A litigation symposium in New York was a valuable opportunity to discuss the legal considerations of managing an illiquid fund to an audience of US accountants, attorneys and fund managers, according to Mark Holligon, a Partner in the Litigation and Insolvency Practice at Appleby Isle of Man.
Mark was part of a discussion panel featuring experts from across the offshore jurisdictions at the symposium, held at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. Mark represented the Isle of Man on the panel, which included fellow Appleby Partners from Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
He explained: ‘The symposium is an opportunity to hear expert discussion of topical legal issues affecting the offshore funds industry. This year, we looked at legal issues that emerge when a fund becomes illiquid and the parties are in a scramble to put themselves in the best position.
‘When a fund becomes illiquid it can find that its assets cannot be sold at all or can only be sold on a forced sale basis. Practical solutions can run into legal obstacles and readiness to wind up distressed funds differs between jurisdictions. This session explored possible solutions and their legal implications and explained where approaches differ from one jurisdiction to another.’
Mark added: ‘Appleby’s unparalleled presence in multiple offshore jurisdictions makes it ideally placed to offer expert insight into issues like this, where complications can arise because of differing legal, regulatory and professional demands during cross border insolvencies. Drawing on expertise from across our international network of offices, this symposium was a valuable opportunity to discuss many of the potential issues with our guests.’
Moderator for the panel discussion was Christopher Meyering, Chief Legal Officer of Sciens Capital Management, an independent alternative investment management firm with experience of multiple jurisdictions and major financial centres.
Mark was joined on the panel by Peter McMaster QC (Cayman), Andrew Bolton (Cayman), John Wasty (Bermuda) and Andrew Willins (BVI).
Among the topics discussed were redemptions in specie, SPVs for different classes of investor, extensions to wind down periods, who should manage an illiquid fund and how should it be managed, winding up the fund because the manager’s strategy is unfairly prejudicial to a particular investor group and winding up the fund because of unpaid redemptions.
Mark’s expertise spans the contentious and non-contentious arenas, both onshore and offshore, with a focus on commercial litigation, insolvency and restructuring. He has a particular interest in distressed funds and their restructuring. Mark has been involved in many of the largest cross border insolvencies of the past decade. He is a Manx advocate and has also been admitted in England, Ireland, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
Category: Finance & Business