Real estate in Cayman Islands

Appleby

Led by Norman Klein, the real estate team at Appleby is involved in many of the region’s large-scale hotel and resort developments, complex secured lending transactions and high-value property developments. Acting for an impressive client roster which ranges from large developers and high-net-worth individuals to government bodies and major banks, the department is highly experienced across the luxury resort, commercial, residential, infrastructure and financing sub-sectors. In a recent highlight, newly promoted partner Adam Johnson advised Scotiabank on its lending to a major luxury residential developer to acquire sites and complete the construction of 340 townhouses and waterfront condominiums; the $57m residential development necessitated one of the largest financing transactions in Cayman history.

Practice head(s):

Norman Klein

Other key lawyers:

Adam Johnson

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, and very proactive with suggestions and solutions.’

‘Partner Norman Klein is our go-to for any real estate-linked work.’

‘The real estate team at Appleby is so efficient and personable. Buying and selling a home is a stressful process and the team at Appleby is so good at making the last step of the way seamless.’

‘The team clearly really enjoys working for Appleby – you can tell by their demeanour and how they interact with others.’

‘Appleby’s staff that we deal with are very knowledgeable in real estate law and transactions. They are very responsive and thorough, and provide very clear responses that is easy to understand.’

‘Adam Johnson and Norm Klein are very knowledgeable, professional and thorough. They are easy to reach and is always very responsive with very detailed response that is easy to understand.’

‘Adam Johnson has moved into a more prominent role within the firm and has been made partner too, which is perfectly understandable. Having worked with Adam, I have experienced his breadth and depth of knowledge and his commercial acumen which in my opinion is second to none on island. He is excellent to deal with, whilst being extremely well-read and informed, collaborative and commercially savvy.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Canada Group

NCB Group

Seafire Residences / Seafire Resorts

Beach Bay Land Ltd / Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Resort

Stantec Inc

Aimbridge Hospitality LLC

Davenport Development

Dart Group

Scotiabank Group

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

Work highlights

  • Advised Scotiabank on its lending to a major luxury residential developer to acquire sites and complete the construction of circa 340 townhouses and waterfront condominiums.
  • Advised NCB Group on the development of a boutique wellness resort and residences along Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.
  • Advised the Ministry of Education of the Cayman Islands Government with respect to the Government’s $80m project to renew and expand the Island’s John Gray High School.

Ritch & Conolly

The team at Ritch & Conolly is praised by clients as ‘very approachable, works hard for its customers, makes itself available, and delivers great customer service’. Headed up by vastly experienced senior partner David Ritch OBE JP, who has ‘extensive knowledge of the real estate industry in Cayman’, the department’s expertise spans major real estate developments, investor-driven property and office acquisitions, and high-value loan facilities; the group also handles the sale and acquisition of high-end properties for private clients. Elsewhere in the team, experienced senior associate Angus Charlton possesses ‘excellent knowledge of local law and conveyance laws, rules and regulations’, and Jacqueline Conolly is a highly active senior associate.

Practice head(s):

David Ritch OBE JP

Testimonials

‘I am impressed by David Ritch’s extensive knowledge of the real estate industry in Cayman, and his ability to analyse the finances of a deal. I also like his candour and honesty. Finally, David is extremely professional and deals with privileged consultations himself.’

‘The team at Ritch and Conolly are very approachable, work hard for their customers, make themselves available, and deliver great customer service.’

‘David Ritch, Partner – Very knowledgeable, easy to get hold of, quick response times and very thorough, you rest easy when recommending a customer to David that they will be very well taken care of.’

‘Jackie Conolly, Partner – Very knowledgeable and thorough, the attorneys at this firm know their stuff and are very customer service oriented.’

‘Because this firm is a small boutique firm any customers I have recommended to them, or even in my daily dealings with their Partners and Associates, you feel like you have their full attention. They are hands on and clients feel like they are getting the service from them unlike some of the larger firm where the personal element has been taken out.’

‘Dedicated to see the project through to the end.’

‘Excellent follow up and communication, very high quality of work and knowledge.’

‘David Ritch and Angus Charlton are both ethical and diligent in their due diligence. Communicate very well and have tremendous contacts and knowledge to get transactions closed.’

‘Having dealt with the firm for well over 25 years I firmly believe that they are the number one firm in Cayman when it comes to conveyancing and the development of real estate projects.’

‘I have been dealing with David Ritch and Angus Charlton for over 25 years and find them both to have practical solutions to complex situations. With their guidance we have managed to avoid protracted litigation with innovative solutions.’

‘Angus Charlton- Excellent knowledge of local law and conveyance laws, rules and regulations.’

