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Maples and Calder

George Town

Maples and Calder - George Town
  • PO Box 309
  • Ugland House
  • George Town
  • Grand Cayman
  • Cayman Islands
  • KY1-1104
  • Managing Partner: Henry Smith (Global Managing Partner)
  • Number of partners: 88
  • Number of lawyers: 247
  • Languages: Cantonese, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. 

Firm Overview:
Maples and Calder (“Maples”) is a leading international law firm advising financial, institutional and business clients around the world on the laws of the Cayman Islands, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands. The firm’s affiliated organisation, MaplesFS, provides specialised fiduciary, accounting and administration services to finance vehicles and funds. With over 1,000 people worldwide, the Maples group has offices in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Delaware, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Montreal, New York and Singapore. The firm services clients with interests in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. Wherever clients are based, they can gain immediate access to advice, know-how and support through the firm’s global network.

Main Areas of Practice:
Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
The team provides support and assistance in respect of proceedings in numerous jurisdictions around the world. Areas of specialisation include: arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, corporate and commercial disputes, distressed investment funds, fraud and white collar crime, insolvency and corporate restructuring, regulatory and financial services, security enforcement and asset tracing and trust litigation.

Maples is regularly involved in the largest and most complex corporate transactions involving Cayman Islands, Irish and British Virgin Islands companies and has extensive experience in the fields of equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, restructuring and corporate advisory.

There are Finance partners based in each Maples office, delivering time zone convenience and multi-office capability across a global network. Services include: acquisition and leveraged financing, asset finance, banking, capital markets, debt listing, derivatives, financial services regulation, insurance linked products, Islamic finance, restructuring and workouts and structured finance.

Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring:
The Insolvency and Restructuring team has a preeminent track record. Whether acting for distressed companies, institutional lenders or investors, liquidators or other Court appointed officers, the team delivers solutions to complex problems in multiple jurisdictions.

Investment Funds:
Maples give expert advice on a wide range of fundrelated matters, including on issues arising from funds’ structuring, restructuring and dissolution. The team acts for an unparalleled cross section of the participants in the global investment funds market, including law firms, fund managers, depositaries, administrators, investment banks, private equity groups, insurance groups, pension funds, boutique investment management companies, institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, prime brokers, audit firm structuring teams as well as other financial institutions.

Trusts & Private Client:
The Trusts team has a proven track record, acting for some of the world’s largest private businesses and institutional trustees. Their unrivalled knowledge of commercial trusts adds range and flexibility to their private trusts advice and vice versa. The team provides advice in specialist areas such as unit trusts, escrow arrangements, estate planning, trustee incorporation, charities, regulatory regimes, third-party claims and dispute resolution.

Property & Construction:
The Cayman Real Estate and Development team advises on the development of properties, residential land, strata title, commercial building, shopping centres, golf courses and hotels. In addition, the Irish Property group offers advice on all aspects of commercial property and construction law and has experience across a full range of commercial property transactions.

Regulatory & Financial Services:
The Regulatory and Financial Services group has unrivalled experience in the regulatory, disclosure and anti-money laundering fields.

IP & Technology:
Maples’ IP and Technology lawyers regularly advise on patent, trademark and copyright registration, protection and exploitation, IP enforcement, confidential information and trade secrets, internet, ecommerce, broadcasting, technology transfers, outsourcing, R&D collaboration, data protection, distribution and agency agreements. They also advise technology companies on the development and licensing of software and services and in specialist areas such as open source, cloud computing and digital money.

Listing Services:
The Listing Services team advises on listings for a variety of funds, debt and derivative products. The team also advises on the admission of companies to AIM and provides a fully integrated service, from compliance and verification through to directors’ packs, registrar agreements and shareholder resolutions.

The Tax group is based out of Maples’ Dublin office and advises international and Irish companies, financial institutions and investment funds on Irish and cross border corporate tax matters.

