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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Foreign firms > Offshore firms in London > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Offshore firms in London
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Bedell Cristin has international offices in Jersey, Guernsey, BVI, Singapore and London. The London office is well known for its assistance with Jersey and Guernsey legal matters in relation to banking and finance deals, corporate and commercial transactions, investment funds, insolvency and restructuring, and regulatory issues. Bruce Scott heads up the City-based arm of the firm's Jersey law practice and has extensive experience in structuring and advising on a range of investment funds as well as corporate and finance transactions. Scott has developed particular expertise advising on the listing of UK REITs on The International Stock Exchange. In 2017, Tom Davies, in the financial services law group, was made partner; Davies has significant experience with private funds and joint ventures. His transactional experience includes the establishment of Jersey structures for holding and acquiring real estate; borrower-side advice for property - and other asset - financings; the sale and purchase of Jersey asset-holding structures; and corporate deals and advisory work. Senior associate Sukhvinder Chana provides specialist Guernsey legal advice; he regularly advises on M&A deals, capital raising and investment funds.

The first Channel Islands law firm to open an office in London, Carey Olsen advises on the laws of the BVI, Guernsey and Jersey and it is highly rated for advising global financial services companies, major banks and private equity fund managers on corporate and finance transactions. It particularly stands out for its assistance to offshore companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, while the London office also plays a key role in supporting the firm's global corporate teams on the launch of investment funds in the BVI, Guernsey and Jersey. The team also represents private clients and institutional clients in significant offshore disputes.  Recent highlights include acting for Sinarmas Land (through an SPV) on the Guernsey-related aspects of its purchase of Horseferry Property, a Guernsey-incorporated property holding company, which holds 33 Horseferry Road in London's Westminster; the corporate team also advised longstanding client and Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Avnel Gold Mining on its sale to Endeavour Mining Corporation, by way of a Guernsey scheme of arrangement. Nicolas Journeaux specialises in commercial and trust litigation, including asset recovery; counsel Claire McConway acts in BVI corporate, finance and funds deals and leads the firm's Russia and CIS practice. The key senior associates are recently promoted Andrew Chissick, who specialises in cross-border corporate insolvency and restructuring matters and who relocated from the BVI office; Area Hashemi, who recently relocated from the Guernsey office and is noted for joint ventures, private equity, group reorganisations and shareholder agreements; banking and financing specialist Vaishali Gupta who joined from Clifford Chance LLP; Matt Brehaut, a corporate and investment funds expert; and Colin Masterton, who advises on corporate, real estate finance and investment funds. Former senior associate Oliver Quarmby joined Ogier.

'As good as the leading firms',¬†Conyers' 'London presence for European transactions is a real plus and its lawyers¬†are very responsive and experienced and never let clients down'. The London team¬†provides legal advice in respect of Bermuda, BVI and Cayman Islands law across the whole range of corporate and finance transactions, including M&A deals, banking and finance matters, and investment funds. In capital markets highlights, the practice¬†acted as Bermuda counsel to¬†JP Morgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets, as¬†purchasers, in the issue by Smurfit Kappa Acquisitions Unlimited Company, the global¬†producer of paper-based packaging, of ‚ā¨500m denominated private placement senior notes, which were guaranteed by two Bermuda subsidiaries of the issuer. In other matters, it¬†worked alongside a UK law firm in advising C C Land Holdings on its purchase of The Leadenhall Building (known as the Cheesegrater) for ¬£1.15bn, the¬†sale marking the largest property deal in the UK since 2014; and acted as Bermuda counsel for Central Asia Metals in its¬†acquisition and reverse take-over of Lynx Resources (Bermuda), which owns the SASA zinc-lead mine in Macedonia. The London office head Linda Martin 'understands the time and other pressures of complex cross-border transactions and responds accordingly - quickly and pragmatically'. Martin¬†has extensive experience in structured finance, capital markets, Islamic finance and banking transactions, as well as advising investment banks on their fund-linked products and derivatives and financing businesses. According to some, the 'outstanding' counsel Sheba Raza¬†is 'the leading Bermudian lawyer in London; frequently acting for borrowers and lenders, she sees both sides of the coin and comes up with workable commercial solutions to problems'. Veronica Strande is a key associate; and former director¬†Anne Forbes-Harper left the firm, relocating to Australia.

