Firms in the Spotlight Offshore firms in London
At Appleby, our global presence enables us to provide timely and comprehensive legal advice at the time most critical to our clients. This includes providing British Virgin Islands (BVI) law advice to clients in the Asian, North and South American, Caribbean and European timezones.View Profile...
Offshore firms in London in London
Harneys handles both transactional matters and heavyweight litigation with a focus on Caribbean law. Indira Birkwood is active in heavyweight banking transactions as well as real estate finance. BVI litigator Phillip Kite is the firm's global head of disputes, and William Peake has a track record of heavyweight Caymanian litigation such as AHAB v Al-Sanea, also known as the Saad case, in which the Caymanian courts found the claimants operated 'one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history'.
Phillip Kite; Russell Willings
Harneys’ London team is an outstanding, user-friendly, practical team of corporate lawyers and it is extremely helpful being able to consult them during London hours.
The litigation and insolvency team itself is made up of commercially astute lawyers whose advice goes beyond simple statements of the law, suggesting sensible business solutions.
William Peake is undoubtedly one of the top Cayman Islands litigators. He is a true rainmaker, team leader, and client service ambassador.
Phil Kite is one of the top litigators in the BVI. He is first class.
Jeremy Child has the ability not only to analyze and summarize complex legal issues but also to find pragmatic answers. He is a thorough professional in his field.
Rachel Graham has immense experience, but her unique skill is cutting to the clients’ objectives and getting the most practical commercial result.
Duff & Phelps; joint official liquidators of SIFCO5
Consortium of investors (large group defendant banks including Deutsche Bank)
The Joint Receivers of Axiom Legal Financing Fund, SP and Axiom Legal Financing Fund Master, SP
DB UK Bank
Jadestone Energy Inc.
Mr Ng Man Sun
Berry Properties Ltd
- Represented Duff & Phelps official liquidators of SIFCO5 in AHAB v Al-Sanea, which at 129 days set the record for the longest trial in the Cayman Islands.
- Defending Citco BVI as offshore professional directors and service providers in proceedings brought regarding the administration of a BVI company created by a Brazilian businessman.
- Representing a consortium of banks including Deutsche Bank and ABN AMRO, after a successful appeal to the Privy Council, in claims brought by the liquidators of Fairfield Sentry, which was a feeder fund into Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.
- Advised Deutsche Bank on loans from its UK and Swiss branches totalling $202m to member companies of the Al Tajir group.
- Advised Delancey on its sale of Royal Mint Court to the Chinese government to become its new embassy in London.
Maples Group, formerly known as Maples and Calder, has a particular strength in funds work, as well as advising on the full gamut of trusts, finance and corporate work in London. In the funds arena, clients recommend Nick Evans, Heidi de Vries and Tatziana Paraguacuto-Maheo - the latter having handled a number of Cayman hedge fund structure launches. Other recommended names for corporate and finance work include BVI specialist Matthew Gilbert, finance expert Jonathan Caulton and associate Robert Hughes. Primarily offering BVI and Caymanian law, the team has an Irish desk in London, and also includes associate Anna Cochrane who is part of the Jersey legal team. Paul Govier is scheduled to retire from the partnership in December 2019 to be come a consultant, with de Vries taking over as the managing partner of the office.
Other key lawyers:
Maples represents the gold standard for offshore law firms. It offers strength in depth and is responsive and innovative.
The Maples lawyers are all highly responsive, incredibly knowledgeable and sensitive to commercial pressures.
Jonathan Caulton has mastered the key aspects of Cayman law and effortlessly applies that knowledge in a commercial manner. He is exceptionally responsive and a delight to work with.
If there is a transaction which is particularly difficult or has a short timescale, Matthew Gilbert and his team always deliver on time.
GAM Unconstrained Bond Fund / GAM Absolute Return Bond Master Fund
Greater Pacific Capital (GPC)
Blantyre Special Situations Fund I structure
Ocean Outdoor (formerly Ocelot Partners)
Durant International Corp. (in liquidation) and Kildare Finance Limited (in liquidation)
Albar Capital Limited
KLI Asset Management LLP
- Advised two Caymanian bond funds (namely GAM Unconstrained Bond Fund and GAM Absolute Return Bond Master Fund) on the suspension of redemptions and then wind-down of the funds after investigations into the activities of the fund’s senior portfolio manager.
