Offshore firms in London in London
Harneys covers a full scope of Caribbean work, with a particular strength in heavyweight disputes work in the British Overseas Territories. Phillip Kite, who features prominently in some of the largest British Virgin Islands (BVI) cases, is the firm's global head of litigation, restructuring and insolvency. Another key figure is Jeremy Child, who has been active in a number of matters heard by the Privy Council. William Peake is active in Cayman litigation, including funds-related cases, as well as leading the firm's involvement for one of the defendants in the high-profile AHAB v SAAD case. Away from the courtroom, Russell Willings, who leads the firm's London transactional team, has a strong track record undertaking derivatives work concerning the BVI and other Caribbean jurisdictions. Indira Birkwood advises on BVI banking and finance transactions. Rachel Graham handles corporate work, while senior associate Matthew Howson leads the firm's London trusts practice. At partner level, Christopher Hall is now based at the firm’s Cayman office. Richard Brown joined Carey Olsen LLP's London office.
Other key lawyers:
‘Harneys’ policy of having London-based offshore litigators makes interaction between European-based client and the litigation team far more convenient and less time-zone-dependent. The team has enviable credentials from involvement in some of the major cases since the credit crunch, in BVI and Cayman.’
‘Indira Birkwood is the stand out contact. Always available, responsive and thorough.’
‘Jeremy Child is very knowledgeable and experienced.’
‘Having spent many years in the BVI prior to coming to London, Phil Kite has unparalleled experience of the workings of the Caribbean Courts and their requirements. A favourite with clients, he provides the perfect interface, explaining the most complicated aspects of litigation in an easy to understand way to enable the right decisions to be made.’
‘William Peake is an absolute genius and really usable and team-orientated.’
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
Far East Power Company
Reynolds Groups Holdings
Mr Ng Man Sun
ISDA, FIA, ICMA, ISLA and SIFMA.
Citigroup Global Markets
- Advised the joint official liquidators of SIFCO5, one of the Defendants, on the AHAB v SAAD litigation, a high-profile and much publicised US$9.2 billion claim involving allegations of fraud arising from one of the largest corporate collapses of the financial crisis.
- Advising the largest group of defendant Banks on ongoing claims brought by the liquidators of Fairfield Sentry Limited, a BVI feeder fund into Madoff’s asset management company, placed into liquidation following Madoff’s arrest. The BVI and related US litigation concerning claw-back claims total US$7.5 billion.
- Ongoing advice to ISDA, FIA, ICMA, ISLA and SIFMA on close-out and netting opinions on standard derivatives, repo and securities lending documentation.
Maples Group's London team focuses on undertaking a wide range of top drawer non-contentious Caribbean-related work. Heidi de Vries has taken over as the office managing partner following the retirement of Paul Govier. She remains a key partner in the funds and investment management team, which is now headed in London by Harjit Kaur. Also recommended on the funds side are Nick Evans and Jack Marriott, who is the head of the London corporate team, and also has Cayman funds expertise. Jonathan Caulton has Caribbean finance expertise. Elsewhere, Ray Davern heads up the trusts and private client practice. Robert Hughes is another key figure. As far as Irish law is concerned, Adam Donoghue and Donna Ager contribute funds and aviation finance expertise respectively. Matthew Gilbert is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
GAM Unconstrained Bond Fund / GAM Absolute Return Bond Master Fund
Kyma Special Opportunities Fund
CQS Asian Macro Fund (previously known as Counterpoint Asian Macro Fund)
Aspect Systematic Global Macro Offshore Fund
Greater Pacific Capital (GPC)
EverArc Holdings Limited
SMBC Aviation Capital
K&K Property Holdings
- Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to the GAM Unconstrained Bond Fund and the GAM Absolute Return Bond Master Fund in connection with the suspension of net asset value and redemptions of the fund and the economic wind-down of the fund following an investigation into the practices of the fund’s senior portfolio manager.
- Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel on the establishment and launch of the Kyma Special Opportunities Fund, founded by Blackstone alumnus Akshay Shah.
- Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel in connection with the transfer of the management arrangements of Counterpoint Asian Macro Fund and Counterpoint Asian Macro Master Fund from City Financial (HK) to CQS (UK) LLP and the re-branding/re-launch of those funds as the CQS Asian Macro Fund and CQS Asian Macro Master Fund.