Forbes Hare's 'specialised, excellent team provides great value for money, has a great network and can act fast'. The dispute resolution is highly rated for complex corporate insolvency, including insolvencies of regulated entities, such as investment funds and insurance companies; commercial and corporate litigation, many of which originate from the CIS and PRC, with considerable expertise in commercial injunctive work and shareholder disputes; distressed fund and investment fund disputes; acting in big-ticket trust litigation for trust companies, trustees, settlors and beneficiaries; and commercial arbitration, particularly involving offshore companies and investment funds. The key litigators are Alistair Abbott, who undertakes both Cayman Islands and BVI work and a significant amount of commercial arbitration, and litigation and insolvency group head William Hare; both divide their time between London and the Caribbean. Sam Robertson, who splits his time between London and Singapore, is also highly rated for contentious matters. On the transactional side, the London office experienced an increase in property finance transactions with respect to international investment into London as well as an increase in work coming from Asia. In other areas, the team advised Afrimax, a telecoms company, on both a restructuring and refinancing deal, which involved incorporating a new BVI company, drafting and negotiating the security granted, and advising on the terms of the restructuring. Karen Gilbert, who 'provides excellent advice on BVI law and is very responsive and supremely efficient', heads the London office and the firm’s banking practice; Gilbert has a broad range of experience in advising on corporate and commercial law transactions, including corporate restructurings, banking and finance transactions (particularly property finance), M&A, joint ventures, and private and public equity transactions. Corporate senior associate Michael Doyle joined from QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day; while corporate and investment funds specialist Catherine Ross recently relocated to the firm’s Singapore office but continues to undertake London office instructions; and former senior associates Charlotte Butcher and Jenny Grainger moved to Mills Oakley in Sydney and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, respectively.

'First rate for BVI matters', Harneys' 'clients experience a high level of personal attention and client care and the advice received is valuable, taking account of strategy and commercial realities'. Others describe the team as 'first class; its lawyers bring great knowledge and really know what they are doing'. The corporate team has developed niche expertise in the reorganisation of BVI holding company structures used by high-net-worth individuals, family offices and trustees following changes to the UK inheritance regime; the firm has also increased its capabilities on the Cayman side. Litigation highlights include acting for the Alhamrani brothers, as defendants to a claim brought by the oldest brother, Sheikh Abdullah Ali Alhamrani, concerning a dispute as to the ownership of shares in a BVI-registered company, Chemtrade; while in real estate matters, the team acted for the private family office in relation to the letting of a new development at London's 48 Leicester Square, including the letting of five office floors to Hearst Magazines UK for its new UK headquarters. London managing partner and global litigation and insolvency head Phillip Kite 'really impresses'; Rachel Graham is 'very knowledgeable and commercial, and excels at finding pragmatic solutions, even to complex issues'; William Peake  is 'highly professional, diligent and commercially astute, and has exceptional strategic and legal talent'; and 'a go-to lawyer for BVI advice' banking partner Indira Birkwood 'produces excellent work with the minimum of fuss and is very responsive'. Other highly rated advisers are Ross Munro, the global head of the corporate and private wealth services business, Harneys Fiduciary; litigation and insolvency lawyer specialist Jeremy Child, who splits time between the London and BVI offices; counsel Christopher Hall; and senior associates Francesca Gibbons, Thomas Dugdale and Lisa Akiri. A foreign expert in Anguillan law, London transactional head Russell Willings recently relocated from the BVI to the London office; Willings specialises in the management of legal risk, the enforceability of termination, netting and collateral provisions of derivatives, and the formulation of structured investment vehicles, collateralised debt obligations, repackagings and other forms of structured debt. Specialist funds lawyer Rob McIntyre was recruited into the London office as counsel from LennoxPaton; litigation counsel Richard Brown, who is is particularly experienced in contentious insolvency and restructuring matters as well as complex international fraud litigation, joined from Fieldfisher; Simon Hudd relocated to the firm's Bermudian law firm association, Zuill & Co; Vicky Lord relocated to the firm's Hong Kong's office; and Sean Scott joined MJ Hudson, an asset management consultancy.

Maitland is a global advisory, administration and family office firm that acts for private, corporate and institutional clients across multiple jurisdictions. CEO Steven Georgala has over 30 years’ experience in international tax planning and the structuring of international collective investment funds; he is also actively involved in advising international financial services groups on the location, establishment and regulation of holding companies and collective investment undertakings.

