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  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading individuals
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Appleby is best known for disputes involving funds, trusts, dissenting shareholder merger disputes, insolvency and restructuring. Other areas of strength include fraud and asset tracing, professional negligence and regulatory work. The team acts for Reichmuth, a shareholder in the Madoff feeder fund, Herald Fund (Herald); Reichmuth was recently given leave to intervene before the Privy Council in appealing a dispute between Herald and Primeo Fund over a $490m distribution waterfall among redeeming investors. In other highlights, the practice successfully acted for Ernst & Young Cayman, resisting an application for disclosure of documents brought by the liquidators of a former audit client. Andrew Bolton is global practice group head, and Peter McMaster QC is local practice group head. The other recommended advisers are Tony Heaver-Wren and trust litigator Carlos de Serpa Pimentel. Sebastian Said and Paul Kennedy are key counsels. David Lee joined as partner from Norton Rose Fulbright in London, while former counsel Sally Peedom joined Collas Crill.

'No different to using a top London firm', Maples Group's 'first-class team provides great response times and excellent litigators'. The practice comprises a wide variety of international commercial disputes, insolvencies, restructurings and regulatory matters involving international financial services and products. The practice is also highly rated for trust issues, shareholder disputes, fraud and asset tracing, and maritime matters. It acted for five international accountancy firms on an application for judicial review, in which they sought to challenge the government’s interpretation of the trade and business licensing statute and its attempts to impose liability on the firms for two separate sets of license fees. It also successfully represented Top Jet Enterprises in an application to obtain declarations from the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands as to its standing in derivative action proceedings in the US, marking the first application of its kind in the Cayman Islands (Cayman). Global litigation head Aristos Galatopoulos 'has an infectious enthusiasm, and combines a detailed knowledge of his subject area with a robust and pragmatic approach to resolving contentious issues'. The other key advisers are Mac Imrie, who recently returned to Cayman from the firm's Hong Kong office, international disputes expert Colin McKie QC, insolvency specialist James Eldridge, restructuring and insolvency expert Caroline Moran and Cayman trusts and private client practice head Morven McMillan. Of counsel Nick Herrod and associates Luke Stockdale and Adam Huckle are also key team members.

With 'a level of service that is superb', Mourant Ozannes is 'extremely responsive, delivers solid and reliable opinions and provides good value for the fees incurred'. It has recently been active advising on major cross-border cases that have a major impact on the worldwide financial sector and on the development of local and international jurisprudence. The practice continued to act for Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers in a fraud claim against Maan Al Sanea and Saad Group to recover over $6bn. It also acted for the liquidators of Primeo Fund (Primeo) in pursuing a claim of up to approximately $2bn against HSBC for breach of its duties as administrator and custodian; the matter was in relation to losses Primeo suffered as a result of the Madoff fraud. Hector Robinson QC was appointed as litigation department head in 2018; other key advisers include 'very tough and experienced litigator' Peter Hayden and Simon Dickson, who is 'very commercial in his approach' and 'delivers outstanding work'. Christopher Harlowe and counsel Jonathon Milne are 'exceptional lawyers with impressive analytical and writing skills and deep knowledge and understanding of commercial law issues'. Rocco Cecere is 'very strong technically', and senior associate Christopher Levers is 'very responsive'. Nicholas Fox , who is 'commercial and sensible to deal with', relocated from the firm's BVI office.

'Providing an excellent service', Walkers has 'a deep and experienced team in Cayman and a good presence in all the key offshore markets'. Highly experienced in co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional matters, the insolvency and dispute resolution group advises on all aspects of litigation, restructuring, insolvency, corporate recovery and dispute resolution; it acted for JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank, as Cayman counsel, in a high-profile matter involving the recognition and enforcement of a very large CIS judgment against Russian investor Sergei Pugachev. Neil Lupton is 'very commercial and practical as well as being good at stakeholder management', Rupert Bell is 'very responsive and experienced in complex insolvencies', Colette Wilkins has 'an excellent grasp of the bigger picture and the ability to command a room with quiet authority', Nick Dunne is 'widely regarded as one of the best domestic Cayman advocates', and, with 'a commitment to clients that is second to none', Shelley White is 'astonishingly bright and across every detail and nuance as well as the commercial endgame'. Also highly rated are corporate recovery and contentious insolvency specialist Matthew Goucke and Barnaby Gowrie, who is 'hugely popular with clients'. Fiona MacAdam is a notable senior counsel.

