Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Regulatory and compliance

Headed up by the ‘startlingly bright, immensely diligent and determinedElisabeth Lees, Claritas‘ boutique practice specialises in regulatory law and litigation, a field where Katie Pearson is also active.

Regulatory and compliance in Cayman Islands

Maples Group

Christopher Capewell leads Maples Group‘s regulatory and financial services practice, which continues to secure a leading position in advising banks, investment funds, trust companies and virtual asset service providers on a range of non-contentious and contentious matters spanning FATCA and CRS advice, anti-money laundering work, sanctions compliance, confidentiality issues and data protection laws. Praised for his ‘exceptional knowledge of the financial services industry’, Martin Livingston‘s expertise includes handling regulatory, licensing, risk management, information disclosure and anti-money laundering matters, while Tim Dawson‘s broad practice encompasses advice on data protection and confidentiality, anti-money laundering work and issues relating to combating terrorist and proliferation financing. Regularly appearing before the Grand Court and Court of Appeal, Adam Huckle specialises in contentious regulatory issues and cross-border conduct of business, anti-corruption and bribery mandates. Patrick Head and Chris Carroll are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Capewell

Other key lawyers:

Martin Livingston; Tim Dawson; Adam Huckle; Patrick Head; Chris Carroll


‘A high-quality team that understands the Cayman Island regulations very well. Flexible, accessible and responsive.’

‘Tim Dawson and Chris Carroll are very capable individuals who are practical and good to work with.’

‘The largest and highest powered offshore legal outfit.’

‘Adam Huckle – He is a fabulous litigator: he provides clear instructions, responds swiftly to advice, drafts beautifully and is a great team player.’

‘The Regulatory and Compliance Practice of Maples includes Martin Livingston as a Consultant. Martin has significant regulatory, compliance and financial services knowledge and is exceptional. He is a trusted source of guidance and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Martin Livingston has exceptional knowledge of the financial services industry. All work is delivered extremely promptly, is highly accurate and very commercial.’

‘Maples group is a go-to firm: They excelled in providing the client with first-rate service and were highly responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Adam Huckle is highly responsive and was able to communicate his expert knowledge and recommendations in a digestible manner. We would highly recommend him.’


Walkers maintains a thriving regulatory and compliance practice, which is a go-to choice for a number of non-regulated and regulated financial institutions across the banking, insurance, investment fund and investment management spaces. Practice head Lucy Frew has a lengthy track record in assisting banks, insurers, and fintech and virtual asset companies with financial regulatory matters and investigations, while Ian Mason, who joined from Gowling WLG in early 2023, provides advice on contentious regulatory and compliance issues, financial crime proceedings, anti-money laundering matters and fintech and crypto-assets. Regarded as ‘knowledgeable, responsive and personable’, Andrew Howarth is a seasoned expert in regulatory compliance, counter-terrorist financing and international sanctions, while Tony De Quintal, who is part of the financial regulatory group, is also recommended. Investigations and financial crime expert Juliana Tang is another key name, and both Charlie Griffiths and Efe Avan-Nomayo are noted for their expertise in virtual assets.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Frew

Other key lawyers:

Ian Mason; Andrew Howarth; Juliana Tang; Charlie Griffiths; Efe Avan-Nomayo; Tony De Quintal


‘Walkers is our go-to firm for regulatory advice in Cayman. They are assisting us in obtaining a VASP license and have been helpful in navigating through the various laws.’

‘I work primarily with Andrew Howarth and he is knowledgeable, responsive and personable. Great all-round attorney.’

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

The Carlyle Group

Cerberus Capital Management

Stone Point Capital LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted as regulatory counsel for Apollo Global Management and its Cayman investment funds, assisting with multiple change of control applications, notifications and waiver or exemption requests to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.
  • Acted as Cayman regulatory counsel for Cerberus Capital Management and its Cayman investment funds, including completing a large regulatory risk assessment project covering all Cayman investment funds managed by Cerberus Capital Management.
  • Advised Stone Point Capital and its Cayman investment funds on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis.


Mourant‘s practice fields a team of experienced lawyers and regulatory and compliance consultants who routinely assist clients with a mixture of contentious and non-contentious mandates as well as providing preventative advice. Dual-qualified (BVI and Cayman) practice head Sara Galletly notably focuses on regulatory developments impacting fund, finance and corporate structures and regulated entities, while Hector Robinson KC is known for handling complex cross-border trust and estate disputes, regulatory investigations, fraud and asset tracing issues, and insolvencies. Alastair Lagrange‘s broad practice spans anti-money laundering and sanctions advice, economic substance matters, and fintech and virtual asset issues.

