financing practice head Benjamin Woolf, who is adept at handling securitisation transactions and CLOs, is a key member of the corporate practice group, which is headed by Simon Raftopoulos. In this space, the department also acts for clients on private equity and fund finance transactions, leveraged buyouts, initial and secondary public offerings, and private placements of equity and debt securities. The team fields Jacob MacAdam, Anna-Lise Wisdom, Liesl Richter, counsel Georgina Pullinger and Caroline Barton, who is the firm’s global banking and asset finance head. Dean Bennett, who was promoted to senior associate in 2020, is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm always provides very rapid and thorough responses and provides a helpful commercial background.’
‘Ben Woolf is easily the best in the industry.’
J.P. Morgan Securities plc
Banco Bradesco S.A
Sable International Finance Limited
Palatine Private Equity LLP
North Star Holdco Limited
Citigroup Global Markets Limited
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (“MUFG”)
China Automation Group (“CAG”)
Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp.
CDGRP SF Cayman (SPC) Ltd
- Acting as Cayman counsel to Banco Bradesco S.A. as issuer on its issuance of $800m notes due 2023 and $800m notes due 2025 pursuant to its US Global Medium-Term Note Program.
- Acted as Cayman Counsel to the Initial Purchasers on the additional $350m issuance of Senior Secured Notes due 2027 by Sable International Finance Limited.
Strengthening its client roster and expanding its offering in 2019, Mourant advises leading financial institutions, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and multinational and domestic corporations on financing transactions across a wide range of sectors. Recent highlights include complex financing transactions and advice relating to real estate, acquisition, asset, fund and structured finance mandates, leveraged finance work, debt capital markets matters and derivatives issues. Managing partner Hayden Isbister heads up the practice alongside Alexandra Woodcock, who was recruited from Walkers in 2019 to lead the finance and banking group; she advises an array of financial institutions and fund sponsors on downstream private equity financing and handles secured lending work for hedge funds and private equity funds. Ramesh Maharaj, private equity specialist Alex Last and funds expert Neal Lomax are key names to note alongside counsel Nathaniel Luker and senior associate Finn Howie.
‘They are very responsive and commercially minded. They work well and understand the complexities of cross-border transactions.’
‘I regularly work with Alex Woodcock who is able to integrate seamlessly into a multi jurisdiction team and provides concise proactive advice. She not only identifies issues but comes up with solutions.’
‘Mourant’s experience is world class, so can support our large international deals from our local Cayman office. Further, the team can lead M&A and transaction projects from end to end, with continuity on the working group despite the always-changing project requirements. I have also been very impressed with the high-quality referrals outside the firm for specific subject matters or local country expertise where we do business. Our Mourant team deeply understands our motivations and objectives, so we feel as if it is an extension of our own team.’
‘Neal Lomax – Aside from the exceptional client service and technical expertise that is Neal’s baseline, one of his most notable skills is the ability to break down, interpret, and respond to a counterparty’s underlying motivations and objectives. His tact and perspicacity in diffusing overly aggressive or irrational players in negotiations is invaluable and critical in representing our interests. Further, his poise and polished confidence is infectious and drives conviction in highly tense situations.’
‘Finn Howie – He is always available when we have urgent inquiries. His turnaround time is very quick, and his work is quite thorough.’
Strategic Value Partners, LLC
KKR Credit Advisors
CBRE Global Investment Partners
CVC Capital Partners
- Advised Credit Agricole on all Cayman law aspects of the pre-packaged debt restructuring of McDermott Group of companies, including the $2.81bn debtor-in-possession credit facility and local law security arrangements.
- Advised National Westminster Bank plc on all Cayman law aspects of the financing for Flutter Entertainment’s acquisition of and merger with The Stars Group (TSG).
