Dispute resolution in Guernsey

Babbé LLP

Babbé LLP fields a team with a track record of acting on a significant number of the bailiwick’s leading cases. The team has a particularly strong financial litigation offering, with lawyers including Todd McGuffin, Nicholas Robison and Ian Swan representing multinational financial institutions and trust companies in corporate insolvency, contentious trust and regulatory disputes. The practice also leads on complex commercial litigation matters including highly-publicised civil fraud cases, with Anna Guggenheim QC being a go-to name in this field. Law firms from London and further abroad often refer to the practice for multi-jurisdictional cases.

Carey Olsen (Guernsey) LLP

Carey Olsen has an established reputation for acting on local and international disputes, representing parties in the corporate, commercial, financial services, trusts and intellectual property fields. With the election of David Jones to the partnership in 2019, the team boasts an exceptionally strong insolvency offering for high-profile domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates. Clients highly praise John Greenfield ('invaluable'), Elaine Gray ('indefatigable and indestructible'), Karen Le Cras ('very clever and approachable') and Tim Corfield ('extremely strategic'; 'incredibly thorough'). The client base includes a healthy roster of banks and financial services providers, public bodies, trust companies and UK law firms, with further mandates including fraud, asset tracing, employment, data protection, professional negligence and contentious regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Gray

Testimonials

The firm works seamlessly to provide a faultless service

Carey Olsen is the market leader, with a depth of quality and resources unmatched in the jurisdiction

An excellent law firm

The first port of call for serious commercial litigation in Guernsey

Carey Olsen has a really hardworking and supportive team

Mark Dunster is totally frank and always available to the client

David Jones stands out as having both the ability to deliver in court with great technical ability and the practical application of the restructuring process

Karen Le Cras is approachable, very clever, and gets the job done

‘Whatever you throw at Elaine Gray, she will deal with in consummate professional style

John Greenfield has an encyclopedic knowledge of Guernsey law, having appeared in most of the main cases for the past 30 years

Tim Corfield is also an excellent team leader and a delight to work with

Key clients

Grant Thornton

Highland Capital Management

Joannou & Paraskevaides Overseas (JPO)

KRys Global

NYX Gaming Group

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Royal Bank of Canada

SG Kleinwort

St Anne’s Trustees

Stanley Gibbons

Stobart Group

Work highlights

  • Representing the joint liquidators of four BVI companies, which obtained judgement for over £179m plus interest in one the longest-running trust cases in Guernsey.
  • Acting for an international investment bank and its trust division in relation to a multi-party $250m dispute over funds belonging to former Ukrainian prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who was convicted of money laundering and wire fraud in the US in 2006.
  • Advising the joint liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides Overseas.
  • Representing Kleinwort Benson, which is attempting to wind up a trust and enable distribution to unit holders.
  • Acted for Intertrust in a breach of contract and misrepresentation claim forwarded by CDS Superstores International.

Collas Crill

Collas Crill’s sizeable team of advocates covers the full spectrum of Guernsey’s key areas of litigation, with dedicated teams focussing on contentious trusts, regulatory disputes, insolvency and corporate disputes. Practice head Christian Hay and Gareth Bell regularly receive instructions from international banks, financial institutions and other law firms, while Michael Adkins acts on some of Guernsey’s key domestic regulatory matters, representing significant Guernsey businesses, investment vehicles,  financial services licensees and utilities companies.

Practice head(s):

Christian Hay

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Bell; Michael Adkins

Testimonials

‘Hard working and proactive. Their market knowledge combines well with a pragmatism in their advice.’

‘Broad knowledge base and an ability to advise competently on a wide variety of matters.’

‘Approachable and very easy to work with.’

‘We have worked closely with the disputes team on a very fragile family case and the team have been excellent and incredibly helpful throughout proceedings.’

‘Well connected in the local market. Responsive and focused on client needs and very comfortable operating as part of a wider team.’

‘Christian Hay is good with clients and ensures consistency of service quality.’ 

‘David O’Hanlon is responsive and helpful – a good strategic thinker.’

