Firm Profile > Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited > Hamilton, Bermuda

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

The team at Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited, which attracts praise for being ‘dedicated, knowledgeable, and hardworking’, is jointly led by Mary Ward and Gavin Woods, who both have a significant focus on the insurance and financial sectors. Ward is noted for her expertise in securities law and equity and debt financings for insurers and insurance groups, while Woods has extensive experience in alternative risk financings, capital markets and derivatives matters, insurance-linked securities work, investment fund issues and catastrophe bond structures. Senior counsel Michael Frith, who was previously at Conyers, joined the team in early 2020, whilst Adam Bathgate departed for Walkers.

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‘We work closely with Mary Ward and Gavin Woods in Bermuda on insurance matters. They are a dedicated, knowledgeable, and hard working team. Their relatively new presence in this area in Bermuda means they are not constrained by legacy conflicts and are hungry to grow their business.’

‘Gavin Woods is my go-to person for complex Bermuda law issues. He is always available, approachable, and willing to give clear, practical and firm advice. He is also a very nice guy.’

‘Carey Olsen is one of the most responsive law firms I have interacted with. They are also very knowledgeable of the jurisdictions they operate in.’

‘Gavin Woods’ professionalism, expertise, and responsiveness has made him the partner of choice for our Company.’

‘We came to Carey Olsen with the desire to continue to work with Mary Ward, who we’ve found, over the 10 or so years that we’ve worked with her, to be a valued counsellor who is well-versed in all aspects of Bermuda law and the regulatory environment.’

Key clients

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

National Australia Bank Limited

Hiscox Ltd

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Jointly led by Michael Hanson and Keith Robinson, the dispute resolution team at Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited attracts an array of instructions from ultra-high-net-worth individuals and multinationals. Notably strong in the insurance sector, Hanson specialises in crisis management issues, corporate cases, employment and regulatory investigations, and executive disputes; while Robinson has considerable experience acting in high-value offshore trust litigation and insolvency issues. Other areas of focus for the department include multi-jurisdictional freezing injunctions, asset tracing matters and cross-border restructurings; counsel Henry Tucker, who divides his time between Bermuda and Hong Kong, specialises in the latter. Counsel Sam Stevens and senior associates Cheri Minors and Kyle Masters are further names to note.

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‘Keith Robinson is head and shoulders above other litigators in Bermuda.’

‘Keith Robinson is a very experienced trusts lawyer as well as being a very experienced advocate. This makes him a very good adviser who knows what works. Kyle Masters is a very practical commercial-minded lawyer and very good to work with. Smart and effective.’

‘The Carey Olsen lawyers take the time to understand the needs of the business and together with their sound legal advice and consistent responsiveness, have proven to be valuable business partners. They are subject matters experts and pleasant to work with.’

‘The Carey Olsen lawyers instructed by us are subject matter experts, are very responsive and understand our business needs and dispute resolution objectives. Michael Hanson, Keith Robinson and Kyle Masters have provided valuable legal support and continue to be our lawyers of choice.’

‘This team stands out above its competitors for its responsiveness, technical expertise and commercial awareness. Having dealt with a broad range of firms I can say confidently that Carey Olsen now leads the pack as the provider of choice.’

‘Michael Hanson – the go to guy for board and c-suite whether it relates to board governance, corporate or employment disputes and regulatory advice. He answers the phone whenever you call and always comes back with the simple commercial solution that nobody thought about! His track record of resolving disputes without recourse to costly litigation is unmatched. Highly savvy.’

‘Jay Webster – up and coming talent, his support of employment disputes is excellent, commercial and responsive with excellent attention to detail. He leave no stone unturned.’

‘Keith Robinson – he stands alone as the best litigator on island, unmatched intellect and litigation skills, capable of handling the heaviest and most complex of litigation as if he is strolling to the park! He is the guy nobody wants to have on the other side.’

‘Kyle Masters – provides solid advice set in great context. He has great market experience which he used to his advantage when resolving disputes and finding solutions.’

‘Extremely responsive and sensitive to commercial realities of the advice that they provide. Great understanding of local market place. They are keen, intelligent and efficient.’

‘Clear and concise advice. They appear to always be available and certainly make you feel as if you are the client that matters the most.’

Key clients

Arch Capital Group

Axa XL

Apex Group Limited

Applied Computer Technologies

Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited

Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Limited

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company Limited

Hiscox Group

Island Heritage

Jet Blue Airways Corporation

KRyS Global

Lyndhurst Limited

Mexico Infrastructure Finance LLC

MS Amlin AG

One Communications Limited

Sino Power Resources Inc

Third Point Reinsurance Ltd.

