Rising Stars

Dispute resolution in Isle Of Man


Appleby handles complex and high value disputes on a domestic and international level. The firm offers considerable expertise in international commercial litigation, insolvency work and trust disputes on behalf of some of the market’s most important players. Managing partner Mark Holligon focuses on commercial litigation and restructuring both onshore and offshore. The ‘bold and experienced litigator’ Caren Pegg handles a range of heavyweight civil and commercial disputes involving fraud, freezing injunctions and contentious data protection issues. Charles Davies handles complex corporate and commercial disputes, while Christopher Cope specialises in fraud claims and trust disputes. Other key names include Claire Corkish, Keira Gore and Erin Trimble-Cregeen.

Practice head(s):

Mark Holligon

Other key lawyers:

Caren pegg; Charles Davies; Christopher Cope; Claire Corkish; Keira Gore; Erin Trimble-Cregeen


‘The team at Appleby are really excellent. they understand the UK and IOM insolvency work and also are well aware of other off shore jurisdictional insolvency landscapes.’

‘Mark Holligan is excellent and really knows his way around the IOM court system and what is required, when and how. He also has great knowledge of the English Insolvency legislation which is really helpful. He is a quality lawyer with a quality team around him.’

‘Highly capable of dealing with complex litigation, outshining competitors on the Isle of Man (even where those competitors have been backed by London-based solicitors).’

‘Caren Pegg – a bold and experienced litigator.’

‘An excellent team of litigators, who can handle the most complex litigation on the island. They have strength in depth, and the capability to deal with urgent matters promptly and professionally.’

‘Keira Gore is an excellent advocate – calm headed, but strong and persuasive on her feet.’

‘The firm is led on the Island by Mark Holligon. He is a force to be reckoned with on the Island. A very punchy litigator who will take the fight to the other side.

‘The team is led by the excellent Mark Holligon, who is the go-to commercial disputes lawyer in the Isle of Man. He brings experience from having practised in London as well as offshore. He leads a capable team including Caren Pegg and Claire Corkish. Mark is always available and goes the extra mile.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland International

Isle of Man Government

Moorgate Industries

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

Douglas Corporation



Swagelok Isle of Man Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting as lead counsel to the Court appointed manager and receiver of a local trust and corporate service provider following litigation brought by the local regulator. Appleby has advised on a wide range of matters relating to the client’s appointment in circumstances where the directors of the company are taking an aggressive stance amid allegations of substantial wrongdoing.
  • Acting for three beneficiaries of three Manx family trusts who are the subject of high value litigation in Italy.
  • Representing RBSI in relation to a very high value claim taken against the bank.


The litigation team at Cains has a strong track record of managing complex, high value litigation disputes. In particular, the team specialises in insolvency disputes, asset tracing, fraud and trust litigation cases on behalf of a range of significant domestic and international banks, lenders and corporates. Peter Clucas is an expert in insolvency matters and regulatory enforcement, while Robert Colquitt handles all aspects of commercial and chancery litigation domestically and internationally. Seth Caine is a leading name in insolvency cases and Lindsey Bermingham is particularly experienced in regulatory and anti-money laundering issues. Tara Cubbon-Wood handles high profile contract disputes and claims against directors. Charles Williams handles litigious commercial matters for onshore and offshore clients. Robert Long joined the team from Humphrey & Helfrich in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Peter Clucas; Robert Colquitt

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Bermingham; Robert Long; Seth Caine; Tara Cubbon-Wood; Charles Williams; Emily Johnson


‘Cains has strength in depth across a large number of disciplines. They are first class and leaders in their field in the IOM.’

‘Lindsey Bermingham is the complete and finished article. She is frighteningly bright, a brilliant tactician, and has a wonderful manner with clients. She has an unrivalled knowledge of the development and implementation of the AML legislation, policy and framework.’

‘A practice with a wealth of experience who are a safe set of hands.’

