Fountain Court’s offshore litigation complements our other practice offerings, such as our banking & finance and commercial litigation practices, chiefly for clients acting on an institutional level, but also for those ultra-high net worth individuals with trust interests in this area.
Undertaking cases, both for, or against, high-net worth individuals, frequently oligarchs – as in some of the cases mentioned below – who have also instructed the largest US and UK litigation practices to represent them in defending their onshore, and well as offshore interests, has been a noticeable facet of recent years.
This is because our experience brings together the legal and technical experience necessary to manage high-pressure, high-value disputes, particularly given the interrelationship between the onshore contractual, financial, or mineral resource under challenge, and the underlying offshore corporate structure that holds it in chief.
To offer one example, our members’ practice in offshore proceedings (both court and arbitration) encompasses recognised offshore centres in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean, and Cyprus.
Our members’ appearances in the Caribbean, both at trial and at appeal, are longstanding, and include, in recent years, the long running Digicel v Cable & Wireless case, in a claim for conspiracy to injure by unlawful means and dishonest anti-competitive practices alleged by Digicel against Cable & Wireless in seven countries in the Caribbean; the CLICO Inquiry in Trinidad and Tobago over the collapse of two major Caribbean financial institutions; and a high-profile commercial fraud and bribery case in the Turks & Caicos Islands, to name but a few recent cases.
Members also have the distinction of preparing for and appearing in the longest trial in Cayman Islands history, a hedge funds dispute, and a very significant case in both St. Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis, relating to a US$3.5 billion shareholder dispute involving Russian parties, which has seen proceedings in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, with the losing party certain to appeal to the Privy Council.
Similarly, in UK dependencies closer to home, members have been instructed in a case involving allegations of money laundering to be heard in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar; the Arch Cru litigation, being heard in Guernsey, over losses allegedly caused by investment in high-risk offshore funds; the BITEL litigation in the Isle of Man, later heard in the Privy Counsel; and various ‘credit crunch’ cases concerning Jersey-based corporate entities and investment funds.
The set possesses a superb mix of offshore and onshore relationships in such matters, having been instructed by the litigation departments of all the leading offshore litigation firms, as well as mainstream US and UK firms. Our regular instruction brings continuity to our work in these areas.
Our members have market-leading practices in all the key jurisdictions. For example, members regularly appear recently in cases in the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man and in Trinidad & Tobago, in each of which we have members licensed to appear as a member of those Bars, whilst other members have worked in the Cayman Islands regularly for over thirty years, and have had a number of cases reported in the Cayman Islands Law Reports.