Jack Boldarin, who heads up Walkers' London office, advises on BVI and Cayman law banking and finance transactions. He also has notable expertise in oil and gas sector financings, restructurings and enforcements. Emerging markets mandates (particularly Africa and the CIS region) are another pillar of his practice. Neil McDonald undertakes BVI and Cayman finance and corporate transactions, where he acts for leading banks and international businesses alike. Catherine Overton is a key senior counsel in this space. Recently promoted partner Mark Galazzi handles margin lending and ship finance work, among other transactions. Hughie Wong has Cayman funds expertise. John O’Driscoll is the head of the insolvency and dispute resolution group. Sara Hall, a former global head of regulatory compliance at Deutsche Bank, is a notable name for Cayman regulatory work.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have a strong team, with excellent and well-trained lawyers providing high-quality commercial advice and good value for money. Many of the lawyers are ex-magic circle and that’s evident in the quality of advice and service which is delivered.’
‘Very approachable and responsive, easy to work with. Able to take commercial views, quickly get to grips with a transaction. Anticipate the lender’s requirements.’
‘Neil McDonald is approachable and responsive – he makes himself available and is calm under pressure.’
‘Mark Galazzi is always available and provides high-quality advice, excellent service and a supremely quick turnaround time. He would always be my first choice of offshore lawyer. ‘
‘Jack Boldarin is very responsive and has very good client skills, on top of deals without over-loading partner time, obviously technically strong.’
‘Hughie Wong is cool under pressure, thoughtful, and an excellent commercial lawyer. He goes above and beyond to get complex deals done when he has multiple competing claims on his time because he is so well regarded.’
Standard Chartered Bank
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Lloyds Bank plc
Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Saudi Aramco”)
- Advised Saudi Aramco on the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law aspects of the offering documentation relating to its IPO.
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to the financing sources on the financing, including (i) a $2 billion senior term loan financing and (ii) a $1 billion capital markets bond issuance, in connection with CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition of a 30% stake in GEMS Education.
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Trident Energy on its proposed US$1 billion acquisition of the Pampo and Enchova oil fields off the coast of Brazil.
Bedell Cristin's London office is led by two partners, one of whom is Jersey-qualified advocate Bruce Scott, whose varied practice encompasses investment funds, finance, corporate and capital markets work. The other partner to note is corporate real estate head Tom Davies, whose wide-ranging expertise includes large portfolios and key central London properties. Laura Hendrick is a key Jersey-qualified senior associate. Managing associate Sukhvinder Chana, who undertakes a mix of banking and corporate work, has Guernsey law expertise.
‘The London Bedell Cristin team is very focussed on building effective working relationships with their partner firms in London. In addition to providing excellent offshore work, they have the advantage of being able to develop face to face relationships with London-based clients and firms.’
‘I have had very positive experiences with Bedells in London. They are responsive, client-friendly, easy to instruct and reliable. They also stick to their fee quotes and don’t drop a request for a fee uplift on the night before closing as has been my experience with some other Jersey firms.’
‘Bruce Scott is responsive, accessible and brings a great deal of experience having practiced in the UK (including in-house) and in Jersey.’
‘Tom Davies is becoming a key figure in the London-based offshore market and is his efforts are rapidly raising the profile of the firm.’
AXA Real Estate
Barrick Gold Corporation
Cindat Capital Management
CIT Financial Services
Cromwell European REIT
Global Student Accommodation
Gulf Islamic Investments
Harrison Street Real Estate Capital
Oryx Real Estate
Permodalan Nasional Berhad
Secure Income REIT plc
Starz Mortgage Capital
The Scottish Salmon Company PLC
Urbanest Student Accommodation
Vitruvian Partners LLP
- Advised BentallGreenOak in connection with its replacement of Schroders as manager of the West End of London Property Unit Trust (WELPUT) and the subsequent comprehensive restructuring of WELPUT. WELPUT is one of Jersey’s largest regulated unit trust funds with a GAV of c. £1.1 billion.
- Advised WisdomTree Investments Inc. on the Jersey legal and regulatory aspects of its acquisition of ETF Securities’ European exchange-traded commodity, currency and short-and-leveraged business, including $17.6 billion of assets under management
- Advised Unite Students on the Jersey and Guernsey law aspects of the acquisition of Liberty Living for £1.4bn.
Jasmine Amaria, who is the managing partner of Carey Olsen LLP's London office, provides BVI and Cayman law advice on M&A, finance, corporate governance and various other non-contentious matters. Richard Brown heads up the BVI litigation team, whose varied workload ranges from shareholder disputes to asset tracing matters. Brown works with senior associate Paul Griffiths. The firm also has Channel Islands expertise in London, with counsels Andrea Steel and Colin Masterton noted for their funds regulatory and corporate work respectively. Senior associates in the office include banking specialist Vaishali Gupta, funds lawyer Matthew Brehaut and trusts specialist Nina Clift. In a notable development, Sheba Raza joined as counsel from Conyers in June 2020, bringing with her Bermudian expertise on finance and insurance matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Able to move quickly between BVI and London and has lawyers competent in advising on BVI law while in London.’