At Ogier, the group is particularly strong on fund finance matters, evidenced by its CAYLUX offering, a cross-jurisdictional fund finance collaboration between the firm’s Cayman and Luxembourg fund finance teams. The practice continues to attract new clients, which include major lenders in the fund finance market and US law firms with a lender-side practice. The department also has a strong debt capital markets practice and frequently assists with debt listings on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. A key area of focus for global practice head Angus Davison and Mark Santangeli is structured finance work, which includes advising on CLOs, securitisations, warehouse lending structures, risk retention structures, structured products, derivative arrangements and a variety of other bespoke structures.
‘Ogier stands out as clearly one of the leading firms in the market. A strong group of partners and senior associate including James Heinicke and Tommy Tuohy continues to grow with particular knowledge in Corporate Matters, Financial, Banking and Capital Markets Law. Ogier has an unrivalled presence in Cayman Islands thanks to its expertise handling the most demanding and complex transactions and providing expert, efficient and cost effective services in the region, and its exceptional lawyers, with a level of sophistication and expertise that you do not normally see at big firms’.
‘Deeply experienced corporate-finance specialist James Heinicke is one of the partners at Ogier and is very responsive to our requests, did very good work and had a clear understanding of the Cayman law issues.’
‘Tommy Tuohy is noted as an excellent professional with great knowledge of corporate issues and outstanding creativity to solve matters related to corporate groups.’
‘Ogier has an impressive collaborative approach, their responsiveness and approachability set them apart from their competitors.’
Silicon Valley Bank
Deutsche Bank AG
Angelo Gordon & Co LP
EMR Capital Advisors Pty Ltd
HSBC Bank plc
- Advised a market-leading lender in the fund finance space on the Cayman Islands aspects of several subscription finance facilities with commitment amounts of up to $4bn granted to, amongst others, one of the largest global private equity fund groups and the biggest ever private equity fund with $26bn in capital commitments.
- Provided Cayman Islands law assistance to a major private equity sponsor as agent in respect of a term loan facility to Proprium Real Estate Special Situations Fund, L.P and some of its group companies for the purposes of financing and refinancing certain real estate acquisition costs.
- Advised a Cayman-based fund on an asset-based credit facility by global financial services group, as to the establishment of the SPV and the financing terms and structure from a Cayman Islands perspective and provided all non-consolidation and true sale opinions in connection with the transaction.
As part of the firm’s broad corporate and commercial department, the banking and finance team at Carey Olsen is highly adept at handling acquisition finance, aviation finance, corporate lending and fund finance matters. Within the team, Richard Munden is noted for his 'depth of expertise' in aviation finance and other asset finance matters, namely asset-backed securitisations. Alistair Russell is highly regarded for his fund financing specialism. Further names to note include structured finance expert Nick Bullmore, investment fund specialist Jarrod Farley and counsel Dylan Wiltermuth, who is particularly active in the capital markets arena.
‘The Cayman team is responsive and very knowledgeable on the issues of Cayman law affecting aircraft finance.’
‘Richard Munden’s depth of expertise in aviation finance and the Cayman registry are invaluable to an in-house counsel.’
‘Carey Olsen has developed a team of specialists that provide focused and responsive advice. They see their clients as their business partners and constantly work with us to demonstrate that we are important to them.’
‘Nick Bullmore remains one of the go to practitioners for Cayman matters. He is responsive, knowledgeable and engaged and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Terrific team, Richard Munden is one of the best in the region.’
‘Richard Munden is a terrific technical lawyer and a very personable individual – easy to work with.’
‘Carey Olsen is a top law firm who can provide the same quality services as the other local providers. I have always found them to be very responsive, timely, knowledgeable and professional.’
‘Carey Olsen differs from other firms in their ability to provide practical legal advice on complex matters in a timely manner.’
- Providing Cayman Islands counsel on a securitisation of a floating-rate senior commercial real estate loan, which was used to refinance 178 office properties in Germany.
- Assisting a leading airline in East Africa with a range of transactions in respect of ten commercial aircraft that have been financed by the airline pursuant to certain Export Credit Agency (ECA)-supported cross-border facilities that in the aggregate total $310m.