'Unrivalled in what it does', Maples Group's 'excellent team is very responsive, commercial and good value'. Others report the 'dynamic and slick operation' as 'providing efficient and effective legal services, while its ability to perform as part of a wider service delivery team on complex cross-border transactions is invaluable'. The firm has a full-service London office, providing Cayman Islands, BVI and more recently Irish, legal services across all practice areas. It acted for the issuer, in the issuance of approximately $618m notes, which represented the first-ever 144A/Reg S securitisation of government certificates to finance an infrastructure project in Panama; and working alongside a US law firm, the team advised Elan Capital on the spin-out from Pine River Capital Management to Elan Capital Management of a government trading bond fund. In BVI matters, the practice advised Korea Resources Corporation and Sumitomo, as BVI legal counsel, on the debt and equity restructuring of the Ambatovy nickel mine project. Managing partner and funds team head Paul Govier is 'pre-eminent in the market and has a great aptitude for coming up with commercial solutions and understanding the client’s perspective'; and the 'always composed, measured and commercially pragmatic' Harjit Kaur is 'technically extremely strong - what Harjit doesn’t know about Cayman law isn’t worth knowing and she is someone that clients want on their side when they have knotty legal questions that they want to get resolved in a sensible way'. Other key contacts are finance group head Jonathan Caulton, who has extensive experience in all types of structured finance and capital market transactions, including securitisations, repackagings and derivatives; and Ray Davern, who is 'proactive in his planning and creates solutions that are ideal for clients'. Davern heads the London trusts team with the support of associate Alex Way. The corporate team, which is frequently involved in high-profile corporate transactions involving Cayman Islands' companies, is headed by Jack Marriott and also comprises Nick Evans and associate Christopher Oliver. On the BVI side, London BVI team head Matthew Gilbert and of counsel, Joanna Russell work exclusively on BVI matters; Russell 'provides consistently excellent service and her pro-active approach to managing transactions sets her above competitors time and again'. Other highly regarded individuals are investment funds specialists Heidi de Vries and Tatziana Paraguacuto-Maheo; and notable associates include corporate, commercial and trusts litigator Mungo Lowe, who is 'very responsive and on top of the issues', and Matthew Bloomfield, who is 'a rising star who is technically great and a pleasure to deal with at all times, even when things are difficult'. Additonal associates to note are  Mushfique Khan, who joined from DLA Piper Middle East LLP's Dubai office, Sarah French, who relocated from the firm's BVI office, Julia Cornett, Robert Hughes, Ruth Brownlie and Shae Roberts. Former associate Caroline Dell joined alternative investment manager, Man Group.

'On top of many clients' list', Mourant Ozannes' 'excellent, pragmatic and commercial team is very responsive and knowledgeable'. The BVI and Cayman Islands team in London comprises lawyers specialising in corporate, finance, funds and international trusts and private client, with a client base ranging from high-net-worth individuals to global banks, industrial groups, trust companies and investment funds. Active clients of the group include Butterfield Trust (Cayman), Deutsche Bank, Intertrust, Julius Baer, Northern Trust, Rothschild Trust (Guernsey) and Trust Corporation International. London managing partner Robert Duggan is 'excellent technically, practical and commercial, as well as being  incredibly knowledgeable on fund finance'. Others single out Duggan as being 'one of only a handful of excellent Cayman fund finance lawyers and his presence in London is extremely helpful from a logistical perspective'. Also highly rated is the firm's international trusts and private client specialist Tony Pursall, who is a BVI and Cayman Islands trusts and private client lawyer,  whose practice focuses on advisory and transactional work for both trustees and private clients; he is also experienced in advising on matters involving London, Europe and the Middle East, and has a growing Asian practice. Growth in the team included the promotion of Chinyin Johnston to partner from counsel; Johnston is a specialist banking and finance lawyer who regularly advises on acquisition and leveraged finance, asset finance, debt restructuring, and derivatives and structured products, as well as insolvency and security enforcement, project finance and real estate finance. Other notable advisers are senior associate Hannah Crews , who focuses her practice on fund establishment work as well as corporate and financial transactions undertaken by investment managers; while the key associates are Robin Gibb, whose practice encompasses banking and finance, financial regulation and investment funds work; and Marianne Wilson, who frequently advises banks, borrowers and arrangers and joined the London  BVI and Cayman Islands corporate team from the firm's BVI office.

The 'adaptable and solutions-oriented' Walkers 'leaves clients feeling very happy with the service they receive, being offshore legal advice from a team in the same time zone'. The practice also 'focuses on what is required to protect clients' positions and they provide succinct and commercial legal advice'. The London office has an equal spread of BVI and Cayman Islands work throughout its banking and finance, corporate, insolvency and dispute resolution, investment funds, and private client practices; and it has experienced increased deal flow from Sub-Saharan Africa and the CIS region. Highlights included acting for the Chagala Group's (CG) board of directors in a highly contentious matter involving London Stock Exchange-listed BVI company CG; the dispute involves proceedings that were issued by a shareholder against CG and its directors. Corporate and finance head Jack Boldarin is a highly rated banking and finance lawyer, who splits his time between BVI and Cayman law matters; John O’Driscoll heads the London corporate restructuring insolvency and dispute resolution practice; and the investment funds co-heads are Hughie Wong and Jasmine Amaria, the latter 'particularly impressing with her responsiveness and ability to turn complex matters around in very short time frames'. Also highly regarded is the 'excellent and responsive' Neil McDonald, who has expertise in real estate finance law as well as general banking and finance matters and 'has a great can-do attitude and is switched on to clients' requirements'; while senior counsel Mark Galazzi is 'a go-to person for on-point and commercial BVI legal advice'. The senior associates to note are finance and corporate transactional specialist Catherine Overton and investment fund expert Ian Williams. Growth in the London team included associates Rebecca Peck  and Emma Giannini  joining from the firm's Cayman Islands and Jersey offices, respectively; meanwhile, Alexandra Corner relcoated to the Jersey office and former litigation senior associate Jennifer Fox joined Ogier's Cayman Islands office.

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