Collas Crill > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > Firm Profile

Collas Crill
125 MAIN STREET
P.O.BOX 144, ROAD TOWN
TORTOLA
British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Following the departure of managing partner Ian Montgomery to Mourant in March 2021, the corporate, finance and funds team at Collas Crill is now steered by the vastly experienced Ellie Crespi, who arrived from Harneys during the same month. Instructed by both borrowers and lenders, the department is particularly active in real estate finance work for developments and acquisitions in both the US and UK, debt and refinancing matters, ship and marine finance issues, and capital markets work, including SPACs, equity fundraisings and debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive and decisive advisers. Creative problem solving as part of an innovative deal structure.’

Collas Crill’s hire of Ellie Crespi as Managing Partner and head of Corporate, Finance and Funds was a real coup. When it comes to structured finance and secured lending, there is simply no one else in the offshore market with greater depth and breadth of experience than Ellie.’

‘Aliki Skelton-Lettsome is a hard-working and highly promising home-grown talent.’

Key clients

AFRA (Panama)

Alcogal (Panama)

Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

ATU General Trust

Bank of America

BSG Valentine

Citco

Dajani & Associates

Drew and Napier LLC

Eversheds Sutherland (Dubai and Amman)

Extell Capital Partners LLC

Grant Hermann Shwartz & Klinger LLP

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

iMena

M1 Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Mail.ru Group, Russia’s largest internet business and e-commerce business, on a $200m equity fundraising of GDRs and $400m debt offering of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2025.
  • Advising Extell Limited, a BVI company acting as guarantor to a US borrower, on obtaining a substantial loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, to discharge existing loans relating to the luxurious oceanfront condominium residences known as The Lofts Pier Village in New Jersey.
  • Advised 4D Pharma Plc, a pharmaceuticals company leading the development of live biotherapeutic products, on a merger with Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), trading on Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange.

British Virgin Islands > Corporate and commercial Tier 3

Following the departure of managing partner Ian Montgomery to Mourant in March 2021, the corporate, finance and funds team at Collas Crill is now steered by Ellie Crespi, who arrived from Harneys during the same month. From the corporate and commercial viewpoint, M&A, group restructurings, joint ventures and corporate governance issues are key areas of focus.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive and skilled advisers, especially as part of a complex and innovatively structured transaction.’

The lawyers at Collas Crill work together as a team and this is what we really appreciate of their services. They advise according to their strengths so if one is not versed in an area of expertise this is immediately referred to another colleague who responds immediately.’

Collas Crill’s hire of Ellie Crespi as Managing Partner and head of Corporate, Finance and Funds was a real coup. She literally wrote the book on BVI Commercial Law, as contributing editor of the Company Law and Banking Law sections of the BVI Commercial Law (3rd and 4th editions). It is very positive for the jurisdiction to have a lawyer who spent the best part of a decade working in Hong Kong heading up one of the big international offshore firms here.

Key clients

AFRA (Panama)

Alcogal (Panama)

Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

ATU General Trust

Bank of America

BSG Valentine

Citco

Dajani & Associates

Drew and Napier LLC

Eversheds Sutherland (Dubai and Amman)

Extell Capital Partners LLC

Grant Hermann Shwartz & Klinger LLP

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

iMena

M1 Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised 4D Pharma Plc, a pharmaceuticals company leading the development of live biotherapeutic products, on a merger with Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), trading on Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advising global real estate investment and development company M1 Real Estate on the sale of 45 Pall Mall Ventures Limited (a BVI company) holding freehold property in the sought after areas of Pall Mall, Rose and Crown Yard and Cleveland Place in London.
  • Acted for Escher Bach SPC Ltd in the migration of part of the segregated portfolio of a Cayman LLC to BVI, creating a new BVI segregated portfolio structure/fund in response to Caymanian law changes which made it more advantageous to hold certain assets in BVI over Cayman.

British Virgin Islands > Dispute resolution Tier 4

Collas Crill‘s dispute resolution practice was bolstered in December 2020 by the arrival of new practice head David Harby from PCB Byrne, who is ‘an experienced advocate with a wealth of BVI experience‘ and adds ‘a real string to the team’s bow‘. Under the leadership of Harby, who ‘knows how to put together, motivate and support his team‘, the department specialises in contentious insolvencies but also handles fraud, asset tracing, and shareholder-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

David Harby knows how to put together, motivate and support his team. He is also a wonderful tactician.’

The team is incredibly responsive and able to handle even the most challenging clients and cases.’

David Harby is excellent. He is very client-focused and a good strategic thinker.’

