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"The best and biggest" is how one client describes Harneys. The oldest firm in the BVI, Harneys employs 35 lawyers, including 11 partners, in the jurisdiction. In addition, the firm also has offices in the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, London, Hong Kong and Uruguay. "They have a good international reach," one client comments, adding that "they are able to recruit and retain pretty talented lawyers". That opinion is echoed by attorneys, with one peer noting that "they have a quite good team".
Competitors recognise Harneys as "an industry leader" that is "still keeping their position". "Purely because of their size, resources and involvement in BVI, they should be in tier one," one says. Peers also seem impressed with Harneys' funds and regulatory practice. One peer comments that the firm has a "strong funds team" and gets the "largest share of funds work in BVI", while another points out that Harneys has "a strong regulatory department".
Partner Ross Munro, who heads the BVI investment funds and regulatory group, is hailed as the "go-to person" and an "expert" by both clients and competitors, with one client noting that Munro is "smart and experienced enough to understand what is going on" and a competitor adding that he is "recognised as one of the leaders in funds work".
In a transaction closed in December 2011, Harneys assisted a syndicate of banks in relation to the pre-IPO debt refinancing of a high-profile fashion house. On the other side of a Chinese wall, the firm also advised on the BVI aspects of the company's listing on the NYSE. valued at $944 million, this listing was the largest IPO in the BVI history.
In March 2012, the firm also advised Bank of Scotland on the restructuring of a $1.2 billion term loan facility and related security package.
Ross Munro (Leading lawyer bio)
Colin Riegels (Leading lawyer bio)
PO Box 71
Road Town, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
Tel: +1 284 494 2233
Fax: +1 284 494 3547
Other offices: Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Hong Kong, London, Montevideo
Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial, Intellectual Property, Investment Funds, Tax and Regulatory, Litigation & Insolvency, Property, Shipping, Trusts.
Ross Munro (bio)
Colin Riegels (bio)
Clients praise Harneys for the firm's caliber and quick response time. "Their legal expertise and qualification is top-notch," one client remarks, added by another: "From the attorneys to the backup staff, the firm is responsive."
The firm's strength in Latin America-related practice is another highlight raised by clients, with one noting: "One thing about Harneys is that they are strong in Latin America." Another agrees: "They are the first law firm in Cayman that got the entire Latin America strategy, focusing on emerging markets like Brazil. They have been able to open up doors to banking relationships in Brazil."
Partner Marco Martins, who heads the firm's Latin America practice and has played a key role in developing the Cayman office over the past 12 months, is clients' favorite, with one noting: "Marco is responsive and resourceful. He has a creative way of thinking."
In a cross-border transaction closed in February 2012, Harneys acted as Cayman counsel to Entropic Communications and its US counsel Cooley on Entropic's acquisition of Trident Microsystems' key assets in an insolvency procedure. The firm also advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on a $30 million loan to Altain Khuder.
Additionally, in a deal closed in March 2012, Martins represented Banco Bradesco and its private wealth client on the creation of a Cayman investment fund structure, Dos Mineiros Capital Fund.
Jonathan Law (Leading lawyer bio)
Marco Martins (Leading lawyer bio)
3rd Floor, Queensgate House
113 South Church Street
PO Box 10240
Tel: +1 345 949 8599
Fax: +1 345 949 4451
Other offices: British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Hong Kong, London, Montevideo
Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial, Intellectual Property, Investment Funds, Tax and Regulatory, Litigation & Insolvency, Shipping, Trusts.
Jonathan Law (bio)
Marco Martins (bio)
Known for its offshore work, Harneys established an office in Montevideo in 2010. From that office, the firm continues much of its offshore practice, but also aims to service its clients in Uruguay and in the region more efficiently. Partner and Latin America practice group head Marco Martins leads a legal team that specialises in corporate and commercial work and legal matters related to investment funds. Clients include Varbra, BancoBradesco, Atlantic Security Bank, Banco de Credito del Peru, BancoSafra, Petrix, and FRAM Capital among others.
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