Banking, finance and capital markets in Cayman Islands

Maples Group

Singled out for its ‘deep bench of lawyers‘ and ‘involvement with all the major transactions in the jurisdiction‘, Maples Group demonstrates ‘substantial expertise across the broad range of finance and capital markets matters‘; its notable strengths include securitisations, find finance work, asset-based lending issues and capital markets transactions. Fund finance head Tina Meigh  (hailed as ‘the best funds finance lawyer in Cayman‘), global finance expert Scott Macdonald  (‘who combines deep legal knowledge with a practical, market-based approach‘), structured finance expert Wanda Ebanks , asset finance team co-heads Jonathon Meloy  and Sherice Arman , and James Reeve, Anthony Philp and John Dykstra are among the group’s headline names. In recent news, Amanda Lazier and Shari Howell were both promoted to partner in January 2021, a month after Mark Matthews‘ retirement.

Practice head(s):

Tina Meigh; Scott Macdonald

Testimonials

‘Tina Meigh is a fantastic practitioner. Tina is smart, attentive and a strong leader. Tina’s team is a well-trained group who delivers the finest legal advice in the region.’

‘Maples and Calder has substantial expertise across the broad range of finance and capital markets matters on which I regularly work. In Scott Macdonald and Tina Meigh, they have the two best finance lawyers in Cayman right now. I rely on the team’s legal knowledge and market experience, as well as their efficiency, responsiveness and competitive pricing. Their strengths include securitisations (from CLOs to more exotic structures), fund finance, asset-based lending and capital markets.’

‘Scott Macdonald is the best finance lawyer in Cayman in my opinion, who combines deep legal knowledge with a practical, market-based approach. Thorough and competent, a problem-solver focused on getting the deal closed. Great in CLOs, capital markets, resecuritisations, and structured note issuances. Tina Meigh is the best funds finance lawyer in Cayman, with strong derivatives knowledge and a practical approach to deals, distressed funds and general legal advice. Jonathon Meloy is very strong in aircraft securitisation/leasing deals and also quite good in general fund finance and structured finance. Other partners that I’ve worked with – Anthony Philp and James Reeve (both are strong in CLOs and structured finance), and Amanda Lazier (CLOs- she’s great).’

‘Maples is the market leader in Cayman law. Their team is deep, experienced and knowledgeable. They are incredibly responsive and a joy to work with.’

‘Tina Meigh is very dedicated and extremely responsive, including late nights, weekends and short deadlines. The rest of her team follows in her footsteps.’

‘Maples’ strength lies with (1) the depth of the practice and (2) its involvement with all the major transactions in the jurisdiction. This gives the excellent lawyers at the firm an invaluable trove that they effectively deploy to offer the highest quality client services.’

Maples has a deep bench of lawyers, and are well known in the market. They are always on top of regulatory developments affecting Cayman Islands issuers, and are always accessible to provide advice in a timely manner. Scott MacDonald has a great handle of CLO market developments and regulatory issues affecting Cayman Island issuers.’

Tina Meigh is just absolutely brilliant. She is the smartest person in the room every time – someone knows how to close a deal efficiently and thoughtfully.’

Key clients

Ares Management

Avolon

Bain Capital

Blackstone

Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

Delta Air Lines

Falko Aviation

Goldman Sachs

Goshawk Aviation

KKR

Octagon

Prudential

Symphony / Nuveen

United Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised Caesars Entertainment, Inc. on its cash acquisition of William Hill PLC.
  • Advised United Airlines on its $3.8bn bond offering along with a concurrent $3bn term loan.
  • Advised Total Engine Asset Management (TEAM), a joint venture between Marubeni Corp. and ST Engineering, and the issuer group on all Irish and Cayman law aspects of the Sunbird Engine Finance $257m asset-backed securitisation.

Walkers

Leveraging ‘decades of experience‘ at the top end of the Cayman market, the team at Walkers handles an assortment of complex, bet-the-company transactions, acting for an array of lenders, borrowers and sponsors. The ‘exceptionally smartPhilip Paschalides handles debt capital market issuances, securitisations and CLOs; David Collins has considerable expertise in fund financing, bilateral and syndicated lending work, acquisition financings and corporate financings; and Rob Jackson focuses on project finance transactions; while James Burch specialises in debt capital markets deals. At the senior counsel level, aviation finance specialist Sarah Humpleby and structured finance specialist Paul Osborne (who ‘provides technically sound advice in a clear manner‘) are the standout names. Also highly rated in the banking and finance space are Hugh Anderson and Justin Hart, both of whom were promoted to partner in July 2020. In June 2021, Paige Gaston-Thiery moved in-house.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Humpleby; Paul Osborne

Testimonials

Walkers is our go-to firm for asset-based secured loans to private investment funds in the Cayman Islands. They have decades of experience in the space, their advice is highly practical and commercial, and they are incredibly responsive.’

