Brian Simms KC is the Senior Partner of the firm and the head of its Litigation and Insolvency & Restructuring Groups. He is one of the Bahamas’ leading advocates and has vast experience in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, in addition to having appeared a number of times in the Privy Council.
He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 2009 and is instructed in the most substantial Bahamian and international offshore cases.
Consistently ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Global and Chambers High-Net-Worth, Brian is praised for the quality of his work and expertise in commercial litigation, trust disputes, insolvency and fraud cases. He is described by clients as “a top offshore Silk” and “the best litigation lawyer in the Bahamas”.
- Joint Provisional Liquidator of FTX Digital Markets Ltd.
- Matteo Volpi v Delanson Services Ltd & Gabriele Volpi – Acting for Delanson Services Ltd in a challenge to the Bahamian Court’s jurisdiction and to set aside injunctions.
- Lead counsel for Judicial Trustees in relation to on going litigation and overseeing trust assets with a value of approximately 2 Billion.
- Lead counsel in AWH v ZCM Asset Holding Company Limited – Insolvency matter concerning the right of a Liquidator to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction in r elation to a fraudulent preference.
- Bahamar Insolvency and Receivership – Acted as lead counsel for the Import Export Bank of China with its disputes with the Mortgagor and developer including the successful opposing of the recognition of Chapter 11 proceedings. Also acted as lead counsel for the Receiver-Managers of the Baha Mar properties in multiple court proceedings arising from the completion and sale of the 3.5 billion dollar project.
- Lead counsel for UBS in a matter against Standard Charter Bank concerning losses arising from indirect investments in various Madoff funds.
- Clico (Bahamas) Ltd (in liquidation) – Counsel for the liquidator of a substantial insurance and property portfolio.
- Rhone Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd v Beneficiaries A,B,C and D – Acting as lead counsel for two minor beneficiares in anti suit injunction proceedings, preemptive costs proceedings and breach of trust as well as construction proceedings.
- Clico Enterprises Bahamas Ltd (in liquidation) – Counsel for a liquidator of a substantial property portfolio.
- Acting for PowerSecure Ltd in termination of its relationship with Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd. (2017)
- BC Capital Group S.A. (in liquidation) – acting as counsel for several shareholders in the liquidation.
- JMF Foundation v JMF Estate – Acting as lead counsel for the Trustees in a dispute with the estate over the ownership of assets and the validity of a declaration of Trust (2017)
- Socimer International Bank Limited (in liquidation) – acting for bank customers in relation to significant fee dispute with liquidator.
- Judicial management of British-American Insurance Company Limited. Advised the Judicial Manager of a large insolvent regional insurance company in relation to numerous issues. The matter included the implementation of a plan of arrangement across nine Caribbean jurisdictions in 2018 and included enacting special legislation in the Bahamas and other jurisdictions. Representation has included over 40 hearings since 2009.
- Acted for Optimal Multi Advisors Limited a Bahamian Investment Fund which was one of the largest investors in Madoff securities with respect to a claim valued at $1,540,141,277.60
- Advised investor offshore funds as to the enforceability of the Trustees right to reclaim funds from investors paid within the preference period. (December 2008 -2022)
- In the matters of Companies A, B and C – advising and appearing (Lead Counsel) on behalf of the Petitioner in the winding up proceedings on the basis of oppression and just and equitable grounds despite the solvency of the companies. The assets of the companies are in excess of $600 million.
- Bankruptcy of Sheikh Fahad Mohammed Al-Sabah – advising and appearing (Lead Counsel) on behalf of the major creditor being the Grupo Torras a subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Office and subsequently the Bankruptcy Trustee.
- Liquidation of Company A – advising the liquidators of the Company in relation to claims arising under a failed hedge fund with investors shareholders in excess of 500 million.
- In the matter of Caledonia Trust Company Limited, advising and appearing (Lead Counsel) on behalf of the United States of America in relation to funds owing to the United States.
- In the matter of New Hope Holdings Limited – advising and appearing on behalf of the directors and shareholders in seeking to discharge the appointment of a Receiver over substantial assets of the company.
- In the matter of Ebvail Limited Advising and appearing (Lead Counsel) on behalf of the major creditor on the petition and subsequently the liquidator.