Maples’ lawyers are experienced in establishing insurance companies, insurance management and broker operations. They are also specialists in alternative risk transfer such as catastrophe bond vehicles and other insurance linked products, as well as captive insurance vehicles.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Finance
  • Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring
  • Investment Funds
  • Trusts & Private Client
  • Property & Construction
  • Regulatory & Financial Services
  • IP & Technology
  • Listing Services
  • Tax
  • Insurance


  • PO Box 173,
  • Sea Meadow House,
  • Road Town,
  • Tortola,
  • British Virgin Islands
  • VG1110
  • Tel +1 284 852 3000
  • Fax +1 284 852 3097
  • Email : bviinfo@maplesandcalder.com
  • The Exchange Building, 5th Floor,
  • Dubai International Financial Centre,
  • PO Box 119980,
  • Dubai,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 4 360 4070
  • Fax +971 4 360 4080
  • Email : dubaiinfo@maplesandcalder.com
  • 53rd Floor, The Center,
  • 99 Queen's Road Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 2522 9333
  • Fax +852 2537 2955
  • Email : hkinfo@maplesandcalder.com
  • 11th Floor,
  • 200 Aldersgate Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1A 4HD
  • Tel (020) 7466 1600
  • Fax (020) 7466 1700
  • Email : ukinfo@maplesandcalder.com
  • Singapore Land Tower,
  • 37th Floor,
  • 50 Raffles Place,
  • Singapore,
  • Singapore Island
  • Singapore
  • 048623
  • Tel +65 6922 8400
  • Fax +65 6222 2236
  • Email : sginfo@maplesandcalder.com

Offshore - Asia-Pacific Region

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers
- offices in Hong Kong and Singapore

What the team is known for A first-class offshore practice that earns widespread admiration for its excellent track record and impressive portfolio of clients. Maintains a pre-eminent reputation in investment funds, attracting a large market share of private equity work, in addition to corporate finance and M&A mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "The go-to Cayman practice by default, with an exemplary record; they are exceptionally good lawyers who act for high-quality clients."

Pragmatic advice: "They are great - they're always available, very user-friendly and they give you practical advice, so we are very pleased."

Work highlights Counsel to Focus Media Holding on its USD3.7 billion privatisation through a Cayman statutory merger by its founder and a consortium led by The Carlyle Group.

Acted for Alibaba Group Holding regarding an USD8 billion loan to refinance its debts and its buyback of Yahoo! preference shares.

Notable practitioners  

Head of private equity Anthony Webster is one of the most sought-after investment funds experts in the region. In addition to acting for fund sponsors, he is adept at handling downstream private equity-backed corporate and finance deals.

Michael Gagie is an experienced corporate and commercial practitioner with a strong background in BVI law. He advises on a range of banking, structured finance and corporate transactions.

Greg Knowles heads the corporate practice and is highly regarded for his very high-profile M&A and privatisation work. "His knowledge of Cayman law is very good but it is really his experience and judgement that stand out," said one interviewee. 

Christine Chang is a well-known corporate lawyer with a broad practice advising on M&A, capital markets and investment funds.

Nick Harrold was promoted to partner in 2012 and recently relocated to Hong Kong after setting up the Singapore office. He is particularly adept at handling the formation, structuring and launch of funds.

Investment funds specialist Ann Ng acts for a wide client base of banks, trustees and asset managers. Sources say: "She has very strong Chinese language skills, which is quite helpful in terms of communication, and we like dealing with her."

Associate James Gaden continues to impress clients, one of whom says: "He’s very bright, hard-working and responsive; I’ll certainly instruct him for all my funds work."

Significant clients AirAsia, Merrill Lynch, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, Want Want.

Corporate & Finance - British Virgin Islands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a strong focus on investment funds, acting for some of the largest fund managers and private equity houses on fund financing, regulatory, corporate and restructuring matters. Also represents a significant number of lenders in project, property and asset finance transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A fantastic firm and a fantastic provider – they are very responsive and attuned to local issues."

Work highlights Acted for Pacific Drilling V on its USD500 million senior secured notes offering, guaranteed by its parent company, Pacific Drilling.

Advised Canacol Energy on a USD45 million secured credit facility to acquire Shona Energy.

Notable practitioners  

The "super knowledgeable" Richard May leads the corporate and finance department. Sources say: "He is very customer-focused, very responsive and results-driven – he is a great advocate."

Tim Clipstone is head of the investment funds practice and is noted for his extensive experience in this area, having previously led a funds team in the Cayman Islands.

Significant clients Citibank, Winton Capital Management, Arcos Dorados, BP International, UBS.

