Michael Adkins

Michael Adkins 

Partner | Guernsey | BVI

Financial Services and Regulatory

  • Very experienced and extremely capable; my go-to advocate on the island.
    Legal 500
  • A very experienced and commercial lawyer.
  • Michael provides good commercial advice and is clear in his thinking.
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Michael Adkins: exceptional lawyer; commercially focused and technically excellent.
    Legal 500 2022
  • Technically very good and a useful lead into the Guernsey insolvency market.
    Legal 500
  • Michael is very sensible, pragmatic, knowledgeable and approachable. He is great on regulatory and financial services matters in particular.
    Chambers UK 2024
  • Michael has a strong presence in the regulatory and director advisory space. He’s a skilled operator with a loyal client list.
  • Michael is a dynamic litigator with a strong presence in the regulatory space.
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Michael Adkins is a fighter who knows his stuff on insolvency matters.
    Legal 500

Overview

Michael is global head of the firm's Financial Services and Regulatory team and has previously acted as Head of Litigation and Managing Partner of the firm's BVI Office.

He is a litigation lawyer, specialising in insolvency, regulatory/ public law, trust and other financial services disputes.

Michael is a qualified Guernsey Advocate and BVI Attorney and maintains an active litigation practice in both jurisdictions.

 

"I genuinely love what I do. On every matter I look to take the time to really understand a client's situation, so I can give them the legal and strategic advice they need to best achieve their goals. There is no better outcome for me than being able to help a client see through the fog of a complex dispute and help deliver clear and effective solutions."

Experience

Michael qualified in 2004 with ASIC, Australia's financial services and corporate regulator. Since joining Collas Crill in 2009, Michael has taken a leading role in a number of significant and high profile matters, including advising the liquidators of Landsbanki Guernsey Limited in relation to all aspects of the liquidation of the £120 million Guernsey subsidiary of the failed Icelandic Bank, and Sark Electricity Limited in its challenge to the implementation of pricing regulation. Michael is frequently instructed for individuals and companies in disputes with regulatory bodies and state agencies.

In 2019, Michael was appointed to a four year term as Chairman of the Complaints Panel of the Administrative Decision Review Board.

Background

Michael commenced with ASIC as a Graduate Trainee in 2002, before qualifying as a Barrister and Solicitor in Victoria in 2004. During his seven years in ASIC's Enforcement Directorate, Michael advised on and led a number of nationally significant investigations.

Joining Collas Day (as it then was) in 2009, Michael qualified as a Guernsey Advocate and became a Partner of Collas Crill in 2014.

Qualification: Victoria/Australia (2004); England & Wales (2014) (Higher Rights (Civil) - 2019); Guernsey (2014);
BVI (2020)

Education: BA/LLB (Deakin, 2003); LLM (Melbourne, 2007); Certificat d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises et Normandes (Caen, 2011)

Awards

Ranked as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 2024 and in band 2 in Chambers and Partners UK 2024.

Memberships

ARIES, Insol, R3, IBA (Insolvency), RISA BVI (Associate) and The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators.

*Business Assistant
Samantha Hobbs

Samantha Hobbs

 
My services
Banking regulation
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In the current climate of increasing regulation we understand the pressures on our clients, both from local regulators as well as international organisations. Our team of dedicated risk and regulatory professionals are on hand to assist. We act for a number of leading clearing and private banks located in our jurisdictions.

Competition and regulatory pricing
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It is important for businesses to understand what constitutes a dominant market position in order to avoid becoming involved in anti-competitive practices, especially during mergers and acquisitions. Penalties can be significant and directors may be disqualified, or worse. In addition to regularly gaining merger approvals, our commercial team also advises a number of major businesses on the practical effect of the competition regimes on their businesses.

Contentious banking and finance
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Our dispute resolution specialists collaborate seamlessly with our corporate, banking and finance teams across jurisdictions to advise on litigation, restructuring and risk and regulatory matters. We provide a global perspective, working closely with our clients to ensure that they are best placed to respond to customer issues, fraud risks, rapidly changing market conditions and regulatory demands.

Contentious risk and regulatory
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In regulatory disputes there are often fine lines between the usual wrangling with the regulator and something more serious – by matching our mix of experienced contentious and non-contentious lawyers to the particular problem at hand, we achieve better and more efficient outcomes. As regulatory experts, we frequently act on contentious matters and can leverage our experience to help clients achieve the highest regulatory standards and avoid common pitfalls.

Corporate disputes
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Our dispute resolution specialists collaborate seamlessly with our corporate advisory and banking teams across jurisdictions to advise multinational corporations, trust companies, banks, funds, insurers, governments and directors. We provide a global perspective, working closely with our clients to ensure that they are best placed to respond to customer issues, fraud risks, rapidly changing market conditions and regulatory demands.

Corporate governance and shareholder relations
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Good corporate governance and a sound understanding of directors duties is critical. Regardless of size, establishing a best practice approach should be fundamental to all boards. The board of directors are responsible for ensuring the company achieves its objectives and the corporate governance framework they adhere to should underpin their accountability to the company and its members.

We advise company boards in relation to both the non-contentious and contentious aspects of shareholder relations with a focus on corporate governance to prevent contentious issues arising. We have also advised both boards and activist shareholders in relation to highly contentious general meetings and associated issues arising out of investor actions.

Thanks to the depth of our experience and the resources of our team, we've acted on some of the largest pieces of litigation brought against directors offshore. We are well placed to deal with the 'bet the farm' proceedings that can occur in these type of disputes and have represented parties involved in intra-company disputes, including executive, non-executive and independent directors, majority and minority shareholders, companies and liquidators. We understand that shareholder disputes are often not black and white and our team finds innovative and commercial alternatives to those which the Court may offer – taking a collaborative approach with our clients to ensure that the right result is achieved.

