XXIV Old Buildings

Offshore (Bar) Department

UK
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XXIV Old Buildings remains a "top-notch" set for all kinds of offshore work, and its barristers are well known for their work in the Channel Islands, BVI and Cayman Islands. The set provides expertise in complex commercial fraud, funds, insolvency, restructuring and trusts cases. Barristers at the set have been involved in the Crociani litigation and a wide range of other high-profile and challenging disputes. One instructing solicitor says: "The barristers are very bright and we know that they are going to be very, very good."

Client service: "The clerks are very good to deal with and we appreciate their efficient way of working." "Sue Medder, chambers director, is responsive, helpful and friendly. She'll go the extra mile to ensure my needs are met."

Adam Cloherty
Impresses sources with his courtroom advocacy skills, and has particular experience of BVI and Cayman Islands cases. His clients, who include beneficiaries and shareholders, benefit from his extensive trust knowledge. He has also handled matters in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
Strengths: "His work is excellent and it is a pleasure to deal with him." "He provides good, practical advice and gets to the issues quickly."

Alan Steinfeld QC
Has wide commercial and traditional chancery expertise and a profound knowledge of trust disputes. He has broad offshore experience across the Channel Islands, the Caribbean and Hong Kong. Steinfeld is well versed in hedge fund, investment fund and property disputes. He is also active on behalf of private clients in family and estate disputes.
Strengths: "A very skilful advocate."
Recent work: Represented Caymans United, a shareholder in a Russian aluminium company, in an attempt to prevent a transfer between two other shareholders.

Andrew Holden
Receives consistent praise for his deep level of experience in trust litigation work. He also handles pension and liquidation disputes. His experience extends to Bermuda, the Channel Islands, the BVI and the Cayman Islands, among others. Holden acts on behalf of high net worth families and individuals as well as commercial entities. 
Strengths: "He is very responsive and technically extremely strong." "He is a hit with clients."
Recent work: Acted for a branch of a banking family in Re X Trusts, a case regarding a UK, Jersey and Bermuda based trust. Holden sought to remove the directors of two private trust companies on behalf of his clients.

Bajul Shah
Has an enviable offshore practice, and handles cases in Dubai, Cyprus, the Caribbean and the Channel Islands. He offers expertise in a broad range of commercial chancery areas, including insolvency, trusts, probate and civil fraud, and is frequently called upon by liquidators and trustees.
Strengths: "He is not afraid of rolling his sleeves up and getting his hands dirty." 
Recent work: Continued to act for the claimants in Wilton Trustees v AFS Trustees, a fraud case in which the claimants allege that the defendants conspired to take ownership and control of a multimillion-pound portfolio held through complex offshore structures.

David Brownbill QC
A natural choice for the most complex and contentious trusts litigation, he is frequently called upon to handle work in the Channel Islands, the BVI and the Cayman Islands. His specialism lies in multi-jurisdictional and high-value traditional and commercial chancery work. Brownbill is particularly sought after for claims arising out of liquidation and insolvency.
Strengths: "A great technical lawyer who is very committed and really on top of trusts work."
Recent work: Acted for the widow and one child of George Paraskevaides in Paraskevaides v Citco, a dispute regarding the control of shares in BVI companies through which the family's interest in a multinational construction business is held.

Edward Cumming QC
Highly regarded among peers for his excellent advocacy skills, he frequently appears in trust, company and general commercial litigation. He has a substantial offshore practice, and appears in Singapore, South Africa and Mauritius, alongside more traditional jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Channel Islands. Cumming is instructed on behalf of multinational corporates in addition to high net worth private clients.
Strengths: "He is very user-friendly and very good in front of clients." "Very responsive, enthusiastic and intelligent, as well as commercial."
Recent work: Acted for the daughter of a businessman who died leaving a trust with substantial assets.

Elizabeth Weaver
A deeply experienced junior barrister, well versed in professional negligence and general chancery matters. She is routinely called upon for her expertise in international trusts disputes, high-value commercial litigation and asset recovery, and also frequently acts for ultra high net worth families. She has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and has been active in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Strengths: "An excellent all-rounder."
Recent work: Acted in Orion v Privatbank, a claim by the liquidator of a DIFC company to recover funds held in Switzerland.

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC
A highly regarded and much sought-after expert who handles a full spectrum of commercial and traditional chancery work. She has experience of acting in jurisdictions spanning the BVI, Bermuda and the UK Crown Dependencies, and acts for both claimants and defendants in significant trust and estates disputes. She has particular experience in cases concerning asset transfers and restructuring.
Strengths: "She has an eye for detail which is second to none and a delightful client manner to both the professional and lay client. She is an advocate of real strength and depth." "She has a forensic mind but sees the bigger picture."
Recent work: Acted in Wong v Grand View, a claim in Bermuda regarding whether large non-charitable purpose trusts are void or should be set aside.

Francis Tregear QC
Well known for his liquidation work, he has acted for clients in Bermuda, the BVI and the Cayman Islands. He offers additional expertise in trust disputes, and has recently been active in Jersey. Tregear regularly acts for shareholders and liquidators.
Strengths: "He has a very fantastic manner with clients and really excels in the commercial area."
Recent work: Acted for the liquidators in a Cayman liquidation involving a private equity fund which invested in water desalination and power plants in the Middle East.

Marcus Staff
Particularly active in the Caribbean jurisdictions, having appeared in the Cayman Islands and the BVI. He is frequently instructed in contentious trust disputes, handling such issues as the removal of trustees and tax-related matters. He has also recently been involved in matters relating to investment funds and civil fraud.
Strengths: "He is really responsive and incredibly dedicated." 
Recent work: Acted in Anne Bender v James Walker and Others, an action in the Bahamas for the removal of the trustee and protector of a Bahamas law trust.

Nicole Langlois
A respected junior with considerable credentials in commercial contractual and trust litigation, whose other areas of expertise include insolvency and fraud. She is called to the Bar in both the UK and Jersey. She regularly handles cases with professional negligence and breach of trust allegations.
Strengths: "She's easy to work with and user-friendly." "She stands out for her dual qualification. She's a unique proposition if you're looking for English law expertise and Jersey advice."
Recent work: Instructed as an expert in Jersey law in a breach of fiduciary duty claim brought against the directors of CDS3 by its liquidators.

Robert Levy QC
A leading silk for complex, high-value insolvency claims, particularly within the Caribbean jurisdictions. He has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean in the BVI, and the Bars of Anguilla and St Vincent, and he is also admitted ad hoc in the Cayman Islands. Levy is frequently involved in shareholder disputes.
Strengths: "Very user-friendly and willing to roll his sleeves up and get involved." "Always extremely well prepared, fights very hard and is a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the defendants in BVI proceedings regarding allegations of breach of fiduciary duty for the suspension of shareholders' rights.

Stephen Moverley Smith QC
Impressed commentators affirm his position at the forefront of BVI and Cayman Islands litigation. He is well versed in a range of commercial cases, including those concerning restructuring, fraud and insolvency. He also specialises in fraud and corruption cases.
Strengths: "He is very pleasant to deal with and does not take a backward step in the face of contrary views being expressed from the Bench while maintaining a suitable air of respectfulness." 
Recent work: Acted in Michailidis v Crédit Agricole Bank, a dispute in Gibraltar regarding the recovery of the USD10 million proceeds of stolen art deco furniture.