Isle of Man: Dispute Resolution

Last Updated: 7 September 2015
Article by   Simcocks

Whether dealing with a multinational corporation or a private client, the dispute resolution department adopts a commercially realistic approach to bring each case to an efficient and practical conclusion.

Independent researchers from The Legal 500 have said Simcocks "knocks spots off its rivals" providing a "real breadth of litigation services" as well as "tactical strength" and "business-orientated advice". There are very few significant civil litigation matters dealt with on the Isle of Man that Simcocks' dispute resolution team is not involved in. Its impressive track record of achievement in high stakes disputes, its technical expertise and tactical skills generate many complex referrals.

The group specialises in international corporate and commercial litigation and has considerable experience in complex cross-jurisdictional disputes with emphasis on trust-related and shareholder disputes, emergency injunctive and discovery remedies, together with judicial review applications. The team has specialist skills to deal with family matters, human rights issues, personal injury claims, immigration, individual and corporate restructuring and insolvency, white collar fraud together with financial services and compliance regulatory work. Where appropriate Simcocks will advise in mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.

Simcocks has a qualified BVI lawyer operating from its head office advising clients on all aspects of BVI law. Simcocks also has a special working relationship with Samuels Richardson, a BVI law firm for circumstances where localised "on the ground" advice is required.

Meet The Team

Chris Arrowsmith heads the dispute resolution department and steers the team to adopt a commercially realistic approach to every case. Chris is a Manx Advocate, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales (and is an unregistered Barrister, not practising in England and Wales), a Member of the Bar of Eastern Caribbean (British Virgin Islands), a Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public.

Chris fosters a "can do" philosophy and his clients recommend him for his energy and drive. He has been named as a leader in his field by the independent directory, Chambers UK, Chambers Global and The Legal 500, which described him as "one of the best, if not the best on the Island, and a match for anyone at the London Bar".

Chris thrives on highly confrontational litigation particularly involving judicial review/public law challenges, cross-border disputes and advising those who are the target of, or affected by evidence gathering applications made by foreign states or regulatory bodies. Frequently included within his practice areas is advice and appearances on forum issues and conflicts of laws. His reputation generates many referrals and he is able to put together and lead teams who can deal with highly complex matters. Chris has a wide variety of clients both domestic and international. He acts for high net worth individuals, multi-nationals, SMEs, regulators, and NGOs.

The Legal 500 has said he is "an excellent Advocate – marked as the star of his generation" and described him as "a strategic planner of litigation," as well as "a clear-headed and effective litigator with reams of experience" who is "client-focused and realistic" and "able to deliver excellent results under pressure and short time frames" in addition to being a "dynamic and robust litigator".

Chambers UK described him as "punchy and on the ball" managing to be both an "aggressive litigator and defender" as well as "tremendously supportive" to his clients and "good for serious fraud and anything confrontational". Chambers researchers also reported he is "an impresive courtroom lawyer, a fantastic presence" and "great for big-ticket litigation" someone who is an "enthusiastic fighter who works hard and is full of ideas". They have stated he is "professional, discreet and reassuring" and that his "strong streak of realism" is valued by clients, who find him "bright and engaging, with wide litigation experience".

Caroline Jennings is a Manx Advocate and former Scottish solicitor who is the head of family law at Simcocks. She has considerable experience advising on all aspects of divorce and financial matters, dissolution of civil partnerships, pre and post-nuptial agreements, separation agreements and agreements between unmarried couples and same-sex couples. Caroline also advises on parental rights which often relate to child contact, residence and maintenance issues but can include areas such as adoption and removal of the child to another geographic area on a permanent or temporary basis. She also represents children involved in care proceedings. Caroline is experienced in dealing with financially complex matters, often with a multi-jurisdictional element. Her client base is both local and international, including high net worth individuals and where necessary she liaises with other specialists both within Simcocks and externally to offer advice covering wealth protection, trusts and foundations. She is committed to helping clients deal with disputes in a constructive and pragmatic way, providing advice which is both commercial and practical. Caroline is an affiliate member of Resolution, the specialist professional organisation whose members are recognised for their constructive approach to family breakdown. She is committed to helping clients to achieve solutions outside of the court setting wherever possible, but when a more robust approach is required, she has a proven track record in taking cases to court.

