Investment funds in Cayman Islands
Maples Group is a go-to firm for large and complex matters providing advice across the spectrum of fund and investment management products including hedge funds, fund of funds, master-feeder funds, liquid alternatives, credit funds, hybrid funds and unit trusts. Clients also benefit from the group's Irish desk, which advises on EU regulated funds and Irish law. Jonathan Green leads the Cayman funds and investment management team, Jon Fowler is global funds and investment management group head, and Iain McMurdo heads up the global private equity practice. In recent work, Michael Richardson led advice to iCapital on its acquisition of a Bank of America business, which administered alternative feeder funds; Julian Ashworth assisted One Equity Partners Fund with the fund raising for its seventh fund; Sheryl Dean acted for Bain Capital on the closing of its Asia buyout fund; and Christie Walton led on the $1bn launch of Cinctive Capital Management. Tim Coak is also a key partner, while at senior associate level, Michelle Richie and Lee Davis are experienced advisers.
Practice head(s): Jonathan Green; Jon Fowler; Iain McMurdo
Other key lawyers: Michael Richardson; Andreas Haug; Julian Ashworth; Sheryl Dean; Tim Coak; Michelle Richie; Jo Cunningham; Lee Davis; Gwyneth Rees; Grant Dixon; Jeremy Bomford; Philip Millward; Patrick Rosenfeld; Christina Bodden; Philip Dickinson; Andrew Keast
CVC Capital Partners
The Blackstone Group
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co
Apollo Global Management
Vista Equity Partners
Brookfield Asset Management
The 'very competent and knowledgeable team' at Walkers is 'a pleasure to deal with' and covers matters relating to hedge funds, private equity funds and distressed funds including advising on all aspects of fund formation and capitalisation, financing issues, buyouts, and downstream-spend transactions. The practice also has extensive experience handling M&A, takeovers, joint ventures and equity offerings including IPOs. Global managing partner Ingrid Pierce has particular expertise managing distress in volatile markets, Ashley Gunning specialises in the formation of hedge funds and private equity funds, and Caroline Williams has extensive hedge fund experience and also advises private equity fund sponsors on the structuring and formation of funds and co-investment and alternative investment vehicles. The next generation partners to note are Andrew Barker, Theo Lefkos and recently promoted partner Bicrom Das. Matt Bernardo and Christine Ballantyne-Drewe also made senior counsel. Nicholas Pattman departed to Conyers.
Mourant's 'responsive and commercial team does an excellent job on Cayman fund formations and ongoing fund-related advice'. The group acts for large fund managers and sponsors on investment fund launches and Cayman structuring and restructuring matters and has expertise across distressed funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds, as well as asset classes including hybrid, mezzanine, infrastructure and multi-strategy funds. Hayden Isbister leads the Cayman investment funds and corporate department, which includes Neal Lomax, who advises on the establishment and restructuring of Cayman hedge funds and private equity funds; Alex Last, who is a highly rated private equity lawyer, and Catherine Pham, who regularly acts for private equity sponsors, investment banks and investment managers. Gemma Cowan is an experienced senior associate.
‘The team is appreciated for its co-operative work style, knowledge of law and commercial approach‘.
‘Hayden Isbister is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and personable- any client referred to him will be in good hands‘.
‘Gemma Cowan is a very strong senior associate on the team‘.
Shenkman Capital Management
Bitwise Asset Management
CVC Credit Partners
Bruckman, Rosser, Sherrill & Co
- Advised OpCapita on the establishment of a closed-ended fund, which also acquired a majority stake in a women’s clothing retailer.
- Acted for Sprott Asset Management USA on the establishment of a Cayman feeder fund and master fund.
- Advised Bitwise Asset Management on the formation of a new open-ended fund in Cayman.
Ogier's team, whch is 'attentive, well informed and efficient', has a significant market share of the Cayman registered funds market, primarily acting for clients in North America; the team also has a strong Latin America practice as well as a large number of Asian and European clients, and has a growing specialisation in regulatory issues. Giorgio Subiotto leads the Latin America funds team, Nick Rogers heads up the private equity and crypto funds practice, and James Bergstrom is global investment funds head. Other names to note include Joanne Huckle, Justin Savage and counsels Barry McEwan and Emma Sutherland; McEwan recently joined the group from Mourant.
