Mourant > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > Firm Profile

Mourant
C/O OSIRIS, COASTAL BUILDINGS
WICKHAM'S CAY II, PO BOX 4857, ROAD TOWN
TORTOLA
British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands > Dispute resolution Tier 2

The dispute resolution practice at Mourant fields ‘very capable and experienced litigators, who understand the practical realities of litigating in the BVI’. Though the group has a long-established reputation in the market for insolvencies, frequently acting for clients in high-profile liquidations, it is also skilled in the handling of shareholder disputes and complex contentious trusts and probate litigation. Eleanor Morgan, the local managing partner who leads the department, is singled out as ‘a dominant player in the BVI for trusts disputes’. In recent news, highly regarded litigator Shane Donovan was promoted to partner in August 2021, the same month that signalled the arrival of Jenni Jenkins from Memery Crystal LLP in London.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘A fantastic team – great to work with, very reliable and on top of the (legal and factual) detail. A first rate outfit.’

‘Eleanor Morgan is a standout partner in the BVI. Excellent on strategy and in knowing what the court will (and will not) be interested in. Sophie Christodoulou and Greg O’Keefe-Davis – both excellent on the law, hard-working and dependable. ’

‘Eleanor Morgan and her team and world-class players in the contentious private client space. Very high profile and very intelligent individuals who work well together and with onshore lawyers and counsel.’

‘Eleanor Morgan is a big hitter with an envied practice, presence in the court, and excellent client management skills. She is a dominant player in the BVI for trusts disputes.’

‘Very capable and experienced litigators, who understand the practical realities of litigating in the BVI. They are not afraid to take on difficult points. They run a small but very good litigation team, meaning that you always get input from those who know what they are doing.’

‘Eleanor Morgan leads the team with aplomb, giving very effective and focused advice.

‘Shane Donovan is one to watch: very experienced and effective in court, with good legal analysis backing up his position.’

Key clients

Borrelli Walsh

Hollysys Automation Technologies

Kalo (BVI) Limited

Mongbwalu Goldfields Investment Ltd

HWH Holdings Limited.

R&H Trust

Liquidators of Nuoxi Capital Limited

R&H Restructuring

Work highlights

  • Acting for Borrelli Walsh as Receiver and Manager of Emmerson International Corp. and related companies to preserve the value of its assets up to the maximum sum of €120m.
  • Acting for Hollysys Automation Technologies Limited in a claim by shareholders to challenge amendments made by the board to the Company’s M&A and allege that they were made for the improper purpose of thwarting a takeover.
  • Acting for the joint liquidators of the two Kingate Funds (one of the largest Madoff related liquidations), including advising generally on the conduct of the liquidations, the liquidators’ various recovery efforts and adverse proceedings around the world, communications with investors and the future distribution of the Funds’ respective estates.

British Virgin Islands > Regulatory and compliance Tier 3

Offering ‘practical and pragmatic guidance to regulatory requirements’, the cross-jurisdictional regulatory team at Mourant maintains a strong focus on the conduct of regulated financial services, insurance and banking businesses in the BVI. The team is led by Cayman-based Sara Galletly, who is well-versed in anti-money laundering issues, sanctions, beneficial ownership matters, economic substance work and funds regulations. It also advises on the regulatory dimensions of restructurings, corporate transactions, potential shareholder disputes, private client matters and virtual asset-related projects. An associate to note is Martyn Heyes, who excels in the ‘quirks and practicalities of regulatory filings in BVI’.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at Mourant provided practical and pragmatic guidance to regulatory requirements and reacted very swiftly to a last minute change in the regulations.’

‘Martyn Heyes stood out being pragmatic, cost conscious and keeping an eye on the quirks and practicalities of regulatory filings in BVI.’

British Virgin Islands > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 4

Responsive, highly knowledgeable and user-friendly’, the practice at Mourant is now spearheaded by Ian Montgomery, who joined from Collas Crill in May 2021 following the departure of former practice head Rachael McDonald in late 2020. Montgomery’s group focuses on real estate finance transactions, chiefly in relation to UK-based commercial and residential property, and also has expertise in asset, leveraged, structured, Islamic and project finance matters. Marianne Wilson, who was elevated to counsel in 2021, plays a key role in many real estate finance and fund finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I have found the team to be responsive, highly knowledgeable and user-friendly. We had a potential issue on a transaction and they were able to provide detailed analysis, such that the other side did not even raise it as a point for further discussion. The fact that a number of the team are based in London also makes it easier, as that eliminates time difference issues.’

