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3 Verulam Buildings continues to develop a strong reputation for offshore commercial work, and has expertise acting across the Channel Islands, Cayman Islands, BVI and Bahamas. Members have been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including acting in the BVI for Ziraat Bank in Sonera Holding v Cukurova Holding, a dispute regarding the ownership and control of Turkish mobile services provider Turkcell. "Their work is phenomenal," says one interviewee, continuing: "We didn't have to tell them to do anything, the writing was exceptional and they were great to work with."
Client service: "The clerks are hard-working, responsive and good to deal with." "The clerks are phenomenal – responsive, helpful and communicate effectively and clearly." Stephen Penson and Stuart Pullum are the senior practice managers.
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 has very good written work and a calm, persuasive style with judges. He is very good at handling clients."
Recent work: Acted in a claim to set aside the sale of an asset between investors in the Abraaj fund.
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 true commercial heavyweight."
Recent work: Defended Bank Sarasin against a USD1 billion claim in the DIFC brought by former clients alleging deceit or misrepresentation.
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: "He's excellent and has a very academic approach to advocacy." "He's got extraordinary attention to detail, is extremely user-friendly and has an excellent rapport with the clients."
Recent work: Acted for Delco in its attempts to seek recoveries and trace assets, focusing on the proceeds of a sale of shares for HKD150 million. Hardwick appeared in the BVI Court of Appeal.
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: "Always superb."
Peter de Verneuil Smith QC
New silk 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: "Fantastic on his feet and very good in a crisis."