Walkers has a solid bench of capable partners and senior attorneys. Paul Osborne, in particular, stands out for the transactions that we engage Walkers on.’

‘The team is incredibly responsive and constructive in solving problems.’

Strong CLO and finance practices. Responsive. Insightful on complex legal issues.

Philip Paschalides is my contact there and orchestrates his team’s business. Exceptionally smart, not just on a relative level to those in his jurisdiction, but relative to international practitioners.’

‘The Walkers team is able to provide excellent advice on any number of complex structures.’

‘Paul Osborne efficiently provides technically sounds advice in a clear manner. He understands the commercial aspects of our deals and is able to deliver practical advice.’

‘I work mostly with Walkers’ superb CLO team. They have deep experience, provide outstanding client service and have terrific technical and drafting skills. However, I value (above all of those excellent qualities) that nuanced judgement and commercial/practical approach to lawyering, which has, on more than one occasion, saved the day, when we have been faced with documents that are inadequate or ambiguous with regard to a critical issue.’

Key clients

Anchorage Capital

Apollo Global Management

BlackRock

Cerberus

Credit Suisse Asset Management

Goldman Sachs

Hellman & Friedman

Morgan Stanley

Neuberger Berman

PGIM

Redding Ridge Asset Management

PineBridge

Silicon Valley Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The Carlyle Group

Wellfleet Credit Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Goldman Sachs on the American Airlines loyalty programme financing, the world’s largest financing using an airline’s loyalty programme as security to date.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel for Titan Aircraft Investments I, Ltd. in preparing corporate authorities and legal opinions in respect of the Parent guarantor as well as reviewing all transaction documents and advising on matters of Cayman Islands law arising.
  • Advising Pacífico on a Cayman special purpose vehicle and its establishment of a diversified payment rights program.

Appleby

Extremely responsive and a strong player in Cayman‘, Appleby enlists a diverse team of banking and finance experts who are sought after, in particular, for their track records in structured finance, corporate finance and fund financing work. Overseeing the structured finance offering, ‘exceptional banking lawyerBenjamin Woolf  represents issuers and investors on a wide range of CLOs, CRE CLOs and PACE securitisations. The broader team, which is led by Woolf in collaboration with Simon Raftopoulos, has considerable expertise in SPACs, leveraged buyouts, initial and secondary public offerings, and private placements of equity and debt securities. Additional names of note are asset finance expert Liesl Richter, corporate finance specialist Jacob MacAdam , global banking and asset finance lead Caroline Barton , and Anna-Lise Wisdom , who excels in subscription financing and debt financing mandates. Counsel Dean Bennett and newly promoted partner Georgina Pullinger provide key support.

Testimonials

Benjamin Woolf is an exceptional banking lawyer who is versatile and can handle complex matters/transactions.’

Benjamin Woolf is highly responsive, pragmatic and commercial, yet extremely technical and capable of managing complex issues.’

Appleby is extremely responsive and a strong player in Cayman, not only in structured finance (especially CLOs), but also in general bank finance and restructurings.’

Ben Woolf and Liesel Richter are superstars. Ben is a terrific team leader. Liesel responds at all hours of days, nights and weekends almost instantaneously.’

The team is very responsive. The advice we received is very practical and well presented.’

Dean Bennett is the main point of contact for me. He is very knowledgeable and responsive. He has been great in ensuring that we receive clear advice without delay.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank Plc.

Harriman Park CLO, Ltd.

Artisan Acquisition Corp.

Exantas Capital Corp. 2020-RSO9, Ltd.

PACEfunding 2020-1

Toorak

HERO Funding 2020-1

JFIN Revolver

Whitehaven Holdings

JPMorgan Chase Bank

CIFC Funding 2020-I, Ltd.

Deerpath Capital CLO

Jamestown CLO

Marble Point CLO

Monroe Capital

Signature Bank

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Société Générale

Morgan Stanley

First Republic Bank

Marvell Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Harriman Park CLO, Ltd., an issuer of collateralised loan obligations.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Barclays Bank Plc and the other initial purchasers in a private offering of $850m in principal amount of 8% senior secured notes offered by two newly-formed Spirit subsidiaries and guaranteed by Spirit Airlines, Inc.
  • Acted for JP Morgan in relation to a credit facility to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI, a subsidiary of Tiger Global Management, to fund investments and operating expenses.

