Bio

Andrew Willins is a Partner and Group Head of the Dispute Resolution department in the British Virgin Islands. He has over 20 years experience as an advocate, drawn from his time at the Chancery Bar in London and, since 2008, in the British Virgin Islands. He has particular experience in insolvency litigation, shareholders´ disputes and in complex commercial litigation, including professional negligence and cross-border fraud and asset tracing claims.

He has appeared in some capacity or other in many of the major insolvency disputes of the last decade, including Pioneer (for the Liquidators) Fairfield Sentry (for redeeming creditors), Peak Hotels & Resorts Ltd (for the Liquidators), Boston Life & Annuity Company (for the Liquidators), China Fisheries (for Maybank), Unicorn Worldwide (for the Liquidators) Luckin Coffee (for creditors) and he is one of a handful of advocates with meaningful experience in state immunity issues and the enforcement of investment treaty awards. He successfully defeated a strike out application on non-justiciability grounds in Congo Mineral Developments, and successfully represented Pakistan International Airlines in a $5.976bn attempt to enforce an ICSID award over its assets, and is currently advising or representing a number of other sovereign states.

Work Highlights

Commercial Litigation:

  • Appearing (unled) at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in successfully defending Pakistan International Airlines from attempts to enforce a $5.976bn investment treaty arbitration award against its assets, and obtaining the discharge of provisional charging orders on jurisdictional and procedural grounds, as well as substantively on the basis that the assets of an entity partly owned by the State are not amenable to enforcement on Gécamines principles;
  • Appearing at trial in complex litigation which involved issues relating to the purported redemption of disabled bearer shares, proper purpose and the continuing right of the holder of the disabled bearer share to convert those shares into registered shares (Sempacher v. Lark);
  • Acting for the Eighth Defendant inJSC MCC Eurochem v. Livingston Properties et al and establishing the proposition in the Court of Appeal that the Court has no jurisdiction to order cross-examination on an asset disclosure affidavit against a person that is not subject to the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and has not submitted to the jurisdiction;
  • Before the Court of Appeal, defeating an application for anti-suit and enforcement relief, to restrain reliance upon Ukrainian judgments by way of set off against a BVI judgment (Malitskiy v. Adamovsky);
  • Before the Court of Appeal, an application for anti-suit relief (Intraco v. Med Trading);
  • Before the Court of Appeal, defeating an application for leave to bring derivative proceedings on the basis that an alternative remedy in the form of claims for unfair prejudice existed (Malitskiy v. Oledo Petroleum);
  • Appearing on behalf of Congo Mineral Developments Limited in its US$2bn claim relating to the expropriation of mining rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo;
  • Acting on behalf of three Isle of Man companies in relation to the BVI aspects of litigation which reached the Privy Council (Altimo Holdings and Investment Limited and Others v. Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Others [2011] UKPC) relating to the ownership of the Kyrgyz cellular communications company, Bitel;
  • Appearing before the High Court and the Court of Appeal on behalf of Tajik Aluminium Company, one of the world’s largest aluminum smelters, in connection with fraud claims exceeding US$400 million, involving the supply of raw materials at excessive prices and the purchase of finished aluminum at excessive discounts.

Fraud and Asset Tracing:

  • Appearing for the successful applicant in UVW v XYZ in seeking Norwich Pharmacal relief.  The resulting decision is widely credited with having expanded the reach of Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction, and extended it to a post judgment context where there is evidence of wilful evasion and to enable the BVI Court to police foreign freezing injunctions;
  • Obtaining injunctive and receivership orders against a BVI and an Anguillan Company in support of LCIA proceedings in London, and securing the transfer of related Anguillan proceedings to be determined in the Commercial Division of the High Court in the BVI, then appearing (unled) upholding those orders in the Court of Appeal – Donna Union v. Koshigi;
  • Appearing as advocate in a series of decisions which explored the outer limits of the Black Swan jurisdiction.

Insolvency & Restructuring:

  • Acting for the Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Limited;
  • Acting for the Liquidators of Unicorn Worldwide Holdings Limited and related companies;
  • Acting for Liquidators at first instance and on appeal in obtaining sanction to compromise complex multi-party litigation in London (Phoenix v. Jackson);
  • Before the Court of Appeal, establishing the principle that a purported creditor did not have standing to challenge steps taken by liquidators where that creditor was acting for an ulterior purpose (Treehouse v. Jackson);
  • Defeating at first instance and in the Court of Appeal an application to enforce an arbitral award (Arricano v. Stockman);
  • Appearing on behalf of the Liquidators of Pioneer Iron & Steel Group Company Limited, in litigation where total creditor claims in the liquidation were said to exceed US$500 million;
  • Advising the liquidators and appearing in litigation concerning the liquidation of a BVI incorporated insurance company which was party to multiple fraud, misrepresentation, asset recovery claims and related litigation.

Trust & Estate Litigation:

  • Acting for the Second Defendant in litigation which was decided in the Privy Council that there is no presumption that a trustee to whom there has been a gratuitous transfer holds the asset on the terms of a particular trust (Khan v. Gany Holdings [2018] UKPC 21).
  • Including claims against trustees and the administration of the BVI aspects of the Estate of the late Nina Wang (deceased).

Recognition

Andrew is ranked as a leading lawyer in the British Virgin Islands by all of the major directories and one of only four lawyers ranked by Chambers Global in Band 1.  In 2022 a source for Chambers Global described him as ‘Outstanding, particularly at synthesising complex issues and boiling down matters so the judge could deal with them effectively.’ Andrew is extremely knowledgeable and insightful.’  ‘He is very bright, very commercial and user friendly.’  In 2021 they described him as ‘A very forceful advocate’ with ‘a high focus on clients’ interests.’  In 2021 Legal 500 described Andrew as a ‘superb advocate’ who ‘would be an asset in any courtroom anywhere in the world.’  In 2020 they noted his ‘Experience of heavy complex cases and his outstanding inhouse knowledge of BVI local law.’

Memberships & Associations

Andrew is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, the Property Bar Association and INSOL International. He served as 2nd Vice President of the BVI Bar Association for two terms, between 2011 and 2013.

“ONE OF THE BEST ADVOCATES IN THE BVI: PRAGMATIC, CREATIVE, CLEVER AND USER FRIENDLY.”

Chambers & Partners
GLOBAL

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