Gavin Woods > Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited > Hamilton, Bermuda > Lawyer Profile

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

Work Department

Corporate; Banking and Finance; Listing Services; Regulatory; Private Client


Gavin is a partner in the Bermuda office and advises on all aspects of Bermuda corporate law, specializing in corporate finance, corporate structuring and insurance transactional and regulatory matters. He has particular experience in the licensing of insurance companies (captives, special purpose insurers and commercial carriers), alternative risk financing (including cat bonds, insurance-linked securities and side-cars), listing on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, segregated accounts companies and derivative transactions.

Recognised for his insurance expertise in the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners, Gavin is singled out for his work on insurance-linked securities and the licensing of new insurance entities.  In 2017, Gavin was recommended by Legal 500 Caribbean in the following categories: Banking; Finance and Capital Markets; Corporate and Commercial; and Insurance/Reinsurance. In the Insurance/Reinsurance category, Gavin was also recognised by Legal 500 Caribbean as a ‘next generation lawyer’.

Gavin participates regularly at conferences and seminars and provides commentary to international and local media on the Bermuda insurance industry as well as all other aspects of Bermuda law.


Prior to joining Carey Olsen, Gavin was a partner at another law firm in Bermuda.  Prior to his arrival in Bermuda in 2010, he practised in New York and London for international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2007, the New York State Bar in 2008 and the Bermuda Bar in 2012.

Lawyer Rankings

Bermuda > Insurance/reinsurance

(Leading individuals)

Gavin WoodsCarey Olsen Bermuda Limited

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.

Bermuda > Regulatory and compliance

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.

Bermuda > Corporate and commercial

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.

Bermuda > Banking, finance and capital markets

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.