Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Real estate

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

Appleby

Trusted by a variety of major developers, high-net-worth individuals, utility providers, government authorities and large banks, the property practice at ApplebyComparative Guides promotional icon is a go-to name in the Cayman real estate sector, standing out for its extensive knowledge of the luxury resort, commercial, residential, infrastructure and financing segments of the market. Headed up by Norman Klein, the group enjoys a strong reputation locally for its expertise in large-scale hotel and resort developments, high-value property developments, commercial acquisitions and dispositions, complex secured lending transactions, and commercial and retail leasing mandates. Additional names to note include Adam Johnson and associate Tim Swallow, both of whom excel in an array of real estate law issues and handle headline deals.

Practice head(s):

Norman Klein

Other key lawyers:

Adam Johnson; Tim Swallow

Key clients

Royal Bank of Canada Group

NCB Group

Seafire Residences / Seafire Resorts

Beach Bay Land Ltd / Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Resort

Sterling Mortgage Income Fund, Ltd.

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

Aimbridge Hospitality LLC

Davenport Development

Dhown Homes

Dart Group

Scotiabank Group

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

Aqua Bay Condominium Redevelopment Committee

Barkers Beach Ltd.

Bedell Cristin

The real estate practice at Bedell Cristin routinely assists major retail banks in Cayman with their real estate financing needs, including advising on high-value secured lending for real estate acquisitions, development projects and portfolio reorganisations. Noted for his ‘deep knowledge of real estate law’, Ian Jamieson  leads the group, which also handles a variety of high-end conveyancing matters, development work and commercial and residential leasings, most notably in the hotel sector. Also highly rated in this space are managing associate Richard Parry , who is a property dispute specialist, and the ‘world-classMichael Sharvin , who joined the group as a senior associate from Ince in 2020 and focuses on residential and commercial acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Ian Jamieson

Testimonials

‘Ian Jamieson is one of the most hard-working, approachable and helpful individuals in this space. He’s also exceptionally knowledgeable and a great problem solver. Clients love his attitude.’

Michael Sharvin complements Ian Jamieson very well and, while having only been in the jurisdiction for a relatively short period, has already established himself as a very competent practitioner.’

‘Client service is excellent. Getting things done, focusing on the relevant issues and navigating a litany of issues efficiently was the strength. Ian Jamieson was able to come up with new structures to solve complicated legal matters. There is an acute understanding of not running up bills for the sake of running up bills. Always the most efficient path was followed to solve issues.’

‘Ian Jamieson is efficient, pro-active and extremely responsive. Issues were dealt with in an efficient manner and he understands which issues are important and unimportant. He has a deep knowledge of real estate law and has contacts throughout the industry. He was able to apply new structures in the real estate industry to solve legal issues. He was always accessible, also at night and in the weekends and his billings were reasonable.’

‘Local knowledge was excellent. Customer-centric approach, truly representing the customer’s requirements. Well connected with local government departments.’

‘The team is truly full service. As various needs have arisen over the years, Ian has been able to connect me with the required resources at the firm. All have been high quality and impressive.’

‘Ian Jamieson has been my primary contact for years. He understands the firm’s capabilities and resources and is always available for questions.’

‘Exceptional Firm in Cayman. Their expertise and professionalism are second to none. Their reputation is stellar. They have all of the right relationships to get things done efficiently, timely and in a way that keeps the peace. They always deliver exceptional outcomes. Our team is Ian Jamieson and Michael Sharvin. They are the best team. They work on our behalf and we trust them and their advice.’

Key clients

FirstCaribbean International Bank

Scotiabank & Trust

Dart Enterprises

B and B Properties/Hon Development Corporation

Cayman National Bank

Butterfield Bank

RBC Royal Bank

South Cove Club

Work highlights

  • Advised FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited on lending work, both residential and commercial.
  • Acted for ultra-high-net-worth individuals on the purchase of a unit at Seafire, Grand Cayman plus associated financing.
  • Acting for Dart Enterprises Ltd in a number of both contentious and non-contentious matters, the largest of which is the Olea Development.

Campbells

Spearheaded by Lily Lee , the property group at Campbells advises large developers, realtors, financial institutions and commercial managers on the full spectrum of real estate matters, encompassing the purchase, sale and development of residential and commercial property in the Cayman Islands, in addition to its capabilities in the residential and commercial financing space. Security loan documentation, joint venture agreements for developers, sales and purchases, leases and sub-leases, and management agreements are specific strands of real estate work in which the group stands out.

Practice head(s):

Lily Lee

Key clients

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

FS Inc.

Rosseau Ltd.

Azul Development Ltd.

Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd.

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Grant Thornton Cayman

Downtown Reach/Sixtees Properties Development

Cayman National Bank Ltd.