- Acted as Cayman counsel to a leading aircraft leasing company in respect of the financing for one new Airbus A321LR neo to be leased to an airline in the Middle East.
Cayman managing partner John Wolf and corporate practice head Alan Craig jointly lead Campbells’ banking, finance, and capital markets group, which has a particular focus on equity financing matters, as well as venture capital fundraisings for technology companies. Handling transactions for lenders and corporate borrowers, the team is also capable of assisting clients with debt financing arrangements, typically in the form of convertible loan notes. Other key names include senior associate Charlie Pywell and Richard Spencer; the latter specialises in capital markets transactions, including stock market listings, downstream transactions and fund financing matters.
Lloyds Capital Markets
Silicon Valley Bank
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
China Development Bank
- Acted as Cayman counsel to Nu Holdings (parent entity of Nubank, Brazil’s largest fintech company) and its US and Brazilian counsel in respect of a $400m Series F round of fundraising.
- Acted for Creditas in connection with its offer and sale of Series D Preference Shares.
- Acted for Benchmark Capital on all aspects of Cayman Islands law in connection with its investment and purchase of preferred shares of TFG, Ltd.
Led by Matthew Stocker, the corporate and financing team at Conyers handles a range of banking, finance, and capital markets mandates, and is particularly active across lending work, asset and fund finance transactions, structured finance issues and capital markets work. A key member of the team is counsel Cora Miller, who assists corporate partners with a variety of financing transactions in the BVI. Corporate finance specialist Richard Fear retired in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Conyers team is very responsive, highly knowledgeable and provides comprehensive advice.’
‘First-class service from Matthew Stocker. Very knowledgeable, responsive and practical practitioner.’
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
PagSeguro Digital Ltd.
DP World Crescent
- Advised PagSeguro Digital Ltd. on its $653.3m secondary follow-on offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Advised Itaú Unibanco on its pre-IPO structuring and negotiations, including the shareholders agreement and formation documents in the pre-IPO launch of XP Inc. on the NASDAQ exchange.
- Advised Ivy RE Limited on the establishment of Ivy Co-Investment Vehicle LLC, sponsored by Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited and designed to co-invest approximately $1bn with Global Atlantic and its subsidiaries in qualifying reinsurance transactions.
Harneys is notably strong in the subscription finance space, where it acts for leading banks lending to private equity funds. Headed up by fund finance expert Matt Taber, the department also has experience advising on debt finance, structured finance and securitisation mandates, international capital markets work, project and infrastructure financings, and secured lending issues. Former practice head Nicole Pineda and Cayman office head Marco Martins left the firm in mid-2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have worked with Christopher Hall. He is knowledgeable and responsive in respect of the matters we asked them to advise on.’
Banco do Brasil S.A.
Bank of America, N.A.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
First Republic Bank
Citizens Bank N.A.
Trillion Chance Limited
- Advised Bank of America, N.A. in relation to the grant of a $4bn subscription finance facility to a large private equity fund group.
- Acted as Cayman counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, National Association in relation to a joinder and second amendment to a revolving credit agreement in respect of the grant of a $1.15bn subscription finance facility to a large private equity fund group.
- Advised JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in relation to the grant of a $1.5bn subscription finance facility to a large private equity fund group.
Bedell Cristin covers the full spectrum of banking matters, ranging from lending to high-net-worth individuals, through to complex structured finance transactions secured through real estate and other assets. The group regularly acts for local branches of international banks on secured lending matters relating to real estate acquisitions, developments and portfolio reorganisations. Ian Jamieson and Joss Morris, who joined in 2019 from Collas Crill, jointly lead the department, which is involved in an assortment of financing transactions.
Advantage International Holdings Ltd
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Ironshore Pharmaceuticals & Development, Inc
McDermott Will & Emery
Marsh Management (Cayman) Limited
Policy Selection Limited
Daemon Investment Fund