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XXIV Old Buildings is a leading offshore chambers with a long-standing presence in the area that is frequently cited as being "at the top of the field." Members here act in some of the most significant disputes in the traditional offshore jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, the BVI, the Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The set further has experience of handling cases in Cyprus, Hong Kong and Singapore. Its barristers act across the full range of offshore matters including breach of fiduciary duty claims, trust litigation and insolvency-related disputes. Recent work includes Pearl Petroleum v The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, a case considering the application of sovereign immunity in the DIFC.
Client service: "Very helpful clerks who are always happy to help when we get in touch with them." "Chambers director Sue Medder is knowledgeable, practical and easy to deal with."
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 and the Isle of Man.
Strengths: "Able to digest volumes of contractual and procedural documentation quickly in order to produce clear, insightful and practical advice." "He's smart and really knows his stuff."
Recent work: Acted in Emmerson v Vekselberg and others, representing professional corporate service providers in complex multi-proceedings involving allegations of conspiracy.
Alan Steinfeld QC
Solicitors flock to him due to his wide commercial and traditional chancery expertise and his 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 and investment fund disputes. He is also active on behalf of private clients in family and estate disputes.
Strengths: "Brilliant and much respected." "Fantastic for the bigger and more interesting cases."
Recent work: Engaged by a Guernsey trust company in an appeal against damages for misrepresentation following asbestos contamination in premises it let to the claimant.
Receives consistent praise for his deep level of experience in trust litigation work. He also handles pension and liquidation disputes. His experience extends to the Channel Islands, BVI and Cayman Islands, among others. Holden acts on behalf of high net worth families and individuals as well as commercial entities.
Strengths: "Very approachable, accessible and practical, he knows everything you need to about trust law and really inspires confidence." "He identifies the instrumental points in a case and his advice is always on the button."
Recent work: Represented the States of Guernsey in a dispute regarding the new rules for the public sector pension scheme. The plaintiffs alleged that the new regulations breached the terms of their employment contracts.
Has an enviable offshore practice, and handles cases in 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: "A very effective advocate who knows his stuff backwards, is incredibly clever and is meticulous beyond belief." "He offers commercial and helpful advice and is a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted in Investec v Glenalla, appearing on behalf of the current trustee of the Tchenguiz Discretionary Trust. This was an extremely high-profile breach of trust claim against former trustees. The USD180 million claim arose from the Kaupthing Bank liquidation.
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 brilliant lawyer who is very experienced and always very thorough." "Easy to work with and a highly effective advocate."
Recent work: Successfully led an appeal against a stay of proceedings in England in Akers and others v Samba. The case concerned the GBP300 million insolvency of a Cayman Islands company.
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 and high-value commercial litigation, 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: "Utterly fearless and very logical in her approach to cases." "She has impeccable drafting skills and provides clear advice, attacking the issues head on."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the defendant in Lalude v RL 360. This was a claim relating to the recovery of payment made under a fraudulent grant of administration.
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 disputes. She has particular experience in cases concerning asset transfers and restructuring.
Strengths: "An absolutely excellent trust lawyer who gets to the point and is brilliant at strategy." "A go-to person for top-level litigation who is utterly consistent and very thorough."
Recent work: Acted in Meritus v Butterfield, a case which established that a removed trustee has no right to retain trust assets as against the new trustee.
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: "A very smart man and a very effective advocate who is good at dealing with difficult questions."
Recent work: Acted in Re Herald Fund SPC, novel, high-value litigation in Cayman arising from the liquidation of one of the biggest Madoff feeder funds. Claims were made against the Madoff estate in excess of USD2 billion.
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.
Strengths: "Has superb knowledge and an incredible eye for detail." "Very good at commercial and traditional matters, he thinks laterally and is not afraid to venture into new territory."
Recent work: Acted in Roussev v Leman Trust Company, proceedings seeking the removal and appointment of trustees.
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: "A really outstanding barrister who is very user-friendly, confident and calm."
Recent work: Acted for Capita in defending claims brought by the company's liquidator seeking to recover EUR34 million in payments alleged to be unlawful distributions.
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: "A highly experienced offshore practitioner who is very much at home in both court and arbitration proceedings." "User-friendly, responsive and something of a streetfighter in court."
Recent work: Represented the liquidators of Caledonian insurance in connection with the distribution of trust assets.
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: "An excellent advocate who can think on his feet very quickly and respond to off-the-cuff questions really convincingly. He has excellent courtcraft and is very imaginative."
Recent work: Acted in the Cayman Islands for two large shareholders of Shanshui Cement in successfully opposing the appointment of provisional liquidators.