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Ellie Crespi

Ellie Crespi 

Managing Partner | BVI

  • professional, responsive and diligent
    Legal 500
  • remarkable
    IFLR
  • extremely responsive and adaptable
    Legal 500

Overview

Ellie practises BVI and Cayman laws and advises on all elements of corporate, capital markets and banking transactions as well as restructurings. Her clients include leading onshore law firms, private equity investors, major international financial institutions, listed and private companies and British Virgin Islands statutory and public bodies. 

Experience

Ellie has been practising since 2006 and has built a global client base, advising on top-ticket corporate, finance and capital markets transactions in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her experience practising and living in Western Europe, the CIS, Asia and the Caribbean brings a nuanced cultural understanding to complex, cross-border transactions with global stakeholders.

"Clients expect service, quality and value for money as a minimum - and rightly so. What I add to transactions - and what has built years-long relationships - is actual care for my clients' business. It sounds simple but it can't be faked."

Background

Ellie started her career in London, practising in Moscow and Hong Kong with Allen & Overy prior to making the move offshore almost a decade ago with a leading BVI law firm and making her home in the British Virgin Islands at the beginning of 2019.

Awards

Ellie has maintained recommendations by Legal 500 and IFLR since 2015. In 2020, she was recognised by Legal 500 as a "leading individual". She was nominated by peers as Lawyer of the Year in BVI Finance's 2020 Financial Services Awards.

Memberships

Ellie is a member of the BVI Bar Association and the Law Society of England and Wales.

My services
Acquisition Finance
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Advising on acquisition finance is a key part of our services when acting on M&A transactions. We work with our corporate teams to provide solutions which may include conventional loans, leveraging the target, accessing capital markets, or typically, a combination. We act for lenders, corporates and corporate advisors.

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Asset Finance
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We provide our expertise in the area of asset finance to assist some of our clients in their business requirements. We have worked with lenders in funding acquisition of aircraft and other specialist assets. We also advise and support our finance leasing clients with their customer documentation and security requirements.

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Banking & Finance
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Banks today face an ever increasing raft of challenges, both regulatory and commercial, as well as competition for deals from non-bank lenders and alternative funders. We provide our banking clients with a comprehensive service on- and off-transaction, including our plain English precedents for their business. We help our clients keep up with the changing landscape in order to remain competitive in the market place whilst delivering quality service to their own customers. Our clients focus on relationship banking and we work hard to support them in doing so. We also advise P2P lenders and invoice discounters on their lending and security arrangements, and their documentation.

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Business Relocation including Migrations and Continuations
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An increasing number of business leaders are looking to relocate their business and and indeed lives offshore. Our pan-departmental relocation's team has the knowledge and experience to assist in all aspects of such a move and welcome you to our islands. We are well placed to advise on, and project manage such a relocation and can advise on: company migrations and continuations, regulatory approvals, housing licences and real estate matters through to introductions to other service providers and complementary local businesses.

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Commercial Real Estate
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At Collas Crill, our commercial property team includes some of the most highly regarded offshore commercial property lawyers. Our team is recognised and cited for its experience, commercial approach, exceptional service standards and its ability to deliver in a fast and efficient manner. Across Guernsey, Jersey and the Cayman Islands we have been involved in many of the most significant commercial property transactions of the last decade. We handle all aspects of commercial freehold and leasehold real estate, acting for both landlord and tenant, buyer and seller. We have the experience to guide you through every stage of a transaction with absolute confidence.

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Commercial Structuring & Contracts
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Offshore vehicles are used for a huge range of purposes either standing alone or as part of large multi-jurisdictional structures. Our highly commercial team specialises in advising clients on the most effective uses of such vehicles and their on-going operation, including normal and cellular companies as well as foundations, unit trusts, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Our experienced team also provides commercial contracts for clients whether bespoke documents to effect specific transactions or suites of precedent documents for company service providers or offshore groups.

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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.

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Corporate Acquisitions and Takeovers
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Our team has a wealth of experience advising on all aspects of corporate acquisitions providing seamless support from agreeing heads of terms all the way through to completion.

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Corporate Advisory
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With a depth of multi-jurisdictional experience our offices in BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey, London and Singapore, we ensure that advice is provided in the context of other key global offshore centres and with a knowledge of the bigger, global picture. Our clients appreciate our pro-active attitude to providing sensible user-friendly advice, our accuracy and honesty in our approach to pricing matters, and our senior level involvement in all matters to ensure smooth progress and client satisfaction. In an increasingly complex, competitive and more tightly regulated market, we'll make sure your business or commercial venture reaches its full potential.

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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.

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Debt Issues
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We advise on structured bond issues, including covered bonds, convertible debt, private equity and intra-group debt finance and hybrid deals that make use of offshore special purpose debt vehicles. We also advise onshore issuers with listing Eurobonds and other debt instruments on The International Stock Exchange in Guernsey and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Our Partners and senior lawyers have significant experience and understanding of the nuances of such transactions, and are therefore perfectly positioned to provide practical, tailored advice.

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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.

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Due-Diligence
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Our experienced team will handle the due diligence process, from initial requests for information and documentation, transitioning to the review phase, making further requisitions as necessary and producing a comprehensive due diligence report setting out key issues and areas for risk mitigation.

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Equity Issues
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We advise on all forms of public offerings by companies incorporated in Jersey, Guernsey, BVI and the Cayman Islands. Our clients include trading companies, SPACs, brokers, advisors and NOMADs, and recent transactions have included listings on both the London Stock Exchange's Main Market and AIM, as well as other leading international exchanges. We cover the full scope of transactions for listed companies, from IPOs to rights issues, secondary offerings, equity bridge financing, mergers & acquisitions, including schemes or arrangement and reverse takeovers, and de-listing.

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Funds Finance
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Fund financing covers a range of financing possibilities but most commonly involves capital call or subscription facilities. It is a specialist area that requires an understanding of fund structuring, the risks involved in lending to funds and specific security requirements. Underlying relationships between investors, borrowers and lenders are key to the success of the industry. We work with lenders and borrowers to maintain these relationships at every stage of the process, with our commercial, efficient and pragmatic approach to managing transactions.

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Mergers & Acquisitions
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Mergers & Acquisitions

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Mergers, Amalgamations and Schemes of Arrangement
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We provide expert legal support on both local and cross border amalgamations of regulated and unregulated companies and work closely with our dispute resolution team on local schemes of arrangement.

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Project Finance
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Our teams have been involved in some of the most innovative finance structures, including the first public-private finance initiative in Guernsey, a care home. We regularly advise housing associations on funding their projects. Internationally we work with clients on key infrastructure projects, including power stations and railway links.

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Real Estate Finance
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Real estate continues to dominate as an asset class for many investors. Collas Crill has a strong track record in financing commercial real estate acquisitions, mainly in the UK. We act for some of the key lenders in this area. Our clients include banks, funds, alternative lenders, private investors and family offices. Locally, we have worked on the funding of some of the most prestigious buildings in our jurisdictions.

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Securities & Capital Markets
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Our capital markets team has substantial onshore as well as offshore capital markets experience, giving us in depth understanding of all aspects of capital markets structures and the commercial drivers that underpin transactions. We advise on the full range of equity and debt capital markets transactions, including initial public offerings, structured finance and securitisations, bond issuance, and TISE and CSX listings.

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Securitisation and Structured Products
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Our securities and capital markets team advise on all aspects of securitisation transactions, including the structuring of securities and securitisation vehicles, producing the prospectus, providing regulatory advice and advising on promotion restrictions and requirements. Our clients include both offshore and onshore banks and other financial instructions.

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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.

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