- Sir Jack Hayward et al v Lady Henrietta St George et al (2006-2008) – advised and appeared (Lead Counsel) on behalf of the Receivers of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited and the Port Group Limited. These companies in addition to having substantial investments acted as the local government for the city of Freeport.
- Moore Park Fund Liquidation in Bahamas and BVI (2005-2007) – advised directors as to director liability issues resulting from the activities of a fraudulent trader of the hedge fund’s assets.
- Class A Shareholders v Class B Shareholders (2004-2006) – advised and appeared (First instance (Lead Counsel), Court of Appeal (Lead Counsel), and Privy Council) on behalf of class A shareholders in Oracle fund over which share class had priority in the winding up. The preference would have made a 60 million dollar loss for the Class A shareholders. The Court ruled that they ranked equally.
- Cantrade Privatbank AG v. Fortis Fund Services (Bahamas) Ltd (2004-2007) – advised and appeared on behalf of a UBS in relation to proceedings in the Bahamas arising from the liquidation of the Oracle Fund.
- In the matter of Johnson Industries (2000-2003) – appeared (Lead Counsel) on behalf of Shareholder in application to appoint a provisional liquidator pending the winding up of the company on just and equitable grounds.
- A v B – acting in an arbitration dispute regarding swap agreement and collateralisation obligations
- CONCACAF – representing CONCACAF in proceedings with Lisle Austin arising from his removal as President of CONCACAF
- Grupo Torras Litigation (1998-2006) – appeared in the Bahamas on behalf of Grupo Torras in a number of cases involving tracing claims, freezing orders and trust busting claims. Recoveries made in excess of $200 million. Advised as part of the global team in relation to actions in other jurisdictions including Re Esteem settlement case in Jersey.
- In re Trust A – advised Trustees in relation to claims by foreign liquidator of collapsed funds to corpus of the trust.
- In re Trust B (2004-2006) – advised trustee in relation to claims by foreign government to the corpus of the trust. Litigation in Gibraltar and Anguilla.
- In re Wong Trust (ITLER 2002) – advised and appeared on behalf of JP Morgan Trust Company in a dispute as to whether increase in value of stock portfolio of the trust was income or capital. Case is cited in Underhill and Hayton 16th Edition as the leading authority on the point.
Expert Witness Experience
- September 2017: Expert Witness in Citibank v Lehman Brothers, United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York in relation to insolvency law of The Bahamas 2016.
- Bahamian Trust and Corporate Law in Christina Crociani et al v Edoarda Crociani et al , Royal Court of Jersey, September 2017
- In re: British American Insurance Co. Ltd., Case Nos. 09-31881-EPK, 09-35888-EPK, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Expert Testimony given in January 2010
- Perenco Ecuador Ltd. v. The Republic of Ecuador, Sealed Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, Expert Testimony given in November 2012
- Brian C. Simms QC, Recent Developments in Offshore Trust Litigation, Conference paper for the New York State Bar Association (2016)
- Brian C. Simms QC and Hon. David Hayton, Vulnerability of Offshore Trusts – Recent Developments, published in the conference materials for the Offshore Alert Conference held in Miami, FL (May 2012)
- Brian C. Simms QC, Attacks On Offshore Trusts, Conference paper for the New York State Bar Association (2010)
- Brian C. Simms QC, contributing author to: Insurance Law and Regulations, edited by Dennis Campbell and published by Oceanic Press. Authored chapter on Bahamian law (2009)
Marrakech, Morocco – 26-28 February 2020
Brian spoke in the session: ‘Conflict of laws: Exclusive jurisdiction clauses in trusts’, which took place on Friday 28 February 2020.
Nassau, The Bahamas – 05 December 2019
Panelist on ‘Where do I go for the best chance of recovering value for stakeholders?’
The panel discussed recent decisions relating to clawback claims and the obstacles involved in bringing such claims, addressing the powers and remedies available to officeholders in each jurisdiction.
Sao Paulo, Brazil – 16-17 September 2019,
Panelist on ‘Asset Recovery Latin America: Tips From The Experts’
Leading international fraud and value recovery attorneys discussed emerging and dominant issues that impact the ability to be successful and effective in Latin America.