Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Real estate

Headed up by Linda DaCosta, HSM‘s cross-disciplinary practice works with a range of institutional lenders on a mix of multi-million-dollar property transactions – both commercial and residential.
McGrath Tonner‘s real estate and property department was taken over in May 2021 by former Campbells lawyer Stuart Rowe, a property law specialist with a good local track record.

Real estate in Cayman Islands


Drawing significant praise on account of its ‘sound knowledge and tremendous care‘ with clients, the ‘phenomenal‘ team at Appleby handles a formidable volume of high-value commercial, residential and infrastructure-based developments, unrivalled in the Cayman Islands. The ‘preeminentNorman Klein possesses decades of experience in real estate and financing matters, acting for a number of leading banks, hoteliers and property developers on all manner of deals. Adam Johnson also draws superlative praise from clients for his ‘incredibly knowledgeable and responsive‘ real estate practice, particularly in relation to tourism sector ventures and large-scale infrastructure ventures. ‘Fantastic‘ senior associate Tim Swallow is noted for his expertise in commercial leasing matters. Associate Sarah Ryan – who splits her time between the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong – specialises in hospitality and tourism projects.

Practice head(s):

Norman Klein

Other key lawyers:

Adam Johnson; Tim Swallow; Sarah Ryan


‘An excellent team. Norman Klein is a well respected and excellent practitioner and is widely regarded as the preeminent real estate attorney in Cayman.’

‘Adam Johnson is absolutely superb. Second to none in terms of knowledge, commerciality, and his rapport with clients and fellow attorneys.’

‘Tim Swallow is a fantastic addition to the team – he is extremely competent and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Always super professional and chiefly concerned with developing long-term relationships with their clients.’

‘Adam Johnson is a very professional and honest lawyer with a great skillset and excellent knowledge.’

‘A phenomenal team who navigate complex real estate transactions with ease, sound knowledge, and tremendous care. Excellent response times.’

‘Adam Johnson is by far the best real estate attorney in Cayman. Incredibly knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Collaboration within and with outside partners is second to none, ensuring their clients receive the best when it comes to strategic structuring of the deals, foresight, and timeliness.’

Key clients

ONE GT Limited

Cayman National Bank Ltd and Republic Bank Limited

RBC House Limited; RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

The Proprietors, Strata Plan No. 62

Aqua Bay Condominium Redevelopment Committee

Dart Group

Barkers Beach Ltd.

Emerald Isle Holdings Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising the Lacovia strata corporation with respect to its redevelopment project, comprising almost 100 new condominiums to be developed over three buildings on the site of the former Lacovia condominiums, valued in excess of $180m.
  • Advised FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited on the real estate and project financing provided to Health City Cayman Islands for purposes of the development of a new hospital.
  • Representing the developer of ONE|GT, a landmark and first-of-its kind development in the capital comprising a boutique hotel, residences, piazza café, signature terrace restaurant and rooftop bar.

Bedell Cristin

Steered by inward investment head Ian Jamieson, Bedell Cristin‘s ‘professional and responsive‘ team acts for a litany of high-net-worth investors and institutional lenders on multi-million-dollar residential and commercial projects. Richard Parry is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious work, including property disputes and real estate financing deals. Senior associate Michael Sharvin‘s recent highlights include sale and leaseback transactions for clients in the financial services sector. Associate Mellissa Thomas is noted for her capabilities in both property and disputes law.

Practice head(s):

Ian Jamieson

Other key lawyers:

Richard Parry; Michael Sharvin; Mellissa Thomas


‘Ian Jamieson is the standout member of the team. His experience and reputation for excellent client relationship management over an extended period are impressive.’

‘Very professional and responsive.’

‘Thorough real estate practice, from commercial to residential.’

‘The lawyers are not only technically sound, but have the soft skills required for building trust.’

‘All lawyers provide a faultless, high-level service to shared clients, with constant and clear communication.’

Key clients

IQEQ (Switzerland) Limited

RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited and Royal Bank House (Cayman) Limited

Birch Tree Hill Properties

FirstCaribbean International Bank Cayman Limited

Cayman National Bank Limited

Scotiabank & Trust Cayman Limited

Cayman Islands Bankers Association

Work highlights

  • Undertaking the majority of lending work for FCIB, both residential and commercial.
  • Acting for the South Bay Group of companies in relation to four separate developments on island.
  • Acted for RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited on the sale of its HQ in Grand Cayman for $19m.

Collas Crill

The ‘exceptional‘ team at Collas Crill is engaged by a number of leading banks and high-net-worth individuals for its capabilities in high-value commercial and residential matters. ‘Premier‘ practice head Gina Berry, who is widely regarded for her ‘experienced, knowledgeable and solution-oriented‘ practice, is the preferred adviser for a significant proportion of Cayman Class A banks and foreign investors, with recent highlights including multi-million-dollar sales and financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Gina Berry


‘The Collas Crill team are exceptional. Their level of responsiveness is unrivalled by competitors, and even when instructions are given at late hours, they respond immediately.’

‘Gina Berry is a premier lawyer in real estate. She is very experienced, knowledgeable and solution oriented. She meets impossible deadlines without compromising accuracy.’