Transworld Payment Solutions Limited

VMS Investment Group Limited

Trusts/private client Tier 2

Extremely responsive and attuned to the needs of their clients’, the key team members in Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited’s trusts and private client team are skilled ‘in dealing both with technical trust matters and any Court-related requirements’. Described as ‘a master in trust litigation’, the department is led by Keith Robinson, who also advises trustees, beneficiaries, settlors and protectors on non-contentious Bermuda trust matters. Currently chair of the Bermuda branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, counsel Ashley Fife has particular expertise in private and commercial trusts.

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‘Very strong team in dealing both with technical trust matters and any Court related requirements. Detailed analysis and quick turnaround.’

‘Keith Robinson is excellent. Ably supported by Ashley Fife on trust matters.’

‘The team at Carey Olsen is outstanding. Keith Robinson is a master in trust litigation, and I cannot say enough about Carey Olsen. The team of partners and associates are extremely responsive and attuned to the needs of their clients. I have also had the opportunity to work with Ashley Fife on trust matters. Every single member of the Carey Olsen team delivers the same standard of service across the board. The team takes pride in their work and take every step to ensure that, as a client, I understand the process as well as the potential pitfalls and outcome. Carey Olsen is our designated counsel.’

‘Responsive and knowledgeable of current events and best practices.’

‘Approachable and creative with ideas and suggestions.’

‘The team is a relatively small, but highly expert number of individuals. They have a wide range of skills, both contentious and non-contentious, and have attracted talent from competitor firms.’

‘Keith Robinson is a very effective trusts litigator who is both pragmatic and intellectually rigorous. Once of the brightest lawyers I have come across in this practice area and definitely a leading light of the Bermuda bar.’

Key clients

Lyndhurst Limited

Corporate and commercial Tier 3

Founded in 2018, the Bermuda corporate and commercial team at Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited has notably expanded its capabilities; recent work ranges from corporate finance and corporate structuring issues to insurance and reinsurance matters. Consolidating its presence in the Bermudan market, the team has built on its insurance sector focus and is increasingly sought out by financial services clients. Key areas of strength include M&A and general insurance mandates, including advising on incorporation issues and regulatory requirements. M&A expert Mary Ward and Gavin Woods, who is particularly active in insurance and reinsurance mandates, are the primary names to note.

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‘The team in Bermuda was able to deliver and maintain excellent quality of service throughout the challenging lock-down period. Mary Ward, was very ably supported by Michelle Falcucci during this period, and both went the extra mile to ensure that service levels remained consistently high.’

‘Mary Ward – unmatched depth of knowledge and technical expertise, she is a big hitter and is the person you want on your team for any big, complex or technical instruction.’

‘Gavin Woods – excellent insurance background and known as leader in the field, extremely commercial and personable with depth of knowledge you only get from having been involved in back to back significant market transactions.’

‘Michelle Falcucci – stand out star – always comes back on time with excellent commercial advice, doesn’t miss a beat and clearly has great things in her future.’

Key clients

Bridgepoint Advisers Limited

Watford Holdings Ltd.

Monument Re


Insurance/reinsurance Tier 3

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited advises large international insurers and prominent domestic insurance companies on a variety of corporate and regulatory matters in the insurance and reinsurance sector. Mary Ward has extensive experience in establishing commercial reinsurers and assisting with regulatory requirements, and is particularly adept at handling insurance M&A transactions. Another name to note is Gavin Woods, who has additional expertise in alternative risk financings and derivatives transactions. The team also advises on the licensing of various insurance companies including captives, special purpose insurers and commercial carriers.

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‘Our main interaction has been with Gavin Woods, however he appears to have a strong team behind him and Carey Olsen as a whole has proven able to advise in depth on multiple aspects of a major corporate restructuring project.’

‘Gavin Woods has advised us on a major corporate restructuring project over the last 12 months or so. His advice has been extremely helpful, clear, and pragmatic. Also extremely responsive which has helped enormously with a challenging project.’

‘Mary Ward is my go to lawyer in Bermuda. Her experience, judgement and responsiveness are top rate.’

Key clients

Hiscox Ltd

Monument Re

Watford Holdings Ltd.

DARAG Bermuda Ltd.