Dispute Resolution - British Virgin Islands

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A lean and efficient team with an excellent track record in contentious work. Plays a leading role in a substantial proportion of insolvency and commercial disputes in the BVI courts as well as before the Privy Council in London. Also offers extensive trust litigation expertise and is increasingly sought for probate disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A very solid team and a good firm to have on your side."

Problem solving: "We found them extremely professional and very responsive. They took a very practical approach in trying to solve the matter and did an extremely good job."

Work highlights Continues to act for the Çukurova Group of companies on its dispute against Alfa Telecom Turkey, and successfully obtained a Privy Council decision confirming that the court has equitable jurisdiction to relieve from appropriation.

Acted for Shell on litigation brought by Fairfield Sentry's liquidators concerning an anti-suit injunction restraining Shell from proceeding with claims brought in the Netherlands.

Notable practitioners  

Arabella di Iorio is highly recommended by peers and clients, who say she is "first rate." She heads the firm's litigation practice and is especially well regarded for handling some of the most high-profile cases in the market.

Associate Ben Mays has established a strong reputation for his focus on insolvency litigation. "He is very knowledgeable, analytical and thorough," say sources.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Zolfo Cooper, Kermas, KPMG.

Corporate & Finance - Cayman Islands

Basic facts about the department
- 25 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on the full spectrum of corporate and financial services matters, from corporate restructuring and shareholders' rights to project finance and international capital markets. The banking practice group offers its vast and varied clientele expertise in related areas such as Islamic finance and banking regulatory law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are our go-to firm in this space – they are very knowledgeable, take a very practical approach, understand the ins and outs from an international perspective, and are efficient and easy to work with."

Market standing: "They've really taken on a dominant position in the Cayman Islands."

Work highlights Acted for Arbor Realty Trust on its USD125.1 million collateralised loan obligation issue. 

Advised Silver Lake Partners on the Cayman and Irish law aspects of its USD24.4 billion acquisition of Dell. 

Notable practitioners

Alasdair Robertson leads the firm's finance department. Sources say: "He's a very experienced guy, and is always in control and on top of the issues all the time." 

Clients "think the world" of Mark Matthews, "who is very responsive and solution-oriented." He specialises in structured finance, including repackagings, CLOs, hybrid funds and securitisations.

John Dykstra has a broad practice encompassing corporate transactions, structured finance and investment funds. He is particularly experienced in handling catastrophe bond transactions and other insurance-linked securities. 

Sherice Arman moved from Appleby to HSM Chambers, where she was head of the corporate and commercial practice, and then on to Maples & Calder. She is noted for her expertise in the shipping industry.

Paul Govier heads the London investment funds team, and has a particularly strong profile in the hedge funds sector. In addition to once working in the Cayman Islands, he writes extensively on Cayman law.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Babson Capital Management, BlackRock.

Dispute Resolution - Cayman Islands

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A first-rate litigation practice acclaimed for its strong focus on the international financial services and commercial sectors. Advises on matters such as funds, trusts, insurance and shareholder disputes. Also offers expertise in contentious regulatory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Top of our list – they've got a strong team."  

Work highlights Represented Alibaba Group in its USD2.5 billion takeover of Alibaba.com through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

Acted for the developer of the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman hotel on the highly publicised dispute over KPMG's appointment as receivers of the resort, the sale of the resort to secured lenders and an action brought by the lenders for USD240 million under a personal guarantee.

Notable practitioners  

Colin McKie is described by sources as "an influential lawyer on the island." He rises to the top of the rankings this year thanks to widespread recognition of his contributions to the Bar.

Aristos Galatopoulos is one of the most well-known figures in the market and heads the firm's dispute resolution practice. "He is very experienced, he approaches matters in an organised fashion and his advice is always very robust," say clients.  

Mac Imrie is highly respected by both peers and clients. He frequently handles hedge fund and mutual fund disputes.

Observers note that Matthew Crawford is "a big asset to the team." He has established a strong reputation in the Cayman Islands and is especially adept at handling financial services-related litigation and insolvency cases.

James Eldridge was recently promoted to the partnership and continues to impress clients, who say: "If you're in a fight, he's one of the people you'd like in your corner."

Significant clients Zolfo Cooper, Renova Resources, Arcapita Group, Universal Telecom Management, HSBC Mexico.

