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Harney Westwood & Riegels


  • Craigmuir Chambers
  • PO Box 71
  • Road Town
  • Tortola
  • Tortola
  • British Virgin Islands
  • VG1110
  • Tel:+1 284 494 2233
  • Fax:+1 284 494 3547
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:
  • Managing Partner: Peter Tarn
  • Number of partners: 31
  • Number of lawyers: 80
  • Languages: Cantonese, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Putonghua, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Firm Overview:
Harney Westwood & Riegels is a leading international offshore law firm providing the world’s top law firms, financial institutions and corporations with legal services relating to British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Cayman Islands, Anguilla and Mauritius law. The firm has a long standing reputation for providing fast, accurate and commercially astute advice. The firm has over 280 lawyers and staff operating in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, London, Hong Kong and Montevideo. The firm also has permanent representatives in Brazil, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Eastern Europe and provides Mauritius legal services through an association with BLC Chambers. The firm’s associated corporate and private wealth services business, Harneys Services, delivers a full complement of company, trust and fund formation and administration services.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Banking & Corporate:
14 Partners; 30 fee earners
Areas of specialty include trade finance, debt restructuring, property and acquisition finance, international debt issues, derivatives transactions, joint ventures, private equity transactions, listings, mergers and acquisitions.
•BVI counsel for BP, with Harneys Services as registered agent for TNK-BP, on the closing a US$55 billion mega-deal in which Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft took over TNK-BP. The deal closing took place in Harney’s BVI offices.
•Cayman counsel for UniCredit Bank AG on the restructuring of a US$200 million secured revolving facility. The acquisition created one of the largest mining companies in West Africa.
•Acting as Cayman and BVI counsel for both Kaisa Property Group and Shimao Property Group. Advising Kaisa Property Group (Hong Kong) in relation to its issue of US$500 million senior notes and Shimao Property Group (Hong Kong) in relation to its issue of US$800 million senior notes.
•Cyprus counsel to VTB Capital PLC in a US$3.6b financing for the acquisition of 37.8% interest in Polyus Gold International Limited a company which has the third largest gold reserves in the world
•Acted as BVI counsel for Citigroup in relation to the syndication of multi-billion dollar equity financing transaction
Contact: Colin Riegels
Tel: + 852 3195 7200
Email: colin.riegels@harneys.com
Contact: Russell Willings
Tel: +1 284 494 4037
Email: russell.willings@harneys.com

Investment Funds:
7 Partners; 12 fee earners
Specialised advice on fund formation, restructuring, administration and regulatory issues in the BVI and Cayman Islands, with deep experience in distressed fund situations.
•Cayman Islands counsel to Atlantic Security Bank a major financial institution in Latin America where the firm advises on a number of matters from regulatory requirements to investment acquisitions, ISDAs and a range of other fund matters, including litigation
•Advising Banco de Credito del Peru with group restructuring advice in the Cayman Islands and the BVI, as well as regulatory, compliance and fund set-up advice in the Cayman Islands
•Advising Equity Trust and the TMF Group on BVI Regulatory matters in relation to the acquisition by private equity house Doughty Hanson of Equity Trust
Contact: Philip Graham
Tel: +1 284 852 2551
Email: philip.graham@harneys.com