- Advised Greater Pacific Capital on the Caymanian law aspects of the launch of an India-focused fund with the US’ Overseas Private Investments Corporation as a key investor.
- Advised Ocelot Partners, which after the deal renamed itself to that of the target company, on the BVI law elements of its purchase of outdoor advertising company Ocean Outdoor for £200m.
- Advised Albar Capital on the launch of a Cayman master-feeder structure as part of a spin-out from a large existing institutional manager.
- Advised FNZ on the Cayman Islands legal aspects of the acquisition of European Bank for Financial Services GmbH (ebase) from Comdirect Bank AG.
Walkers' London office provides BVI and Caymanian law advice on a range of corporate and transactional matters, as well as expertise in commercial disputes and insolvency litigation. Jack Boldarin handles corporate and finance matters including capital fundraisings for major banks, as well as finance deals in challenging jurisdictions. John O’Driscoll is a key contact for disputes work, with a strong workload in Caymanian insolvency litigation. Key senior counsels include Sara Hall, who joined from Deutsche Bank's in-house team where she was global head of regulatory compliance, and finance specialist Mark Galazzi. Catherine Overton, who has a track record of securitisation and emerging markets lending, is a notable senior associate. The firm has strong connections in Asia and the former Soviet Union.
Other key lawyers:
John O’Driscoll, Hughie Wong; Neil McDonald; Sara Hall
The firm covers a range of offshore jurisdictions so, as a one-stop shop for multi-jurisdictional transactions, it scores over some of its competitors.
Their intuitive and business-driven response to requests for assistance are always commercial, value for money, timely and responsive and delivered with excellent good humour. They go the extra mile without prompting, look to partner on everything, assisting in picking up issues but in a constructive way and are always aligned with their client’s view of what is right and wrong.
Mark Galazzi is a client’s dream: responsive, practical and will push internally to get the right result for the client.
Jack Boldarin is deservedly considered the top BVI lawyer outside the BVI. His responsiveness borders on the supernatural.
John O’Driscoll is an excellent resource. He grasps issues quickly and delivers an excellent work product.
Neil McDonald always goes the extra mile to provide solutions and forms of wording to address concerns.
Catherine Overton is a stand-out senior associate: she is sharp, effective and a pleasure to work with.
Standard Chartered Bank
Oak Tree Capital Management
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Deloitte & Touché
- Advised Lloyds Bank plc on the BVI law elements of its senior secured financing of Cheung Kei Group’s purchase of 5 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf.
- Represented Chagala Group in a long-running BVI shareholder dispute, which was resolved via alternative dispute resolution.
- Advised Banco Internacional do Funchal, a Portuguese “bad bank”, on winding up a number of Caymanian entities following the sale of the “good bank” assets to Santander.
Carey Olsen can offer clients both Caribbean and Channel Islands law advice from its London office, with finance acting as a core area of expertise. The firm refreshed its London team by the recruitment of Jasmine Amaria from Walkers - she has a track record of advising on Cayman and BVI matters, and is well-connected in India. Boosting the senior ranks, Richard Brown returned to the firm as a partner from Harneys, where he was a senior associate, and Jersey advocate Andrea Steel joined as counsel from an in-house role at Saltgate Investment Services, bringing with her funds regulatory expertise. The firm has a wealth of senior associates in London, including Jersey advocate Bryony Bird, private wealth specialist Guernsey advocate Nina Clift and BVI-qualified solicitor-advocate Paul Griffiths. Nic Journeaux is now at Ogier in Jersey and counsel Claire McConway departed to become a partner at onshore firm Wedlake Bell LLP.
Stephen Akers and Mark McDonald (Grant Thornton)
Ping An Bank and Borrelli Walsh
David and Christopher St George
JTC Fund Solutions (Guernsey) Limited
Director Linda Martin heads the London office of Conyers, which offers clients British Virgin Islands, Caymanian and, uniquely in London, Bermudian law advice. Sheba Raza, who is admitted in the BVI and Bermuda, is a key counsel, while Martin has a track record of practice in the Cayman Islands. The two lead on transactions in finance (including project finance), capital markets, corporate transactions and investment funds formation and management. Associate Eric Flaye relocated from the firm's Tortola office - he brings with him a track record of fund formation work.