Orchid Development

Work highlights

  • Advised FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited on a number of high-end commercial financing/refinancing developments.
  • Acted for Downtown Reach/Sixtees Properties Development Limited in Phase I of a multi-phase residential development in George Town comprising 52 apartments.
  • Advised Rosseau Ltd on all aspects of property financing relating to the share purchase and local licensing requirements for the Burger King franchises.

Collas Crill

Collas Crill‘s property department was strengthened in July 2020 by the arrival of new practice head Gina Berry, who is praised as ‘an excellent lawyer in the space of property conveyancing and one of the top lawyers locally in this area’. Berry has a proven track record in the full gamut of real estate work, from advising international and local financial institutions on complex security transactions to assisting a range of clients encompassing vendors, purchasers, developers, landlords and tenants with complex real estate transactions, usually linked to high-end properties in the Cayman Islands.

Practice head(s):

Gina Berry

Testimonials

Team is very responsive to clients needs and ability to meet sometimes difficult timelines.’

I find Gina Berry and her team easy to work with – I value their professionalism and expertise.’

Both the property conveyancing and corporate services teams are strong, providing an excellent service and value for money.’

Gina Berry is known as an excellent lawyer in the space of property conveyancing and one of the top lawyers locally in this area. Her experience is highly regarded in society and she is highly respected in the legal fraternity. This is a reflection of her extensive knowledge and expertise. She is known to add value to the business of individuals and companies.’

Key clients

Cayman National Bank

Cricket Square Group

Scotiabank Group

Royal Bank of Canada Group

Butterfield Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Cricket Square Group on a wide range of matters relevant to its commercial leases and amenities associated with Cricket Square.
  • Advising Cayman National Bank Ltd. on the commercial lending elements of a number of Cayman Islands real estate developments.
  • Acted as local counsel for high-net-worth individuals on the purchase of properties in The Grove in Grand Cayman.

Ogier

At Ogier, the property and local legal services team ‘delivers top-notch customer service at every level and during every step of a transaction, including a tremendous amount of after-care‘, routinely assisting high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals with high-value residential real estate transactions. James Bergstrom  oversees the department, which also advises on commercial portfolio acquisitions and disposals, infrastructure projects, and real estate finance work, both for lenders and borrowers. Senior associate Cline Glidden also frequently handles relocations for high-net-worth individuals linked to the acquisition of high-value real estate.

Practice head(s):

James Bergstrom

Other key lawyers:

Cline Glidden; Sophie Warburton

Testimonials

The team at Ogier is excellent. It delivers top-notch customer service at every level and during every step of a transaction, including a tremendous amount of after-care.’

Priestleys

Priestleys’ property and construction practice advises on the full range of mandates from large-scale developments and commercial property management work to conveyancing matters. Key areas of strength for the department, which is presided over by founding partner Daniel Priestley, include infrastructure projects, construction, development and redevelopment work, purchases and sales of residential and commercial property, as well as secured lending work. At the associate level, Laura Birrell and Nick Hemus are the main practitioners of note; the latter arrived from Devonshires Solicitors LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Priestley

Other key lawyers:

Laura Birrell; Nick Hemus

Key clients

CP Land Co, Ltd.

NWPR Group, Ltd.

Heritage Holdings Ltd

Trafalgar Investments, Ltd.

Rum Point Club Limited

Dolphin Point Developments Ltd

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

Caribbean Plaza Limited

90 North Church Street

Forbes Hare

The ‘very attentive and proactive‘ real estate team at Forbes Hare, which is headed up by Barry Smith and Sonia Starvis, primarily handles commercial and residential sales and purchases for high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the department also deals with project finance, secured lending, leasing and licensing, planning, and construction and development matters for a diverse range of private investors, hoteliers, developers and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Sonia Starvis; Barry Smith

Testimonials

Very attentive and proactive; saves clients stress and time-wasting.’

Key clients

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited

Scotiabank (Cayman) Limited

Cayman National Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited on secured lending matters.
  • Advised Alter Domus (Cayman) Limited on a commercial lease.
  • Advised Cayman National Bank Limited on secured lending matters.

Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries

With a ‘highly competent and personalised service‘, Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries‘ real estate team is particularly active in matters pertaining to the purchase, sale and development of commercial and residential properties. The department, which is lead by Buck Grizzel , also advises on mortgage financing issues, strata developments, stratified land lots, mixed-use developments, leases and tenancies. Clients span banks, property owners, purchasers, developers, real estate brokers and agents.

Practice head(s):

Buck Grizzel

Testimonials

Highly competent and personalized service.’

Buck Grizzel has provided excellent service to me for over a decade. I always feel as though my best interest is being considered when dealing with Buck.’

Key clients

Silver Thatch Heights Ltd.