‘Lindsey Bermingham is a superb lawyer with excellent attention to detail. Lindsey is a real team player and puts clients at ease. Lindsey is hard working and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Cains team offer extensive expert knowledge and experience, they are responsive and professional at all times’

‘Lindsey Bermingham is extremely knowledge on relevant legislation, she is personable and provides experienced and expert advice in her field.’

‘Cains are a long established firm that we use periodically through the year and we find them to be well equipped to answer business related questions in quick fashion. The quality of advice is strong, plain text explanations underpinned by detailed analysis – a very practical oriented firm that makes dealing with them easy.’

‘Lindsey Bermingham has been particularly helpful around AML matters, both sanctions regimes and also case specific advice.’

Key clients

Friends Provident International Limited

A former MLRO


Monument International Life Assurance


Work highlights

  • Representing Friends Provident International Limited in defending a multi-claimant claim before Isle of Man High Court.
  • Advising two defendants in connection with hugely complex, longstanding litigation issues, spanning 10 years +, involving multiple jurisdictions.
  • Successfully representing an asset holding Manx company before the Appeal Court in defending contractual dispute involving interpretation and rectification of loan agreement.

Athena Law

As a boutique litigation firm, Athena Law is regularly instructed by influential international law firms and institutions in regard to complex multijurisdictional disputes. The firm has ‘an extensive and comprehensive knowledge’ in relation to trust and fund-related disputes, as well as various regulatory matters. Chiva Samani is a ‘formidable advocate’ and ‘strong legal and tactical mind’ that focuses on high value commercial, trust and regulatory disputes in addition to asset tracing and injunctive relief.

Practice head(s):

Chiva Samani


‘The people at the firm are proactive and understand the case in hand, ensuring that pragmatic solutions are found.’

‘Chiva Samani is impressive – a strong legal and tactical mind, highly efficient and responsive’

‘Chiva Samani is a great communicator and someone you want in your corner.’

‘With a pragmatic, sensible, no nonsense approach to any matter, delighted that Chiva Samani is on my side as opposed to against! A formidable, but well researched professional. Chiva doesn’t take a tick box approach to her clients and the matters she is dealing with… but she does tick the opposition off with her “success” track record.’

‘Chiva Samani is a high quality advocate, who regularly appears against leading practitioners on the island. She is a formidable advocate, and impresses the court and clients with her calm and measured approach whilst fighting her client’s corner.’

‘Chiva Samani is an excellent litigation advocate and has good support behind the scenes.’

‘Chiva Samani is highly committed, very analytical and detailed.’

‘Athena Law has always demonstrated an extensive and comprehensive knowledge on trust dispute topics.’

Key clients

DAC Beachcroft

Begbies Traynor

Nectrus Limited

Derwent Holdings Limited

Oak Group Limited

Shareholder Group in MIR Limited

The Law Trust Limited

Kestrel Insurance Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the receiver appointed to the assets of multi-million company based in the Isle of Man in the context of multijurisdictional proceedings brought against a Russian oligarch and competing claims (£150m+) by two major financial institutions to those assets
  • Advised minority shareholders in a multi-million fintech company in an unfair prejudice claim against the majority shareholder, and in claims by the company against the minority shareholders for breaches of duty.
  • Advised and defended a Cypriot company in relation to claims that the company held its assets on trust for its ultimate parent, as part of lengthy, complex and multijurisdictional litigation efforts.


DQ‘s dispute resolution team is experienced across all levels of court in the Isle of Man and regularly acts on a range of complex high profile disputes, including those surrounding insolvency, shareholder disputes, employment and professional negligence. Practice head Leanne McKeown is an expert in employment law in addition to civil and commercial litigation, particularly those surrounding breaches of directors’ duties and e-disclosure process management. Mark Emery is experienced in a range of commercial disputes and is a accomplished senior courtroom Advocate. Joshua Quinn and Jessica McManus are also important members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Leanne McKeown

Other key lawyers:

Mark Emery; Joshua Quinn; Jessica McManus; Annemarie Hughes; Barry Smith


This is the only firm capable of handing large and complex trusts matters and are always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Annemarie Hughes is a knowledgeable and very able lawyer.’