‘A very client-focused firm that consistently delivers quality advice.’
‘It takes time to get to know its clients and how they operate – it focuses on creating value for its clients in different ways, which is a real selling point.’.
‘Sheba Raza is a star lawyer – her commercial and user-friendly approach make her an excellent adviser. She thinks around the problem and ensures no stone is left unturned in finding a solution.’
‘Linda Martin is exceptionally dedicated, reliable and incredibly responsive to her clients’ business needs.’
Citigroup Global Markets
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
International Capital Markets Association
International Securities Lending Association
TP ICAP plc
- Advised Enstar Group on the Bermuda law aspects of borrowing $1.5bn via letter of credit, revolving and term loan facilities.
- Advised Citigroup Global Capital Markets on the purchase of €600m of privately-placed notes issued by Smurfit Kappa.
- Advised Lloyds Bank on the Bermuda elements of tranfers under the non-ring-fenced transfer scheme.
- Advised Amiral Holdings on the BVI law elements of its financing of a bulk liquid terminal project at the Sokhna Port in Egypt.
- Advised SilverNote Capital on the structuring and set-up of a Cayman-domiciled Shari’ah-compliant aircraft fund.
Mourant's three-partner team in London provides BVI and Cayman law advice across the transactional space. Tony Pursall has trusts expertise, while Robert Duggan who 'is an expert practitioner with a strong grasp of his field' and Chinyin Johnston are key names for corporate and finance work, such as private equity deals, restructuring, real estate, fund finance and investment funds.
‘Mourant is a go-to offshore law firm – it has unparalleled experience of advising clients on structural and regulatory solutions.‘
‘Robert Duggan is an expert practitioner with a strong grasp of his field.‘
Bedell Cristin's London office frequently works with its on-island office to provide Jersey law advice. Bruce Scott covers the gamut of Jersey corporate and transactional structuring, with much work concentrated around the firm's keynote strength in real estate finance.
- Advised Harrison Street Real Estate Capital on the formation of a £125m joint venture with Crosslane in respect of four new student housing developments.
- Advised Cindat Capital Management on the £615m purchase of a majority stake in HCP Inc’s British healthcare property portfolio, and the transaction’s financing.
- Advised Aviva on the sale of a multi-manager real estate business managing £5.3bn to LaSalle Investment Management
- Advised Secure Income REIT on the Jersey financing aspects of the purchase of a £129m real estate portfolio including 76 Travelodge Hotels and the Manchester Arena.
- Advised Vitol on its role in Shoreline Natural Resources Limited’s $534m debt financing.
Forbes Hare's London office is led by the BVI-qualified Karen Gilbert. She has a track record of handling various finance mandates, and can call upon broader expertise in the firm on matters including blockchain technology, as well as a strong litigation practice in the Caribbean itself. Michael Doyle is a key senior associate in the team and has experience of funds work.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is proactive, well-organised and works well to tight deadlines.’
‘Karen Gilbert is exceptional – she is responsive and obviously knows her stuff, as well as being a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Karen Gilbert is an absolute star – she is commercial, a great communicator and delivers an efficient service.’
‘Karen Gilbert is very efficient and a pleasure to work with.’
ASEC Cement SAE
North and Western Insurance Limited
First Names Group
The Plaza Group
National Bank of Anguilla
Clairmont Partners Ltd
Zeno Capital Limited
Liquidators to the Fairfield Funds
- Advised two BVI companies (part of the broader Zeno Capital group) on a loan from HSH Nordbank.
- Advised Ceniarth, in conjunction with the Isenberg Family Charitable Foundation, on a secured loan issued by a charitable foundation to a BVI company, the borrower being a social enterprise growing hazelnuts in Bhutan.
- Advised Veni Vidi Vici Ltd, a BVI-domiciled listing vehicle, on its IPO on the NEX Exchange Growth Market in London.