Elizabeth Simpson is an English solicitor, Manx Advocate and a consultant with Simcocks' Dispute Resolution department. Elizabeth specialises in heavyweight commercial litigation and dispute resolution, often involving large multinational companies, multiple jurisdictions and competing laws. Whilst having a particular expertise in dealing with large, factually and legally complex cases, she is equally available to apply a sensible and commercial approach to problems of any size. Elizabeth is highly skilled in assisting clients to achieve a commercial settlement of their dispute either before or after the commencement of Court proceedings and before substantial costs are incurred. Elizabeth has particular insurance and financial services expertise, acting for a number of life assurance companies on the Isle of Man. Reflecting her personal interests, Elizabeth also has considerable expertise in equine law and assists clients with all manner of equine disputes including those relating to the loan, sale and purchase of horses, livery related problems and the care of mares and stallions at stud. Elizabeth has written on legal issues for Horse & Hound magazine and Carriage Driving magazine.

Jacqui Owens is an English solicitor and Manx Advocate. She has in-depth knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law, market practices and business structures. At Hogan Lovells and Wragge Lawrence Graham (where she was a partner) Jacqui advised London and overseas clients involved in complex multijurisdictional litigation and arbitration, managed inspections, advised on a wide variety of coverage and insolvency related issues and negotiated and drafted settlements, commutations and commercial agreements. She gained further business, regulatory and dispute resolution experience when Chief General Counsel of a Lloyd's of London managing agency. Since joining Simcocks Jacqui has advised commercial clients and private individuals involved in investment and business related disputes. She has carried out strategy reviews, as well as having day to day conduct of high value, complex, document heavy cases in the Isle of Man High Court. Jacqui has developed expertise in disputes involving investment funds, their managers, advisors and regulators, policyholders and life assurance companies, investors and financial advisors and in judicial review of government decisions. She has executive board level experience gained in the London market, expertise in managing and settling high value commercial litigation and is acutely aware of the importance of cost-effective, expedient solutions and clients' commercial needs.

Peter Taylor has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, has been a Chartered Engineer since 1995, is a Commissioner for Oaths and was called to the Bar of England and Wales (and is an unregistered Barrister, not practising in England and Wales). He had a successful career in the shipping industry, latterly as a surveyor for the Isle of Man Ship Registry before becoming an Advocate and joining Simcocks. He has considerable experience in surveying merchant ships, commercial yachts and fishing vessels and in drafting international and merchant shipping legislation. He has served as an engineer officer in the British Merchant Navy, as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve and worked as a Hull and Machinery Surveyor for Lloyd's. He is able to advise on most shipping and ship related matters and has specialised in pollution prevention regulations and the Limitation of Liability Convention. Peter has a very detailed knowledge of seafaring employment matters under the relevant Merchant Shipping Acts and can advise on all aspects of employment, contracts, incentives, workplace disputes, regulatory issues and proceedings. He also advises on criminal matters, personal injury claims, engineering disputes and international arbitration.

Winston Taylor is a Manx Advocate, a Commissioner for Oaths and was called to the Bar of England and Wales (and is an unregistered Barrister, not practising in England and Wales). He enjoys a diverse common law practice. Winston has unparalleled immigration expertise and is able to offer advice on all aspects of the Island's immigration rules. He advises on work permits, including the new points-based system, visas and immigration appeals. He also specialises in personal injury, planning, disputes relating to property and licensing. Winston has advised a local authority at a planning public inquiry and at planning appeals. Prior to his call to the English Bar, Winston qualified and practised as a radiographer and so brings with him a unique perspective in personal injury, medical negligence claims and related issues. Winston finds the above practice areas complement his criminal defence advocacy work.

Gerry McKenna is a litigation executive with a highly regarded reputation in the management of complex commercial cases. He has unrivalled experience and expertise which assists the management of the Simcocks litigation portfolio. In addition, Gerry deals with debt recovery and registration of foreign judgment enquiries and is the first point of contact at Simcocks for such matters. Prior to transferring to the private sector, Gerry was Clerk to the First Deemster (High Court Judge) in the Isle of Man Courts Division.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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