Local firm makes bid for Asian business

| 13/04/2010

(CNS): Newly formed Cayman Islands boutique law firm, Thorp Alberga is making a concerted bid for business in the Far East with the opening of a Hong Kong office and the appointment of two new partners. These latest moves are part of what the firm called an aggressive push by Thorp Alberga designed to challenge the major legal players in the offshore world.  Richard Thorp and Harriet Unger, formerly with Maples and Calder, will lead the Asian practice.

The Cayman Islands office is headed up by Michael Alberga, a former President of the Cayman Islands Law Society who has three decades of legal experience in Cayman following his admission as an attorney in the Cayman Islands in 1978 after graduating from the University of the West Indies.
 Talking about the new office Alberga said: “We have a superior understanding of all aspects of offshore structuring. This new boutique law firm will provide a more relevant legal service with fully staffed offices in Grand Cayman and now in Hong Kong.”
 Richard Thorp added: “We believe we are better placed than any of our larger rivals to provide focused advice across a broad range of offshore transactions.”
Thorp and  Unger are authorised by the Law Society of Hong Kong to practise Cayman Islands law in the firm’s new Hong Kong office and are also admitted in the British Virgin Islands.
 Richard Thorp is a securities and funds lawyer who has acted on a broad range of funds and general corporate matters, including the establishment of private equity and hedge funds and advising the directors and administrators when complex issues arose. He joined Maples and Calder in London in 1998 after graduating from St John’s College Oxford. He was transferred to Maples’ Hong Kong office in 2001 where he was made partner in 2004.
 Thorp’s experience includes over 100 venture capital or private equities investments in Cayman Islands or BVI companies and over 60 initial public offerings of shares by Cayman companies on NYSE, NASDAQ. AIM and HKSE. Richard joined Myers & Alberga in 2009 on its restructuring.
Harriet Unger is a structured finance specialist whose expertise covers all areas of capital markets transactions. She also has extensive experience of banking and corporate transactions and has been based in Asia for almost 10 years.
Unger graduated from St Catherine’s College, Oxford . Prior to her work at Maples and Calder, Harriet worked for Simmons & Simmons in their London, Hong Kong and Tokyo offices and has been seconded to two major European investment banks in London. Whilst a partner at Maples and Calder in Hong Kong, Harriet was responsible for their structured finance practise in the Asia Pacific region.
She has experience in debt and equity capital markets and derivatives as well as securitisation and banking.
The firm said in a statement that over the past 30 years Alberga has developed a specialist regulatory and litigation practice, including licensing, regulation and dispute resolution in relation to corporate commercial law, real estate, banking, mutual funds, partnership, government relations, labour law and aircraft and shipping.  Michaeladvises on the formation of trusts and ongoing duties of trustees and is a widely published author of articles on many aspects of Cayman Islands law.
Ruth E. Hatt is based in the CI office and advises financial institutions, insurers, funds and private equity houses on all aspects of corporate and private equity structuring and regulation. Hatt has particular expertise in working with domestic and captive insurers, brokers and insurance managers in the Cayman Islands and provides advice to the Government sponsored group reviewing the Insurance Law.  A graduate of Leicester University, she has worked for Lloyd’s of London, The City Law Partnership (now part of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP), Clifford Chance LLP and Maples and Calder in the Cayman Islands acting as the global head of insurance.

Category: Business

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