Appleby > Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands > Firm Profile

Appleby
CLIFTON HOUSE, 71 FORT STREET
PO BOX 190
GRAND CAYMAN KY1-1104
Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands > Real estate Tier 1

Trusted by a variety of major developers, high-net-worth individuals, utility providers, government authorities and large banks, the property practice at Appleby is a go-to name in the Cayman real estate sector, standing out for its extensive knowledge of the luxury resort, commercial, residential, infrastructure and financing segments of the market. Headed up by Norman Klein, the group enjoys a strong reputation locally for its expertise in large-scale hotel and resort developments, high-value property developments, commercial acquisitions and dispositions, complex secured lending transactions, and commercial and retail leasing mandates. Additional names to note include Adam Johnson and associate Tim Swallow, both of whom excel in an array of real estate law issues and handle headline deals.

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Key clients

Royal Bank of Canada Group

NCB Group

Seafire Residences / Seafire Resorts

Beach Bay Land Ltd / Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Resort

Sterling Mortgage Income Fund, Ltd.

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited

Aimbridge Hospitality LLC

Davenport Development

Dhown Homes

Dart Group

Scotiabank Group

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

Aqua Bay Condominium Redevelopment Committee

Barkers Beach Ltd.

Cayman Islands > Trusts/private client Tier 1

Headed up by Carlos De Serpa Pimentel, ‘one of the most knowledgeable lawyers on the circuit with impressive experience‘, the trusts and private client practice at Appleby is retained by an impressive assortment of institutional trustees, protectors, enforcers, beneficiaries and other high-net-worth individuals, for whom it routinely handles high-value, cross-border instructions. It chiefly handles the establishment of complex foundation companies, Public Trustee v Cooper applications, large-scale trust restructuring proceedings and a variety of other contentious trusts disputes. An additional name to note is the ‘technically very strong and unflappableEsmond Brown, who was promoted to counsel in 2021 and specialises in the establishment and administration of trusts and foundations along with will and estate planning matters.

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Testimonials

‘The Appleby team are technically outstanding.’

‘Carlos Pimental is one of the most knowledgeable lawyers on the circuit with impressive experience and knowledge. Esmond Brown is technically very strong and unflappable.’

‘I have worked with Appleby in Cayman on a particularly challenging trust dispute. Unlike some other lawyers in the trust and trust dispute area, the Appleby team really understood the reality of the issues for the client and were able to provide outstanding technical advice as well as really engaging in a meaningful and positive way with the client.’

‘Carlos de Serpa Pimentel is outstanding. He is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, but combines that with a real empathy for the client and a real commitment to delivering the right result. He is really well supported by Esmond Brown who is a real class act and one to watch.’

Key clients

Cayman National Trust Co Ltd

Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan Trustees

R3 Cayman Foundation

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cayman National Trust Company as the Former Trustee of the Poulton Family Trust in hostile proceedings brought in the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court by the adult children of the settlor and beneficiaries who were excluded from the Trust by the Settlor and Protector of the Trust in 2016.
  • Advising the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce as trustee of the Chamber’s Pension Plan for all employees resident in the Cayman Islands, acting counsel generally to the Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan Trustees on all matters and questions arising.
  • Advised on the establishment of a new Cayman Islands foundation company, R3 Cayman Foundation; the foundation company will manage a private sector-led recovery fund to support readiness, relief and recovery efforts in the Cayman Islands in the event of a natural or man-made emergency or disaster, including the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Cayman Islands > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Extremely responsive and a strong player in Cayman‘, Appleby enlists a diverse team of banking and finance experts who are sought after, in particular, for their track records in structured finance, corporate finance and fund financing work. Overseeing the structured finance offering, ‘exceptional banking lawyerBenjamin Woolf  represents issuers and investors on a wide range of CLOs, CRE CLOs and PACE securitisations. The broader team, which is led by Woolf in collaboration with Simon Raftopoulos, has considerable expertise in SPACs, leveraged buyouts, initial and secondary public offerings, and private placements of equity and debt securities. Additional names of note are asset finance expert Liesl Richter, corporate finance specialist Jacob MacAdam , global banking and asset finance lead Caroline Barton , and Anna-Lise Wisdom , who excels in subscription financing and debt financing mandates. Counsel Dean Bennett and newly promoted partner Georgina Pullinger provide key support.

Testimonials

Benjamin Woolf is an exceptional banking lawyer who is versatile and can handle complex matters/transactions.’

Benjamin Woolf is highly responsive, pragmatic and commercial, yet extremely technical and capable of managing complex issues.’

Appleby is extremely responsive and a strong player in Cayman, not only in structured finance (especially CLOs), but also in general bank finance and restructurings.’

Ben Woolf and Liesel Richter are superstars. Ben is a terrific team leader. Liesel responds at all hours of days, nights and weekends almost instantaneously.’