Dave Marshall is a stellar performer – hugely industrious, charming and thoughtful. Every client’s dream, David Harby provides sagacious oversight and direction ensuring the very efficient timeous delivery of work product.’

The addition of David Harby is a real string to the team’s bow. He’s a robust litigator with excellent judgment.’

Collas Crill dispute resolution team is very professional, efficient, working to international high standards.’

David Harby is certainly a top lawyer to work with. He is a team player and a leader at the same time as he leads the practice very well and always with cooperative manners when it comes to a cross-border dispute.’

David Harby is an experienced advocate with a wealth of BVI experience. Quick response times, the advice often goes beyond what is needed and provides a clear road map for moving matters forward often before the client asks.’

Key clients

Alfa-Bank

Trident Trust

VP Bank

AFS Trustee

Alcogal

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Sequent

Pacor Secoma

Allied Health Professional Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Alfa-Bank on the recovery of $210m owed to it by former Russian Minister, Mikhail Abyzov, and various interests connected with him, in respect of alleged fraud connected with Abyzov’s E4 Group.
  • Defending the former CEO of Nissan in tracing claims brought against him and a superyacht allegedly owned by a BVI company connected with the client.
  • Representing Domidias Limited and Merbau Spinergy Limited  in relation to a claim in the BVI Commercial Court for recovery of funds for unlawful means conspiracy, fraud and breach of directors’ duties brought by SGS Universal Investment Holdings Limited and others.

Guernsey > Capital markets

Collas Crill is an offshore firm with offices in BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey and London. With 38 partners and directors, and 80 other lawyers and legal professionals, Collas Crill delivers a comprehensive range of legal services to clients locally and around the globe.

Clients include some of the world’s leading financial institutions, international businesses, trusts and funds, as well as HNW individuals and families, alongside an established network of independent and trusted partners.

The firm is committed to the local communities in which it operates and to the wellbeing of their people, and seeks to build and develop a reflective CSR programme.

Practice areas
Banking and finance: 
Collas Crill’s banking and finance teams in Guernsey, Jersey, BVI and Cayman act on both borrower and lender side for banks, funds, institutional and private investors, government linked organisations and global development corporations. They are on the panel of and work for leading retail banks including RBS, HSBC, Santander as well as private banks such as Investec, Coutts, Rothschild and Arbuthnot Latham and Islamic banks (namely ABC, BLME, ADIB, QIB, Gatehouse and Al Rayan Bank).

The firm has particular expertise in –

    • (a) real estate finance (in financing investment in office buildings, luxury apartments, warehouses, co-living and co-working accommodation, and leisure facilities to name a few)
    • (b) Islamic finance transactions
    • (c) acquisition and leveraged finance
    • (d) structured finance, note issues
    • (e) fund finance
    • (f) debt restructuring

It is able to advise on BVI and Cayman finance matters from the Channel Islands in a UK time zone.

Capital markets: Collas Crill’s global capital markets team acts on a broad range of debt, equity and derivative capital markets transactions on all of the major exchanges in the UK, Europe and the US. We are typically instructed by an array of issuers, banks, brokers, underwriters, sponsors and other advisors in respect of initial applications, secondaries, M&A transactions (including by scheme of arrangement), warrant and option programmes, EBTs and general continuing obligations, and we have significant experience in acting for activist shareholders. Through our in house listing agents, we also provide a comprehensive legal and advisory service to international companies listing securities on The International Stock Exchange and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.

Commercial and residential property: Collas Crill’s full service property team in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey is recognised by clients for its responsive, friendly and commercially aware approach. The firm’s property specialists have the local knowledge and expertise to not only offer top quality advice on all residential and commercial property transactions, but to give meaningful opinions and anticipate challenges and opportunities at every stage of the process. The firm is consistently recognised as a leader across the Channels Islands and the Cayman Islands.

The firm acts for landlords and tenants, private individuals, banks, corporates and investments funds and works with the islands’ largest property developers of both residential and commercial property. Across the jurisdictions, the firm is known for advising on complex real estate transactions, boasting one of the largest and most experienced property teams.

In the Channel Islands, the firm also established a UK real estate and real estate finance team advising international clients investing in and financing UK real estate.

In the Cayman Islands, the firm has secured highly-coveted panel positions as preferred attorneys for most of the Class A Banks.

The team routinely is involved with negotiations with government authorities with respect to acquisitions, commercial activities, licencing and all regulatory matters.