‘Michael Adkins is a fighter who knows his stuff on insolvency matters.’

‘Michael Adkins is very experienced and extremely capable; my go-to advocate on the island.’

‘Senior associate James Tee is knowledgeable, capable, commercial, and a great individual to work with.’

‘Quentin Bregg is a standout individual, very capable indeed.’

‘David O’Hanlon is smart and always engaged, not just from a legal perspective but also strategically.’

‘Mike Adkins is technically very good and a useful lead into the Guernsey insolvency market.’

Key clients

Rothschild Trust Guernsey

Rawlinson & Hunter SA

Artemis Trustees

Butterfield Bank (Guernsey)

Alderney Renewable Energy

Sark Electricity

Guernsey Housing Association

Liberation Group

Investec Bank (CI)

Louvre Trust (Guernsey)

Trident Trust Guernsey

Stewarts Law

Burges Salmon

CMS Cameron Mckenna

Robins Russell

Clifford Chance

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain

K&L Gates

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

DLA Piper UK

Work highlights

  • Ongoing instruction by the independent directors of the collapsed Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey’s largest piece of litigation.
  • Representing Artemis Trustees in a longstanding dispute with the former trustees on the latter’s alleged misappropriation of trust funds.
  • Acting for Highland CLO Funding against an individual alleged to have breached his fiduciary duties to the client by bringing proceedings in Texas.
  • Representing Louvre Trustees in a beneficiary claim concerning the ownership of a substantial element of family wealth.
  • Acted for Sark Electricity in a statutory appeal and judicial review claim challenging the imposition of a regulatory pricing cap for the first time in Sark’s history.

Mourant

The practice at Mourant acts on the full range of instructions from its roster of multinational financial institutions, trustees and liquidator clients. Recent highlights saw the team acting in a number of highly-publicised, multi-jurisdictional insolvency instructions as well as complex trust litigation, breach of contract claims, regulatory disputes, fund litigation and corporate crime matters. The team, which includes industry-leading litigators such as Gordon Dawes, Jeremy Wessels, Robert ShepherdAbel Lyall and the firm's managing partner Jessica Roland, also represents a number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals concerning challenges to Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), negligence claims and beneficiary disputes. Dawes and counsel Chantel Barrett handle insurance work for, among others, the Medical Protection Society. Roland is scheduled to take the role of Deputy Bailiff, a senior full-time judicial post, in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Robert Shepherd; Jeremy Wessels

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Dawes; Abel Lyall; Jessica Roland

Testimonials

‘One of very few leading dispute resolution teams in Guernsey, with strength and depth beyond its jurisdictional boundaries.’

‘Jeremy Wessels is simply the best.’

‘Chris Edwards is able, sensible and personable.’

‘Abel Lyall is able by name and nature.’

‘Rob Shepherd is tremendous with clients.’

‘A broadly based stable of capable litigators in both Jersey and Guernsey coupled with a wider offshore presence.’

‘Jeremy Wessels, Gordon Dawes, Abel Lyall and Chris Edwards are all very responsive and technically sharp experienced court litigators.’

Key clients

Bank Julius Baer

Bank of New York Mellon

Butterfield Bank

Butterfield Trust

Credit Suisse

Deloitte

EFG Private Bank

Grant Thornton

HSBC

Insurance Corporation of the Channel Islands

Investec

Kleinwort Hambros

KPMG

Lloyds Bank

Macquarie Bank

Praxis

Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Scotland

Sir David Barclay

Saudi British Bank

Work highlights

  • Sucessfully represented the Carlyle Capital Corporation and its appointed liquidators at the first instance trial and again on appeal in October 2018 in a case concerning the collapse of a fund investing in collateralised loan obligations during the 2008 financial crash.
  • Represented Grant Thornton as administrators of a suite of investment funds and its appointment as liquidator of Lancelot. The entities comprised a series of investment funds holding total assets estimated to be in excess of £100m.
  • Instructed by Trustees of the St John Ambulance and Rescue Service Pension Scheme in relation to a multimillion-pound claim by members of the pension scheme alleging breach of duty resulting in losses totalling £7m.