The team is very responsive. The advice we received is very practical and well presented.’

Dean Bennett is the main point of contact for me. He is very knowledgeable and responsive. He has been great in ensuring that we receive clear advice without delay.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank Plc.

Harriman Park CLO, Ltd.

Artisan Acquisition Corp.

Exantas Capital Corp. 2020-RSO9, Ltd.

PACEfunding 2020-1

Toorak

HERO Funding 2020-1

JFIN Revolver

Whitehaven Holdings

JPMorgan Chase Bank

CIFC Funding 2020-I, Ltd.

Deerpath Capital CLO

Jamestown CLO

Marble Point CLO

Monroe Capital

Signature Bank

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Société Générale

Morgan Stanley

First Republic Bank

Marvell Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Harriman Park CLO, Ltd., an issuer of collateralised loan obligations.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Barclays Bank Plc and the other initial purchasers in a private offering of $850m in principal amount of 8% senior secured notes offered by two newly-formed Spirit subsidiaries and guaranteed by Spirit Airlines, Inc.
  • Acted for JP Morgan in relation to a credit facility to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI, a subsidiary of Tiger Global Management, to fund investments and operating expenses.

Cayman Islands > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Under the leadership of Peter McMaster QC, Appleby‘s dispute resolution practice, which is noted for its in-house advocacy capabilities, specialises in shareholder disputes, funds disputes, appraisal claims, dissenting shareholder issues and arbitral award enforcement work. Key names within the group include Tony Heaver-Wren ( who is ‘an insolvency expert with a well-established reputation in the market‘), David Lee  (who is praised as ‘a strategic thinker who works hard to deliver effective solutions’) and Sebastian Said. Also adept is counsel Andrew Jackson, who is singled out as ‘outstanding technically, particularly in relation to share valuation disputes‘.

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Testimonials

‘We were impressed with Appleby’s hands-on approach. They guided us through the dispute process very efficiently and their ability to form and implement effective strategies impressed us.’

‘We worked closely with David Lee and Tony Heaver-Wren from Appleby’s Cayman office. They quickly identified the key aspects of the dispute we had and provided us with several potential solutions.’

‘Appleby assisted us with a very substantial enforcement exercise which involved multiple proceedings in Cayman and the BVI. The matter also involved us taking steps against the debtor’s assets in five jurisdictions. Appleby developed an effective strategy which responded to significant roadblocks and ultimately led to a successful outcome. In my view, there is no better firm for enforcement work.’

The Appleby team was able to deliver very high-quality work in limited time. The Appleby team has strength in depth across both the Cayman and BVI offices. The team was very responsive and always made themselves available. They went the extra mile to deliver client service in a complex and testing case.’

We work with the finest litigation and arbitration firms on disputes around the globe and I must say that the Appleby team’s tactical and writing skills have surpassed all expectations. I believe this matter was a textbook example of how enforcement should be strategized and carried out.’

‘David Lee is very bright and there is nobody better at managing complex disputes. He is a strategic thinker who works hard to deliver effective solutions.’

Tony Heaver-Wren is an insolvency expert with a well-established reputation in the market particularly with insolvency matters. Tony provided very clear thinking and excellent strategic input.’

‘Sebastian Said is a rising star, very switched on, responsive and personable.’

Key clients

Nordic Trustees

Pacific Drilling

China National Building Materials

Ennismore Fund Management

China Resources

BDO/Abraaj

Britannia Golf Course

Scully Royalty Ltd

Obelisk Capital Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Nordic Trustee as corporate trustee of $142m in defaulted bonds in two of the most hotly contested winding-up petitions in the Financial Services Division in 2020/2021.
  • Advised Pacific Drilling Company LLC on the restructuring of approximately $1bn debt across the Pacific Drilling Group.  
  • Acted for China Resources and Transport Group Limited, which was the respondent to (a) an application for appointment of provisional liquidators (on a risk of dissipation basis), and (b) a winding up petition.

Cayman Islands > Corporate and commercial Tier 3

Appleby’s corporate work, which is carried out for a diverse range of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, primarily concerns international M&A, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and corporate issues for investment funds. Simon Raftopoulos leads the local corporate practice group, which fields a number of highly-rated practitioners. Structured finance specialist Benjamin Woolf, asset finance expert Liesl Richter and corporate finance specialist Jacob MacAdam are key practitioners of note. At counsel level, Dean Bennett shines in a wide variety of corporate, securities and finance transactions.

Testimonials

‘Confident in the quality of their advice and responsiveness.’

‘I’ve worked with Jacob MacAdam for over 10 years and he’s my first choice. Advice is always on point and he’s way more responsive than other offshore lawyers I’ve come across.’

Strong corporate lawyers. Ben Woolf is my contact there and is a superb lawyer.

Key clients

Barclays Bank Plc.

