Firms To Watch: Regulatory and compliance

Founded in May 2022 by previous Cayman Crown Counsel Elisabeth Lees and former Harneys partner Katie Pearson, Claritas’ boutique offering is focused exclusively on litigation, insolvency and regulatory law.

Regulatory and compliance in Cayman Islands

Maples Group

A stellar lineup of market-leading banks, investment funds, trusts and virtual asset companies turn to Maples Group‘s regulatory and financial services team for its capabilities in a host of contentious and non-contentious matters, ranging from FATCA and CRS advice to anti-money laundering work. Practice chair Christopher Capewell‘s recent engagements include a number of CIMA inspections, AML compliance reviews, and beneficial ownership regime reviews. Tim Dawson‘s broad practice encompasses licensing, prudential and conduct of business requirements, while Patrick Head focuses on regulatory requirements facing investment funds, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals. The ‘clever and conscientious’ Adam Huckle specialises in enforcements and appeals.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Capewell

Other key lawyers:

Tim Dawson; Adam Huckle; Patrick Head


‘Adam Huckle is a highly commercial, savvy, and strong litigator. He stands out in his field.’

‘Adam Huckle is clever, conscientious, and a great drafter. He knows which points will persuade the court and is quick to focus on those.’

‘Strong knowledge about financial regulations of the Cayman Islands and very efficient deliverables for the client.’

‘Tim Dawson has strong knowledge about the Cayman laws and regulations and know exactly what we, as his client, need as deliverables.’


Noted for the depth of its standalone regulatory practice, Walkers is engaged by a significant number of leading merchant banks, investment banks and asset managers for assistance with a range of high-profile, multi-jurisdictional projects. The Cayman team is headed up by the firm’s global regulatory and risk advisory chief Lucy Frew, a veteran adviser whose client base ranges from household name banks and insurers to emergent fintech and virtual asset companies. Tony De Quintal, who was promoted to partner in July 2021, is a specialist in financial services regulatory law whose expertise is most keenly concentrated on CIMA matters, including change of control and license applications. Promoted to partner in July 2022, Andrew Howarth is another key name to note for financial services regulation with a far-reaching practice that encompasses anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and global sanctions compliance matters. Senior counsel Juliana Tang, a highly experienced adviser in financial services (particularly insurance sector) regulation, is notably strong in matters regarding investigations, remuneration disclosure, and financial crime. Associate Benjamin Twidle is recommended for his knowledge of international tax regulation, including OECD initiatives such as BEPS, CRS, and CbCB. Counsel Colm Dawson has relocated to the firm’s Hong Kong office.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Frew

Other key lawyers:

Tony De Quintal; Andrew Howarth; Juliana Tang; Benjamin Twidle

Key clients

Apollo Global Management


BlackRock Inc

Blackstone Group Inc / GSO Capital Partners

Cerberus Capital Management

HarbourVest Partners LLC

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Acting as Cayman regulatory counsel for Apollo Global Management and its Cayman investment funds, advising on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis.
  • Acting as Cayman regulatory counsel for Voyager Digital, advising on its successful application to become regulated as a virtual assets service provider, the first such application ever granted in the Cayman Islands, as well as advising on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis.
  • Acting as Cayman regulatory counsel for Goldman Sachs and its Cayman investment funds and advising on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis.


Mourant‘s cross-disciplinary practice advises a diverse roster of corporate and financial heavyweights on all manner of regulatory, compliance and governance issues. Steered by the dual-qualified (BVI and Cayman) Sara Galletly, the team has advised on a growing volume of enforcement matters, including AML and CFT regulatory inspections, CRS compliance, and economic substance requirements. Senior associate Alastair Lagrange‘s wide-ranging practice encompasses fintech and virtual asset matters.

