Dispute resolution in Isle Of Man


A key differentiator of Appleby is its sizeable team combined with its ability to draw upon its international offshore network. Practice head Mark Holligon has a broad skillset in commercial litigation, although is perhaps best known for his work on distressed funds and restructuring. Caren Pegg is also highly skilled in insolvency litigation as well as on asset tracing, fraud and freezing injunctions. Charles Davies is a key name in the market for regulatory disputes, as evidenced by having the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority as a key client. Christopher Cope is also highly recommended and highly skilled in insolvency and fraud disputes. Counsel Claire Corkish advises on injunctive relief, search and disclosure orders, and the 'excellent' senior associate Erin Trimble-Cregeen is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Holligon


‘Specialist knowledge of the Isle of Man law and procedure. ‘

‘Blue chip approach to litigation with blue chip resources.’

‘Pragmatic approach to resolving litigated disputes.’

‘Can be trusted to handle multi million pound claims with a deft touch. ‘

‘There is a raft of specialisms within the firm and the ability to draw on knowledge from other offices in other jurisdictions. The firm is proactive and ensures appropriate resource to deal with fast moving matters. ‘

‘Tim Swift is a vastly experienced and dedicated lawyer delivering the right result every time for his clients. Hands on and great communication and caring.’

‘Working with Charles Davies and Erin Trimble-Cregeen has been a great experience. I appreciated very much their clear strategic thinking and their excellent advocate skills. I would warmly recommend them to clients having issues in the Isle of Man.’

‘Mark Holligon gives excellent advice whilst also keeping the commercial perspective to the fore. He has a wealth of experience and is also very effective in Court.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland International

Isle of Man Government (various departments)

Financial Services Authority

Gordon Wilson as Receiver and Manager of Montpelier (Trust & Corporate) Services Limited

Douglas Corporation


Takafumi Horie

State Trading Corporation of India

Alexander Tugushev

Avocet Aviation Limited (in liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Advised and appeared for Royal Bank of Scotland International in the restructuring of its Isle of Man Bank business by way of a Court-approved bank transfer scheme.
  • Acted for the Takafumie Horie  in a litigation arising out of an Isle of Man space tourism venture.  
  • Acted for the State Trading Corporation of India and Moorgate Industries UK Limited in relation to a major contentious insolvency matter.


For some, 'the strength and depth of the dispute resolution team in Cains is unrivalled in the Isle of Man'. Peter Clucas jointly leads the practice and is a key name in the market for insolvency disputes, while fellow practice head Robert Colquitt focuses on trusts disputes, fraud and asset tracing. Regulatory disputes is Lindsey Bermingham's particular forté, having recently rejoined the firm from her role as Director of the Isle of Man Government’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The team also greatly benefits from from former High Court judge David Doyle acting as a senior legal adviser, and name partner senior consultant Seth Caine, who is an expert in trust disputes. Also recommended are senior associate Tara Cubbon, who joined from DQ, and associate Charles Williams.

Practice head(s):

Peter Clucas; Robert Colquitt


‘Always approachable and gives clear and concise explanations. Our first choice for trust litigation.As the largest of the independent advocate firms on the Isle of Man, Cains has retained a strong sense of personal relationships with clients, coupled with good technical knowledge. Staff at Cains can be relied upon for their expert technical skills, but are also very responsive to and invested in their clients.’

‘Their experience in trust litigation matters is demonstrated in the way they deal with matters, in their communications both written and orally. ‘

‘They can handle the most complex litigation in a professional and approachable manner.’

‘David Doyle – former Chief Justice of the Isle of Man – brings a judicial perspective yet with pragmatism and real work logic to the most complex legal and regulatory matters. Can bring calm and reassurance to the most volatile contentious matters .’

‘Robert Colquitt is diligent, measured, well reasoned, thoroughly in control of the court room setting. Very astute, hard-working, proactive, tactical. Very responsive, thoughtful, strategic and tactical. Creative and supportive in addressing the requirements of an issue.’

‘Seth Caine’s trust law knowledge has been invaluable in a number of cases.’

‘Charles Williams has successfully resolved a number of complex cases that we have instructed.’

Key clients

Stuart Smalley & Co LLC

Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC

Browne Craine & Co

Her Majesty’s Attorney General’s Chambers (Isle of Man)

SMP Partners


Isle of Man Financial Services Authority

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cayman National Trust Company as defendants to claims by beneficiaries of a substantial trust for information, against a complex background of legal proceedings in various jurisdictions.
  • Acting for PwC on obtaining the direction of the Isle of Man High Court upon which the payment of interest to creditors of the insolvent Manx bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander.
  • Advised Isle of Man Financial Services Authority on complex regulatory and connectivity advice.