Mourant

Active on both the borrower and lender side, Mourant is instructed by an impressive range of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, private equity houses and major multinational banks in highly complex financing deals. Key areas of strength include fund financings, equity and debt capital markets work and structured finance deals, especially CLOs, securitisations and warehousing transactions, and restructurings. Responsibility for leading the group is shared between Hayden Isbister and the ‘exceptionalAlexandra Woodcock, both of whom have proven track records in private equity downstream transactions as well as fund-related finance matters. Elsewhere in the team, Neal Lomax, Ramesh Maharaj and Alex Last are highly regarded in the field, while at counsel level, Finn Howie and Andrew Grant regularly provide assistance on the group’s headline transactions.

Testimonials

‘Mourant has a broad practice with a depth of knowledge that few other firms do. They are responsive, thorough and efficient. They provide targeted guidance and expertise to help clients achieve their goals.’

‘Hayden Isbister has been the primary partner/contact for our transactions and he oversees a team of talented professionals that work together seamlessly to provide comprehensive representation and exceptional work product.’

‘The key strengths of the team are its responsiveness, subject matter expertise, quality work product and skill in negotiating and resolving issues. They deliver great value for its clients.’

‘Alexandra Woodcock is exceptional. She and the team she manages provide excellent client service, and they have great expertise in respect of the legal issues that come up on my transactions. They are also very adept at resolving issues with opposing counsel. Other important strengths of the team are that they identify potential legal issues, explain issues in a manner that is easy to understand and they consistently develop workable solutions.’

Key clients

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Bybrook Capital LLP, Nordic Trustee ASA

Work highlights

  • Advised Wells Fargo in its capacity as the administrative agent and collateral agent on behalf of the senior lenders to Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. on new senior term and revolving facilities which now make up the group’s post-bankruptcy financing arrangements.
  • Advised Bybrook Capital LLP and Nordic Trustees on a complex restructuring.

Ogier

Under the leadership of Angus Davison , Ogier’s overall banking and finance offering is underpinned by an active fund finance practice, epitomised by its CAYLUX offering – a cross-border fund finance collaboration between the firm’s Cayman and Luxembourg fund finance groups. The department also handles structured financing instructions, which are a bedrock of the practice of Mark Santangeli , who also regularly advises on CLOs, securitisations, risk retention structures, structured products, and derivative arrangements, among others. Capital markets work is another mainstay; the group is particularly active in debt and equity issuances, especially SPACs, control transactions and take-privates. Other names to note are managing associate Tommy Tuohy, who focuses on asset finance matters, and James Heinicke , who handles fund financing matters, including subscription and capital call financings and fund-of-fund facilities.

Practice head(s):

Angus Davison

Key clients

HSBC Bank plc

Borr Drilling Limited

EMR Capital Advisors Pty Ltd

Angelo Gordon & Co LP

Silicon Valley Bank

Perceptive Advisors LLC

Kismet Capital Group

NC Finance Limited

Deutsche Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Kismet Capital Group on the concurrent incorporation, set-up and listing of Kismet Acquisition Two Corp. and Kismet Acquisition Three Corp. on Nasdaq – each company was formed as a special purposes acquisition corporation and on their joint closing raised $517.5m.
  • Assisting NC Finance Limited with a listing on the Cayman Islands stock exchange of variable rate loan notes, with an English issuer, of up to £600m split into three available currencies (GBP, USD and Euro).
  • Advised ITHAX Acquisition Corp. on the incorporation, set-up and listing of ITHAX Acquisition Corp. on Nasdaq.

Carey Olsen

Heralded for its ‘breadth of knowledge, as well as engagement with the local community and governmental authorities‘, the banking and finance team at Carey Olsen has been proven to be adept in a number of different areas, most notably acquisition finance, aviation finance, corporate lending and fund finance matters. Taking the lead on many of the group’s noteworthy aviation finance and asset finance matters is the ‘diligent and knowledgeableRichard Munden , whereas Alistair Russell  is a trusted name for project finance and fund finance matters. Elsewhere within the department, Nick Bullmore  concentrates on structured finance mandates, Jarrod Farley  focuses on investment fund-related matters, and counsel Dylan Wiltermuth  is increasingly prominent in the capital markets space.

Other key lawyers:

Dylan Wiltermuth

Testimonials

This team’s breadth of knowledge, as well as engagement with the local community and governmental authorities, make it an indispensable partner to our business.’

Richard Munden is diligent, knowledgeable, and runs with projects which significantly reduces the pressure on the in-house counsel with which they work.’

Key clients

Transocean

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman counsel on a number of tender and private exchange offers for Transocean as issuer bonds.

