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3 Verulam Buildings is a heavyweight commercial set noted for its growing offshore practice. Its members regularly appear in BVI, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Barristers here have been involved in some of the most high-profile offshore litigation including AHAB v Saad and Investec v Glenalla.
Client service: "The clerks are really quick to respond and helpful. They're very supportive in providing authorities and good with billing." "The clerking is professional, responsive and personable." The senior practice manager at the set is Stephen Penson.
David Quest QC
Devotes a large part of his work to international arbitration matters and offshore litigation, and has particular expertise in Cayman Islands proceedings. His broad commercial practice encompasses fraud, finance, insurance and professional negligence disputes, and he also handles government investigations. He has particular expertise in the banking sector.
Strengths: "He's very good indeed – a strong commercial litigator."
Recent work: Acted in Pioneer Recover Fund LP v Crescent Advisers, appearing for investors in a Cayman investment fund who contended that the fund’s assets were sold at a deliberate undervalue.
Ewan McQuater QC
Interviewees commend him for his strategic direction of a case and his strength in court and in arbitration. He has a strong commercial chancery practice, and is noted for his strength in banking disputes. McQuater frequently acts for BVI liquidators and has substantial experience of handling high-profile cases.
Strengths: "A lawyer with a commanding presence who is very good with clients and delivers clear and concise advice." "He's very impressive and easy to follow."
Recent work: Represented BVI liquidators in Investec v Glenalla, a widely reported case centring on GBP150 million of claims against a now insolvent trust, raising issues of trustee liability.
Matthew Hardwick QC
A seasoned commercial litigator with extensive experience in the BVI. He is called upon for his expertise in commercial fraud and insolvency litigation. Hardwick regularly receives instructions from liquidators and creditors in insolvency procedural disputes.
Strengths: "Excellent, approachable, analytical and good fun." "He shows great attention to detail and is really helpful."
Recent work: Acted for the world's leading port operator in connection with an attempt by Manta Port Authority to enforce a USD40 million award against it in the BVI.
A respected junior with experience in a broad spectrum of commercial litigation. His areas of expertise include fraud litigation and financial services, and he has recently represented clients in the BVI, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Anguilla. Parker is noted for his skill in dealing with freezing injunctions.
Strengths: "Truly excellent in everything he does as a barrister and a straightforward, decent bloke as well." "He works extremely hard and performs as a core team member."
Recent work: Obtained a USD13 million freezing injunction against a UAE company in connection with a fraud utilising a Bermudian property development company.
Peter de Verneuil Smith
A commercial junior with a reputation for handling significant banking, fraud and trust matters, as well as schemes of arrangement cases. He is especially active in Guernsey and the BVI.
Strengths: "A reliable and very versatile performer" who is "a really superb speaker."
Recent work: Acted in BC Capital Group in Liquidation v Battoo, a GBP10 million interpleader action regarding the correct insolvency procedure for establishing ownership of funds misappropriated in the course of a massive fraud.