Callin Wild

Callin Wild is led by Jonathan Wild who, according to one client, 'has un-matched experience and expertise in big ticket, large scale commercial disputes'.  He is currently very active in major asset recovery disputes, most notably for the ex-wife of a Russian businessman Farkhad Akhmedov, in a multi-jurisdictional dispute which has had previous stages in London and the UAE concerning assets including the superyacht Luna. The team also benefits from the strengths of Kathryn Clough, who is highly experienced in trust disputes,  and Fletcher Craine, who is a particularly known for his work in insolvency disputes. 'Up and coming' senior associate Rebecca Paterson is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Wild 


‘The Callin Wild dispute resolution team are excellent, professional and results oriented. They deliver their advice in a personable manner and are tough litigators who get the job done.’

‘They are responsive and very good on receiverships.’

‘Jonathan Wild has un-matched experience and expertise in big ticket, large scale commercial disputes. He leads a skilled team of litigators. The team is professional, responsive and a delight to work with.’

‘Fletcher Craine’s depth of knowledge and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution make him a stand out lawyer. Clients enjoy working with him and above all else he achieves results. You want Fletcher on your team.’

‘Rebecca Paterson is an up and coming senior associate and a name to watch for the future.’

Key clients

Tatiana Akhmedova

Capital Fund Services Limited

Baker Tilley

Foundations Program PLC and FPA Limited (in liquidation)

Cruz City (Mauritius) Holdings


Depositors Compensation Scheme – Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (IOM) Limited (in liquidation)

Isle of Man Financial Services Authority

Templeton Insurance Limited

Manx Gas

Grant Thornton

Boca Limited

Soberano Limited

Douglas Borough Council

Onchan Commissioners

Work highlights

  • Acting in respect of the enforcement of the largest divorce order obtained in the UK.
  • Advised Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings on freezing orders in the Isle of Man.
  • Acting on behalf of CFSL in a £15m claim for damages in respect of alleged breach of the defendant’s duties as fund manager.

Keystone Law

The team at Keystone Law is led by Gillian Christian, who is  known primarily for professional negligence defence and insolvency work, with additional expertise in commercial, trust and employment disputes. Her professional negligence work tends to involve the legal and financial services sectors. Working alongside her is Andrew Marshall who has a carved a niche in the proceeds of crime space, most notably in challenging restraint orders.

Practice head(s):

Gillian Christian

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Marshall 


‘The team are professional and sympathetic at the same time they are realistic. They are not scared to pass a case to a colleague with a different skill set to ensure that the advice is well thought through and tested by colleagues.’

‘The team in the Isle of Man is a paradigm of focused and driven, solutions-led, client service. ‘

‘Andrew Marshall will not rest until he is confident that he has found the very best solution for his clients, applying his detailed knowledge and experience across the corporate litigation sphere to achieve the appropriate outcome.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the litigation system in the Isle of Man and how it can be deployed to best effect to benefit a client. ‘

‘Andrew Marshall is an outstanding lawyer, very personable, shrewd and not shy about reining in a client who may be too aggressive for their own good.’

‘Andrew Marshall would be an asset to any firm. He is responsive and does not say what you want to hear. If it’s bad news he will tell you but also has compassion to take time to understand the situation.’

Key clients

K&L Gates / Receiver of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund

Michael Simpson, Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC

Financial Services Authority

Bridgewaters (IOM) Limited

Brown Craine & Co as liquidators of Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited

Oak Group Isle of Man Limited

Oddbins Direct Limited

Heron and Brearley Limited

Mann Made Corporate Services Limited

Boston Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the receivers of the Axiom Legal financing fund in proceedings brought against RBSI for breach of duty.
  • Acted for PwC on the liquidation of Eco Resources Fund Pcc.
  • Acting for Heron and Brearley Limited in relation to a construction dispute concerning a major development in the Isle of Man and also acting on various other property disputes.

Long & Humphrey

Long & Humphrey's presence in dispute resolution primarily comes from its strong expertise in insolvency and trust litigation. Name partner Rob Long is the key name for insolvency disputes and counts Deloitte as a key client. He is also adept in general commercial litigation and asset tracing. Oliver Helfrich handles the trust litigation side, with additional expertise in commercial  and property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rob Long; Oliver Helfrich


‘Good team players. Oliver Helfrich was a pleasure to work with. Very approachable, used easy understandable language, flexible and proactive.’

‘Oliver Helfrich is approachable, flexible also very pro-active in following up if anything else required.’

‘The team provided a very professional and diligent service. Oliver Helfrich was the lead advocate and his service was very professional, keeping me fully informed at all stages.’

