Overview

Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou is a partner in our commercial litigation department. She appears regularly as lead counsel and junior counsel before the Bahamian Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Sophia has over 10 years’ experience as an attorney and represents liquidators, receivers, creditors, debtors, lending institutions, insurers, and investors in all aspects of liquidations and receiverships. She has acted in several prominent cross-border insolvency cases and also has experience in shareholder and company disputes and trust litigation. 

Her overall practice areas also include advising clients with respect to contractual disputes, property disputes, fraud and asset tracing, Norwich Pharmacal applications, applications for injunctions and other interlocutory relief.  

Sophia has represented clients in multi-jurisdictional matters and has been recognised by Chambers Global 2018,  Who’s Who Legal Asset Tracing and Recovery 2018,  ‘Global Restructuring Review’s 40 Under 40’ and  was featured in GRR’s Women in Restructuring, May 2017.  

Sophia is regularly called on to speak at various International Conferences inlcuding INSOL, ABA, ABI, and the AIJA with respect to Bahamian law.  She recently presented the ‘Offshore Update’ session at this year’s Transcontinental Trusts: International Forum (June 2018) in Bermuda

Examples of recent work

  • Acting on behalf of Wesley International Ltd.et al, in an application for an injunction against Actis Consumer Grooming Products Ltd. in relation to cross-border litigation involving the Super Max Group of Companies.
  • Acting on behalf of UBS (Bahamas) Ltd. (In Voluntary Liquidation) in relation to litigation commenced by Standard Chartered Bank (In Voluntary Liquidation) seeking the return of funds paid to a third party customer of the bank.
  • Acted on behalf of the Export-Import Bank of China in opposing an application for recognition of Chapter 11 foreign proceedings commenced by Northshore Mainland Services Inc. (debtor) and the Baha Mar Companies (in liquidation).
  • Acted on behalf of the receivers in the subsequent receivership of the assets of the Baha Mar Companies.
  • Acted on behalf of ZCM Asset Holding Ltd. v AWH Fund Ltd. (In Liquidation) in relation to an application to set aside a fraudulent preference payment brought by the liquidator of AWH Fund Ltd. (in liquidation) prior to its insolvency. The case is currently on appeal to the Privy Council.
  • Acted on behalf of liquidators of Cayman based Caledonian Bank (in liquidation)and ancillary winding up proceedings with respect to the Caledonian Bank.  
  • Acted on behalf of Allied Irish Bank in relation to a composition with creditors and bankruptcy proceedings in relation to Sir Anthony O’Reilly.
  • Provided advice in relation to the restructuring and recognition of voluntary arrangements under English law in respect of a Bahamian IBC carrying on business overseas.
  • Acted on behalf of a beneficiary of a trust on an application for the appointment of guardian ad litemto facilitate a distribution to be made out of a trust.
  • Acted on behalf of a beneficiary in relation to proceedings brought against a trust company concerning a dispute over ownership of assets held by a bank and trust company.
  • Acted on behalf of beneficiaries of a trust in proceedings concerning an application for the removal of the protector and an application for an accounting by the trustee.
  • Provided advice to beneficiaries of a trust in relation to proceedings concerning the challenge to the re-vesting and settlement of trust assets.
Speaking Engagements

“Use of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to Support Investigations of Corporate Fraud (Business Law) Foreign creditors”, especially banks and financial institutions, can benefit from proceedings under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which provides an “exclusive door” to the U.S. court system for the foreign representative of a non-U.S. bankruptcy estate. In situations where a non-U.S. insolvency involves or has been caused by fraud, including by a corporation’s senior management or by its controlling shareholders, bankruptcy judges in the U.S. have given trustees fairly wide discretion to conduct discovery and seek assets in the U.S. They have done so in some instances by recognizing the validity of non-U.S. veil piercing orders, which can extend corporate liability to third parties when the estate can demonstrate an intent to defraud creditors.  This presentation explained how Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code can be a powerful tool in the investigation of fraud, and gives trustees and creditors the authority to obtain critical evidence for use in non-U.S. proceedings, claw back misappropriated funds, and secure assets for distribution to corporate stakeholders left holding the bag after corporate fraud that results in insolvency. 

 

“Universalism is dead” – a debate: Progress towards a “universalist” approach to dealing with cross-border insolvency has suffered some notable setbacks in the last 2 years. However, the need to be able to have effective and efficient mechanisms for dealing with cross-border structures has arguably never been higher. There is increasing regulatory, governmental and academic interest in the area, with work taking place on model laws for cross-border groups at the same time as the existing laws designed to promote universalism are under review or revision. Is universalism dead, or the model for the future? A review of the current position was followed by a lively debate between those for and against the concept.

 

“Caribbean – Resort Insolvencies” The economic downturn has a significant impact on resort properties in the Caribbean. The Baha Mar Resort was supposed to add 12% to the GDP of the Bahamas, but it has turned into the world’s biggest white elephant and the investors have gone to war and the Nikki Beach Resort & Spa in the Turks and Caicos Islands, one the 21 Hottest Caribbean Escapes, has been placed into receivership. This panel explored the unique challenges faced by the creditors and other stakeholder involved in resort insolvencies in the Caribbean Region.

                                                                                         

Holding the Property, Trusts Foundations, Partnerships and Tax”.  This panel examined the mechanisms utilized in The Bahamas, Liechtenstein, Brasil, Luexmbourg and the UK for holding property of HNWI such as trusts and foundations and considered implications that may arise from such holding structures. 

 

“Who calls the shots?”  A review of third party litigation funding and other issues in insolvency litigation. This panel looked at issues surrounding third party funding in litigation such as privilege, settlement decision making and champerty and as issues that are particular to insolvencies, such as court approval and creditor approval of the third party litigation funding agreement which often brings high rewards to funders. It will also look at issues which attract funding in insolvency litigation, such as legal proceedings against former office holders and court examination of former office holders of defunct companies.

 

“Revolution in Bahamian Insolvency Law: The “X Factor” – a series of presentations by rising stars–YOU pick the winner! Sophia spoke on the Revolution in Bahamian Insolvency Law and was voted in second place by the audience amidst the panel of speakers.