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Michael Adkins

Michael Adkins 

Partner | Guernsey

  • Michael Adkins is a fighter who knows his stuff on insolvency matters.
    Legal 500
  • is very experienced and extremely capable; my go-to advocate on the island.
    Legal 500
  • is technically very good and a useful lead into the Guernsey insolvency market.
    Legal 500

Overview 

Michael 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.

Michael currently leads the firm's Guernsey Risk and Regulatory and Insolvency teams and has previously acted as Head of Litigation and Managing Partner of the firm's BVI Office.

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.

"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."

Background

Michael commenced with ASIC as a Graduate Trainee in 2002, before qualifying as a Barrister and Solicitor in Victoria in 2004. During his 7 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 parter 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 Leading Individual - Legal 500 (Guernsey) 2020;

Tier 3 - Chambers (Guernsey) 2020

Memberships

ARIES, Insol, R3, IBA (Insolvency), RISA BVI (Associate)

My services
Banking Regulation
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In this 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 the leading clearing and private banks located in our jurisdictions.

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

Contentious Banking & 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 & 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, better and more efficient outcomes are obtained. As Risk and Regulatory experts, our Dispute Resolution team frequently act on contentious matters, able to leverage their experience to help clients achieve the highest regulatory standards and avoid common pitfalls.

Contentious Trusts
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We represent trust corporations, HNWIs, individual trustees and beneficiaries, often dealing with novel points of law and creating new and innovative solutions to fit the needs of our clients. Given the international scope of settlors, investments and assets, we often co-ordinate advice from our multi-jurisdictional teams, meaning that our clients benefit from the knowledge and depth of experience of our people around the globe.

Corporate Governance & Shareholder Relations
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Good corporate governance and a sound understanding of directors duties is important to companies. 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.

Data Protection and Information Rights
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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 Restructuring & Enforcement
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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.

Debt Restructuring, Enforcement & Insolvency
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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.

Director & Shareholder Disputes
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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're 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 simply '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.

Dispute Resolution
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When your business is involved in any kind of legal dispute it's crucial to work with lawyers who are hands-on, cost-effective and flexible enough to respond quickly and intuitively to your unique situation and needs. We know that there are many different ways a dispute can be resolved and work closely with our clients to understand every aspect of their business, priorities and goals. This allows us to find the best way forward for our clients and to advise on the commercial implications of a dispute, ensuring the process remains as stress-free as possible. Our approach is practical, responsive and tailored to the client's interests. Our expertise and reputation means we're first choice for a range of clients, including banks, trust companies, high net worth individuals and top law firms.

Fraud, Asset Tracing & Freezing Injunctions
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At Collas Crill, 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 the Channel Islands 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 & Restructuring
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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, Collas Crill’s insolvency and restructuring team 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 United States, the United Kingdom 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; the United States and Russia. 

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 to effectively manage deteriorating relationships with creditors, financiers, investors or other interested parties.

Risk & Regulatory
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Collas Crill's multi-disciplinary approach to providing Risk & Regulatory services ensures that every aspect of our clients' businesses 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.

Solvent and Insolvent Restructuring
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Restructuring takes many forms, and Collas Crill's Corporate, Finance and Funds team has broad experience in reshaping businesses to the changing needs and demands of the market. 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 with our insolvency and restructuring team to achieve the most beneficial outcome. At any stage, our involvement will assist in identifying on-going risks and opportunities, as well as managing deteriorating relationships with creditors, financiers, investors or other interested parties. The team brings a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds to give quick, accurate, commercial advice.

Insight 26 Jul 2021

IBA article

This article first featured in volume 15 of International Bar Association publication Insolvency & Restructuring International, published in April 2021. This article...

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Reflective loss case summary

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The Ultimate Boss

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Insolvency year in review 2020

Welcome to Collas Crill's insolvency year in review of 2020: a short reflection on some of Collas Crill's insolvency milestones across our jurisdictions. Although 2020 has...

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New head of DR in BVI

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Court Refuses to Thaw Bank's Decision to Freeze

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