Key clients

Stone Island Limited (Cayman Overseas Group)

The Watermark Limited (Cayman Overseas Group)

Cayman Islands Airports Authority

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

Argus Developments Ltd.

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

Cayman National Bank

Cayman Grand Harbour

Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty

REMAX Cayman Islands

Work highlights

  • Advised The WaterMark Limited as developer company on an end-to-end basis on the project (from land purchase to completion of the 54 unit luxury condominium resort on Seven Mile Beach).
  • Advised CIBC Cayman Property Holdings Ltd. on the sale of a downtown multi-story office building in George Town.
  • Advised Cayman Islands Airports Authority on the $75m redevelopment and expansion of the Owens Robert International Airport in Grand Cayman.

Bedell Cristin

Bedell Cristin advises a diverse range of Cayman-based developers, investors and retail banks on real estate matters in the commercial and residential sectors. Real estate finance specialist Ian Jamieson, who leads the practice, handles conveyancing matters, development work and commercial and residential leasings, with particular expertise in the hotel sector. Additionally, Jamieson and his team specialise in advising international banks and high-net-worth individuals on the secured lending for real estate acquisitions, developments and portfolio reorganisations. Another name to note is managing associate Richard Parry, who has additional experience representing clients in disputes arising out of real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ian Jamieson

Other key lawyers:

Richard Parry

Key clients

FirstCaribbean International Bank

Scotiabank & Trust

B and B Properties/Hon Development Corporation

Cayman National Bank

Butterfield Bank

Fidelity Bank

RBC Royal Bank

Grand Harbour Properties

Work highlights

  • Acted for Harbour Walk Developments as lead counsel on a large new infrastructure project in the Cayman Islands, including drafting security paperwork and various ancillary documents for the borrower.
  • Assisted South Cove Club with the drafting agreements, by-laws, and setting up a strata for a residential development of six $4m units.
  • Acted as local counsel for a high-net-worth individual on the purchase of a residence in the Seafire hotel in Grand Cayman.

Campbells

At Campbells, the real estate group's expertise spans the purchase, sale and development of high-value residential and commercial property in the Cayman Islands, as well as financing mandates for both individuals and corporations. The practice acts for an assortment of developers, realtors, financial institutions and commercial managers on all aspects of mandates from the initial stages of purchasing undeveloped land to financing major projects. The key name to note is Lily Lee, who clients single out as an ‘excellent communicator’ who ‘handles transactions with common sense’; counsel Stuart Rowe is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lily Lee

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Rowe

Testimonials

‘Excellent communication and creative thinking to get deals completed.’

‘Lily Lee is an excellent communicator, handles transactions with common sense, and is very competent at closing the transaction with a sense of urgency.’

‘Lily Lee has always provided personal service from the beginning of our relationship in 2013 and still does so. This and her professional manner make her a stand out lawyer.’

Key clients

RBS Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited

Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Limited

First Caribbean International (Cayman) Limited

Timber Dunes South, LLC

REMAX Cayman Islands

Azul Development Ltd.

CIREBA

Sixties Properties Developments Limited/Downtown Reach

Cayman National Bank, Ltd.

Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Intertrust Group

Ugland Properties

Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank and Trust

Copre

Work highlights

  • Advising FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited on the commercial lending elements of a number of Cayman Islands real estate developments.
  • Advising Sixties Properties Developments Limited on a multi-phase residential development in George Town comprising 150 apartments with an approximate value of $60m.
  • Advising Azul Developments Ltd on a luxury residential development in West Bay, Grand Cayman.

Forbes Hare

Jointly led by Sonia Starvis and Barry Smith, the real estate practice at Forbes Hare is focused on commercial and residential sales and purchases, and also complex project finance deals. The group is particularly skilled at handling local secured lending matters, advising a mix of private investors, hoteliers and developers. Other areas of strength include leasing and licensing work, bank financing matters, planning issues, construction and development mandates, and strata title issues.

Practice head(s):

Sonia Starvis; Barry Smith

Testimonials

‘Highly professional, responsive and clear headed when dealing with problems arising in transactions.’

‘Sonia Starvis certainly lives up to her name, as she is a real star – an assured demeanour which inspires confidence in clients from the outset, keeps the client informed at all stages, and is quick to find solutions when issues arise.’

Key clients

Cayman National Bank Limited

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd

Ogier

Ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals regularly instruct Ogier to handle some of the region’s most complex property transactions. Led by James Bergstrom and senior associate Cline Glidden, the group's transactions run the gamut of large infrastructure projects and residential matters involving the purchase and sale of high-value properties as well as smaller condominiums and homes. In addition to dealing with real estate licences and permits, the team also advises clients on property investments linked to Permanent Residency.