Ogier

Alongside a portfolio of big-ticket insolvency, contentious trust and regulatory instructions, the Ogier team regularly acts for both defendants and plaintiffs in professional negligence cases, proceeds of crime matters and property and construction related disputes. Simon Davies remains one of the island’s most sought-after advocates for complex commercial disputes while Mathew Newman’s practice is one of the leading insolvency and restructuring offerings on the island. Managing associate Sam Dingle also acts on a broad range of issues including insolvency and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Davies; Mathew Newman

Other key lawyers:

Sam Dingle; Bryan De Verneuil-Smith

Testimonials

Truly a full-service firm

While other firms on the island have a specialty in one area or another, Ogier has a complete suite of practitioners who are experts in all areas and across borders

Extremely client-focused and a pleasure to deal with

Simon Davies is a first-class advocate and clearly one of the, if not the, leading advocates on the island

Mathew Newman has a mastery of the law and is able to communicate his ideas clearly and thoughtfully

Associate Bryan De Verneuil-Smith is quick, commercial, and a pleasure to work with.  His litigation experience and judgment further solidifies Ogier’s position among the top of the Guernsey firms for litigation

Simon Davies is very impressive

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

Nerine Trust

Deloitte

Carter Backer Winter

The Public Trustee of Guernsey

ABN AMRO Group

BDO Global

Work highlights

  • Acting for the joint administration managers of Providence Investment Funds in a high-profile claim against PricewaterhouseCoopers for professional negligence and associated cross-border issues.
  • Acting for BDO Global as the administrators of BSG Resources, a holding company which owns subsidiaries holding valuable mining licences (primarily in Africa).
  • Acting as advocates for the Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which is seeking to preserve and recover assets of a Guernsey law pension scheme.
  • Successfully defended a winding up and administration application by various creditors against Joannou & Paraskevaides (Aviation).

AFR Advocates

AFR Advocates has been involved in some of Guernsey’s premier recent cases, with a steady list of mandates concerning financial services, trusts, company law and commercial disputes. Mark Ferbrache also has expertise in probate and, alongside Paul Richardson, handles white-collar crime, clinical negligence, professional negligence, employment disputes and property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Richardson; Mark Ferbrache

Testimonials

Responsive and a pleasure to work with

Paul Richardson clearly has the ear of the Royal Court and has very sound litigation judgment

Ian Davis is a very good associate

Appleby

Appleby boasts a strong data protection and regulatory offering following the addition to the team of a number of key advocates in this area including Richard Field. Practice head Anthony Williams has a particular expertise in investment disputes, contentious insolvency, asset‐tracing and trust litigation actions. The team’s client list includes a number of significant global financial services companies, trust structures, local businesses and private clients.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Williams

Other key lawyers:

Richard Field

Testimonials

A very strong core team

Richard Field is comfortably Guernsey’s eminent data protection lawyer

Anthony Williams has an impressive set of communication skills which, together with his solid knowledge of the law, helps the client to navigate the minefields of any litigation

Key clients

Aurigny Air

Falcon Media House

GBGI Limited

Hazel Liang

Intertrust Group

Northern Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hazel Liang, a beneficiary, in an application which sought to block the trust’s pay-out and termination after money laundering was alleged.
  • Advising on the compulsory liquidation of technology company Falcon Media House and appropriate insolvency procedures involving its other group companies.
  • Advised GBG Insurance on a scheme of arrangement concerning the sale of the company.

Bedell Cristin

Bedell Cristin enjoys a steady flow of ongoing and unique instructions in the contentious trusts field, representing both trustees and beneficiaries from a breadth of jurisdictions throughout Africa, the CIS region, the UK and beyond. Alasdair Davidson is a market leader in this field while Jon Barclay leads the team on commercial and corporate disputes, asset tracing and fraud instructions. Insolvency and regulatory matters are other core areas of the practice, with a significant number of instructions forwarded by leading international law firms and insolvency practices.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Davidson

Other key lawyers:

Jon Barclay

Testimonials

A team of experienced senior lawyers with a wealth of experience of offshore litigation‘From the firm (UK ONLY)