Practice head(s):

Sara Galletly

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Lagrange

Work highlights

  • Review, updating and drafting AML/CFT/CPF/TFS policies and procedures for regulated Cayman Islands entities.
  • Reviewed the activities of both new and existing clients against the economic substance (ES) legislation in order to classify their activities for compliance with the ES regime.
  • Providing AML/CFT/CPF training sessions to the compliance personnel and directors of various US-based investment managers and regulated service providers in the Cayman Islands, including one large Cayman Islands insurance manager.


A strong mix of international banks, crypto asset companies and regulators seek out Ogier for its wide-ranging contentious and non-contentious capabilities; recent areas of expertise include handling CIMA inspections, judicial reviews and administrative appeals regarding AML enforcement decisions. Key names to note within the firm include investment funds regulatory head Joanne Huckle; corporate and private client specialist Martin Byers; banking regulatory head James Heinicke; William Jones, who focuses on local matters; and Jennifer Fox, who spearheads the group’s contentious offering. Following her arrival from Bedell Cristin in April 2022, senior associate Megan Mcluskie has worked with various investment managers, funds, and administrators. Dave Sherwin has left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Martin Byers; Megan Mcluskie


‘A lot of depth in the team from partner to associate level. Very responsive and efficient.’

‘Timely, practical and knowledgeable. They understand the regulatory space better than other firms and have senior level lawyers that work on the projects.’

‘We’re pleased to work with James Heinicke, an excellent professional who provides fast and clarifying insights in respect to regulatory and compliance matters.’

Work highlights

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


Drawing on close ties with its wider global network of offices, Appleby‘s cross-practice regulatory group is particularly noted for its expertise in privacy, data protection and cybersecurity matters. The team is jointly chaired by global technology and innovation head Peter Colegate; local corporate practice head Simon Raftopoulos, and financial services expert Jacob MacAdam. Senior associate Miriam Smyth is experienced in liaising with financial regulators on information requests, risk mitigation and remediation matters. Counsel Menelik Miller, who joined the team from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) in March 2022, is also recommended for his far-reaching financial services expertise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Raftopoulos; Jacob MacAdam; Peter Colegate;

Other key lawyers:

Miriam Smyth; Menelik Miller


‘We were seeking help in the crypto assets space which is tricky to say the least, with the added wrinkle of Cayman Islands launching a new VASP regime there were not a lot of experts available to us. The team did extremely well.’

‘Peter Colegate is a stand out name.’

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management Inc

North End Re (Cayman) SPC

Brickell PC Insurance Holdings LLC

Kasikornbank Public Company Limited

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Work highlights

  • Obtained 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.
  • Acting as Cayman legal counsel to Brickell Insurance Holdings PC LLC, which is an affiliate of 777 Partners LLC, a Miami-based private investment company that invests across a number of high-growth verticals with a strong focus on financial services.
  • Acting 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.


Campbells‘ ‘experienced and knowledgeable‘ team operates on a cross-practice basis, jointly steered by disputes head Guy Manning and corporate chair Alan Craig. Paul Kennedy advises a number of auditors, shipowners and investment funds on economic sanctions regimes. Counsel James Austin-Smith underpins the team’s contentious offering, appearing before the courts in various judicial review proceedings. Praised for his ‘pragmatic and extremely professional‘ approach, counsel Jeremy Durston specialises in regulatory action challenges, ranging from warning notices to administrative fines. Associates Sam Keogh and Katie Logan are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Guy Manning; Alan Craig

Other key lawyers:

James Austin-Smith; Paul Kennedy; Jeremy Durston; Sam Keogh; Katie Logan


‘Jeremy Durston provides first-class and timely responses to his clients, and offers a range of solutions to the issues at hand. Very pragmatic and always extremely professional.’

‘Alan Craig has been the key resource in the insurance industry for many years in the Cayman Islands. He is well-versed in all the specific laws and regulations required to become a licensed insurer in the Cayman Islands.’

‘An experienced and knowledgeable team that provides practical advice in a timely manner.’

‘James Austin-Smith is always available and responsive, and understands when matters are urgent. His advice is consistently pragmatic and clear and he works alongside our legal and compliance teams to ensure matters are addressed in a timely and professional manner.’