Litigation & Insolvency:
12 Partners; 26 fee earners
Accurate, clear and timely advice relating to British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands law, with particular emphasis on high profile multi-jurisdictional commercial and insolvency disputes.
•Acting for the successful claimants in the longest commercial trial in BVI history. The firm was instructed by 6 Saudi sheikhs in a claim against a German PLC. It was a test case on the ambit of the BVI’s unfair prejudice legislation and led to the BVI’s first business regulation order.
•Acted as BVI counsel for the heirs of Badri Patarkatsishvili, to successfully obtain ex parte freezing and other relief over disputed assets held in a number of complex BVI structures. The claim arose out of a dispute over the ownership of an oil terminal in the Black Sea worth an estimated US$239 million.
•Acting as Cayman counsel for BBX Capital Asset Management LLC in relation to a US$43 million claim under the Fraudulent Dispositions Law (1996 Revision) against a Florida property developer and against Royal Bank of Canada as trustee of the Firetrucks Trust
•Acted as Cayman counsel to Taylor Moor International, as well as investors in the Axiom Legal Financing Fund (“Axiom”), and now act for Grant Thornton as receivers. Axiom is alleged to be a £125 million Ponzi scheme involving loans made to various English solicitors to fund group litigation.
Contact: Phillip Kite
Tel: +44 207 842 6081
Email: phillip.kite@harneys.com
Contact: Andrew Thorp
Tel: +1 284 494 3267
Email: andrew.thorp@harneys.com

Trusts & Private Client:
2 Partners; 4 fee earners
The team specialises in the creation of all types of BVI, Cayman and Cyprus trusts, with particular emphasis on the creation of trusts to hold family trading and investing companies. The firm also advises on real estate, administrative, labour and general commercial matters in the British Virgin Islands.
•Acting as BVI and Cayman counsel to a large number of trust corporations (based in BVI, Cayman, Switzerland, Singapore and HK) and assisting with all manner of trust legal advice including (i) pre-contentious scenarios and where trustees are about to retire, (ii) generally drafting the full range of supplementary deeds for their books of BVI trusts (including deeds of appointment, deeds of indemnity, deeds of inter-trust transfer, deeds changing the governing law of a trust, deeds of retirement and appointment of trustees etc.) and (iii) reviewing and updating precedent trust deeds
•Working regularly with banks and trust companies to review proposed trust instruments, commenting in particular on their validity under Cayman law and on specific issues that the trustees should be aware of in relation to their potential trusteeship, such as the scope of their powers under the trust deed and provisions concerning trustee exoneration
Private Client Contact: Sheila George
Tel: + 1 284 494 6461
Email: sheila.george@harneys.com
Trust Contact: Henry Mander
Tel: + 1 345 815 2927
Email: henry.mander@harneys.com

Areas of Practice

  • Banking & Finance
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Investment Funds & Regulatory
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation & Insolvency
  • Real Estate
  • Private Client
  • Tax
  • Trusts
  • Shipping & Aircraft
  • Insurance


  • Craigmuir Chambers,
  • PO Box 71,
  • Road Town,
  • Tortola,
  • British Virgin Islands
  • VG1110
  • Tel +1 284 494 2233
  • Fax +1 284 494 3547
  • Email : bvil@harneys.com
  • Website : www.harneys.com
  • 4th Floor, Harbour Place,
  • 103 South Church Street,
  • PO Box 10240,
  • George Town,
  • Grand Cayman
  • Cayman Islands
  • KY1-1002
  • Tel +1 345 949 8599
  • Fax +1 345 949 4451
  • Email : cayman@harneys.com
  • Omrania Middle East Centre,
  • 2nd and 3rd floor,
  • 313, 28th October Avenue,
  • Limassol,
  • Limassol District
  • Cyprus
  • 3105
  • Tel +357 258 20020
  • Fax +357 258 20021
  • Email : cyprus@harneys.com
  • Suites 3601-3605, Two Exchange Square,
  • 8 Connaught Place,
  • Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 3195 7200
  • Fax +852 3195 7210
  • Email : hongkong@harneys.com
  • Ground Floor,
  • 5 New Street Square,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4A 3BF
  • Tel +44 20 7842 6080
  • Fax +44 20 7353 0487
  • Email : london@harneys.com
  • Zonamerica,
  • Ruta 8, Km 17,500,
  • Edificio @3, local 200-005,
  • Montevideo,
  • Uruguay
  • 91600
  • Tel +59 82 518 2238
  • Fax +59 82 518 2238
  • Email : america.latina@harneys.com