Firm Profile > Walkers BVI > Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Walkers BVI
171 MAIN STREET, PO BOX 92
ROAD TOWN
TORTOLA VG1110
British Virgin Islands

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Walkers BVI attracts praise for its regular involvement in high-end BVI disputes concerning ultra-high-value assets and fraud issues, the majority of which originate in Russia, the CIS and Africa. Practice co-head Oliver Clifton and 'great team player' Iain Tucker are representing Mikhail Abyzov in the high-profile Emmerson proceedings; in 2019 the team handled applications before the Commercial Court and, in 2020, obtained freezing orders on assets valued at more than $1bn before the Court of Appeal. Alongside its established expertise in fraud disputes, the insolvency and dispute resolution department has seen significant growth in high-value insolvency and corporate disputes. Practice co-head Rosalind Nicholson specialises in corporate litigation and corporate governance work, with a particular focus on shareholder and boardroom disputes, contested takeovers and restructuring mandates. Murray Laing and senior associate Cate Barbour are also notably active in the local commercial litigation market.

Testimonials

‘They are very approachable and friendly.’

‘Very knowledgeable and approachable team. High quality expertise, very responsive and great to work with.’

‘Rosalind Nicholson – very client friendly. Fiercely intelligent and very good at getting to the heart of the issue.’

‘Renell Benjamin is highly recommended. As a local, he knows all the ins and outs of the BVI legal scene.’

‘Oliver Clifton – cerebral approach, methodical and focused.’

‘Iain Tucker – highly personable and a great team player.’

‘Walkers is an international, multi-jurisdictional firm, with specialists who know their local markets inside and out.’

‘Murray Laing – Murray is an excellent attorney with an encyclopaedic knowledge of court procedures and jurisprudence in the BVI. He has a keen strategic sense and quickly and thoroughly identifies factors relevant to corporate decisionmakers.’

Key clients

Emmerson International Corporation

Lau Wing Yan

Vidatel Limited

Broad Idea International Limited

Fonds Rusnano Capital S.A

Incredible Power Limited

Grantway International Limited

FTI Consulting, KPMG, GT, Deloitte

Industrial Bank Financial Leasing Co. Ltd

Trusts/private client Tier 1

Walkers BVI is noted for its contentious trust capabilities, notably representing ultra-high-net-worth clients from Russia, the CIS and Africa before BVI courts. The group receives instructions on the preservation, investment and passing on of private capital trusts and foundations for wealth planning purposes, and also has experience in succession planning issues, wills and probate work, wealthy family and family office relocations, commercial trust and foundation structures, charity and philanthropy matters, and regulatory issues. Key names include Cayman-based non-contentious expert and group head David Pytches, who specialises in restructurings, migrations and new trust establishments. Oliver Clifton and Rosalind Nicholson are also noted for contentious trusts matters.

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Testimonials

‘The team has an excellent segregation of roles among individual members who are able to assist in areas of their individual expertise. Willing to work with legal teams of other jurisdictions and balance the concerns and impacts in different jurisdictions and areas of law.’

‘Individuals who worked with me have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and are able to assist in providing thorough analysis of the case and pragmatic solutions to issues without losing sight of other related problems. In particular, they have been showing care and concern of clients’ needs and are able to follow up the actions required without missing any key components to settle the matter.’

Key clients

Intertrust

Rawlinson & Hunter

Trident Trust

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Following Patrick Ormond’s relocation to the firm's London office, Matthew Cowman is now managing partner at Walkers BVI, where he heads up the finance, corporate and funds group. Senior counsel Omonike Robinson-Pickering advises clients on complex investment fund financings and refinancings, asset finance deals, and debt and equity finance work. Frequently acting on the lender side of banking transactions, the team also has experience acting on subordinated and syndicated lending mandates, leverage and acquisition financings, and project and real estate finance work, and also handles derivatives and structured products.

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Testimonials

‘An outstanding team with a broad knowledge on relevant transactions; timely, pragmatic, reliable, efficient and if necessary innovative advice also for complex situations. The entire team is very accommodating and service oriented. They are very reliable and stick to the agreed budget. I consider Walkers BVI as being more service oriented than competitors. In particular, they are willing to accommodate to specific needs and are very responsive.’