Corporate reorganisations
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Our team has deep experience in complex, multi-jurisdictional corporate reorganisations and reconstructions.

Whether leading the project, or working as part of an integrated team with co-ordinating onshore counsel, we can assist with the variety of debt and equity restructuring processes and procedures available in our Collas Crill jurisdictions; from mergers and acquisitions, to migrations and redomiciliation, to schemes of arrangement and the more innovative and flexible solutions our jurisdictions are known for.  

With our mix of non-contentious and litigation restructuring specialists, Collas Crill offers the unique advantage of having being able to provide a team to seamlessly take a transaction from start to finish. 

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Data protection
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Data is the most valuable asset for many of our clients and data protection is a growing facet of offshore business. We have advised a number of institutional clients on their commercial obligations in terms of data security and data protection and regularly provide advice on contract terms in this difficult area. We also have significant experience in using the full range of legal remedies available to obtain access to data and information held, and so are ideally placed to advise clients on either side of the data protection equation.

Debt collection
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Knowing what to do and when to act when things go wrong is a key part of our service to our clients on both lender and borrower side. Our clients include banks, funds, directors, shareholders and insolvency practitioners. We undertake security reviews and advise on pre-emptive measures. We appreciate the need to act promptly and decisively, and at the same time are sensitive to potential negative publicity for our clients.

Fraud, asset tracing, freezing, recovery and enforcement
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We're used to working as part of a multi-jurisdictional team, capable of reacting and responding quickly to urgent requests for assistance with locating and freezing assets. As sophisticated defendants become more adept at dissipating assets, we've been involved in cases that created new law in relation to a party's ability to trace assets and recover their losses. With their ability to deal with complex issues the team deliver clear, commercial advice on the availability and likely success of recovery methods.

Insolvency
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For financially distressed companies in need of restructuring and reorganisation, or for those where the opportunity to do so has passed or failed, we work to achieve the most beneficial outcome in these difficult situations. 

Our team brings a wealth of experience from a range of diverse backgrounds to give quick, accurate, commercial advice, primarily across the financial services sector. 

Currently working on some of the largest and most complex cross-border insolvencies in the jurisdiction, we frequently advise top law firms from the People’s Republic of China, the US, the UK and other jurisdictions. We are regularly briefed by Sovereign Wealth Funds and Fortune 500 Companies to advise on particular restructurings, as well as investment managers from Europe and the US.

At whatever stage we are engaged, our involvement will assist in identifying the on-going risks facing a client and to enable that client to continue to identify and effectively manage deteriorating relationships with creditors, financiers, investors or other interested parties.

Regulatory
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Our multi-disciplinary approach to providing risk and regulatory consultancy services ensures that every aspect of our clients' business is covered. By drawing on the skills and experience of a highly experienced team of lawyers with expertise from across the firm, we are able to deal with all legal compliance issues that could affect your business, whether contentious or non-contentious. The assistance we are able to provide ranges from strategic matters to specific operational issues.

Collas Crill's market-leading fraud, financial and white collar crime practice sits within our regulatory practice. Uniquely offering a mix of both civil and criminal fraud litigation experience, from internal investigations, to injunctions, to defence and enforcement, the team can lead clients through the most challenging of circumstances.

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Restructuring
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Restructuring takes many forms, and we have broad experience in reshaping businesses to the changing needs and demands of the market. The team possesses a hands-on and comprehensive grasp of the intricate challenges that may emerge in restructuring scenarios, whether involving mergers, acquisitions, reorganisations or recapitalisation activities.

Utilities
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We work with a number of local utilities assisting them with their work with regulators and pricing control commissioners as well as advising on the effects of proposed changes in legislation, commercial contracts and corporate governance.

Specific regulatory compliance
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Regulation proliferates in all aspects of corporate life these days. We have proven subject matter expertise in specific regulatory fields.

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26 Apr 2024

FREEZE: Civil forfeiture laws updated

The Forfeiture of Assets in Civil Proceedings (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2023 (the New Law) comes into force today (26 April 2024).  The thrust of this new legislation is to broaden further the scope of the already broadened civil forfeiture law i...

11 Jan 2024

Collas Crill restructures to harness global expertise

Collas Crill has restructured its legal services into four global practices to provide clients with even greater access to the breadth and depth of its expertise across the world. This has led to a number of new leadership roles within the firm: Michael...

4 Jul 2023

Limitless: Hunt v Ubhi

The English Court of Appeal (the Court of Appeal) has recently issued a judgment which will be of particular interest to liquidators and those that they pursue in the case of Hunt v Ravneet Ubhi [2023] EWCA Civ 417. Background The case concerns a credito...

10 Feb 2023

New VASP regulations in Guernsey

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission published its final draft of the Lending, Credit and Finance Rules and Guidance, 2023 (the "New Rules") on Thursday 19 January 2023. These support the Lending, Credit and Finance (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 202...

3 Feb 2023

New Guernsey business regulations

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission published its final draft of the Lending, Credit and Finance Rules and Guidance, 2023 (the "New Rules") on Thursday 19 January 2023. These support the Lending, Credit and Finance (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 202...

26 Jan 2023

New LCF regulations in Guernsey

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission published its final draft of the Lending, Credit and Finance Rules and Guidance, 2023 (the "New Rules") on Thursday 19 January 2023. These support the Lending, Credit and Finance (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 202...

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Event 15 Feb 2024

TL4 HNW Divorce forum

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INSOL International Jersey

Event 31 Oct 2023

Risk and Regulatory conference

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Breakfast seminar

Event 29 Jun 2022

Crypto in Disputes

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