'Providing effective advice and strategy while responding swiftly to the changing demands of litigation',¬†Campbells' 'responsive¬†practitioners are¬†not just talented black-letter lawyers¬†‚Äď they also take a commercial approach'. The practice regularly acts in significant insolvency and restructuring cases¬†and is particularly well known for investment fund litigation and shareholder disputes, as well as asset tracing, trust litigation, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards, and¬†local and overseas regulatory investigations, compliance and anti-money laundering issues. The team¬†acted for the HSBC entities in claims brought against them in Cayman's Grand Court by Primeo Fund (in Official Liquidation), which had placed substantially all of its assets with Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.¬†Cayman litigation, insolvency and restructuring head¬†Guy Manning¬†'has a great reputation'; and with 'a wealth of experience in handling high-value commercial disputes',¬†Andrew Pullinger¬†is 'a deeply impressive litigator who is highly-intelligent and produces imaginative and strategic answers to difficult and complex problems'.¬†Mark Goodman¬†'sees the bigger picture and is results-oriented', and Alistair Walters¬†is a contentious¬†regulatory expert.

Carey Olsen's recent growth saw former Maples and Calder partner Matthew Crawford join as consultant. The 'clever and commercial' practice is 'at the top of its game' and 'knows the law well, creating excellent litigation strategies to deliver commercial outcomes'; its recent work includes fraud claims, restructuring and insolvency matters, complex trust proceedings and actions involving dissenting shareholder groups seeking fair-value payments for their shareholdings upon buy-outs. It acted for Liongate Multi Strategy Fund in a claim against, among others, its former directors for breach of fiduciary duty; the claim involved a successful application for a freezing injunction over assets that were allegedly misappropriated. Jan Golaszewski is the Cayman dispute resolution head, and 'experienced litigator' Sam Dawson has 'great technical awareness' and extensive expertise in complex cross-border commercial disputes, with a primary focus on the financial services sector. Peter Sherwood is a highly regarded counsel.

Headed by Paul Smith, Conyers Dill & Pearman's litigation and restructuring team is highly rated for domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring proceedings, complex contract and commercial disputes, multi-party contentious trusts and estates matters, and a broad range of local litigation. It acted for the Torchlight Fund and its general partner in defending a just and equitable winding-up petition brought against it by a number of its investors. Other highly rated practitioners are Fraser Hughes, Ben Hobden, counsels Bernadette Carey and trust litigator Robert Lindley, and associates Erik Bodden and Spencer Vickers.

Harneys 'provides sensible, commercial advice in difficult cases and is great to work with'. The team was particularly active in advising dissenting hedge funds on share valuation cases, and has significant experience in the Asian markets. In other areas, the team acted for the official liquidators of a Cayman investment fund that was the target of a series of complex frauds committed by its former investment managers and controllers. Nick Hoffman leads the dispute resolution team in Cayman, and Jessica Williams focuses on both contentious trusts and insolvency and restructuring. The senior associates to note are Paul Madden and Katie Pearson, who 'pays excellent attention to detail and defends clients' interests like her own'. Notable hires include Paul Smith from DLA Piper and consultant Christopher Russell, previously at Appleby, while senior associates Charles Moore and Conal Keane joined from Mourant Ozannes and Dublin's Mason Hayes & Curran, respectively. Madeleine Heal left for London's New Square Chambers.