‘We enjoy working with the entire team. In particular, Omonike Robinson-Pickering is a pleasure to work with and always willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Walkers are now my go-to firm in the BVI. They cover practically every aspect of banking and finance law. And are extremely responsive.’

Key clients

TELUS

Deutsche Bank

China Minsheng Banking Corp

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citigroup

JP Morgan

Macquarie Group

ICBC

NCL Corporation Ltd

Lai Fung Holdings Limited

Corporate and commercial Tier 2

Following Patrick Ormond's move to Walkers’ London office, Matthew Cowman is now managing partner of the firm's office in the BVI, where he heads up the finance, corporate and funds group. The department acts for an impressive client roster across a range of corporate transactions including public and private acquisitions, mergers and consolidations, corporate restructurings and reorganisations, and joint ventures. Senior counsel Omonike Robinson-Pickering and senior associate Jude Hodge are also active in the space.

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Key clients

TELUS

Deutsche Bank

China Minsheng Banking Corp

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citigroup

JP Morgan

Macquarie Group

ICBC

NCL Corporation Ltd

Lai Fung Holdings Limited

Investment funds Tier 2

Acting for hedge, private equity and distressed funds, Walkers BVI has seen an uptick in restructuring work, as well as private equity downstream transactions involving BVI entities. The firm’s investment funds group also advises on fund formations, financing work, buyouts, direct investments and joint venture transactions. Patrick Ormond, who heads up the finance, corporate and funds group in the BVI, recently relocated to London. Associate Jude Hodge is the BVI-based lawyer of note.

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Regulatory and compliance Tier 3

Led globally by Cayman-based Lucy Frew, Walkers BVI's group provides specialist regulatory advice to investment funds, banks, trust companies and financing and payment service businesses. The team has a notable specialism in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing requirements, sanction regulations, exchange of tax information issues, and economic substance requirements. Senior counsel and regulatory specialist Lodewijk Van Setten bolstered the team's expertise following his recruitment in 2020. Former BVI regulatory head Lisa Penn-Lettsome departed in late 2019 to take up a position with the government as executive director of international business.

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Key clients

Anchorage

Apollo Management

Bank of America

Blackstone

Cerberus

CVC Capital Partners

First Reserve Corporation

GSO Capital Partners

HarbourVest Partners

Oak Hill Capital Management

Global Managing Partner: Ingrid Pierce
BVI Managing Partner: Matthew Cowman
Number of BVI partners: 6
Number of partners worldwide: 124
Number of BVI lawyers: 20
Number of lawyers worldwide: 380

Firm Overview:
Walkers is a leading international law firm that provides legal, corporate, fiduciary and compliance services to global corporations, financial institutions, capital markets participants and investment fund managers. Clients include FORTUNE 100 and FTSE 100 companies, as well as the most innovative firms and institutions across the financial markets. Walkers’ lawyers are experienced, entrepreneurial, committed to client service and held in high regard by clients for their ability to deliver outstanding legal advice.

Walkers is experienced in all types of international and cross-border transactions, covering a broad range of sectors, with a particular focus on both contentious and non-contentious corporate and finance law, investment funds, private equity, structured products, capital markets, private capital and trusts. Walkers delivers excellent, clear, practical advice based on an in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial environment in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and Ireland. The firm is consistently ranked in the top tier of leading global legal directories. Clients describe Walkers as “a top-class firm,” and “stellar,” adding: “They are dedicated and responsive…”

Corporate
Walkers’ corporate group advises global corporations on a wide variety of company, commercial and corporate law matters. It has extensive experience advising on all corporate matters including mergers, acquisitions and disposals, corporate re-structuring, joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and commercial contracts and agreements of every nature.
Contact: Matthew Cowman, Omonike Robinson-Pickering

Finance
Walkers has a market-leading finance practice and regularly represents the main US and European banks, as well as corporate, private equity and hedge fund borrowers. The team is especially active on a range of secured banking and finance matters including fund financing, corporate lending, margin loans, corporate bond issuances, resource based project financings and asset finance transactions
Contact: Matthew Cowman, Omonike Robinson-Pickering

