Appleby > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > Firm Profile

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands > Corporate and commercial Tier 2

The ‘consistently excellent’ corporate team at Appleby, which is overseen by Jeffrey Kirk , excels in complex offshore corporate restructurings, multijurisdictional M&A, joint venture arrangements, shareholder rights issues and corporate governance work. Particularly active in the energy, infrastructure, natural resources and shipping and aviation industries, the department features a number of practitioners who are well-versed in corporate and commercial law. Andrew Jowett  (‘highly responsive, helpful and practical’) and Shana Simmonds (‘an excellent lawyer who provides timely and actionable advice’) are names to note.

Practice head(s):


‘I find them to be highly responsive, helpful and practical in the advice they provide.’

‘I have worked extensively over a number of years with Andrew Jowett and Shana Simmonds. Andrew is highly responsive, helpful and practical in the advice they provide. Shana is also an excellent lawyer who provides timely and actionable advice. Andrew is always my first call for BVI (or really any Caribbean) work.’

Brittany Cummings is very responsive and knowledgeable in corporate/securities law matters.’

‘The Appleby team is consistently excellent. They provide international level advice and service which we have found can be a challenge in smaller legal markets.’

The Appleby team has a leading-edge understanding of the fintech industry in which we operate and provide practical and business-focused guidance.

Very responsive and able to work to tight deadlines, coordinating work across multiple time zones.’

‘Andrew and his team are very responsive and proactive. They always respond promptly to queries and are pragmatic in their advice.’

‘Andrew Jowett provides pragmatic advice, is easy to discuss issues with and understands client requirements.’

Key clients

Pacific Drilling Company LLC

Ad hoc group of noteholders of the Valaris Group

Heirsholding Oil and Gas Limited

Oanda Corporation



Innovex Downhole Solutions

Deutsche Bank Company Americas

Elemental Royalties Limited

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

Elemental Royalties Limited

Zuuse Limited


Sprott Resource Lending Corp

Tether Limited

Investment Energy Resources Limited

British Virgin Islands > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Under the leadership of Andrew Willins, a ‘superb advocate’ who ‘would be an asset in any courtroom anywhere in the world’, Appleby’s BVI litigation team specialises in shareholder disputes and insolvency work. Alongside these longstanding strengths, two of the main areas of growth for the department are trusts litigation and cross-border fraud and asset tracing work, especially for Russia and CIS clients. Primarily active in a broad range of commercial disputes, banking litigation and debt enforcement issues, Olwyn Barry (who divides her time between the firm’s Jersey and BVI offices) is a key name in the group, which also features associate Laure-Astrid Wigglesworth.

Practice head(s):


‘Andrew Willins is a superb advocate, and would be an asset in any courtroom anywhere in the world. He is immensely knowledgeable on questions of civil procedure, which means his clients are always at maximum tactical advantage.’

‘Andrew Willins is one of the best advocates on island in the BVI. He has very sound judgment and a lot of experience on the island. He has more than his fair share of very high value work.’

‘Andrew Willins is one of the leading litigators on the BVI. He formulates excellent strategies and is intelligent and creative, whilst being pragmatic and user friendly. He also has been building a great team.’

‘Olwyn Barry is great.’

‘When we worked together with them as the one team, they achieved everything, which was needed and anticipated from them. We simply could not wish anything more than that.’

‘Andrew Willins is definitely a star. He is one of the most noticeable lawyers in the jurisdiction and a pleasure to work with. He is quite busy but this is because clients trust him a lot.’

Key clients

Pakistan International Airlines

Halimeda International Corporation

Victory Success Holdings Limited

Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Limited

Liquidators of Unicorn Worldwide Holdings Limited

Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund, LP

Witel AG

Lunan Pharmaceutical Corp.

Stockman Interhold

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pakistan International Airlines in its successful defence of applications by a creditor of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to enforce a $6bn arbitral award over its BVI assets.
  • Acting for Lenox International Holdings and a creditor in both of the key decisions concerned with the use of the winding-up jurisdiction in cases where the underlying obligations are subject to an arbitration agreement.
  • Acting for Pacific Alliance in litigation to recover a $120m judgment debt owed by a Chinese dissident and obtaining injunctive relief and a series of Norwich Pharmacal orders to establish his ownership of his BVI assets.

British Virgin Islands > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

Appleby combines corporate and commercial capabilities with experience in large banking, finance and capital markets deals. In particular, it handles an array of secured syndicated facilities, project finance issues and asset-backed finance work, most notably in relation to shipping and aircraft assets. Practice head Jeffrey Kirk  also has extensive experience in Islamic finance matters. Shana Simmonds, who provides assistance to financial institutions on the full gamut of financing transactions, was promoted to partner in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

British Virgin Islands > Regulatory and compliance Tier 3

Instructed by a diverse set of financial institutions and global corporations, Appleby’s team, which is overseen by Jeffrey Kirk , is commended for its provision of ‘international level advice and service’. It covers business and financial services regulation, including compliance, corporate governance, regulatory and risk advisory mandates, regularly working in collaboration with Cayman-based colleagues. With a ‘consistently excellent service’, Andrew Jowett  concentrates on the regulatory aspects of fund formations, investment business work, banking and financial services licensing issues, fintech and blockchain start-up mandates, joint ventures and ICOs.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The Appleby team is consistently excellent. They provide international level advice and service which we have found can be a challenge in smaller legal markets.’

‘The Appleby team has a leading-edge understanding of the fintech industry in which we operate and provide practical and business-focused guidance.’

‘Andrew Jowett provides consistently excellent service. He is a pleasure to work with and I recommend him without hesitation.’

Key clients

Oanda Corporation


Tether Limited



Work highlights

  • Advising Oanda, a leading forex trading platform, on the establishment of a subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands and to obtain a license with the BVI Financial Services Commission for the trading of foreign exchange (including cryptocurrency).
  • Advised Bitfinex, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, on regulations affecting new products and services.
  • Advised Tether, a stable digital asset with a $25bn market capitalisation, on regulations affecting new products and services.

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.

Managing Partner Jeffrey Kirk
Dispute Resolution Olwyn Barry
Corporate Andrew Jowett
Dispute Resolution Andrew Willins
Corporate Shana SImmonds
Number of partners : 5
Number of other fee-earners : 7
Contact : Jeffrey Kirk, Managing Partner
Other offices : Cayman Islands
Other offices : Bermuda
Other offices : Guernsey
Other offices : Isle of Man
Other offices : Jersey
Other offices : Mauritius
Other offices : Seychelles
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Hong Kong

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