‘Mark Emery is a capable litigator and highly organised.’

‘Adam Killip and Barry Smith are extremely professional, responsive and helpful at all times. All three have exceptional knowledge in their fields.’

‘Mark Emery is an excellent and very responsive lawyer.’

‘Mark Emery is very personable, knowledgeable and efficient. Partner led service, with less conflicts than some of the larger firms on island.’

‘Strong team for insolvency, the best on the Isle of Man. Seriously good also in civil fraud cases and the go to for legal counsel from around the world with IOM disputes.’

‘Mark Emery, a seriously good operator, technically excellent, good attention to detail. Runs a top team. Good with clients.’

Key clients

Suntera (IOM) Limited

Baker Tilly Isle of Man Fiduciaries Limited

Concept Fiduciaries Limited

Cayman National Bank (Isle of Man) Limited

Ramsey Town Commissioners

Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited

Arragon Jaguars Limited

Celtic Associates Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited

AAO Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for AAO Technologies Limited in obtaining the first reported costs order against the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority in the Isle of Man Financial Services Tribunal.

Humphrey & Helfrich

The ‘extremely friendly, welcoming and warm’ dispute resolution department ant Humphrey & Helfrich handles a wide variety of disputes, including commercial and contract litigation, insolvency, personal injury and trusts and estates. The firm has a particularly strong track record of representing public bodies in disputes concerning public law. Oliver Helfrich leads the team, specialising in commercial and chancery litigation, as well as plaintiff and defendant personal injury. Mark Humphrey handles disputes arising from commercial property work, while Helen Helfrich joined the team in 2022 to lead the company’s administrative and public law unit.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Helfrich

Other key lawyers:

Mark Humphrey; Helen Helfrich


‘An extremely friendly, welcoming and warm group of advocates. Their levels of professionalism are so high and they treat their customers with a great level of respect.’

‘The advocates that have represented me do so with a genuine warmth and care. They never seem too busy to make sure that I am getting the best possible levels of advice and service.’

‘The practice offers a wide range of services but has retained a very personal touch with good connection to the requirements of client on a personal level demystifying often complex matters to understandable vocabulary’

‘The practice prioritises individual connection with client – that is apparent throughout, but the work of Mark Humphrey in ensuring he is visible and available to client remains exceptional’

Key clients

British Triathlon instructed through Leigh Day UK

British Cycling instructed through Leigh Day UK

Peel Town Commissioners

Castletown Town Commissioners

Garff Parish Commissioners

Isle of Man Enterprises (Shoprite brand)



Hatford Homes

Affinity Group

Shimmin Wilson

CM Partners

Fortress Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Claimant and successfully defended the Defendants’ Counterclaims seeking legal title to a substantial trust asset. The Defendants’ argued on the basis of constructive/resulting trust and proprietary estoppel.
  • Acted for the Defendant and successfully defended the Claimant’s claim for unpaid rent and damages for breach of tenant’s covenants, both at first instance and on appeal.
  • Providing ongoing advice and assistance in relation to various contentious and non-contentious dispute resolution and public law matters as and when they arise.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law‘s ‘commercial, accessible and practical’ dispute resolution handles a wide range of disputes with  a particular focus on representing clients in complex commercial disputes, trust litigation, professional negligence and contentious employment matters. Gillian Christian is ‘highly skilled’ in trust litigation, especially on equitable relief and rectification cases. Andrew Marshall is ‘a true lawyer’s lawyer’ who regularly handles complex commercial disputes and shareholder disputes, while Rachel Berry handles a broad range of commercial litigation as well as contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Gillian Christian

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Marshall; Rachel Berry


‘Andrew Marshall is absolutely first class. I have worked with him particularly on corporate matters relating to shareholder disputes. There are 3 particular strengths that stand out: (1) Overarching common sense and commercial nous; (2) Absolute mastery of the law; and (3) 100% commitment to achieving the result that the client needs. The combination of these strengths brings about a clear and effective results-driven approach.’