Harriman Park CLO, Ltd.

Artisan Acquisition Corp.

Exantas Capital Corp. 2020-RSO9, Ltd.

PACEfunding 2020-1

Toorak

HERO Funding 2020-1

JFIN Revolver

Whitehaven Holdings

JPMorgan Chase Bank

CIFC Funding 2020-I, Ltd.

Deerpath Capital CLO

Jamestown CLO

Marble Point CLO

Monroe Capital

Signature Bank

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Société Générale

Morgan Stanley

First Republic Bank

Marvell Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Harriman Park CLO, Ltd., an issuer of collateralised loan obligations.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Barclays Bank Plc and the other initial purchasers in a private offering of $850m in principal amount of senior secured notes offered by two newly-formed Spirit subsidiaries and guaranteed by Spirit Airlines, Inc.
  • Acted as counsel to JP Morgan in relation to a credit facility to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI, a subsidiary of Tiger Global Management to fund investments and operating expenses.

Cayman Islands > Insurance/reinsurance Tier 3

Integrated into the firm’s corporate department, the insurance practice at Appleby regularly advises on the establishment, licensing, regulatory compliance and business operations of insurance and reinsurance companies, in addition to assisting insurance managers and brokers based in international jurisdictions. As key names to note, Simon Raftopoulos and Jacob MacAdam are particularly active in cross-border finance and corporate deals involving insurance entities, along with reinsurer incorporations.

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Testimonials

They have a dedicated Insurance /Reinsurance Practice across multiple jurisdictions which enables them to access the best industry advice. They also have no bias in regards to where best to establish a global reinsurance carrier, which serves clients needs best when they are making a decision on where to establish their operations.

Jacob MacAdam and Appolina Bent have been super helpful with the launch of our commercial reinsurer. They are trusted advisers.’

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Willis North America Inc.

Kuvare Life Re Ltd.

Aon Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Brookfield Asset Management Inc. on its obligations under the laws of the Cayman Islands in respect of an indirect acquisition of a controlling stake in Oaktree Capital.
  • Advised Willis North America Inc. and Aon plc on the acquisition by Aon, by way of a merger, of Willis.
  • Acted for Brickell Insurance Holdings LLC in connection with Brickell’s share exchange investment in Randall & Quilter, an AIM-listed insurance group.

Cayman Islands > Regulatory and compliance Tier 3

Particularly well versed in data protection and cybersecurity issues, Appleby’s regulatory and compliance group is, since early 2021, complemented by ARC (Appleby Regulatory Compliance), plugging the gap between regulatory advice and corporate services. The group has seen an uptick in regulatory disputes, which are handled by Peter McMaster . It also assists regulated entities with regulatory approval applications, ongoing regulatory advice, and acts for clients on the regulatory aspects of corporate deals, a notable strong suit of Jacob MacAdam . Elsewhere, Peter Colegate, who was made partner in April 2021, specialises in privacy and data protection regulatory work, especially in the technology sector. The practice sits as part of the overall corporate group, headed up by Simon Raftopoulos.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management

Willis North America

AON plc

DataLink

The Proprietors, Strata Plan No.22 (Beachcomber)

Brickell Insurance Holdings LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising a group of property developers and other interested parties on contesting a decision of the Minister of Finance to retrospectively apply a new interpretation of the Stamp Duty Act (2019 Revision), imposing Stamp Duty on transactions where it had not previously been imposed.
  • Representing the Defendant in RB440 Properties Ltd v The Proprietors, Strata Plan Number 22, in which the plaintiff is demanding access to all and any data collected by the strata corporation; the request raises issues about the application of the Cayman Islands Data Protection Act.
  • Acted for Brickell Insurance Holdings LLC in connection with Brickell’s share exchange investment in Randall & Quilter, including assistance with obtaining required regulatory approvals for the exchange transaction and coordinating regulatory filings across jurisdictions.

Cayman Islands > Investment funds Tier 4

Under the leadership of Simon Raftopoulos, Appleby‘s funds and investment service group is underpinned by a strong specialism in assisting Asian managers with the formation, operation, restructuring and termination of investment funds. In addition to its track record in matters concerning private equity, real estate, venture capital and infrastructure funds, the department is also making inroads advising on the establishment of cryptocurrency and related asset class funds. Regulatory issues, fund financings and downstream transactional work are among the other areas of focus for the group. Stand-out practitioners include Sailaja Alla  and Christian Victory.

The firm: Appleby is a leading offshore law firm. The team of legal specialists advise global public and private companies, financial institutions and private individuals. Appleby is regularly recognised for its integrity and excellent client service, these are the values the firm prides itself on and are at the very core of its business.