Practice head(s):

Sara Galletly

Other key lawyers:

Hector Robinson KC; Alastair Lagrange

Key clients

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

Work highlights

  • Represented the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in defending judicial review proceedings brought by two of the largest trust and corporate service providers (TCSPs), in Cayman.


Ogier fields an experienced practice, which handles contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters, including CIMA inspections and AML enforcement decisions. Investment funds regulatory head Joanne Huckle specialises in anti-money laundering and emerging private equity regulatory regimes, while James Heinicke leads the banking regulatory group, advising banks and financial institutions on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters. Other key names include regulatory enforcement and investigations expert Jennifer Fox, who leads the contentious regulatory team, and corporate regulatory head Martin Byers.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Huckle; Martin Byers; James Heinicke; Jennifer Fox

Other key lawyers:

Megan Mcluskie; Cornelia Zhu; Sophie Warburton


‘Ogier’s team has taken the time to understand our business and its unique needs. They showed true professionalism, accountability and expertise, whilst exhibiting a deep knowledge of the legal requirements that we face.’

‘This team, housed within a renowned global law firm, offers a deep-seated understanding of local and international regulatory frameworks. With a presence in key global financial hubs, the team is poised to deliver advice tailored to diverse legal landscapes. This ensures that clients maintain compliance no matter where they operate. A collaborative environment within the firm allows for a seamless melding of expertise from various legal disciplines.’

‘They exemplify professional excellence and a client-centric approach. Their deep understanding of intricate legal landscapes, combined with a commitment to staying updated with ever-evolving regulations, positions them as one of the top teams in their sector.’

‘Megan Mcluskie is the main contact that I have dealt with at Ogier and I think she is a star of the future, her knowledge around regulatory matters is superb with a great ability to deliver concise legal advice.’

‘The outstanding level of services delivered always in professional manner.’

‘The team is composed of very dedicated, experienced, and professional people, including but not limited to James Heinicke and Cornelia Zhu. They always give us the best support along with the most diligent attention to our needs. The team is very well prepared to handle any situation that comes their way.’

‘Top individual that I have worked with there is Martin Byers – without question one of the best on the island.’

‘I believe the practice has important people skills and collaboration between other practices inside the firm.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a large number of investment funds, investment managers and advisors, fund administrators and other service providers in Cayman in respect of complex cross-jurisdictional matters, issues and considerations relating to the impact of Russian Sanctions.


Appleby’s regulatory and compliance team is sought out by global financial institutions and technology companies for its data protection and cybersecurity expertise. The practice fields privacy and data protection specialist Peter Colegate, local corporate practice head Simon Raftopoulos, and Jacob MacAdam, who is noted for his regulatory expertise in the banking, insurance and fiduciary spaces. Practice head Menelik Miller and Miriam Smyth are regularly instructed by banks, insurers, investment companies, alternative lenders and fintech clients for advice on a wide range of regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Menelik Miller

Other key lawyers:

Peter Colegate; Simon Raftopoulos; Jacob MacAdam; Miriam Smyth


‘The Appleby team is a leader in funds and Web 3/digital asset space in the Cayman Islands.’

‘Peter Colegate – Peter is an intelligent and conscientious attorney, whose approach to advising clients is thorough, thoughtful and consistent. Peter takes the time to understand each client and their often unique and novel approaches to new technology and business concepts and provides tailored advice and practical approaches to suit.’

Key clients

Baring Private Equity Asia Group

CME Group Inc

Kasikornbank Public Company Limited

Brickell PC Insurance Holdings LLC

The Proprietors, Strata Plan No. 22: Beachcomber

Brookfield Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised The Proprietors, Strata Plan No. 22: Beachcomber on obtaining a judgment of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands for the Strata Corporation of the prestigious Beachcomber Resort on Seven Mile Beach, which confirmed that certain information sought by one of the resort’s proprietors was personal data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act (DPA) and therefore all of the provisions of the DPA apply.
  • Advised Brickell PC Insurance Holdings LLC on a regulatory insurance matter.
  • Acted as Cayman legal counsel on a regulatory compliance project being carried out by a leading Canadian financial institution for certain of its Cayman based entities contained within that group.


Jointly led by head of the litigation, insolvency and restructuring group Guy Manning and corporate head Alan Craig, Campbells‘ regulatory practice is sought out by wide range of banks, investment funds, insurance companies and company service providers for its expertise in handling both contentious and non-contentious work spanning CIMA enforcements, administrative fines, examinations, controllerships, appeals and judicial reviews. Paul Kennedy‘s practice encompasses economic sanctions and other asset freezing measures, and cross-border fraud and insolvency work, while counsel Jeremy Durston is noted for his expertise in cross-jurisdictional treaty requests and white-collar fraud mandates. Counsel James Austin-Smith‘s recent engagements include complex international matters involving regulators and government entities.