James Bergstrom; Nick Rogers; Giorgio Subiotto
‘Ogier provides top-quality support at all times and provides very clear guidance on both local legislation peculiarities and practical issues that may arise during the fund formation process; it is also always available and committed‘.
‘The team at Ogier is attentive, well informed and efficient. Among other things, it is good at alerting clients to Cayman legal developments that clients might not otherwise learn about‘.
‘Nick Rogers is a star, who is very responsive and definitive, and always provides swift, practical and solutions-oriented advice‘.
‘Justin Savage is valued for his professionalism and practicality‘.
Wellington Management Company
Banco BTG Pactual
Votorantim Asset Management DTVM
- Advised Wellington Management Company on the establishment and launch of multiple investment fund structures.
- Acted for Banco BTG Pactual on the establishment of an open-ended investment fund, which was established as a segregated portfolio company in Cayman.
- Assisted Votorantim Asset Management DTVM with the establishment of VAM Offshore Fund SPC.
Appleby, which 'delivers clear and practical advice with the full picture in mind', is particularly focused on Asian managers, and works across hedge, private equity, real estate, venture capital and infrastructure funds. Typical work includes advising established funds on downstream transactional work and financing activities, and assisting with the establishment of investment funds investing in cryptocurrencies and related asset classes. Bryan Hunter leads the investment funds group and the private equity team is led by Simon Raftopoulos. Sailaja Alla, Anna-Lise Wisdom and newly promoted partner Christian Victory are also key names to note.
Bryan Hunter; Simon Raftopoulos
‘Bryan Hunter and Christian Victory both demonstrate strong expertise in investment funds and are reactive when solicited‘.
‘We deal with Bryan Hunter on hedge funds. Bryan is pragmatic and goes the extra mile. Excellent source of information and contacts.‘
- Assisted a high-profile entrepreneur and investor with a master feeder structure.
- Advised a private equity company on the establishment of a suite of Cayman fund structures.
- Acted for an investment banking company on the formation of a new Cayman fund structure involving multiple entities.
At Carey Olsen, Nick Bullmore and Jarrod Farley are the joint Cayman managing partners and are the key contacts for investment funds work. Bullmore recently advised on the establishment of Cayman vehicles in a new fund structure and also assists with fund financing matters, and Farley handles the establishment of regulated and unregulated investment funds. The funds practice also includes Alistair Russell.
Nick Bullmore; Jarrod Farley
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is commercial in its approach and on top of all market trends in Cayman. My first call for market intel in Cayman.‘
‘Nick Bullmore is A+. His expertise on a variety of corporate transactions is such a value add as to any matter we work with him on.‘
Conyers advises on fund formations, structuring issues, constitutional documentation, regulation and compliance work, deregistration matters, terminations and restructuring mandates. Kevin Butler leads the Cayman office, Craig Fulton has a particular focus on hedge, private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and investment funds, and Michael O’Connor is an experienced associate. Investment funds partner Nicholas Pattman joined from Walkers.
‘Conyers clearly fosters a strong culture of responsiveness, pragmatism, and collegiality that ensures nothing gets in the way of providing elite client service‘.
‘The counsel that it provides is based on comprehensive knowledge of the applicable legal and regulatory landscape, combined with real world expertise that is invaluable‘.
‘Demonstrating an impressive breadth and depth of thought, the Conyers fund team manages to provide all the information clients need to make a decision, while also extracting and summarising the essential points‘.
‘Craig Fulton routinely goes above and beyond already high expectations, both in terms of his cheerful enthusiasm, incredible responsiveness, and deep knowledge of law, best practices and market trends‘.
IFM US Infrastructure Debt Fund
- Advising a global fund manager on an ongoing basis with recent work including reviewing infrastructure investments.
- Advised an American venture capital firm on the formation of a large venture fund.
- Acted for an infrastructure debt fund on the formation of a master feeder fund structure.
The Cayman investment funds team at Harneys is 'highly professional and covers every imaginable legal and compliance need that clients have' and is increasingly active in the digital asset, crypto and distributed ledger technology spaces. Ian Gobin is joint global head of the investment funds and regulatory group, Marco Martins has worked on a number of US and European funds, and Matthew Taber is a digital asset specialist. Daniella Skotnicki was made partner in 2019 and Christopher Hall relocated to Cayman from the firm's London office. Jonathan Bernstein moved to Dentons.
‘It is knowledgeable, highly responsive, and understands business needs as well as the legal ones‘.