‘Andrew Marshall is a true lawyer’s lawyer. We retained him for a complex administrative law matter, in which he excelled in detailed analysis and astute advice. His command of the finer points of Manx law is equal to that of the finest minds on the bench. Despite all the complexity, he managed to deliver sound, sensible, practical advice and eventually led us to a powerful victory over a recalcitrant government.’

‘Keystone Law’s biggest strengths are their team of people. They are the best firm on the Isle of Man! It is their people, strategies and collaboration with their clients which make them the best in their field.’

‘Incredibly commercial, accessible and practical. The working model makes them very flexible’

‘Gillian Christian is always on hand to assist matters, very fair with bills and very firm and knowledgeable with her advice’

‘A matter is never to complex or difficult and if Gillian Christian doesn’t have the answer herself she will always find the answer in other ways’

‘This practice is unique in that they work in collaboration with their clients. They are solutions driven and are honest in their assessment of a matter. No false promises’

‘Gillian Christian is not only highly skilled but shows caring and empathy to her clients. Her clear integrity leads one to have confidence in her advice and work. An absolute pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Crowell & Moring LLP

Receivers of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund

Corporate Options Limited

Oak (Isle of Man) Limited

Divyesh Mittal and Associated Entities

Beneficiaries of The Erlich Settlement

D4 Doors Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for various creditors in the ongoing liquidation of Global Steel Holdings Limited.
  • Acts for the Receivers of the Axiom Legal financing fund in proceedings brought against RBSI for breach of duty that have just been to appeal at the Privy Council.
  • Advised Corporate Options Limited (“COL”) in relation to an investigation and enforcement action brought by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“FSA”)

BridsonHalsall Advocates

The dispute resolution department at BridsonHalsall Advocates acts for both claimants and defendants on a wide range of disputes with a particular focus in civil litigation, particularly commercial disputes, trust litigation and contentious probate and estate matters. Founding director Andrew Bridson has experience handling freezing injunctions and professional negligence matters across all levels of Manx court. He leads the practice alongside fellow founding director Richard Halsall whose practice encompasses a range of disputes, including criminal work and judicial reviews. Peter Russel specialises in criminal law across a range of offences including white collar crime and homicide.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Bridson; Richard Halsall

Other key lawyers:

Peter Russell; Claire Clampton


‘They are a great bunch of practictioners. Andrew Bridson very much leads by way of example and it shows. Good on the detail, pragmatic, very approachable.’

‘Andrew Bridson – Good on the detail, pragmatic, very approachable. unassuming but packs a punch.’

‘Excellent grasp of the law in the fields in which they practice.’

M&P Legal

With a disputes team that ‘punches well above their weight’, M&P Legal is regularly instructed on a range of high profile disputes, including those surrounding complex contentious liquidations, catastrophic personal injury and medical negligence cases on behalf of both claimants and defendants. In addition to these areas, team head Damian Molyneux is also regularly instructed to defend doctors and dentists on behalf of professional insurer bodies.

Practice head(s):

Damian Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Amelia Quinn; David Keates


‘Very knowledgeable team who clearly put their clients’ interests first’

‘I have found David Keates to be both knowledgeable and personable and he is clearly respected as one of the go to advocates in his field.’

‘M&P are a small team that punch well above their weight, yet at the same time putting their client’s interests first.’

Key clients

Grant Thornton


IoM Government

Medical Defence Union

Medical Protection Society

Dental Protection League



Tower Insurance


Penningtons Manches Cooper

Work highlights

  • Advised a private individual in respect of catastrophic personal injury arising from a motorcycle accident.
  • Advised  joint liquidators in respect of large trustee/corporate services provider in which serious allegations of fraud and/or professional negligence of financial institutions requires investigation.
  • Advising a large insurer client as to various personal injury claims.