‘The Campbells team is very strong, with significant regulatory expertise and a commercial outlook.’

Key clients

Willis Towers Watson

Marsh McLennan


Premier Assurance Group SPC

Libyan Investment Authority

Intertrust Corporate Services (Cayman) Limited

Alvarez & Marsal

ABM Wappinger

Work highlights

  • Acting as counsel to the three companies which were the subject of regulatory and enforcement action by the medical regulatory authorities, HM Customs and Excise, and the police.
  • Advising and acting as Cayman counsel for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund and various frozen Cayman subsidiaries in contentious matters.

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen works with various financial services corporations, asset managers, energy providers and fintech companies on a mix of contentious and non-contentious instructions. Jarrod Farley frequently advises on the establishment of both regulated and unregulated investment funds, while Richard Munden is particularly well-versed in compliance implications in the fintech and broader digital assets sector.

Practice head(s):

Jarrod Farley

Other key lawyers:

Richard Munden


Drawing praise from clients for its ‘all-round excellence‘, Conyers‘ cross-practice team works with both public and private sector clients on a range of regulatory and compliance requirements associated with new fund formations, trust structurings, administrative fines, and remediation measures. Practice co-chair Robert Lindley specialises in trusts and private client concerns, while fellow co-chair Derek Stenson focuses on insurance and reinsurance sector matters. Disputes counsel Róisín Liddy-Murphy specialises in regulatory investigations, most recently for clients in the telecoms sector, and associate Sarah Farquhar, who joined the team from Maples Group in June 2021, is praised for her ‘vast wealth of knowledge in regulatory and compliance matters’.

Practice head(s):

Derek Stenson; Robert Lindley

Other key lawyers:

Roísín Liddy-Murphy; Sarah Farquhar


‘The practice is simply stand-out; all-round excellent in everything that they do. They are an extremely well regarded, driven, highly commercially aware, approachable, responsive, and reliable team with a true dedication and commitment to delivering the best possible service to their clients. They always deliver on-point, carefully thought through, detailed, tailored practical legal guidance and solutions without the legal jargon.’

‘Derek Stenson is an extremely attentive, personable, knowledgeable lawyer with a formidable track record of excellence in all that he does. He is simply unmatchable in his calm demeanour and unique ability to consistently deliver workable and effective results beyond expectations.’

‘Sarah Farquhar is a proficient, highly organised, and conscientious lawyer with a vast wealth of knowledge of regulatory and compliance matters. She is very hardworking, responsive, professional, pragmatic and efficient.’

Key clients

Conyers Trust Company (Cayman) Limited

PwC (Cayman)

Work highlights

  • Advised a CIMA licensee with respect to a CIMA Administrative Fines matter.
  • Advised a licensed trust company on the FATCA/CRS classifications in respect of multiple trust structures.
  • Advised a CIMA licensee on remediation of findings following a CIMA AML and prudential inspection.

McGrath Tonner

As a routine referral partner for a number of law firms, McGrath Tonner‘s cross-disciplinary team is particularly renowned for its capabilities in contentious regulatory matters, working with an international mix of financial services companies, law firms, and corporate entities on the implications of AML and CTF regimes, economic sanctions, anti-bribery and corruption measures, and CIMA-led investigations. A seasoned barrister with considerable experience at the London bar, practice head Ben Tonner KC regularly advises private businesses and high-net-worth individuals accused of regulatory breaches. At the counsel level, Sharon Nelson is noted for her expertise in CIMA regulation, working with a host of funds, institutional investors and investment managers on a range of compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Ben Tonner KC

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Nelson

Key clients

The Directors of OneTradex (in official liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Advising a US-based trust managing $1.5bn on regulatory matters following the imposition of international sanctions regulations.
  • Advising a regional, publicly traded bank on the acquisition of a Cayman Islands-licensed bank.
  • Advising a Cayman Islands company on regulatory matters including the extra-territorial reach of the Proceeds of Crime Act.