Investment Funds - Cayman Islands

Basic facts about the department
- 33 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Undoubted leaders in the investment funds market, with the largest team in the Cayman Islands. Attracts the lion's share of private equity and hedge fund work on the island, thanks to its outstanding reputation and established blue-chip client base.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The premier shop in the Caymans – their expertise is unmatched and they provide really pragmatic solutions to technical issues we come across."

Market standing: "They are the clear leaders." 

Work highlights Advised Tudor Investment on the formation and structuring of a USD500 million hedge fund focused on macro-economic trends.

Advised the various Cayman funds involved in the spin-off of Napier Park from Citigroup.

Notable practitioners  

Jon Fowler leads the firm's global investment funds practice and has a reputation as a first-rate investment funds lawyer. He focuses largely on hedge and private equity fund formation. Sources say: "He is a very bright attorney."

Iain McMurdo is one of the most well-respected funds experts in the Cayman Islands. He earns widespread praise from sources for his leadership of the private equity practice group.

David Brooks is highlighted for his experience in working across the firm's various offices, and frequently acts for financial institutions and investment managers on the establishment of new private equity and hedge funds.

Henry Smith is the firm's global managing partner. His broad offshore finance practice includes private equity and hedge funds transactions.

Tim Frawley debuts in the rankings this year, earning tremendous praise from clients: "He's very communicative and available, staffs his projects well, and always delivers on time. We have a great deal of confidence that he has all the Cayman aspects of the deal nailed down."

International Private Client - Global-wide

What the team is known for Prominent offshore firm with a solid private client offering and well known for commercial trusts. Highly active in Brazil, the Middle East, China and South-East Asia, serviced from its various offices across the world. Handles both contentious and non-contentious trust and estate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "From private client to commercial trusts, they are technically very good and the advice is spot-on."

Notable practitioners 

Justin Appleyard is the leading figure of the global trusts group and has extensive expertise in the commercial and transactional use of trusts.

Since publication, Justin Appleyard has retired from this practice.

Offshore - Global-wide

What the team is known for Maintains a robust global reputation for excellent corporate and investment funds expertise. Offers tremendous quality across the various offices, particularly in relation to Cayman law. Home to leading litigators with international experience in commercial disputes, as well as restructuring and insolvency.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "We found them extremely professional and very responsive, which is handy when working from different time zones, and they took a very practical approach in trying to solve the matter." 

International capability: "Very focused on their service; the input they give never lets the side down and is always helpful. They add a lot of value from their experience in other jurisdictions."

Work highlights Acted for Zolfo Cooper, as liquidators, on the USD100 million restructuring of Trident Microsystems, following insolvency proceedings in the Cayman Islands and parallel bankruptcy proceedings in the USA.

Advised Focus Media Holding on its USD3.7 billion privatisation through a Cayman statutory merger.

Notable practitioners

Cayman Islands-based Henry Smith is the global managing partner, Arabella di Iorio manages the BVI office and Tahir Jawed leads the Dubai practice. Shaun Denton and Andrew Doyle head the London and Dublin teams. In Asia, the teams in Hong Kong and Singapore are led by Gareth Griffiths and James Burch.

Significant clients Alibaba Group, Çukurova Group, Citi, KPMG, AirAsia.

Banking & Finance - Ireland

Nollaig Murphy heads the finance group and is described by sources as "noteworthy for his technical skill, commercial approach and great knowledge of the marketplace."

Capital Markets - Ireland

Nollaig Murphy heads the finance group and is described as "incredibly commercial." One client adds: "His approach is very useful. He is extremely determined and wins over the regulators." 

Corporate/M&A - Ireland

Edward Miller is regarded by sources as a heavyweight corporate player and is described by clients as someone who "has the entire package with the ability to look at the business angle. He finds a way to apply the law commercially and gives clear guidance, and his ability to negotiate stands out."

Andrew Doyle is known for pulling in the high-profile and complex deals. Clients appreciate his vast corporate experience and describe him as "very savvy and extremely strong both technically and commercially." 

Colm Rafferty has experience in working for venture-backed tech companies and according to one source is "great value for money because he gets stuff right the first time." Sources also say he has "a huge commitment to getting deals done and incredible willingness to do whatever needs to be done, including insane amounts of work. We rely on him to cut through the legal fog."