Practice head(s):

Guy Manning; Alan Craig

Other key lawyers:

Paul Kennedy; Jeremy Durston; James Austin-Smith


‘Campbells is our go-to team for regulatory and compliance work (as well as general litigation) and we use them for good reason. They are extremely reliable, smart and pragmatic.’

‘Strong across the board, they have applied their existing strengths to this new and developing area of the law. Stand outs are Guy Manning, James Austin-Smith, and Jeremy Durston.’

‘The not-so-secret weapon in this department is James Austin-Smith. James is an incredibly intelligent, switched-on lawyer who always delivers his best to his clients.’

‘The team is on the cutting edge of defending professional service providers in relation to regulatory fines and investigations.’

‘James Austin-Smith has racked up enough wins fighting against governmental/regulatory overreach that he should be a King’s Counsel by now. His talent and prowess in the field is outsized and he deserves recognition for his formidable skillset.’

‘In the regulatory and compliance function we typically work with Jeremy Durston and James Austin-Smith. Both are responsive, helpful and a pleasure to work with.’

‘James Austin-Smith is extremely bright and knowledgeable. He has rare in-depth knowledge of our industry and the regulatory landscape. His advice is robust and pragmatic and he always goes out of his way to ensure a timely and strong result. We have used James for several years for multiple regulatory matters and we are always happy with his advice.’

‘Jeremy Durston is thoughtful, smart and unflappable. He has a robust working knowledge of the industry, and is extremely pragmatic and commercial in his approach. We have used Jeremy for many years in respect of both regulatory and some significant litigation matters and we have always been very impressed with his approach and the results.’

Key clients

Willis Towers Watson

Marsh McLennan


Cayman Islands Urgent Care, Kaiser Day Cannaceuticals

Libyan Investment Authority

Intertrust Corporate Services (Cayman) Limited

Premier Assurance Group SPC, Beast Capital

Alvarez & Marsal


Work highlights

  • Acted for Intertrust Corporate Services (Cayman) Limited in relation to appealing the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s decisions to: i) impose discretionary fines for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations; and, ii) impose requirements on its licence.
  • Acted for a private shareholder in his appeal against the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s decision to declare him not fit and proper to have control of or shares in a Cayman regulated entity.
  • Acted for the Doctors Express group of companies in litigation following regulatory and enforcement action by the Chief Medical Officer, and HM Customs.

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen provides comprehensive advice to global financial institutions, investment funds, fund administrators and fintech companies on a wide range of regulatory and compliance issues. The practice houses a team of experienced lawyers including Richard Munden, who focuses on the tech sector and virtual assets; Jarrod Farley, who is noted for advising on the establishment of both regulated and unregulated investment funds; and ‘phenomenal’ counsel Chris Duncan, who has recently been involved in several registration applications under the VASP Act.

Practice head(s):

Jarrod Farley

Other key lawyers:

Richard Munden; Chris Duncan


‘Team is composed of experts on Cayman blockchain and financial law. This allows them to immediately engage with innovative solutions that have novel issues.’

‘Chris Duncan is phenomenal as the key lawyer on our matters. He gives tailored, business-oriented advice without compromising on what the law actually says or requires. Rare to get business executable advice from external counsel, but Chris always provides it.’

Key clients

Mauve Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Mauve on its novel application for registration under the Virtual Asset Service Providers Act (VASP) to operate a permissioned, decentralised exchange for trading of crypto assets.


Conyers‘ practice acts for a litany of regulated entities including banks, investment managers, fund administrators, trust companies and insurance companies on a range of regulatory matters. Head of the regulatory practice is Róisín Liddy-Murphy, who is noted for handling multi-jurisdictional and complex litigation proceedings. Robert Lindley focuses on private client matters including regulatory issues relating to pensions and private trust companies, while Derek Stenson is known for his expertise in insurance, reinsurance and structured products. Sarah Farquhar‘s broad practice spans CIMA licensing and registration work, economic substance advice, data protection issues, and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing mandates.

Practice head(s):

Róisín Liddy-Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Robert Lindley; Derek Stenson; Sarah Farquhar


‘The firm demonstrates expert knowledge in its jurisdictions and works in a very collaborative manner with its clients.’

‘I am continually impressed by the depth of knowledge shared easily by the individuals I have worked with; this makes them very easy to work with and to refer to clients.’

‘Diligent and on top of matters.’

Key clients

Conyers Trust Company (Cayman) Limited

PwC (Cayman)