Helix Underwriting Partners

Regulatory and compliance Tier 3

At Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited, a multidisciplinary team of corporate, finance, private client and dispute resolution lawyers handle the full spectrum of regulatory and compliance issues. Recently, the department has specialised in providing advice to financial services clients on economic substance and anti-money laundering issues, sanctions and anti-bribery work, data protection and privacy matters, M&A due diligence and general regulatory compliance issues, particularly in the insurance sector. Bermuda managing partner Michael Hanson has extensive experience in advising on reputational risk matters, sensitive investigations and crisis management scenarios, while senior associate Kyle Masters (who worked at the Bermuda Regulatory Authority prior to joining the firm) regularly advises clients in the finance, energy, telecoms and health sectors on their interactions with statutory bodies and regulators. Other names to note include Mary Ward, Gavin Woods and senior counsel Michael Frith, who joined the firm from Conyers in 2020.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Bridgepoint Advisers Limited

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc

Ascendant Group


BF&M Limited

One Communications

Island Heritage


Bermuda Commercial Bank

The firm

With a heritage that dates back to 1898, Carey Olsen is one of the most established and distinguished offshore law firms, advising on Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law across a global network of nine international offices.

Carey Olsen Bermuda was established in 2017 by managing partner and highly-regarded Bermudian attorney Michael Hanson. The team has a deep local knowledge of Bermuda law and regulation coupled with a global perspective, and has quickly established itself as a leading player in the Bermuda legal market.

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited’s lawyers work alongside major international law firms and their clients include a number of the largest Bermuda-based global insurance and reinsurance businesses and insurance intermediaries, as well as other global financial institutions with offices in the jurisdiction such as banks, trust companies, accountancy firms and hedge funds.

Carey Olsen is a leading offshore law firm advising financial institutions, corporations and private clients on Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law from a network of nine international offices.

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited is a limited liability company incorporated in Bermuda and approved and recognised under the Bermuda Bar (Professional Companies) Rules 2009. The use of the title “Partner” is merely to denote seniority. Services are provided on the basis of our current terms of business.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate Michael Hanson
Corporate Mary Ward
Corporate Gavin Woods
Dispute resolution and litigation Michael Hanson
Dispute resolution and litigation Keith Robinson
Employment Michael Hanson
Regulatory Michael Hanson
Regulatory Keith Robinson
Restructuring and insolvency Keith Robinson
Trusts and private wealth Keith Robinson
Insurance Mary Ward
Insurance Gavin Woods
Photo Name Position Profile
 Adam Bathgate  photo Adam Bathgate Adam is counsel in the Bermuda office and advises on all aspects…
 Adam Collieson  photo Adam Collieson Adam Collieson is head of the property department in Bermuda. Adam’s core…
 Lucy Cook  photo Lucy Cook Lucy is Legal Counsel and Corporate Manager within Carey Olsen’s corporate services…
 Honor Desmond-Tetlow  photo Honor Desmond-Tetlow Honor is a senior consultant in Carey Olsen’s Dispute Resolution and Litigation…
 Emma Duffy  photo Emma Duffy Emma is a senior associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team…
 Michelle Falcucci  photo Michelle Falcucci Michelle is an associate at Carey Olsen Bermuda and advises on all…
 Ashley Fife  photo Ashley Fife Ashley is counsel in the trusts and private wealth team of Carey…
 Alexandra Fox  photo Alexandra Fox Associate Alexandra advises on all aspects of Bermuda corporate and commercial law,…
 Michael Frith  photo Michael Frith Michael Frith is Senior Counsel at Carey Olsen Bermuda, and Managing Director…
 Michael Hanson  photo Michael Hanson Michael Hanson is the managing partner of Carey Olsen Bermuda. His core…
 Kyle Masters  photo Kyle Masters Kyle is a senior associate with extensive experience in regulatory and compliance…
 Cheri Minors  photo Cheri Minors Cheri Minors is a senior associate in the Trust and Private Wealth…
 Steven Rees Davies  photo Steven Rees Davies Steven’s practice covers a broad spectrum of corporate and commercial law with…
 Keith Robinson  photo Keith Robinson Keith Robinson is a partner in the dispute resolution and trusts and…
 Keivon Simons  photo Keivon Simons Keivon is an associate in the dispute resoluton practice of Carey Olsen…
 Kent Smith  photo Kent Smith Kent is counsel in the corporate team based in Bermuda. A specialist…
 Sam Stevens  photo Sam Stevens Sam specialises in the resolution of complex corporate and commercial disputes, frequently…
 Henry Tucker  photo Henry Tucker Henry is counsel in Carey Olsen’s dispute resolution team and regularly represents…
 Oliver Wade  photo Oliver Wade Oliver is a senior associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team…
 Mary Ward  photo Mary Ward Mary is a partner in Carey Olsen’s corporate team and advises on all…
 Jay Webster  photo Jay Webster Jay Webster is a senior associate in the dispute resolution team at…
 Gavin Woods  photo Gavin Woods Gavin is a partner in the Bermuda office and advises on all…
Partners : 4
Fee earners : 22