Offshore - Global-wide
THE FIRM This firm benefits from a strong global footprint of 12 offices in key offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Bermuda, Jersey and a newly opened office in Shanghai. Clients praise the integrated teamwork on cross-border transactions and disputes. Litigation is a core strength and the firm's offering in this area was boosted with the addition of a litigation team in its Hong Kong office. The corporate and private client team is also highly esteemed. Notably, the teams in the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong represented Alibaba.com in its privatisation through a scheme of arrangement. The firm also previously advised SOFTBANK on potential shareholder disputes over the transfer of e-payment system Alipay.
Sources say: "A very good and global firm - we have used them in other jurisdictions and they provided a seamless service, so we have recommended them to our partners."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Frances Woo is the group's chairwoman, and she also manages the Hong Kong office and heads the local corporate and commercial and private client departments. Group managing partner Michael O'Connell is a litigation specialist in Jersey, while Michael Burns and Bryan Hunter manage the BVI and Cayman offices respectively.
THE FIRM This Bermuda-headquartered firm earns tremendous praise for its cutting-edge services and tailored advice to fit clients' needs. It has strengthened its broad bench of lawyers with numerous promotions and additions to offices in the Cayman Islands, the BVI, Hong Kong, Moscow and Mauritius. The firm also has offices in Bermuda, Dubai, São Paulo, London and Singapore. Recent highlights include acting as Cayman and BVI counsel to Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group on its USD2.8 billion IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange. In another standout matter, the team in Bermuda advised on the New York listing of GasLog's USD329 million IPO.
Sources say: "Certainly among the leading offshore law firms - we work with leading lawyers in all major offshore jurisdictions and Conyers is certainly in the highest rank."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in Bermuda, John Collis is the head of the international corporate department and a driving force of the team. Kerri Lefebvre heads the Dubai office and Kevin Butler manages the Cayman Islands practice. The new Singapore office is led by Tan Woon Tiang, while partner Christopher Bickley heads the team in Hong Kong. Robert Briant is a leading corporate and finance partner in the BVI.
THE FIRM This first-class offshore firm is marked out by the breadth and depth of its team, its outstanding quality of work and its impressive client base. It recently opened an office in Singapore to strengthen its presence in the blossoming Asian market. In the Cayman Islands, the firm consolidated its market-leading position for investment funds by hiring a ten-strong team from Walkers. The group is well positioned to handle large and complex cross-border work thanks to a network of offices that includes the BVI, Dubai, Dublin, London and Hong Kong. It is admired for its strength across all practice areas, teams and offices.
Sources say: "Globally impressive firm." "They are excellent - we see them as an extension of our business and they have offices everywhere."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Global managing partner Henry Smith is a very well-regarded investment funds expert who is based in the Cayman Islands. Respected litigator Arabella di Iorio heads the dispute resolution practice in the BVI and manages that office. Leading corporate and investment funds lawyer Tahir Jawed leads the Dubai practice, while Gareth Griffiths and Andrew Doyle manage the Hong Kong and Dublin offices respectively.
THE FIRM This renowned offshore firm maintains a strong foothold in the international market and has enhanced its offering with a new office in the BVI. The group's broad coverage and strong track record of cross-border work attract a significant roster of international clients. Notable work includes acting as Jersey counsel to Glencore International on both its Hong Kong and London IPOs, which raised USD10 billion. In another noteworthy matter, the litigation team represented a Congolese (DRC) mining company before the Privy Council in an appeal concerning the enforcement of arbitration awards.
Sources say: "We have a very high regard for them in Guernsey litigation and in cases with multiple jurisdictions involved. They're very good, reliable, and give sensible advice. They have good strength and depth and a good network."
KEY INDIVIDUALS In Jersey, Jonathan Rigby is the firm's managing partner and is supported by outstanding litigator Jonathan Speck. Robert Shepherd leads the Guernsey practice. Neal Lomax is a prominent corporate and finance lawyer and manages the Cayman Islands office. Partner Michael Williams recently relocated to the BVI to lead the new office there. In Asia, Paul Christopher heads the Hong Kong office.
THE FIRM This Jersey firm is making significant headway in the international offshore market thanks to its strong global footprint and highly experienced team of lawyers. This positions it very well to provide support to a wide range of international clients on multi-jurisdictional matters. Recent mandates include advising Infinity Cross Border Acquisition Corporation on its listing on the NASDAQ, raising USD46 million. In another notable matter, teams from the Guernsey, Jersey and Cayman offices worked together in advising Coller Investment Management on the establishment of its USD5.5 billion Coller International Partners VI Fund.