Dispute Resolution - Ireland

Dudley Solan leads the team and has notable expertise in construction disputes. "He has real skill. We get pragmatic, experienced, driven advice delivered with real conviction," enthuse clients.

Investment Funds - Ireland

Department head Barry McGrath is "our go-to guy," says one client, adding: "We have tremendous faith in him. Even when he is on vacation, we get round the clock support and advice." McGrath recently advised Goldman Sachs International on the establishment of its managed account platforms. 

Carol Widger is "great with relationship management and Irish funds and structuring," agree clients. She has expertise in Irish regulated UCITS and non-UCITS investment funds.  

Stephen Carty is praised by clients as "reliable, with super problem-solving abilities." Commentators agree he "finds the opportunities, not aggressively but using great skills." He recently advised NEF Asset Management on the establishment of a UCITS Management Company. 

Clients describe Peter Stapleton as "an expert on regulatory matters – the AIFMD guru." He recently led a team advising Alliance Bernstein on the establishment of an Irish regulated investment limited partnership.

Adam Donoghue heads the Irish desk in the Cayman Islands office. Clients appreciate his "sensible approach and great knowledge base." One commentator adds: "He is commercial, reliable and responsive. I always have faith he will do what he says." Donohue is experienced in the establishment and operation of a wide range of Irish regulated funds and advises global administrators, custodians and investment managers.  

Restructuring/Insolvency - Ireland

Robin McDonnell "gets on well with clients and has great technical ability," according to sources. One commentator adds: "He is a great project manager and gets things done." McDonnell specialises in a wide range of insolvency, corporate recovery and restructuring matters.

Tax - Ireland

Department head Andrew Quinn is a firm favourite with clients, who appreciate that he "maintains a relationship and goes out of the way to make sure the client is satisfied." Others note: "He speaks plain English, and understands when someone is going off on the wrong track and can bring them back to base."

Up-and-coming lawyer William Fogarty enters the rankings having earned enthusiastic client feedback: "He is technically fantastic and meticulous at getting to the nub of the issues."

Offshore - UK

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 12 other lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a broad range of expertise in matters relating to BVI and Cayman Islands law. Noted for its expertise in trusts, corporate matters, investment funds and financing transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have been in the game for a very long time. They are phenomenally well established and have a very strong brand."

Bench strength: "The guys who lead the office in London are all so good."

Client service: "Very interactive and helpful."

Work highlights Handled a GBP1.6 billion whole business securitisation and refinancing exercise for Peel Ports Finance.

Offered advice on Cayman Islands law to Affinity Water Programme Finance in connection with a GBP2.5 billion multicurrency programme.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Govier heads the firm's investment funds team. He is well regarded by market sources, who describe him as "an excellent hedge funds lawyer."

Significant clients Polygon Global Partners, Abcam, Terra Firma, Edwards Group, Zhaikmunai.

Offshore - United Arab Emirates

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners 
- 3 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Offshore powerhouse with an outstanding reputation and a highly experienced team. Strong in capital markets and increasingly active in aircraft financing, representing some of the largest aircraft leasers in the region. Also offers solid investment funds support, attracting an impressive list of regional fund managers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They are some of the best operators in Dubai."

Client service: "We are happy with them across the board - the advice and the support are absolutely superb."

What's new? Manuela Belmontes was promoted to of counsel in January 2013.

Work highlights Advised GEMS Education on a AED2 billion financing for its investments in new school projects.

Assisted Manni Corporation with matters of Cayman Islands law in relation to its acquisition of DAMAS, a company listed in the UAE.

Notable practitioners  

Tahir Jawed manages the Dubai office and is one of the most prominent figures in the offshore market. Clients are full of praise: "He is really fantastic - extremely commercial, doesn't sit on the fence, gets involved and is good at informing us on the law and what to do."

Philip Ireland is a "very responsive and productive" practitioner with a highly regarded corporate and investment funds practice. He is well versed in both Cayman and British Virgin Islands (BVI) laws and has extensive regional experience.

Of counsel Manuela Belmontes has a strong reputation in the market: "She's great, very responsive, easy to talk to and we like her a lot." She focuses on Islamic and structured finance, as well as capital markets.

Significant clients Riyada Managers, Bank Sarasin, Gazprombank, Gulf Finance House, Nakheel.