Ogier 'provides sensible pragmatic service, and fields good people to work alongside'. The team is known for its work in restructuring and insolvency; private equity, funds and corporate disputes; and breach of trust claims and administrative applications. It also acts in Companies Law section 238 fair-value disputes; it advised all nine dissenting shareholders of E-Commerce China Dangdang in a petition for payment of fair value of their shares following a buy-out transaction by the majority shareholders. Marc Kish is restructuring and insolvency head for Caribbean and Asia, Rachael Reynolds is dispute resolution head for Caribbean and Asia, and Ulrich Payne is 'hands-on, realistic and sensitive to the equities of cases, while profoundly understanding the local courts and the appeals process'. The managing associates to note are William Jones and Jennifer Fox, the latter rejoining the Cayman office from Walkers BVI, while Shaun Maloney is a key senior associate. Former senior associate Paul Murphy left for an in-house role.

Collas Crill's Stephen Leontsinis heads a team of commercial litigators who specialise in contentious insolvency and restructuring matters, trust disputes, fraud and asset-tracing, funds and financial services litigation, and contract and shareholder disputes. It acted for the dissenting creditor in the proposed restructuring of Ocean Rig and its subsidiaries, which raised issues regarding appropriate composition of creditor classes in inter-conditional schemes, as well as the fairness of such schemes. Matthew Dors was made partner; Jennifer Colegate is a key senior associate.

Higgs & Johnson 'renders high levels of service; its lawyers are highly responsive, attentive to clients' needs, and proactive in approach, and employ superb attention to detail'. The practice covers cross-border insolvency litigation and trust and estate disputes, as well as banking, finance, fraud and regulatory matters. Philip Boni heads the Cayman office litigation group; John Harris 'has an understanding of and good feel for Cayman business and the legal milieu'.

Kobre & Kim's work frequently involves corporate and trust disputes. The team is experienced in attacking and defending sophisticated offshore trust structures, as well as in dismantling complex asset protection schemes that hide assets from creditors. In a Companies Law, section 238 matter, it acted for a group of investors dissenting from the restructuring of a major Chinese services company. Jalil Asif QC and Rebecca Hume are the names to note.

Solomon Harris merged with Channel Islands-based Bedell Cristin in late 2018. The practice has recently been particularly active in disputes involving distressed oil and gas and commodities entities; shareholder actions on valuations and mismanagement; M&A-related claims; commercial property disputes; insurance sector matters; and finance-related commercial disputes. Laura Hatfield is department head, Kai McGriele made partner and Tom Wright is an experienced senior associate.

Dispute resolution, particularly in the insolvency space, is a core area of specialisation for Forbes Hare's 'outstanding team'. It also has extensive distressed hedge and contentious investment fund experience, and has seen growth in trust litigation work. Christopher Young leads the Cayman disputes practice; Alistair Abbott is also highly rated. Christina Kish is an experienced senior associate.

Priestleys is regularly instructed in insolvency matters, Asia-related commercial disputes, shareholder and trust issues, and high-level judicial review cases before the Grand Court. Guy Dilliway-Parry is 'a clever advocate and attorney who is fearless in court'. The team includes associate Laurence Aiolfi.

Though smaller than some of the other local firms, Ritch & Conolly 'provides extremely professional and high-quality service; it is also long established in Cayman, which gives it above-average insight into the Cayman market and legal regime'. The team advises the Cayman Islands Airports Authority on numerous matters, including regulatory issues, contract disputes, and Freedom of Information matters. 'A tenacious advocate and dogged in advancing the interests of her clients', Cherry Bridges 'has extensive experience in large cross-border matters, and understands the importance of delivering good value at a reasonable price'. David Collier is an experienced senior associate.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries is particularly focused on commercial, insurance and insolvency disputes. Recent work includes acting for US insurance company Allianz Global Corporate Risks in proceedings before the Cayman Islands court, which were brought against it by an aircraft lessee; the matter involved claims under a Cayman law-governed aircraft insurance policy. Litigation head Richard Annette was made partner; Farrah Sbaiti is the associate to note.

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