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Serle Court is home to a deep bench of offshore experts who regularly appear in high-profile matters in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the BVI, the Cayman Islands and the Channel Islands. The chambers has also developed a strong Hong Kong and Chinese offshore practice, following frequent instruction from Hong Kong firms. Sources describe its members as "very au fait with offshore work; they understand the nuances which are required in these cases." Barristers here offer significant capabilities in breach of trust, removal of trustees and trust restructuring cases, among other matters. Recent work undertaken by Serle Court includes the Green Elite case concerning a BVI company with shares in a Hong Kong listed company active in Mainland China. The case concerns what rights shareholders have to information from directors, a key issue of BVI company law.
Client service: "The clerks are well organised and professional." "They understand offshore issues and the realities of tackling international instructions. Theirs is a good all-round set-up." Steve Whitaker is head of the clerking team.
Alan Boyle QC
Widely praised as a leading light of the Offshore Bar, Alan Boyle is highly sought after for trust, insolvency and probate litigation, among other things. He provides counsel on BVI, Cayman and Bermuda matters and serves as head of chambers at Serle Court. Boyle has appeared in many of the leading trust cases during his 25 years in silk.
Strengths: "Has great gravitas and is highly persuasive in his advocacy." "He's incredibly calm, clear and authoritative."
Recent work: Acted in Kingate Global Fund v Kingate Management, a case in Bermuda concerning a claim arising out of the Madoff fraud.
Dakis Hagen QC
Has a strong reputation for handling international trust, fraud and asset-tracing matters. He regularly appears in Bermuda and Jersey, as well as the Caribbean jurisdictions. Hagen is highly experienced in regulatory proceedings and is noted for his skill in handling trustee applications and jurisdiction challenges.
Strengths: "Rightly regarded as a rising star especially on trusts cases." "A delight to work with, very hard-working and incredibly bright. He ticks all the boxes."
Recent work: Appeared in Bermuda representing the majority of beneficiaries in a trustee application concerning the restructuring of a major offshore structure.
Elizabeth Jones QC
Excels in complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation, and has in-depth expertise in company and commercial law generally. Her areas of expertise include financial services, contentious trust matters and civil fraud cases. She regularly advises on disputes in the Channel Islands, and is also called to the Bar of the BVI.Jones has recently been engaged on a number of joint venture and corporate ownership disputes.
Strengths: "She's formidable." "She has outstanding tactical judgement and the ability to pull numerous parties together."
Recent work: Continues to appear in Alhamrani v Alhamrani, a long-standing, high-value ownership dispute relating to a BVI company.
Frank Hinks QC
Has long-standing experience of handling litigation across numerous offshore jurisdictions, having appeared in a wide range of locations both across the Caribbean and in Hong Kong. He is particularly adept at co-ordinating complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation, and is sought out for his trusts expertise. His clientele includes high net worth families and private trust companies.
Strengths: "Technically brilliant in court and a man who looks for answers - he is there to get the job done." "He's incredibly hard-working, amazingly knowledgeable and someone with a good eye for tactics. He turns things around very quickly and thoroughly."
A key player in contentious international trusts cases, who has acted for both trust companies and personal trustees in places as far-flung as the Channel Islands, the BVI and St Kitts & Nevis. He specialises in real estate-focused trust funds and regularly acts for fund liquidators.
Strengths: "Provides all-round excellent advice delivered with charm, confidence and clarity." "He's an exceptional talent who gives comprehensible commercial advice."
Recent work: Acted in Investec v Glenalla, appearing on behalf of recently removed trustees in trust litigation concerning the Tchenguiz family’s trusts.
Acclaimed by market sources for his work in trusts and estates litigation. He is frequently called upon to represent clients in the BVI and the Channel Islands, and has garnered accolades for his role in the Tchenguiz trust litigation. He is further noted for his non-contentious trusts work.
Strengths: "First-rate. He is well recognised with a vast amount of experience in the offshore world." "He's super friendly, responsive and brings serious academic rigour."
Recent work: Recently acted for Investec in ten separate appeals heard by the Privy Council following two earlier proceedings both related to the long-running Tchenguiz litigation.
John Machell QC
He has a wide range of offshore expertise regularly handling major trusts cases as well as general commercial disputes. He is frequently sought out by clients in Jersey and the Cayman Islands.
Strengths: "A go-to silk for contentious trust matters. He is very approachable and cuts straight to the point, addressing issues directly and succinctly." "A brilliant advocate and a great performer in court who explains difficult concepts with ease."
Recent work: Acted in Liongate v Diallard and others, Cayman Islands proceedings stemming from breach of fiduciary duty allegations arising from investment decisions.
Jonathan Adkin QC
Highly regarded in the area of contentious trust work, with additional experience in civil fraud, insolvency and partnership matters. His expertise is sought after for non-charitable purpose trust and company matters, including shareholder disputes. He is called to the Bar in Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Strengths: "Very responsive and very robust. He's a very strong presence in court and a delight to work with."
Recent work: Handled Hill v KPMG, a multimillion-pound professional negligence claim in Gibraltar against the former auditors of a collapsed insurance company.
Has experience of practising in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jersey and the Isle of Man, among other jurisdictions. He has had notable roles in several high-value, cross-jurisdictional disputes. His work in this area predominately focuses on alleged fraudulent misappropriation and breach of trust litigation.
Strengths: "An authoritative source on conflict of law issues." "He efficiently prepares first-rate written submissions and masters complex factual patterns."
Recent work: Continued to act in Alhamrani v Alhamrani, a breach of trust case against the trustees and protector of three Jersey trusts.
Philip Jones QC
Advises on the whole range of offshore matters, including investment fund litigation, trust disputes, fraud and tax avoidance. His clients include high net worth families and company directors. He has been called to the Bar of the BVI, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man, and has recently been active in a number of BVI shareholder disputes.
Strengths: "Incredibly bright, exceptional in terms of his written work and extremely responsive."
Recent work: Appeared in the Shanda Games case in the Cayman Islands. It concerned a valuation dispute related to the de-listing of a Chinese-controlled business from the NYSE via the Cayman Islands merger provisions.
Philip Marshall QC
Demonstrates strong credentials in asset recovery and civil fraud cases, and has additional strength in restructuring and insolvency disputes. His clients include international banks and high-profile directors. Marshall has appeared or advised in courts in jurisdictions including the Channel Islands, Hong Kong, Bermuda and the BVI.
Strengths: "An incisive and robust practitioner who knows how to fight and how to win."
Recent work: Acted in the BVI in Re Spartan Capital, representing the interests of New Zealand entrepreneur Sir Owen Glenn in a dispute over a joint venture company.
Richard Wilson QC
Enjoys a strong reputation in traditional and commercial chancery litigation, and has particular expertise in trusts, probate and partnership disputes. His practice also encompasses private international law. Although particularly noted for his presence in the Channel Islands, he has also appeared for clients in Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He's practical and someone who remains calm in the midst of a firefight."