Offshore in London Bar
Serle Court is prominent in the area, with its members handling matters ranging from contemplated disputes over trusts to Privy Council appeals on points on key company issues. Alan Boyle QC, Richard Wilson QC, and Zahler Bryan represented the beneficiary daughter in Gany Holdings v Khan, a Privy Council appeal from the BVI in the wake of a transfer of assets, whose ultimate destination was subject to dispute, as was the distribution of the majority of the trust assets to one beneficiary. Turning to the Cayman Islands, Philip Jones QC represented the respondent in Shanda Games v Masa Capital Investments, the lead Privy Council case concerning the Cayman Islands' provision for the "fair value" to be determined by a court when a shareholder dissents from a merger. The set is also active in the Crown Dependencies, with Philip Marshall QC and Matthew Morrison having worked with Collas Crill in representing the independent directors in the long-running Guernsey Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway case over the collapse of a fund in the 2008 case – Kathryn Purkis, who is a Jersey advocate, was formerly a partner at the firm Collas Crill providing chambers and clients with front line Channel Island experience.
Wilberforce Chambers continues to be 'a go-to set for trust disputes', with members instructed in all manner of Chancery matters across the Caribbean and in other common law-based jurisdictions. Numerous members of chambers were involved in the high-profile AHAB v SAAD case in the Cayman Islands: Tom Lowe QC and Jack Watson represented SIFCO 4, one of the defendant companies; John Wardell QC is instructed to represent AHAB in appeals. In another Cayman highlight, Graeme Halkerston secured the jurisdiction's first statutory ex-parte global freezing order for investors in a collapsed commodity company; the investors alleged fraud by the company's manager, Eike Batista, a Brazilian ex-billionaire who was sentenced to prison in 2018 for a separate bribery matter. Moving to the Channel Islands, Gilead Cooper QC is advising the defendants in the long-running CMC Holdings v Forster case in the Jersey Royal Courts, a case in which the claimants allege the local directors (who include high-profile Kenyan political figures) of a business importing cars to eastern Africa operated a Jersey trust as a slush fund.
'A top set for trusts matters', XXIV Old Buildings has members involved in 'elite cases'. Alan Steinfeld QC and Edward Cumming QC were successful in assisting the defendant Carlyle companies in the Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway litigation in Guernsey. Robert Levy QC is instructed in numerous Cayman Islands section 238 cases. Also of note, the highly regarded Nicole Langlois, a former Carey Olsen partner, is a Jersey advocate.
A set that is 'very impressive in terms of its coverage, and advocates with really strong advocacy skills', 3 Verulam Buildings handles a range of work, with a number of cases having links to the CIS region through the BVI. Members are also involved in litigation elsewhere in the Caribbean. Matthew Hardwick QC represented Delco Participation, a Dutch company, in an appeal against the decision of a BVI's first instance court to refuse to appoint liquidators over Green Elite in an unusual use of the loss of substratum ground for a winding-up. Ewan McQuater QC led the team representing BVI companies in the Investec Trust v Glenalla Trustees case, the latest round of the Tchenguiz saga, in this instance concerning enforcing against Robert Tchenguiz's home near the Royal Albert Hall. Hefin Rees QC joined in October 2018 from 39 Essex Chambers, further strengthening the set.
For many 'the leading insolvency set', South Square is involved in all manner of offshore company matters, with a number of instructions involving collapsed investment funds of note. Following his representation of the Primeo Fund in claims against HSBC, Tom Smith QC is instructed to represent the Abraaj Group's provisional liquidators in the Cayman Islands litigation stemming from the private equity group's high-profile collapse; Adam Al-Attar is instructed to represent Abraaj Holdings Limited.
An 'approachable and friendly set' that is 'more accessible than quite a few of the Chancery sets', 4 New Square handles a mixture of work in the offshore space, with a stronger focus than others on professional regulatory proceedings and negligence claims against auditors and other professionals, on top of the typical company and insolvency matters. Justin Fenwick QC continues to represent the liquidators of Stanford Bank in Antiguan proceedings against two international law firms following the collapse of the notorious Ponzi scheme. Graham Chapman QC represented a defendant fund manager in a case in the Isle of Man, and represents a law firm in professional negligence case in the Cayman Islands.
Blackstone Chambers has a number of members who handle work on key constitutional issues of commercial significance in the British Overseas Territories. Lord David Pannick QC represented the Bermuda Bar Council before the Privy Council – Walkers challenged the Bermudian regulator's decision to refuse it a licence to practice law, citing the requirements for local control of law firms. Elsehwere, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC advises on the impact of Brexit on the Channel Islands.
Erskine Chambers' members are well versed in Chancery issues across the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. Michael Todd QC and Philip Gillyon represented the appellant latter party in East Asia Company v PT Satria Tiratama Energindo, a Privy Council case stemming from the transfer of shares of Bali Energy, a Bermudian company with geothermal energy rights in Indonesia. Todd QC also represented the defendant law firm in Bermuda Bar Council v Walkers, a case which reached the Privy Council and concerned whether Walkers complied with the Bermudian regulator's requirement for local ownership of law firms.
Fountain Court Chambers includes a number of silks involved in challenging and high-stakes cases across offshore jurisdictions. Michael Green QC, who is also called to the Trinidadian Bar, represents Nanfong International Investments in a cross-border defence of a winding-up petition; he has been admitted to the Samoan Bar to handle the case there following success in a jurisdiction battle in the Caymanian Court of Appeal. Elsewhere, Bridget Lucas QC represented the "AwalCos" as defendants in the AHAB v Saad, a case in which more than two million documents were disclosed.