Key clients

Shimmin Wilson

Browne Craine

Peel Town Commissioners

Castletown Town Commissioners

Garff Commissioners

Isle of Man Enterprises plc

Burnbrae Limited

British Cycling instructed through Leigh Day UK

Department for Enterprise

Isle of Man Law Society


Mahu Management Limited

Crowe Trust Isle of Man Limited

Jason Scales

Global Marine LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for Deloitte and Brown Craine as joint liquidators in a multi-jurisdictional liquidation in respect of New Earth Recycling.
  • Acting for Global Marine Fuel LLP in respect of claims arising from alleged fraudulent activity of Dmitry Mazurov.
  • Acting for the joint liquidators Browne Craine of Global Steel Holdings Limited (in liquidation) in respect of winding up of company with approx. $200m in debts.

Quinn Legal

Quinn Legal is 'a good and experienced outfit on the Isle of Man that covers the whole gamut of disputes', with a particularly strong background in white-collar crime cases involving allegations of fraud, theft and embezzlement.  Ashley Kneale leads the team and is very strong in disputes concerning aviation, white-collar crime and online gambling. James Quinn is another key name and well-known in the local market for his work on white-collar crime. Other key members of the team include civil and commercial litigator Steven Coren and senior criminal litigator Jim Travers. Family law specialist Louise Byrne is now a consultant at Simcocks.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Kneale

Other key lawyers:

James Quinn; Steven Coren; Jim Travers


‘A good and experienced outfit on the Isle of Man that covers the whole gamut of disputes.’

‘Jim Travers is very practical, down to earth and sensible. He has good judgement and is easy to deal with and puts clients interests first at all times. Great local contacts and intelligent and commercial approach to disputes.

‘Ashley Kneale is very well prepared; good relationship with clients; commercial and straightforward; efficient and pragmatic. The team is small but very efficiently led by James Quinn and punches above its weight.’

‘Steven Coren is diligent and responsive. Works well with UK barristers and our team.’


Key clients

Manx Utilities Authority

Knox Group PLC

Santoro Whitmire Attorneys

Island Financial Services Limited

Peters & Peters

Dechert LLP

Aerodynamics Ltd

Hartford Homes Limited

The Good Care Group

Clyde & Co

Langness Golf Course

Richard Brindle

Work highlights

  • Defended an application by the Attorney General of the Isle of Man to forfeit £500,951.
  • Defending a client of Kingsley Napley in complex specific performance proceedings relating to the fair value of a limited partnership interest, and books and records and consequential advice.
  • Defending Aerodynamics Limited in a claim concerning secret profits, conversion and conspiracy.

Athena Law

Dispute resolution boutique Athena Law has extensive experience in mostly involving commercial and trust disputes, asset tracing and injunctive relief. The 'cool, calm and informed' Chiva Samani leads the practice and has built up a reputation having previously worked at the now inactive Gough Law and is currently very active in high-value cross-border disputes before the Manx courts.

Practice head(s):

Chiva Samani 


‘This is a team with tons of drive, motivation and a tremendous commitment to client interest.’

‘A small specialised practice that operates to a best in class standard in relation to dispute resolution.’

‘We have found them to be a highly capable advisor with expert knowledge of the unique aspects of Isle of Man law. They have also been exceptionally responsive to client needs.’

‘This is the most feared practice on the Isle of Man for getting results for their clients. It might be a small firm but the attention to detail and research on past case histories is second to none – very different from other law firms on the Isle of Man that tend to rely on an ‘old boys’ network.’

‘Chiva Samani is exceptional – a highly polished legal performer; a reliable and first-rate lawyer.’

‘Chiva Samani is always very well prepared and has excellent knowledge – she has a very good way with the client, giving clear concise advice via a careful analysis of the pros and cons of a particular course of action.’

‘Chiva Samani is a real expert in her field and is authoritative with her advice. She understands client goals and communicates well with them.

‘Chiva Samani is very approachable and easy to deal with. She is cool, calm and informed and inspires total confidence.’

Key clients

DAC Beachcroft

Baker & McKenzie Geneva

Derwent Holdings Limited

Nectrus Limited

The Executors of the Estate of Judah Binstock

Michael Richardson/John Bourbon – directors of Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited (in liquidation)

Oak Group Limited

Dohle (IOM) Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a leading brand-building corporation to act in a complex shareholders’ dispute and to advise on a multi-million-pound unfair prejudice claim brought by the minority shareholder.
  • Advised and assisted the former directors of four investment funds (valued at their peak at £400m+) in relation to certain regulatory investigations and interviews under compulsion.
  • Instructed to assist in the discharge of a freezing order on substantial assets beneficially owned on a Middle-Eastern property tycoon/PEP.

BridsonHalsall Advocates

BridsonHalsall Advocates 'covers every aspect of disputes ranging from commercial litigation to judicial review, as well as some criminal work such as health and safety’. Richard Halsall jointly leads the practice and is an expert in civil and criminal disputes, with expertise in commercial, employment, personal injury and trust-related matters. Fellow practice head Andrew Bridson has similarly broad capabilities, but is especially active in trust litigation and contentious probate issues.