Conyers

At Conyers, the corporate and finance practice has experience in the full spectrum of offshore transactional work in the banking and finance realm, where it primarily advises corporations, financial institutions and investment managers. More specifically, the team, which is presided over by Matthew Stocker , displays particular expertise in aircraft and other asset financings, capital markets transactions and acquisition finance matters. In May 2021, another key member of the team, Cora Miller , was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Stocker

Other key lawyers:

Cora Miller ; Barnabas Finnigan

Testimonials

Conyers has an amazing footprint with notable talent in each office. They really do deliver in all of their offices so you can be confident in the skills and the service in any Conyers office with which you work.’

Cora Miller owns a project when she takes it on. While practically focused, she still thinks about all aspects and risks and advises how best to mitigate risk.’

Key clients

Stonegate Pub Company

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Citigroup

Morgan Stanley

Unico (formerly known as Acesso Digital)

Global Internet of People, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters of dLocal Limited’s initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.
  • Advised Stonegate Pub Company on its Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of an aggregate amount of $1.57bn senior secured fixed rate notes due 2025.
  • Advised Brazilian facial biometrics and digital admission company, Acesso Digital, on the Cayman Islands legal aspects of its $107.5m funding round led by General Atlantic and Softbank.

Bedell Cristin

Building upon a transitional phase following the firm’s 2018 merger with Solomon Harris, Bedell Cristin’s financial services law team primarily handles fund financings, secured lending mandates, debt financing issues and listing work on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange and international stock exchanges. Ian Jamieson  and Joss Morris jointly lead the practice, which in 2020 saw the arrival of Stephen Nelson from Collas Crill as well as the retirements of Sophia Harris and Nick Reid. Associate Eugene Reavey is also considered an skilled practitioner in this space.

Practice head(s):

Ian Jamieson; Joss Morris

Testimonials

‘This team was highly responsive and provided excellent levels of service on a time-sensitive and complex transaction. They demonstrated significant levels of understanding of the business and were integral in helping us gain an understanding on potential enforcement proceedings and regulatory complexities that were ultimate key in adequately assessing the commerciality of the transaction.’

‘The availability of the staff was exceptional. It can be hard to find foreign counsel in any jurisdiction who prioritise your work and react to challenging time-frames but in this instance Bedell Cristin and in particular Eugene Reavey really delivered.’

Campbells

Headed up by Alan Craig, Campbells’ practice places an emphasis on equity financing and fund financing matters. Additionally, the group regularly advises on debt financing arrangements, typically in the form of convertible loan notes. Promoted to partnership in September 2020 and April 2021 respectively, ship and offshore finance expert Damien Magee and Charlie Pywell (who handles debt finance transactions) are standout names operating in the department.

Practice head(s):

Alan Craig

Testimonials

‘Very efficient, cost effective and knowledgeable,’

Key clients

Scotiabank

Royal Bank of Canada

Lloyds

Natwest Markets

Standard Chartered

Bank of America

Raiffeisen Bank

China Development Bank

Barclays

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised Ribbit Capital on the formation of a special purpose acquisition company for IPO listing.
  • Advised Qell on the formation of a special purpose acquisition company for IPO listing.
  • Acted for Nexwell Power (U.K.) Ltd in the listing of Senior Secured (Green) Series A Notes on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.

Harneys

The banking and finance practice at Harneys principally stands out for its knowledge of subscription finance work. Department lead Matt Taber, in particular, routinely acts for banks that lend to private equity funds in relation to capital call or subscription finance deals, as well as collateral packages. The group has a track record in advising clients on debt finance, structured finance, international capital markets, project finance and secured lending matters. Christopher Hall is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Matt Taber

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Hall

Key clients

SAP America, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Bank of America, N.A.

First Republic Bank

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Societe Generale

Vinci Partners Investments

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman counsel to Vinci Partners on a Nasdaq IPO.
  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank, National Association in 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.
  • Represented Bank of America, N.A. in the grant of a $4bn subscription finance facility to a large private equity fund group.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries

Active on both the lender and borrower side, the banking and finance team at Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries acts for a wide array of leading banks, financial institutions and corporates in domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Key areas of strength for the team, which is led by Chris Humphries  and Jonathan McLean, include matters relating to secured and unsecured lending, syndicated letter of credit facilities, capital markets work, as well as the establishment and licencing of financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Chris Humphries ; Jonathan McLean

 

Other key lawyers:

Megan Wright

Key clients

Citibank

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Banco Bradesco

IndusInd Bank Limited

Kensington Management Group

CTMH Hospital

Work highlights

  • Acting for Goldman Sachs Asset Management on a large credit facility.
  • Advising Kensington Management Group, Ltd. and the captive insurance clients for which it acts as an insurance manager on a range of general corporate and commercial matters.
  • Acted as Cayman Counsel to the investor GV (formerly Google Ventures) regarding a Series A funding round into Nothing Holdings, a Cayman company.