MannBenham Advocates Limited

MannBenham Advocates Limited represents clients across the whole spectrum of commercial, civil and business litigation before all levels of Manx court and by way of both arbitration and mediation. Christopher Webb leads the firm’s litigation department with a practice that focuses on civil, commercial and trust disputes, as well as insolvency work and injunction relief. Chris Grimson is another key name, specialising in personal injury, employment law and consumer litigation.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Webb

Other key lawyers:

Miles Benham; Chris Grimson; Jacqui Owens


‘Practical and efficient resolution of issues in Isle of Man. Prompt turnaround and supportive.’

‘Chris Webb – invaluable assistance in resolving longstanding litigation and helping to achieve significant settlement.’

‘Chris Webb – Responsive, considered and street wise. A pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Hillberry Trust Company Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland International

A.Williams & Co


Quayside Services Limited

Tekinvest Limited

Manx Co-Operative Society

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Farfield Consultancy/Brett Burton

Quanta Services Limited

Trade Unions

Orry Watterson

Riverside Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Ultrazonic in relation to contract dispute concerning the provision of PPE.
  • Advising Hillberry Trust Company Limited in relation to a dispute with a former director.
  • Advising entrepreneur in relation to a shareholder dispute.


The dispute resolution & litigation team at Simcocks has considerable experience in civil and commercial litigation matters both domestically and international. This includes advising clients on shareholder disputes, regulatory compliance and judicial review applications. Team head Christopher Brooks is particularly skilled in property litigation and employment law. Elizabeth Simpson specialises in heavyweight commercial litigation across multiple jurisdictions. Louise Byrne is another key name with particular experience handling major civil and criminal trials, while Caroline Jennings  is also noted for her work on family law matters.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Brooks

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Simpson; Louise Byrne; Caroline Jennings; Kevin O’Loughlin;


‘Louise Byrne is the stand out family practitioner on the Isle of Man. She is in a class all by herself. Louise was the sole reason I instructed Simcocks. Louise exudes confidence and puts her client’s at the very forefront of her case strategy. Her experience and standing within the Isle of Man legal market allows her clients to feel totally reassured and understood.’

‘Elizabeth Simpson is excellent – great attention to detail, great client care.’

‘Whilst not the largest team on the Isle of Man, the depth of knowledge is exceptional and the quality of work is first rate. Highly responsive, dedicated litigators.’

‘Elizabeth Simpson is simply outstanding; a great litigator who fights for her clients. Very thorough and highly responsive. In particular, her understanding of litigation involving the Isle of Man life assurance industry is unrivalled.’

‘Effective delivery on large and complicated Isle of Man litigation cases. Great team players.’

‘Elizabeth Simpson – works above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a successful outcome for her clients.’

Key clients

Baccarat/Morland Limited

Much Better


Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd

The dispute resolution team at Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd routinely appears in complex litigation before all courts in the Isle of Man. In addition to civil, commercial and criminal litigation, the team also handles regulatory litigation, employment, inquest representation and personal injury litigation. Vicki Unsworth has considerable experience in regulatory litigation and co-leads the team alongside criminal defence specialist Darren Taubitz.

Practice head(s):

Vicki Unsworth; Darren Taubitz

Other key lawyers:

Matt Wilshaw; Sara-Jayne Dodge

Key clients

Sondica Inc

Kaupthing Hf

DWF Claims

MRP International Limited

VTB Bank

Cornerstone Architects

Liberty Global Group

Hadron Limited

Seaboard Corporation

Begbies Traynor

Sulby Collaborations Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the family of a prison inmate who committed suicide at the Isle of Man Prison whilst being held on remand, securing a finding of neglect against the Prison, contributed to by the Isle of Man Constabulary and the Island’s Health Service.
  • Secured the acquittal of a money laundering reporting officer who faced the first ever prosecution in the Isle of Man for failing to report suspicions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and the Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003.
  • Advising a large developer, Sondica Inc, in relation to a negligent misstatement, negligence and misfeasance in public office claim against Isle of Man Government and a UK Property Consultancy Firm, as part of a tendering process, having successfully obtained a significant pre action disclosure Order and having had such Order upheld on Appeal.