Practice head(s):

Richard Halsall; Andrew Bridson


‘Richard Halsall and Andy Bridson have a modest sized practice and work very closely with one another. They are basically litigators who cover every aspect of disputes ranging from commercial litigation to judicial review as well as some criminal work such as health and safety. ‘

‘Both are good advocates and are highly respected by the judges in the Isle of Man. Given that the profession is small and there are few judges this is an important feature.’

‘Richard Halsall is a real star. He is clever and focused. He wears it lightly with an amiable laid back style but is tenacious and cares greatly about his clients. I would trust him totally if ever I needed legal help in the Isle of Man.’

Work highlights

  • Obtained an injunction against a government department and successfully judicially reviewed the department’s decision to suspend a seafishing licence.
  • Successfully defended an accountant charged with breaching the Anti Money Laundering Code.
  • Defended a government department charged with multiple health and safety breaches relating to a heritage tram.


Leanne McKeown leads the practice at DQ and is particularly known for acting on breach of duties cases. She is also highly skilled in acting on employment and clinical negligence cases. However, the team has recently added Mark Emery, who joined from Appleby, has a strong background in the insolvency arena. Stephen Dougherty joined FinLaw in June 2019 while Tara Cubbon is now at Cains.

Practice head(s):

Leanne McKeown


‘Leanne McKeown is just outstanding – a real firecracker of a litigator. She fights like a tiger.’

‘The fee-earners impress as being prepared to go the extra yard – they are accessible and inspire confidence. Leanne McKeown particularly stands out as a wise head on young shoulders, very likely to become a lead practitioner.’

‘DQ has a great reputation both in the Isle of Man and in the UK as the go to-firm on the island. As a firm they are incredibly easy to work with and very user friendly.’

‘The litigation team is relatively young – they are enthusiastic and diligent and confident in their abilities. There is clearly a teamwork ethos and they are not fazed by the more established litigation outfits on Island against whom they have enjoyed some notable successes.’

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC

Lloyds Bank International Ltd

Turnstone (Isle of Man) Ltd

Fulcrum Ltd

Manx Industrial Relations Service

Zenfold Properties Limited

Marr Limited as trustee of the Marr Trust

Fortress Management Services Limited

Heather Scott as PR of the Estate of the late Christopher


SMP Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the freezing injunction against Montpelier Trust and Corporate Services Limited in its capacity as trustee of the Dr Steve Smith Discretionary Trust.
  • Complex insolvency and associated litigation following the winding up of the Louis Group of companies on the Isle of Man in or around 2013.

MannBenham Advocates Limited

MannBenham Advocates Limited's disputes offering operates under the leadership of Christopher Webb, who is particularly skilled in insolvency and liquidation disputes.  Chris Grimson, who focuses on employment, property and personal injury disputes, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Webb

Other key lawyers:

Chris Grimson


‘All advice frank, down to earth and easy to understand. My lawyer was patience personified.’

‘Chris Webb took a great deal of time and trouble to explain things to me in terms I could understand. He invariably apprised me of the potential downside risks of decisions in the case that were mine to take. He was resourceful in marshalling our arguments.’


Simcocks litigation team is now headed by Peter Maughan, who formerly practices as an independent barrister in Dublin and contributes expertise in commercial, insolvency and trust disputes. Associate Caroline Jennings focuses on family law, with expertise in handling high-value matrimonial matters, and Elizabeth Simpson has a broad range of expertise spanning from commercial litigation and insurance through to matters involving horses. Former practice head Christopher Arrowsmith left the firm on his appointment as Deputy High Bailiff, a role which is effectively island's second most senior stipendiary magistrate.

Practice head(s):

Peter Maughan

Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd

Litigation boutique Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd is the combination of three practitioners with different areas of expertise. Darren Taubitz jointly leads the practice and is an established name on island for criminal defence work. Fellow practice head Vicki Unsworth is a renowned expert in civil and commercial litigation, and is currently active in insolvency, civil fraud and trust disputes. Hazel Smith is perhaps best known for her work on family law, but also handles professional and medical negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Darren Taubitz; Vicki Unsworth

Other key lawyers:

Hazel Smith

Key clients

Trident Trust Company

Sondica Inc

Kaupthing Hf

DWF Claims

MRP International Limited

Avant Gardent Limited

Work highlights

  • Obtained substantial pre-action disclosure for Sondica Inc, in relation to a potential negligent misstatement claim against Isle of Man Government.
  • Settled a substantial claim brought by one of three shareholders arguing minority oppression and that a quasi partnership existed in their company.
  • Settled a severe birth defects medical negligence case for £4.6m against the Department of Health and Social Care.