Appleby’s global presence allows it to provide timely and comprehensive legal advice at the times that matter most to clients. Appleby is located in the key offshore jurisdictions of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, as well as the international financial centres of Hong Kong and Shanghai. Appleby works with clients to achieve practical solutions whether in a single location or across multiple jurisdictions. Appleby is a full service law firm providing expert advice across corporate, dispute resolution, property, regulatory and private client and trusts practice areas.

Principal areas of work
Mergers and acquisitions: Appleby’s mergers and acquisitions team regularly works with FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies around the globe to help them deploy strategic growth and restructuring initiatives, whether involving single jurisdictions or complex multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary transactions. They actively monitor M&A trends through their half-yearly Offshore-i report and their unique global presence means that they are able to advise clients on complex, cross-border transactions involving the offshore jurisdictions.

Regulatory: Appleby’s regulatory and compliance team is one of the world’s largest offshore, comprised of experts who not only have first-hand knowledge of local regulation, but who have in many cases, helped to shape it. Their team are skilled at putting technical regulatory information and decision-making in a commercial context, and clients know that they can assemble the team to deliver an international service, quickly and seamlessly.

Technology and innovation: Appleby’s multi-disciplinary technology and innovation group comprises experts from each of their ten offices to help businesses meet the new challenges and support clients across a broad range of emerging technologies including blockchain, virtual currencies, ICOs, data protection and financial technologies.

Banking and finance: Appleby’s banking and asset finance team are experienced in all aspects of law relating to banking, ship and aircraft registration and finance, asset backed finance and project and infrastructure finance. They provide advice to major banks and financial institutions, ship and aircraft owners, lessors, and lessees and have deep and trusted relationships with numerous international law firms, shipping groups and financial institutions around the world.

Funds: Appleby’s fund finance team are experts in advising banks and finance providers in the development of sophisticated financing solutions. The team are globally recognized as leaders in the fund finance sector and have advised on a variety of different financing structures involving funds that have ranged from a hundred million to billions of dollars in subscribed investor commitments.

Insolvency and restructuring: Appleby’s insolvency and testructuring team advise directors, institutional lenders, creditors (secured or unsecured), borrowers, or insolvency practitioners in large insolvencies that have offshore or cross-border elements. The team has extensive insolvency and restructuring experience across a wide range of industries, including retail, hospitality and leisure, healthcare, financial services, real estate and manufacturing.

Trust disputes: As family arrangements become more complex, trustees and beneficiaries are frequently being drawn into disputes which lead to court proceedings. Appleby’s talented, experienced and solution driven trust disputes team is committed to delivering the highest possible level of client service and regularly work together across their global locations to provide expert multi-jurisdictional advice.

Employment: Appleby’s specialist employment team provides advice on employment and immigration law to a range of global clients, including banks, financial services businesses, companies and directors, as well as their onshore legal advisers. With close ties to local governments, they are often consulted on, and help to share, new laws brought into force across the jurisdictions in which they operate.

Fraud and asset tracing: Appleby’s fraud and asset tracing team are experts in helping clients to trace and recover assets across international jurisdictions, regardless of where proceedings originate. Their clients include major financial institutions, multinational corporations, government agencies, state-owned corporations and high net worth individuals, who have been defrauded or have received the proceeds of fraud. They also advise directors and officers, and other service providers caught in the fallout of fraudulent activities.

Property: Appleby are a leading provider of property services in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and Jersey. Their property team provides expert legal advice on all aspects of commercial and residential property, including sales and purchases, leasing, development and property finance transactions. They are frequently recognised for their experience and excellent client service and are consistently ranked in the top tiers for property work. They regularly work directly with developers, investors, business occupiers, banking institutions and private individuals.

PC&T: Appleby’s private client and trust team provide trust and foundation services to private individuals, families, and fiduciary companies. They advise on all aspects of trust law, including the establishment, administration, restructuring and termination of private, charitable, and commercial trusts and foundations. They act in a personal capacity as Protector, Enforcer and Director (of Private Trust Companies) for a number of discretionary trusts and are frequently instructed by blue-chip trust institutions.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Norman Klein
Corporate Anna-Lise Wisdom
Corporate Benjamin Woolf
Corporate Caroline Barton
Corporate Christian Victory
Corporate Jacob MacAdam
Corporate Sailaja Alla
Corporate Simon Raftopoulos
Corporate Adam Johnson
Corporate Liesl Richter
Corporate Peter Colegate
Dispute Resolution Anthony Heaver-Wren
Dispute Resolution David Lee
Dispute Resolution Peter McMaster QC
Dispute Resolution Sebastian Said
Private Client & Trusts Carlos de Serpa Pimentel
Number of partners : 16
Number of other fee-earners : 19
English
Main Contact : Norman Klein,Managing Partner
Other offices : Bermuda
Other offices : BVI
Other offices : Guernsey
Other offices : Isle of Man
Other offices : Jersey
Other offices : Mauritius
Other offices : Seychelles
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Hong Kong