Ranking success for Bermuda law firms
Two of Bermuda’s longest established law firms, and one of its newest, have been ranked in the annual Chambers High Net Worth Guide.
Conyers Bermuda’s private client and trusts practice has been recognised as Band 1, the top ranking available, in the 2019 edition of the guide.
Appleby’s private client and trusts practice is ranked in Band 2, as is Carey Olsen Bermuda’s trusts and private wealth practice, the firms reported.
Conyers and Appleby are well-established firms on the island, while Carey Olsen set up in Bermuda 18 months ago.
The guide’s publisher, Chambers and Partners, is among the world’s leading reference and ranking bodies for the legal sector. The guide serves as a directory for the private wealth market and is used by family offices and professional wealth advisers. The rankings and editorial draw on independent research including interviews with lawyers, family offices, accountants, tax advisers, bankers and investment managers for a comprehensive view of the private wealth sector.
Conyers is described this year as a “powerhouse in the Caribbean and across all offshore jurisdictions” and “hands-down the No 1 firm in Bermuda”, the firm said.
Appleby is described in the guide, the firm said, as “well known in the rest of the world” for its substantial private client and trust offering. Market insiders note that this “excellent firm” provides “practical advice with a strong legal basis”, adding: “They are really knowledgeable.” A London-based private client lawyer reports: “They are very responsive and pragmatic. They will do whatever is needed. They are very helpful.”
Carey Olsen Bermuda is described in the guide’s commentary, the firm said, as “a real emerging force” and praised for attracting “some really talented people”. One onshore lawyer remarked “they’re flying — they have a lot of work”, while others noted that “they are very efficient and user-friendly” and “have some real quality”.
Alec Anderson, director and global head of private client and trusts at Conyers, is listed as Band 1, and directors Helen Cooper, Craig MacIntyre and Peter Pearman are ranked Band 2. Conyers Trust Company Ltd, an affiliate of Conyers, is listed as a recommended trustee in the trust companies category for Bermuda.
Mr Anderson said: “I am grateful and delighted to learn that the high quality of service we provide to our clients and onshore advisers continues to be recognised by the Chambers HNW Guide, which is highly regarded within the private client industry. I am pleased and flattered that Conyers lawyers have received glowing recommendations from clients and peers, which is a testament both to their expertise and their excellent client service values.”
Of Mr Anderson, one source told Chambers: “Alec is a titan of the international trust world — he is one of the most recognised international trusts lawyers. He has a great stamp of authority in all he does. He is a highly impressive person and a lawyer of great international stature not just within Bermuda itself but across the international trusts stage.”
Ms Cooper’s practice covers all aspects of trust and private client law, Conyers said. She is described as a “fantastic individual”, is “very well respected” and has a “stunning client base”, according to market insiders.
Mr MacIntyre’s business encompasses a broad spectrum of trust, company, estate planning and asset protection opportunities, the firm said. He is described by one private client lawyer as “first-rate and strong on both contentious and non-contentious matters”.
The “very knowledgeable” Mr Pearman has a “wealth of experience” in handling complex estate planning and trust matters, the guide said. Market insiders say he is “very impressive and always on the ball”, adding: “He is held in high regard and is vastly experienced. He will be in the trenches when cases get tough.”
At Appleby, Vanessa Lovell Schrum, who heads the firm’s private client and trust department in Bermuda, was ranked in Band 2. She is in “the top rank of Bermuda trust lawyers”, said one lawyer in the guide. Ms Lovell Schrum is also said to be “experienced and a safe pair of hands”, who is “very helpful, responsive” and is held in “high regard for her technical skills”. One source said: “Clients really enjoy having her on the team. She is very knowledgeable. She’s got very broad legal knowledge and is able to pick up on issues outside her sphere of expertise, which for offshore lawyers is very important.”
At Carey Olsen Bermuda, partner Keith Robinson is ranked as a Band 1 practitioner for offshore trusts, one of only two Bermuda lawyers to receive the top ranking, the firm said, while counsel Ashley Fife, recently elected as chair of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners in Bermuda, is recognised as “up and coming”.
Mr Robinson is head of the trusts and private wealth practice at Carey Olsen Bermuda. He is described as “Mr trust litigation in Bermuda” and “at the top of everyone’s list when you want an effective litigator in Bermuda”. One market insider praised his ability to “play a strategic chess game to get the right result for clients. He is totally unflappable”, while another said he was “one of the most recognised names for offshore trust matters”.
Mr Fife is described as “excellent”, “sharp and very responsive” and someone with “very good international experience”, the firm said. Another market source noted that “he is certainly up to date with all the regulatory changes that are going on. He’s very good”.
Mr Robinson said: “We are delighted that ... as a practice group we have been recognised in this way by Chambers. The Bermuda trust industry continues to attract world-class work and we are especially grateful to our clients for their faith in our client service.”
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