Insolvency & Dispute Resolution
Walkers advises companies, directors, general partners and insolvency practitioners on all aspects of litigation, corporate recovery, restructuring, insolvency and dispute resolution. The team is internationally recognised as having the premier practice for dispute concerning ultra-high-value assets and fraud disputes. Walkers is also known for its unrivalled expertise in corporate litigation, shareholder & boardroom disputes, and related advice on strategy, risk management & issues of corporate governance, contested takeovers, and contentious & non-contentious restructuring. They advise creditors, debtors, private equity and hedge funds and other stakeholders and have worked with many of the leading international law and accounting firms.
Contact: Oliver Clifton, Rosalind Nicholson

Investment Funds
Walkers’ investment funds group is one of the largest specialist investment funds teams worldwide. They advise many of the world’s most prominent asset managers, fund promoters and institutional banks and investors on all aspects of offshore investment funds including fund formation, structuring, regulation, fund restructuring, fund re-domiciliation, termination and on-going general advice to investment funds and managers.
Contact: Oliver Bell

Private Capital & Trusts
Walkers’ private capital and trusts group is a multijurisdictional team of specialist lawyers that focusses on serving the needs of wealthy families, entrepreneurs, family offices, professional trustees and onshore advisers. The team’s work includes establishing private capital investment funds, direct investing, private and commercial trusts, wealth and succession planning, wills and probate, charitable and philanthropic trusts and entities, trust litigation and a broad range of corporate services designed to support back office operations through Walkers Corporate Limited. Clients have come to rely on Walkers as a trusted advisor for its unmatched expertise, discretion and individually tailored advice with a long-term, multi-generational perspective.
Contact: David Pytches

Private Equity
Walkers’ private equity group acts for most of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. It advises on all aspects of fund formation and capitalisation of investment vehicles, public and private mergers and acquisitions and down-stream transactions, capital call and subscription line financing, leveraged buy out, group restructuring, secured lending, take-private and IPO formation and due diligence.
Contact: Matthew Cowman

Regulatory & Risk Advisory
Walkers’ regulatory and risk advisory team comprises dedicated specialist financial regulatory and risk management advisory lawyers who bring unique insight from having worked inside various national regulators, including the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. The team regularly advises non-regulated and regulated financial institutions on the interpretation and application of regulatory rules, policies and procedures. Clients include a wide range of businesses in the banking, insurance and reinsurance, investment fund, administrator, fiduciary and investment management, advice, broker-dealer and arranger sectors.
Contact: Lucy Frew, Lodewijk Van Setten

Restructuring
Walkers’ restructuring team offers clients a premier restructuring service for companies in financial difficulty. The team consists of experts drawn from top tier international law firms and chambers, and includes the corporate expertise of Rosalind Nicholson, offering a unique crossover in the BVI between litigation and corporate law (with many years’ experience as one of the UK’s leading company law barristers) on both contentious and non-contentious restructuring initiatives.
Contact: Rosalind Nicholson

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate, Finance & Funds Matthew Cowman matthew.cowman@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2208
Investment Funds Oliver Bell oliver.bell@walkersglobal.com +1 345 814 6856
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Oliver Clifton oliver.clifton@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2246
Regulatory & Risk Advisory Lucy Frew lucy.frew@walkersglobal.com +1 345 814 4676
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Murray Laing murray.laing@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2226
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Rosalind Nicholson rosalind.nicholson@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2237
Private Capital & Trusts David Pytches david.pytches@walkersglobal.com +1 345 814 6831
Corporate, Finance & Funds Omonike Robinson-Pickering omonike.robinson-pickering@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2222
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Iain Tucker iain.tucker@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2230
Regulatory & Risk Advisory Lodewijk Van Setten lodewijk.vansetten@walkersglobal.com +1 284 852 2231
BVI partners : 6
Partners worldwide : 124
BVI lawyers: : 20
Lawyers worldwide : 380
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