Hired prominent Cayman insolvency litigator Ian Lambert from HSM
|Global heads of restructuring and insolvency||Kyle Broadhurst, Ian Lambert|
|Partners in restructuring team||2|
|Restructuring lawyers in Who’s Who Legal||1|
|Active cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters||35|
History of the practice
Broadhurst was founded in 1996 by Peter Broadhurst, who was a securities and corporate finance lawyer in Toronto before he moved to the Cayman Islands 26 years ago. While Peter still works at the firm, it is now led by his son, Kyle Broadhurst. Kyle co-heads its restructuring and insolvency practice with partner Ian Lambert, who joined the firm from another Cayman outfit, HSM, in March 2021, bringing with him some high-value and internationally recognisable matters.
For example, Lambert has been representing the joint official liquidators of eight entities in Saudi Arabian businessman Maan Al-Sanea’s Saad Investments group – known as the AwalCos – in their Cayman liquidations for years, and also helped them defend a US$9 billion fraud litigation pursued by Saudi conglomerate AHAB, over what was eventually revealed to be one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. He was listed in GRR’s Names to Know in Cayman in 2019.
The firm started to focus on dispute resolution in the early 2000s and grew its restructuring and insolvency practice in light of high demand for such advice in the Cayman legal market. These days, around 70% of the firm’s fee earners practise restructuring and insolvency law, and it is the firm’s leading practice area along with general disputes.
Being a Cayman-only firm, Broadhurst says it is conflict free to act for different clients and can be flexible on the hourly rates charged, as well as creative on how clients pay their invoices – including through contingency fee arrangements.
Broadhurst has one office located in Grand Cayman.
Who uses it?
Clients include lots of court-appointed officers, including from FTI Consulting, Kroll, Kalo, FRP Advisory, RSM, Grant Thornton and R&H Restructuring.
International law firms like Charles Russell Speechlys and New York boutiques like Kaplan Rice also regularly appoint Broadhurst as local counsel when they need a hand in the Cayman Islands.
Historic track record
Lambert worked as Cayman counsel to the Hong Kong court-appointed interim receivers of a Cayman Islands based private equity fund, the XiO fund. With Hogan Lovells as international counsel on English, Hong Kong and Dutch law, and South Square’s Tom Smith KC as barrister, Lambert helped the receivers obtain recognition in Cayman – a unique ruling given that the Cayman court was being asked to recognise a foreign receivership over a Cayman-domiciled entity. Lambert subsequently helped the receivers sell a significant XiO Fund asset valued at US$1.2 billion, and assisted them with recovery of assets and litigation in the Cayman Islands, among other things.
Kyle Broadhurst filed the first known debtor’s bankruptcy petition in the Cayman Islands in In the Matter of PH Millard and WH Millard, over a US$123 million foreign tax judgment. Advising the alleged debtor, and then his trustee in bankruptcy, he managed to obtain a stay through Chapter 15. A former California tech boss, Millard founded ComputerLand, the first personal computer retailer in the 1970s, and was thought to owe taxes to countries including Ireland, Singapore and the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific.
The same partner acted for Consolidated Contractors, an Athens-based construction group owned by the late Arab billionaire Said Khoury, as Cayman counsel in his disputes with Jordanian businessman Munib Masri over a multimillion-dollar court judgment. Broadhurst helped Consolidated Contractors set aside an order granting Masri leave to serve enforcement proceedings outside the jurisdiction in 2010, and then helped it set aside an order granting recognition of a foreign receivership in 2011.
Top cases of the research period
In the matter of AwalCos, Lambert has been counsel to their four Cayman court-appointed official liquidators since 2009, helping them through the AHAB litigation – the longest civil trial of all time in the Cayman Islands and one of the largest fraud trials litigated worldwide. In June 2018, the Cayman Islands chief justice determined in a mammoth judgment that AHAB was complicit in the fraud, and AHAB’s appeal was dismissed by the Cayman Court of Appeal in December 2021. AHAB is now trying to appeal to the Privy Council, and Lambert is still representing AwalCos through the process. The wider case, which includes other Saad companies managed by separate liquidators, has witnessed proceedings in Saudi Arabia where AHAB is restructuring under the new bankruptcy law; plus in Bahrain, the UK, Switzerland and the US, where the liquidators made a Chapter 15 petition and AHAB filed a section 1782 discovery request.
Just as the GRR 100 was going to press, Lambert’s team was also hired by the Bahraini-appointed liquidators of AwalCos’s sole shareholder, Awal Bank, to help them seek recognition of their appointment in the Cayman Islands. Originally appointed as administrators in 2009, the team from Charles Russell Speechlys petitioned the Bahraini court to put Awal Bank in liquidation in July 2022. The administration had already been recognised in the Cayman Islands, England and Switzerland a short while after it began.