Corporate and commercial: With offices in Guernsey, Jersey, BVI and Cayman, Collas Crill’s corporate team advises a broad range of banks, trust companies, private equity, listed and unlisted corporates, HNWs and families, their directors, and shareholders, with particular expertise in the energy, utilities, digital assets, medical, transport, licensed premises and real estate sectors. Work includes –

    • (a) complex international M&A, especially in relation to regulated parties
    • (b) corporate structuring, joint ventures, PE investment and fund vehicles, SPVs, SPACs and associated listing of vehicles on TISE
    • (c) IPOs, secondary offerings and structured products
    • (d) a top regulatory practice advising clients on a host of risk and regulation issues including investigations and disciplinary hearings, aspects of corporate governance, directors duties, AML, data protection, competition law and economic substance
    • (e) restructuring, insolvency and migration of corporate vehicles
    • (f) commercial agreements, distribution, outsourcing, technology and licensing contracts . The team also works closely with its top ranking litigation teams in each jurisdiction in relation to complex insolvencies and shareholder disputes.

Dispute resolution: One of the largest and most experienced teams in the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and the BVI, we handle –

    • (1) commercial and financial services litigation including complex shareholder disputes and activism, Section 238 fair value proceedings, professional indemnity claims, contractual and investment fund disputes, fraud, asset tracing, enforcement actions and freezing injunctions
    • (2) insolvency and restructuring, advising voluntary, provisional and official liquidators, liquidation committees, directors, creditors and investors, companies and shareholders in relation to liquidations, schemes of arrangement and compromise, restructuring strategies, and reduction of share capital petitions
    • (3) contentious trusts and probate, acting for trustees, beneficiaries, settlors and protectors as well as parties to divorce proceedings impacting on offshore trusts and,
    • (4) regulatory disputes, claims and investigations, including utilities regulation, TIEAs, enforcement action and breaches of sanctions, AML, data protection and money laundering laws and financial crime.

Investment funds: Collas Crill’s fund specialists offer advice on all aspects relating to the establishment, authorisation and structuring of funds and related investment vehicles. The firm has particular expertise acting for emerging managers who are building their business and acting for institutional investors, including acting for private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds on joint venture and fund investments, as well as planning their internal corporate structures.

International private client and trusts:  We work with wealthy individuals, family controlled businesses and entrepreneurs to manage and protect wealth across generations, and to succession plan. We represent trustees, settlors, protectors and beneficiaries and have extensive experience of private wealth structuring including pensions, foundations and trusts, and we have particular experience of shariah compliant structuring. We work closely with our corporate and litigation teams in respect of corporate structures within family trusts, trust issues arising from divorce or family disputes, and contentious and semi-contentious trusts matters including mistake applications, and variations.

We also have a specialized team to assist in all aspects of wills, estate planning and administration, succession planning, probate, guardianship and powers of attorney.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing partner; Head of dispute resolution Stephen LeontsinisStephen.Leontsinis@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9605
Partner; Head of corporate, finance and funds Alan de Saramalan.desaram@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9604
Partner; Dispute resolution Matthew Dorsmatthew.dors@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9631
Partner; Dispute resolution Rocco Cecererocco.cecere@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9630
Partner; Head of Property Gina Berrygina.berry@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9654
Partner; Dispute resolution Jennifer Colegatejennifer.colegate@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9619
Counsel; Private Client and Trust Andrew Peedomandrew.peedom@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9603
Counsel; Dispute resolution Rupert Stanningrupert.stanning@collascrill.com+1 345 914 9640
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Ellie Crespi  photo Ellie Crespi Managing Partner, Head of Corporate, Finance and Funds in BVI. Ellie practises…
David Harby photo David HarbyDavid is a partner and barrister and head of the BVI’s dispute…
Christian Hidalgo photo Christian HidalgoOf Counsel. Christian’s areas of expertise include banking and finance, advising financial…
Dave Marshall photo Dave MarshallSenior Associate. Dave has a broad civil and commercial litigation practice in…
Maria Sirozhenko  photo Maria Sirozhenko Associate. Maria works predominantly within the Corporate team but she will also support…
Aliki Skelton-Lettsome  photo Aliki Skelton-Lettsome Associate. Aliki advises on a wide range of legal matters including but…
Nia Statham  photo Nia Statham Associate. Nia has obtained broad contentious experience across UK, European and Commonwealth…
Partners : 8
Other legal staff : 7

Briefing
After a busy year in offshore litigation, what
lies ahead in 2020? (https://www.legalbusiness.co.uk/analysis/disputes-yearbook-2020/sponsored-briefing-after-a-busy-year-in-offshore-litigation-what-lies-ahead-in-2020/)
Christian Hay gives an overview of Collas Crill’s disputes work in 2019 and discusses the challenges and trends that can be expected over the next year