‘Strong in several practice areas and offshore jurisdictions but particularly good in litigation/arbitration. Particular advantage is having experienced offshore advice available in a London time zone. The London and BVI teams work well together.’
‘A very strong offshore firm, with a strength in depth team.’
‘Richard Brown is a quality operator. He’s smart and very client-focused – always super responsive and approachable. He’s a good all-round litigator, but is particularly strong in fraud and insolvency litigation, as well as arbitration. He’s qualified in multiple jurisdictions, which is really helpful in many complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. He’s also well connected in those and various other jurisdictions which often comes in handy.’
Stride Gaming plc
M7 Real Estate
Memery Crystal LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
- Advised Stride Gaming Plc on its £115m takeover by Rank Group, with the London office acting on the BVI corporate aspects of the transaction.
- Providing BVI advice on New York litigation concerning the disposal by a BVI company of a chain of luxury hotels for approximately $250m, and the distribution of the proceeds of that sale to investors.
- Acting for a party to a complex shareholder dispute concerning an oil trading group, playing out across two BVI claims for just and equitable winding-up and unfair prejudice.
Caribbean firm Forbes Hare handles a wide range of work, with some degree of focus on commercial litigation, including insolvency, civil fraud and asset tracing matters. The key contacts in this space are name partner William Hare, who divides his time between Tortola and London, and Robert Nader, who is primarily based in London. Hare also has Anguilla and Nevis experience and is called to the Bars of both jurisdictions. Karen Gilbert is the key contact for banking and finance work. She works with Patrick Colegrave, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc in 2019. Michael Doyle is a key senior associate in the corporate practice.
‘Forbes Hare have a good understanding of the banking and finance sector and provide excellent support, particularly in Islamic finance.’
‘Very knowledgeable and responsive and you feel that they are close to you as a client -it has a very good knowledge of the BVI law.’
‘Karen Gilbert is a pleasure to work with and is always available. She will work to and achieve any timeline.’
Mourant's London has transactional expertise covering the two key Caribbean jurisdictions, and it has a strong client following among private equity firms and financial services industry businesses. Robert Duggan primarily focuses on Cayman investment funds, while Chinyin Johnston advises on a range of BVI matters in the finance arena, with a particular interest in fund finance and real estate finance. Tony Pursall retired from the firm's partnership and is now a consultant, contributing BVI and Cayman trusts expertise. Marianne Wilson was recently promoted to senior associate.
At Luxembourg firm Arendt & Medernach, the London office is headed up by Camille Bourke. An alumna of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York and practising Luxembourgish law as a List IV lawyer, her recent instructions have included a number of fund formation and private equity deal mandates.
‘I regard Arendt & Medernach’s well-coordinated London-Luxembourg team to be the market leader in advising alternative asset management clients. Camille Bourke, based in London, is always a pleasure to deal with and has a laser-like focus on the delivery of a quality and timely service to UK clients. Arendt stand out from their peers in being prepared to advise robustly without necessarily checking every single tricky point on a client-by-client basis with the regulator.’
Charterhouse Capital Partners
Montagu Private Equity
- Advised Akazoo Limited, a U.K. based digital music streaming platform specializing in emerging markets, on its business combination with Modern Media Acquisition Corp. (“MMDM”), under a new Luxembourg holding company, which was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “SONG”.
- Acted as special counsel to an investment vehicle backed by 3i Group, an international investor focused on mid-market private equity listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- Assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch (UK) on Banking & Finance aspects in the context of the restructuring of the Albea Group.
A key contact at Hamilton-headquartered firm Conyers is Linda Martin, who is experienced in BVI, Bermudian and Cayman work. She handles a wide range of corporate, finance and funds work, as well as a number of insurance mandates. Eric Flaye is a key associate in the practice. Sheba Raza joined Carey Olsen LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Lloyds Bank plc
AP WIP Investments
Enstar Group Limited
Arroyo Energy Investment Partners
Informa Group Limited
HSBC Bank plc
At Ogier, dispute resolution is one of the cornerstones of the work undertaken by the firm in London. Reflective of its growth in this area, Jeremy Snead and counsel Anna Snead joined from Appleby's Cayman Islands office in June 2020. In addition, David Welford was hired from Maples Group. Elsewhere, other key individuals are Jersey disputes specialist Nic Journeaux (who splits his time between Jersey and London) and Guernsey employment specialist Rachel Richardson. Managing associate Richard Bennett, whose practice is split between London and Hong Kong, is a name to note for Caribbean transactional work. Simon Dinning leads the team.