Sources say: "Ogier appeals to us because it has a presence in all the relevant offshore jurisdictions so all time zones are covered for cross-border transactions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sarah Fitz was recently appointed as the chairman of the group and works closely with Matthew Swan, who is the managing partner of the Jersey office. Also based in Jersey is Nick Kershaw, the global head of the investment funds practice. Founder of the BVI practice, Michael Fay is a key contact, while James Bergstrom manages the Hong Kong office.
THE FIRM Despite experiencing significant change following the sale of its fiduciary business to Intertrust, this firm remains a strong contender in the offshore arena. It has boosted its offering with the promotion of 11 partners across its international network, particularly in the Cayman Islands. Its strong presence in Asia is paying dividends as the team attracts a significant market share and an impressive roster of clients. For example, the team acted as BVI and Cayman Islands counsel to a consortium of banks underwriting the USD3 billion financing of Alibaba.com's privatisation. Other notable works include advising long-standing client Endeavour Mining on its acquisition of Avion Gold.
Sources say: "Uniformly excellent - extremely responsive and quick off the mark. Maybe their strongest asset is the precision with which they address the issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Esteemed funds lawyer Ingrid Pierce was recently appointed as Walkers' global managing partner as well as heading the Cayman investment funds practice. In the Asian region, John Rogers and Andy Randall manage the Singapore and Hong Kong offices respectively. In Dubai, Tim Buckley is the main contact, and Sandie Corbett leads the BVI group.
THE FIRM This firm commands considerable market recognition in the Channel Islands, and is increasing its prominence on the international scene with the expansion of its network. It recently launched practices in Singapore and the BVI, in addition to its relatively new office in Mauritius. Recent mandates include acting as Jersey counsel for a syndicate of banks on a USD137 million financing project for satellites to improve internet connections in Africa. The team also advised Qatar Bank on a GBP138 million financing facility for the development of a West End hotel.
Sources say: "They have a good understanding of the needs of clients on high-profile international deals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Seasoned practitioner Richard Gerwat is the firm's managing partner and is based in Jersey. Mark Helyar is a key contact in Guernsey, while Yuvraj Juwaheer heads the Mauritius practice. Valerie Georges-Thomas and Stephen Adams are primary contacts for the new BVI and Singapore offices respectively.
THE FIRM Traditionally known for its strong Channel Islands offering, this firm expanded its reach during 2012 by opening a new Cayman Islands office, hiring three lawyers from Maples and Calder in the process. In addition, the firm now also offers BVI expertise led by a dual-qualified partner based in Guernsey. The group's strong global footprint was beneficial in advising Copal Partners on the Jersey aspects of the acquisition of a majority stake in its business by Moody's. In another highlight, the Jersey and Guernsey teams advised Close Brothers Group on the sale of its offshore business to Kleinwort Benson.
Sources say: "We rate them very highly for difficult and complex structuring issues." "Able to work to short deadlines while offering a very high level of service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alex Ohlsson is the managing partner of the Jersey practice and a very prominent figure in the corporate and finance field. The Guernsey practice is managed by John Greenfield, who is renowned for his litigation expertise. Jarrod Farley is a key contact in the new Cayman office and Andrew Boyce is the main point of contact for BVI advice.
THE FIRM This prestigious firm is a mainstay of the BVI market, with one of the largest and most established teams on the island. It is also a serious player abroad, especially in Asia and the Cayman Islands, and has an active Cyprus practice. Lawyers from the BVI and Hong Kong worked closely together on behalf of the joint administrators of the estate of Nina Wang to secure assets located in the BVI. The Cayman team advised BNP Paribas on the establishment of an investment platform for its Brazilian fund products to facilitate investments outside of Brazil.
Sources say: "I found them refreshingly commercial, up to speed, very supportive and active in cases - the impression I've had is that they have a pretty strong complement of skills and I would recommend any of them in the team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market veteran Richard Peters left the firm in late 2012, with London-based Peter Tarn taking the role of global managing partner and Sheila George managing the BVI office. David Herbert heads the litigation and insolvency department in the Cayman Islands and Jonathan Culshaw relocated from London to manage the Hong Kong office.