Practice head(s):

James Bergstrom; Cline Glidden

Testimonials

‘The firm has a good variety of attorneys that practice in various fields that are able to meet my needs in other matters other than our main requirements….and in fact has given us guidance in every circumstance that I needed representation with.’

‘Cline Glidden is our primary attorney. He is a pleasure to work with, easy to contact and responds back quickly with our requirements, and has a kind and warm personality. Well diversified in all aspects of law and is able to advise and guide us with all of our needs. He not only works quickly on our cases but produces results at the same lightning speed that I need results in.’

Key clients

Seven Mile Suites

BTP Development Ltd

Meadows Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Seven Mile Suites on all aspects of the sale of the Comfort Suites Hotel & Resort located on Seven Mile Beach to Dart Hospitality Group.
  • Advised BTP Development Ltd. on its acquisition of a commercial property comprising a retail shopping plaza and an office block in George Town.
  • Acted for real estate developer Meadows Ltd with respect to the pre-construction sales contracts and agreements relating to a development.

Boddens

Bodden & Bodden recently rebranded as Boddens following its acquisition in 2020 by former Maples Group partner Dale Crowley, who in his new role will lead the firm's real estate department. Initial founders Sherri Bodden and Lynn Bodden will continue as consultants in the practice, which assists with the structuring, negotiation and financing of development and construction projects in the Cayman Islands including residential, commercial, industrial, mixed-use and hotel resort developments.

Practice head(s):

Dale Crowley

Other key lawyers:

Sherri Bodden; Lynn Bodden

Maples Group

Associate George Loutas heads up Maples Group's property and construction team, which is primarily involved in the sale and purchase of high-value commercial properties. The team also has a track record in hotel and tourism law, property financing issues, strata title law, construction matters, tendering and procurement work, and real estate-related dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

George Loutas

Testimonials

‘Dedication, responsiveness and knowledge.’

Key clients

Atlantic Star Limited

Bank of the Ozarks

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Cayman Islands Government

EY Cayman Ltd

Grupo Dolphin

Island Heritage Ltd

Kimpton Hotel Group

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

Remax Cayman Islands Ltd

Rosseau Ltd.

Royal Bank of Cayman (Cayman) Ltd

Vista Del Mar Development Ltd

Wells Fargo Bank Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Government of the Cayman Islands on the preparation of legal tender documentation, the negotiation of documentation in relation to the sale, remediation and future management of land fill facilities in the Cayman Islands.
  • Acting for Rosseau Ltd. as the purchaser of a significant number of franchised restaurants in the Cayman Islands.
  • Acted for the tenant – EY Cayman Limited – in relation to an agreement for lease and lease of commercial premises at Camana Bay.

Priestleys

The team at Priestleys has substantial experience in advising government agencies, developers, landlords, tenants, banks, borrowers, strata corporations and buyers and sellers on real estate-related matters. Notable areas of focus include property sales and purchases, developments, planning and urban development matters, leases and licences, management issues and enforcement work. Daniel Priestley is the key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Priestley

Testimonials

‘The kind, personalized timely way this team approaches every task is outstanding.’

Key clients

CP Land Co, Ltd.

NWPR Group, Ltd.

Trafalgar Investments, Ltd.

Rum Point Club Limited

City Services ‘Cayman’ Limited

Cayman Enterprise City Ltd

Bronte Development Limited

Indigo Bay Development Limited

The Proprietors, Strata Plan Number 62 (aka Lacovia)

Dream Big Holdings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised NWPR Group, Ltd on two projects in the North West Point area of West Bay, Grand Cayman; both projects comprised approximately 30 apartment units and associated facilities and amenities.
  • Assisting Trafalgar Investments, Ltd.  with the redevelopment of an ageing mixed-use office/retail development very close to the Seven Mile public beach and Kimpton Seafire hotel into apartments, a hotel and related amenities and facilities.
  • Advising Rum Point Club Ltd. on a project to redevelop a beachfront multi-unit luxury residential resort.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries

Spearheaded by local business head Buck Grizzel, Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries’ real estate department advises an assortment of banks, property owners, purchasers, developers, real estate brokers and agents on real estate mandates. The team is particularly active in the purchase, sale and development of commercial and residential properties in the region. In addition, Grizzel assists clients with mortgage financings, strata developments, stratified land lots, mixed-use developments, leases and tenancies.

Practice head(s):

Buck Grizzel

Key clients

Fidelity Bank

Butterfield Bank

Silver Thatch Heights Ltd.

Dhown Homes Ltd. / Sunil Dhown

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fidelity Bank on several real estate matters.
  • Acting for Butterfield Bank on several real estate matters.
  • Acting for Silver Thatch Heights Ltd. on several real estate matters.