‘John Rochester and Marianne Wilson are the individuals I have worked with. The level of advice and detailed insight they provide stands out. In many instances, their advice is of real value for the wider deal and not just the BVI law aspects.’

‘Great responsiveness, attention to detail and confidence that the service provided will be exactly what is expected by the client.’

The MO team is always very responsive and takes full charge of the BVI deliverables which is much appreciated.’

John Rochester and his team are always very thorough both prior to closing and also in terms of the post-closing work which can sometimes receive less attention, so that is great and much appreciated.’

Key clients

L Catterton

Monazita Resources Ltd.

Montage Gold Corp.

Wheaton Precious Metals International Ltd

ZK International Group Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised L Catterton on its investment in one of Latin America’s leading online travel firms, Despegar, to assist with Despegar’s liquidity levels during the current global crisis for the travel industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Assisting Monazita Resources Ltd. with the sale of its securities in Toronto Stock Exchange listed company (Aura Minerals Inc.) on the IPO.
  • Acting for Montage Gold Corp. on BVI matters in connection with its TSX Venture Exchange $30m IPO.

British Virgin Islands > Corporate and commercial Tier 4

In regular collaboration with colleagues in London, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, Mourant in the BVI provides commercial and corporate advice to a wide-ranging client roster, displaying noteworthy capabilities in M&A involving underlying real estate assets. Following the departure of former practice head Rachael McDonald in late 2020, the offering is now led by Ian Montgomery, who arrived from Collas Crill in May 2021. The group also advises on corporate governance work, corporate reorganisations, and the corporate considerations of potential shareholder disputes and private client issues. Senior associate Saraid Taylor and associate Marcus Hallan are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘I have found the team to be responsive, highly knowledgeable and user-friendly. We had a potential issue on a transaction and they were able to provide detailed analysis, such that the other side did not even raise it as a point for further discussion. The fact that a number of the team are based in London also makes it easier, as that eliminates time difference issues.’

‘Marianne Wilson is an individual I have worked with. The level of advice and detailed insight she provides stands out. In many instances, the advice is of real value for the wider deal and not just the BVI law aspects.’

Key clients

Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

Wheaton Precious Metals International Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Allied Irish Bank (AIB) on the purchase of Goodbody stockbrokers for AIB.
  • Advised five individuals on the sale of Citihub Limited.
  • Advised Wheaton Precious Metals on a mining sector deal in connection with secured convertible debentures and their subsequent early conversion to shares in TSX-listed Gold X Mining Corp.

Cayman Islands > Regulatory and compliance

The regulatory team at Mourant, which focuses on regulatory developments impacting financial services, insurance and banking entities, is particularly active in regulatory inspections, licence applications and amendments, and provides advice on and analysis of existing regulatory regimes. In particular, it displays a deep well of expertise of the economic substance, private fund, beneficial ownership and AML/CFT frameworks. Supported by the firm’s corporate, funds and dispute resolution specialists, the group, which is noted for its ‘proactive and collaborative style’, is headed up by dedicated regulatory lawyer Sara Galletly, who is ‘extremely well-versed in the intricacies of the myriad of regulatory legislation introduced in Cayman in the past few years and has been a bright light’.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘I’ve always had exceptional service from Mourant. The team is very helpful and responsive and I have great confidence in the advice I’ve received.’

‘Sara Galletly stands out because she delivers such clear and concise advice. In a sea of confusing regulations, she has the ability to disseminate advice clearly leaving me confident in my course of action.’

‘This team has a pragmatic approach to regulatory and compliance, and a proactive and collaborative style.’

‘Sara Galletly is the real gem in this team. She’s extremely well versed in the intricacies of the myriad of regulatory legislation introduced in Cayman in the past few years and has been a bright light in a number of different forums bringing clarity and relevance to this area. She is approachable and engaging and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Sara Galletly provides commercial, practical and applicable advice. She is my ‘go-to’ regulatory and compliance lawyer.’

‘Very competent, responsive and personable service.’

‘Personable service, a lot of care put into building a relationship, understanding needs, and responding in an appropriate and timely manner.’

‘I found the team to have sufficient depth to address regulatory/compliance questions that we had. I worked with a primary point of contact who brought in specialized team members as situation warranted. Given the size of the firm, they appear to have in-depth experience covering a wide variety of situations and circumstances. I also found them to be very responsive, even during the times that appeared to be very busy (around filing deadlines). It also helped that the various team members had a good understanding of our business going into discussions which allowed for a more to the point conversations to take place.’

