Ian is a Senior Associate in the Corporate, Finance and Funds team in Guernsey. He has a transactional practice covering banking, financing as well as mergers and acquisitions.
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.
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.
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.
Changes of trustee documents (DORA or IORAs) usually contain indemnities from the incoming trustee to the outgoing trustee which are often hotly negotiated and can be complex. A change of trustee also presents a good opportunity for the incoming trustee to undertake a due diligence exercise by reviewing the trust documents, ensuring that the previous chain of trusteeship is intact and ensuring that the outgoing trustee ratifies or rectifies any flaws in the trust or the trust documents before the trusteeship is handed over. We have considerable experience in narrowing the issues in these negotiations. We are also well versed in assisting our trustee clients in mitigating risk by spotting (sometimes very significant flaws) in trusts before they are taken on and by ratifying previous discrepancies in a commercial manner – commonly without necessitating the involvement of the court.
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.
We are able to assist local businesses on locally applicable competition laws, including mergers and acquisitions processes and approvals and exemptions, as well as advising on the increasingly complex legislation related to anti-competitive behaviours and agreements between businesses and the abuse of a dominant position in a market.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Investment Business Licensing and Approvals
Our uniquely diverse practice regularly assists with the establishment of both open and closed-ended fund structures. In addition to traditional private equity and real estate structures we have advised on a number of alternative and esoteric classes. We provide bespoke structuring solutions to allow our clients to build the fund they want as opposed to a generic template of the market standard. We advise clients at every step of the process, including preparing offer documents, investor negotiations, the preparation of agreements, and in the closing of transactions.
Our fund specialists offer advice on all aspects relating to the establishment, authorisation and structuring of funds and related investment vehicles. We have particular expertise acting for emerging managers who are building their business and acting for institutional investors, including acting for private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds on joint venture and fund investments, as well as planning their internal corporate structures. We provide a highly personalised service working with our clients and their onshore counsel to build in depth relationships over the long term.
In a world of ever-increasing accountability, we are increasingly instructed by sovereign wealth funds, ultra high net worth individuals and funds of funds to review potential investments and negotiate side-letters. We offer our clients a fast, efficient service with minimum fuss. This aspect of our practice gives us unparalleled insight of what is and is not the 'market standard'; something our clients highly appreciate.
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.
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.
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.
The regulatory environment both in local jurisdictions and internationally, is becoming increasingly complex at a time when regulatory agencies are becoming more zealous in their approach to enforcement and investigations. We guide clients through the impact of enforcement of investigatory actions by regulatory bodies, offering dedicated strategic advice on a broad range of issues including enforcement notices, governance matters, complaints, insider trading and dealing and market manipulation.
Collas Crill's market leading Risk and Regulatory team provides full support to financial services clients in all aspects of their interactions with regulators. We have achieved outstanding results for our clients through providing timely advice and representation in the course of an investigation, through to robust representation where this is required.
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.
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.
The duties of a trustee plays in managing the trust assets and dealing with beneficiaries not only vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but are dictated by trust agreement and its nuances, the type of trust and its specific purpose. Advising on trustee duties is a rapidly growing area given the increasingly complex legal and regulatory framework to which trustees must adhere. Importantly, trustees are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of acting early and seeking advice on their duties – particularly in situations of potential conflict or stress. Trustees are also making more use of the courts in asking for directions or in having "momentous decisions" blessed.
Our investment practice is not simply limited to regulated investment funds. We also advise clients on a range of unregulated and private structures allowing new promoters to build a track record or investment clubs to access particular investments without incurring the time or financial cost of entering the regulatory regime. Our team's experience in this often overlooked area of the investment sector can help our clients manage regulation and plan their structures for future growth without unnecessary limitations.