Another matter Lambert brought with him from his previous firm is representing the joint official liquidators of two funds under the management of the collapsed US$1.3 billion hedge fund Platinum Partners, whose chief investment officers Mark Nordlicht and David Levy were convicted of securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in New York in July 2019. The two funds were placed into official liquidation in the Cayman Islands in 2016 and 2017, with Lambert helping the liquidators bring claims in the Grand Court against Nordlicht and Levy, and their former auditor, BDO. He also assisted the liquidators in obtaining Chapter 15 recognition in New York, with the help of US firm Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss; and he continues to advise the two funds in relation to the liquidation of their master fund, also playing out in the Cayman Islands separately.
Kyle Broadhurst, meanwhile, is acting as counsel to two independent directors of the Abraaj Group member, Neoma Private Equity Fund, in relation to the group’s 2018 collapse following accusations of misuse of funds from its healthcare fund. The allegations also led to insolvency proceedings for parts of the Abraaj Group in the Cayman Islands and Dubai, as well as criminal and civil investigations. The US department of justice indicted various individuals in the Abraaj Group amid complaints by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, while Dubai regulators have fined the central companies in the group around US$315 million for wrongdoing. Neoma is now under management from outside of the Abraaj Group, but in 2021 faced claims from the liquidators of Abraaj’s parent company and a “Mr Jafar” worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Finally, Lambert is acting as conflicts counsel to the joint official liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, a beauty products e-commerce company that entered liquidation in the Cayman Islands in September 2021. While Campbells is the liquidators’ main counsel, Lambert advises on anything that the former is perceived to have a conflict of interest on. Ascentra’s liquidators obtained emergency provisional relief in the US in November 2021 to freeze funds in a New York payment processing account belonging to one of the company’s former clients.
A professional services client, who Broadhurst was assisting as a Cayman liquidator, says the firm is “efficient” and provides “excellent legal advice on the issues”.
Broadhurst LLC was founded in 1996 by Peter Broadhurst and is now lead by his son, Kyle Broadhurst and recent addition to the firm, Ian Lambert. Broadhurst LLC stands out from most of its competitors as it is a litigation focused firm operating exclusively in the Cayman Islands. As a result, Broadhurst LLC is conflict free and has a team of specialist litigators able to deal with complex mandates.
Broadhurst is often engaged to litigate opposite larger multi-office offshore firms, with demonstrated successful outcomes. Broadhurst’s lawyers have extensive experience before all Courts and Tribunals in Cayman and have worked on the largest and most complex litigation cases in Cayman.
Because of high demand in the Cayman legal market for insolvency and restructuring experts over the last several years, Broadhurst LLC has continued to grow its restructuring and insolvency practice to a point where dispute resolution and restructuring/insolvency are the leading areas of practice. The growth of Broadhurst LLC’s restructuring and insolvency practice took a substantial step when Ian Lambert joined the firm as a partner in March 2021.
Kyle Broadhurst is managing partner of Broadhurst LLC and has been practicing law in the Cayman Islands since 2001 and is ranked as a top lawyer in Chambers and Partners. His areas of experience include insolvency, bankruptcy, fraud, judgment enforcement, trust and complex commercial disputes. Kyle is accustomed to tackling challenging areas of the law which is reflected in him having appeared in nearly fifty reported decisions. He is regularly instructed in high value matters with multi-jurisdictional elements.
As reported by Chambers and Partners, Kyle is known as a “strong strategist and litigator" who "understands the ins and outs of Cayman Islands law." Clients are reported as “valuing his ability to take on complex mandates.”
Ian Lambert is partner of Broadhurst LLC and has over 19 years’ experience as a litigator. He was admitted to the Bar of the Cayman Islands in 2009 and since then Ian’s practice focuses on the Cayman Islands financial services sector, dealing with investment funds, banks, insurers and corporate structures that are in default or have collapsed, and representing clients in any resulting litigation. Ian’s expertise and experience is in complex international litigation, insolvencies, restructurings, asset recovery, investment funds disputes, advising office-holders in complex cross-border liquidations as well as corporate & commercial litigation, contract disputes, fraud matters and trust disputes.
Ian is rated as a “Global Leader” in restructuring and insolvency by Who’s Who Legal and is ranked as a top lawyer in Chambers and Partners. Chambers and Partners records that Ian has “expertise in an array of areas, including contractual disputes and general commercial litigation.” It states that clients report him as being "very easy to deal with. He is very user-friendly and very commercial."