‘The legal team is always responsive, efficient, and shows its expertise and professionalism constantly. It is highly recommended when it comes to legal advice for investment funds in Cayman‘.
‘Matthew Taber is bright, hardworking, accessible and well informed; he has proven time and time again that he gets clients’ business and provides excellent tailored advice‘.
McKinley Capital Management
Mirae Asset Global Investments (USA)
BNY Mellon Trust Company (Cayman)
Gabelli & Partners
West Side Advisors
Senzar Asset Management
- Advised on the formation of a master-feeder structure, which invests and trades in securities, financial instruments and other assets and investments.
- Advised on the launch of a regulated fund investing in emerging markets.
- Assisted with the launch of a regulated fund investing in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions.
Bedell Cristin, which merged with legacy firm Solomon Harris in late 2018, regularly advises on the establishment of new funds. Nick Reid specialises in the structuring, formation, operation, regulation and wind-down of investment funds. Richard Addleston retired.
‘The firm is very effecient and responsive, with fees that are reasonable‘.
Advantage International Holdings
Daemon Investment Fund
Marsh Management (Cayman)
Campbells' 'incredibly efficient practice' assists with the structuring, formation and launch of a wide range of investment funds including hedge, venture capital, private equity and hybrid funds. Alan Craig regularly advises large fund managers on capital raisings, and assists investment funds and managers with debt structuring and financing issues. Simon Thomas and Richard Spencer are also experienced practitioners, while Aoife Tuohy is the senior associate to note.
‘The funds practice provides excellent technical advice while remaining commercial on all fronts‘.
‘Richard Spencer has excellent technical and commercial skills – he knows the sector inside out and clients love his approach, manner of advice and problem solving‘.
Genbridge Capital Management
Northern Light Ventures
Abraaj Investment Management
Shunwei Capital Management
Nautilus Venture Partners
DCM Capital Management
- Advised Shunwei Capital Partners on the formation of Shunwei China Internet Fund IV and Shunwei China Internet Opportunity Fund III.
- Assisted DST Global with the formation of DST Global VI.
- Assisted H Capital with the formation of H Capital V, which included advising on Cayman regulatory regimes.
Collas Crill is particularly active in the sub-$1bn fund range and advises on issues relating to emerging markets. The group also regularly assists institutional investors and has seen a notable increase in work involving the establishment and launch of funds investing in blockchain, fintech and cryptocurrency projects. Alan de Saram heads up the corporate, finance and funds department, which also counts Stephen Nelson as a key practitioner. Joss Morris left the firm.
Alan de Saram
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works on highly sophisticated investment fund matters; clients like working with the team both on a personal level and because they get great advice without having to work through a tonne of conflicts of interest – this is important in time-sensitive matters‘.
‘Collas Crill has both deep technical expertise and the skills to convey advice in a pragmatic manner‘.
‘The team is very organised and smooth in communication, and it is always ahead of deadlines and proactively giving advice on points that are not directly within the scope but that may affect clients’ business‘.
‘Alan de Saram is a pleasure to work with because he is a technical expert without being overly academic. Clients respect him and value his advice‘.
‘Stephen Nelson is an expert in the financial and legal aspects of conducting asset management business and setting up funds in Cayman‘.
Dillon Eustace provides legal and regulatory advice to managers, administrators, prime brokers, independent directors and other service providers on hedge fund, private equity fund and alternative investment matters. Matt Mulry and Jonathan Law are the principal advisers.
Other key lawyers:
Swiss Capital Alternative Investments
UBS Fund Services (Ireland)
Crossroads Capital Management
Alfreton Capital Management
Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries' key areas of expertise span fund formation and structuring work, cryptocurrency investments, and the Cayman aspects of fund and portfolio transactions. The 'very commercial practice' also assists smaller clients and fund managers with preparing fund documents, and advises on fund restructurings and regulatory matters. Chris Humphries leads the funds department, which also fields chairman Andrew Hersant. Aaron Walker joined Mourant Governance Services.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team gives prompt responses and is able to distill complex questions into easy-to-understand issues‘.
Mariner Investment Group
Tricadia Capital Management
EKT Active Fund
- Assisted Blockwater Management, a digital asset investment firm, with establishing a new investment manager in Cayman.
- Drafted the relevant fund documents for the launch of an unregistered FX trading fund.
- Advised a private equity asset management firm on the establishment and regulation of a closed-end fund.