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The firm: Mourant Ozannes is a leading global offshore law firm, advising on the laws of the BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey with offices in each of those locations as well as in Hong Kong and London.

The firm has a long tradition of exceptional service and expertise that underpins its profound relationships with its clients, and many of the world’s most respected international law firms.

Types of work undertaken: Mourant Ozannes’ BVI practice specialises in:
Banking and finance: the firm’s banking and finance practice covers all aspects of banking and finance transactions and advice. It is highly respected for its work on the most complex and demanding transactions, where the firm’s strength-in-depth and hands on multi-jurisdictional, partner-led approach can make all the difference. Expertise includes: acquisition and leveraged finance; asset finance; derivatives and structured finance; insolvency, restructuring and security enforcement; Islamic finance; project finance; real estate finance; securitisation; CBOs, CDOs, CLOs and other debt repackagings; and convertible bonds.

Corporate: Mourant Ozanne brings its expertise, versatility and outcome-driven focus to all of the work that it does, whether the job is large or small. The firm is best known for its work on the most complex and demanding transactions, where its strength-in-depth and hands on, multi-jurisdictional, partner-led approach can make all the difference. Corporate work is at the heart of the firm’s practice. The corporate practice covers all aspects of corporate transactions and advice. Expertise includes: preference share structures; corporate migrations and continuations; corporate governance and directors’ duties; corporate reorganisations; employee incentive schemes; IPOs and secondary offerings; joint venture and other co-ownership arrangements; mergers and acquisitions; private equity structures and investments (including pre-IPO financings); private placements; and voluntary liquidations.

Financial services and regulatory: the financial services and regulatory practice provides specialist and focused advice on the conduct of BVI regulated financial services, including investment and banking business. It provides specific, highly commercial, robust legal and strategic advice in relation to regulatory issues for those conducting or wishing to conduct BVI-regulated activities in accordance with BVI’s financial services legislation. Expertise includes: AML policies, procedures and failings; compliance; conduct of regulated financial services activities, including (financing and money services, funds, investment business and banking and trust company services); licensing (including licensing of investment managers and advisers); and sector specific advice (telecommunications).

Funds: Mourant Ozannes has an international reputation as one of the leading investment funds practices in offshore jurisdictions. The firm advises on the formation, structuring and regulation of investment funds in the BVI and provide ongoing legal advice to funds, fund managers and investment advisers. Clients range from start-up ventures to leading asset managers and fund promoters. Expertise includes: distressed funds; hedge funds; hybrid funds; private equity funds; and other asset classes: hybrid funds; mezzanine funds; infrastructure funds; and multi-strategy funds.

Insolvency and restructuring: the insolvency and restructuring team has played a leading role in the largest and most high-profile insolvency-related cases in the BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. These are usually cross-border in practice and the firm is able to provide the efficient, coordinated advice these matters require. It deploys carefully integrated, multi-disciplinary teams to work closely with leading professionals worldwide, advising on all aspects of complex corporate restructurings, providing pragmatic solutions for clients.

Intellectual property: the firm’s dynamic intellectual property (IP) team provides specialist IP law advice in the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. It takes a creative and pragmatic approach in addressing clients’ needs. It prides itself on providing a commercial and bespoke approach both in the conduct of IP litigation and in the negotiation of IP related contracts.

Litigation: Mourant Ozannes has a reputation for being at the forefront of offshore litigation, and it is involved in many of the largest and most complex disputes currently before the Courts. The firm provides accurate, timely, and clear advice to clients, and is able to draw on its global network of litigation practitioners, many of whom are leaders within their fields. Much of the firm’s work centres around international and cross-border issues, and it works closely with its clients so as to ensure the most efficient, and cost-effective, approach (whether judicial or nonjudicial) is taken to address their particular needs. Clients include major financial institutions, trust companies, regulators, public authorities and prosecutors, and high-net-worth individuals.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing partner Jonathan Rigby
Managing partner, BVI Rachael McDonald
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Shane Donovan photoMr Shane DonovanShane is a commercial litigation lawyer with specialist experience in complex international…
Jennifer Jenkins photoMs Jennifer JenkinsJennifer’s practice at Mourant focuses on commercial fraud and insolvency. She has extensive…
Ian Montgomery photoMr Ian MontgomeryIan has particular experience advising on corporate and finance transactions in the real…
Eleanor Morgan photoMs Eleanor MorganEleanor has extensive experience acting on a wide range of international litigation,…
Number of partners : 2
Number of other fee-earners : 7
Other offices : Cayman
Other offices : Guernsey
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Jersey
Other offices : London
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