Alasdair Davidson is a highly intelligent advocate with good judgement

Heavyweight litigators

Jon Barclay and Alastair Davidson are willing to bring added value

Key clients

BDO

KYRS Global

JT

Kent and Reliance Building Society

Trustee of the Madoff Estate

RBC

Rradar Group

Ned Bank

Louvre Group

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • An ongoing instruction defending Adil Popat in proceedings concerning alleged trusts spread across three continents with competing family interests.
  • Continuing to act as special counsel for Trustee of the Madoff Estatein Guernsey for all related actions and matters concerning the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
  • Instructed by David Rubin as liquidator of Highbridge Consulting Limited in a unique application to appoint a liquidator over a Guernsey limited partnership in order to facilitate the further investigation of alleged fraud concerning credit card debt relief schemes.

WALKERS

With the well-regarded Alison Ozanne at the helm, WALKERS regularly acts on highly contentious trust disputes for an extensive list of high-profile private clients and trustees. The team also leverages the firm’s international offshore presence to attract multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes and insolvency instructions, while also acting on a number of regulatory enforcement proceedings in the domestic market. Sarah Brehaut assists on the full range of matters, and has accordingly received strong client praise.

Practice head(s):

Alison Ozanne

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Brehaut; Laurent Thibeault

Testimonials

One of the best in the business

All partners and associates are quite superb

Demonstrates a genuine concern for the client’s interests and well-being

Walkers provides Alison Ozanne with a clear platform to display her unique and extraordinary talents on a global scale

Alison Ozanne is a passionate Guernsey advocate with an incredible intellect and capacity for hard work and client relationship management

Expertise that doesn’t disappoint

Sarah Brehaut has a skill for thinking outside of the box

Laurent Thibeault turns his hand to challenges very fast

Key clients

Alnashir Popat

David Bates, ex Marlborough Trust Company director

Active Fund Services

CRGF

Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Ian Kitching

Work highlights

  • Advising Alnashir Popat in respect of a high-value multi-jurisdictional trust dispute involving proceedings in Guernsey, Gibraltar and Kenya.
  • Advising David Bates, the former non-executive director of a Guernsey trust company, on a claim by liquidators of the company under an indemnity.
  • Advising Active Fund Services (the administrator of the Arasbridge Unit Trust) in relation to hostile proceedings regarding a fund with over twenty sub-funds.
  • Acting for the Rusnano Group in seeking to liquidate a Guernsey limited partnership investment vehicle in contentious circumstances.

Ferbrache & Farrell LLP

Ferbrache & Farrell LLP's is developing a solid reputation in the Guernsey legal market. Advocates Peter Ferbrache ('great tactician'; 'fearsome advocate') and Martin Jones ('excellent litigator'; 'inventive') regularly act for private clients, fiduciary and pension companies and domestic commercial entities on matters including trust litigation, contentious insolvency, investment disputes and professional negligence. On the local level, the practice also handles employment, criminal, licensing, family law and medical negligence issues.

Practice head(s):

Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Peter Ferbrache; Adam Cole

Testimonials

A small but growing and dynamic firm that can and do certainly mix it with the big boys in the offshore litigation playground

Ferbrache & Farrell is an excellent firm

Very knowledgeable and provides honest opinions and advice

Responsiveness and attention to detail that is second to none

Adam Cole is an empathetic, highly articulate and commercially aware professional who is an absolute titan when it comes to representing his client’s position. A great guy to have in your corner

Peter Ferbrache’s name precedes him as a man whose passion and tenacity still flows in abundance such is his clear love of the law and protecting his clients’ interests

Peter Ferbrache is one of the very best

 

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Office of the Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in a claim brought by members of a pension scheme seeking to compel a transfer of specific assets out of the scheme.

Ashton Barnes Tee

Ashton Barnes Tee’s practice has strong domestic focus, acting on family law, criminal, employment, property and taxation issues. Clients from further afield also instruct the team on contentious trust issues, with a client list including trustees, beneficiaries, settlors and administrators.