‘Gina Berry has exceptional industry knowledge, accessible to discuss matters and has an extremely efficient support team.’

‘They are my preferred practice and seldom do I recommend anyone else.’

‘The team meet impossible deadlines without compromising accuracy. I find them to be knowledgeable and solution-oriented as well as extremely user-friendly. They have a stellar reputation as real estate lawyers and I trust them with all my largest deals.’

‘Gina Berry has been our main point of contact for many years and has always proven to be professional, up to date on current law, and a pleasure to work with.’

‘You can always rely on Gina Berry and her team to do an exceptional job at short notice.’

Key clients

Cayman National Bank

Cricket Square Group

Scotiabank Group

Royal Bank of Canada Group

Butterfield Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the Cricket Square Group on a wide range of matters relevant to its commercial leases and associated amenities.
  • Advised Cayman National Bank Ltd. on the commercial lending elements of a number of Cayman Islands real estate developments, including the financing of high-profile developments 61 West and Botanica, among others, in matters totalling over $40m.
  • Acted as local counsel for a high-net-worth individual on the $24.5m sale of an undeveloped property, including advice on providing for road access.


Roundly praised for its efficiency and ‘exceptional knowledge‘, Campbells regularly works on a range of commercial and residential matters, including lease negotiations, big-ticket conveyances, and portfolio disputes. Practice chair Lily Lee is a prolific adviser who routinely acts for an array of commercial property developers, hoteliers, private investors and other lenders.

Practice head(s):

Lily Lee


‘Our experience with Lily Lee was great. She is very capable lawyer with remarkable attention to detail.’

‘Very efficient and competent team.’

‘Quick responses and exceptional knowledge.’

Key clients

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

FS Inc.

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Mango Villas Development

Invicta Construction Ltd./Surebuilt Construction Ltd.

Cayman National Bank Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting as primary counsel to FirstCaribbean in numerous lending and refinancing matters related to Cayman Islands property and involving both residential and commercial property matters.
  • Acting for J. Prentice, a local Cayman development company which recently completed Phase I of a 12-unit residential development located in West Bay with Phase II commencing shortly.
  • Acting as regular counsel to Butterfield Bank Cayman on numerous lending and refinancing issues related to properties which range from residential to commercial property matters.


Ogier‘s ‘commercial and extremely collegiate‘ practice is especially strong in residential sector transactions, where the team works with a number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals on multi-million-dollar property deals; infrastructure projects and commercial developments are also key workflows. Practice head James Bergstrom is a veteran market presence whose expertise spans the full scope of transactional and regulatory real estate matters. Senior associate Cline Glidden anchors the team’s private individual practice, advising on both financing and transactional issues related to luxury properties. Associate Sophie Warburton is noted for her experience in commercial contract negotiations and development projects.

Practice head(s):

James Bergstrom

Other key lawyers:

Cline Glidden; Sophie Warburton


‘This is a tight-knit team that is actively growing globally. They like to collaborate with other like-minded professional service advisers.’

‘Commercial approach and extremely colleagiate.’

Work highlights

  • Advising vendors of large undeveloped residential sites in sought after areas throughout Grand Cayman.
  • Acting for numerous purchasers and developers in respect of the acquisition and development of a commercial development site in the Cayman Islands.
  • Acting for a variety of financiers, handling the drafting and registration of security documents for loans secured over several Cayman Islands properties.


A number of financial institutions and developers turn to Priestleys for its expertise in high-value real estate projects, with recent highlights including major commercial divestitures and multi-party collaboration agreements. Founding partner Daniel Priestley is noted for his experience in infrastructure developments, ranging from port regenerations to the establishment of new enterprise zones. Nick Hemus is increasingly the lead contact for the firm’s large developer clients, where he continues to advise on multi-million-dollar, mixed-use projects.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Priestley

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hemus

Key clients

CP Land Co, Ltd.

NWPR Group, Ltd.

Heritage Holdings Ltd

Dolphin Point Developments Ltd

Rum Point Club Limited

Cayman Enterprise City Ltd

Adare Holdings Ltd

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Cayman National Bank Limited

Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited

Dream Big Holdings Ltd

Caribbean Plaza Limited

90 North Church Street Ltd

Sunshine Land Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for CP Land Co Ltd on the closing out of development and the sale of 74 canal-side units in the Seven Mile Beach corridor of Grand Cayman.
  • Advised NWPR Group Ltd in respect of two new developments in West Bay, Grand Cayman.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries

Well regarded by clients for its ‘professional, prompt, and always available’ service, Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries primarily advises private individuals and luxury residential developers on a range of residential property transactions. Multidisciplinary practice head Buck Grizzel is singled out for his responsiveness and knowledge of the local market. Banking and regulatory head Jonathan McLean is recommended for his expertise in leasing and property finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Buck Grizzel

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan McLean


‘Very professional, prompt, and always available.’

‘A small team that I have never had an issue with. Support has always been flawless.’

‘Buck Grizzel is very familiar with local real estate transactions and he makes the process easy for clients. He might be the most responsive legal professional I have interacted with.’

Key clients

Silver Thatch Heights Ltd.