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Bio

John Wasty is a Partner and Practice Group Head of Dispute Resolution in Bermuda. In his Bermuda role, John leads the Bermuda Insolvency & Restructuring team and the Regulatory Disputes team. John also leads the Insurance and Reinsurance Disputes practice globally.

He specialises in the areas of commercial litigation, restructuring, insolvency litigation, funds litigation and regulatory matters and has represented clients in a wide variety of commercial disputes in Bermuda, London, the US, Europe and Asia.

John frequently advises on a wide variety of contentious insolvency matters, complex multi-jurisdictional restructurings and all issues arising out of schemes of arrangement. In particular he has experience in Bermuda light touch provisional liquidations accompanying Chapter 11 proceedings in the US. In recent years, John has advised on the Noble, Seadrill and C&J restructurings amongst many others.

His complex international and local commercial dispute resolution expertise includes advising on disputes concerning shareholder and joint venture, funds and fund managers, M&A, financial institution, regulatory (particularly Bermuda Monetary Authority, Financial Intelligence Agency and Regulatory Authority of Bermuda) and extensive experience representing major companies and corporate groups in defending against shareholder fair value appraisal actions (often pursued for purposes of appraisal arbitrage) commenced under section 106 of the Companies Act.

John has been involved in the majority of section 106 appraisal actions commenced in Bermuda in recent years acting almost exclusively for companies defending against dissenting shareholders.

John has extensive experience in a broad range of corporate governance matters. He also regularly advises on sanctions related issues.

He is also frequently involved in major arbitrations in Bermuda and internationally in both commercial and insurance/reinsurance matters.

He advises insurers, reinsurers, policyholders, captives and brokers in disputes in the London Market, the US, Europe and Asia.

In the regulatory sphere, John has an extensive body of experience in dealing with the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda in relation to AML/ATF, banking/financial institution, telecommunications, insurance and reinsurance, and fund regulation and enforcement issues including regularly advising Bermuda’s largest companies and their management in connection with On-site Investigations, Warning Notices, Decision Notices and appeals of Bermuda Monetary Authority and Regulatory Authority of Bermuda decisions.

Prior to joining Appleby, John practised extensively in both London and Hong Kong with a leading global law firm.

John is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

John is also Deputy Chair of the Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

Work Highlights

  • Appleby Bermuda advised in connection with the $13.3 billion take-private acquisition of Bermuda-based Triton International Limited (Triton) by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P (BIP) through BIP’s subsidiary Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation (BIPC) and its institutional partners (Brookfield Infrastructure);
  • IN THE MATTER OF JARDINE STRATEGIC HOLDINGS LTD, Acting as Bermuda counsel for the Company in extensive ongoing shareholder fair value appraisal litigation pursuant to section 106 of the Companies Act brought by more than 80 plaintiffs (including numerous event driven hedge funds). Recent decisions issued in these proceedings:

[2023] SC (Bda) 67 Civ. (25 August 2023)
[2023] SC (Bda) 37 Civ (21 April 2023)
[2023] CA (Bda) 7 Civ (24 March 2023)
[2023] SC (Bda) 8 Civ (14 February 2023)
[2022] SC Bda 90 Civ (24 November 2022)
[2022] SC (Bda) 27 Com (20 April 2022)
[2021] SC (Bda) 95 Com (3 December 2021)
[2021] Bda LR 94 (12 November 2021)

  • GASLOG LTD., Acting as Bermuda counsel to the Special Committee of Gaslog Ltd. in relation to its entry into an agreement and plan of merger, resulting in the sale of common shares to BlackRock’s Global Energy & Power Infrastructure team;
  • SEADRILL, Advised the coordinating committee representing a bank group holding USD 7.4 billion in secured debt, on Seadrill Limited’s successful completion of its USD 10 billion restructuring plan pursuant to its chapter 11 plan of reorganisation. This high profile restructuring was one of the most complex restructurings in history and the largest ever in the offshore drilling sector;
  • VIRGIN GROUP INVESTMENTS, Advised the Virgin Group Investments Ltd, the investment arm of billionaire Richard Branson’s family, in connection with new cruise industry venture by designing and constructing two new world class cruise ships;
  • TRITON CONTAINER INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, Advised on TCIL’s merger with TAL International Group, Inc., a NYSE-listed, US company (TAL). The transaction will create the world’s largest lessor of intermodal freight containers with revenue generating assets of $8.7 billion;
  • AFRICAN RISK CAPACITY INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, Advised on the Bermuda incorporation and registration of African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Ltd, valued at USD$135 million, intended to help participating African Union member states become more resilient to extreme weather;
  • LARGE MULTINATIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND SHIPPING COMPANY, Provided Bermuda law restructuring advice in a matter involving the restructuring of numerous internationally governed debt facilities. The proposed restructuring involves a number of new proposals novel to Bermuda law;
  • LARGE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, Acted as Bermuda law expert in defending a large class action brought against the financial institution;
  • VERY LARGE GLOBAL MULTINATIONAL OIL AND GAS COMPANY, Provided Bermuda law advice relating to potential restructuring plans and Bermuda schemes of arrangement in a complex group wide multi-national debt restructuring matter;
  • C&J ENERGY SERVICES LIMITED, Advised and represented C&J Energy Ltd and C&J Corporate Services (Bermuda) Ltd in respect of parallel provisional liquidation proceedings in Bermuda and chapter 11 proceedings in the United States of America;
  • L.F. WADE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – THE FINANCIAL INVESTORS, Advised on the Bermuda law relating to the financing of the redevelopment of the L. F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda (Redevelopment) pursuant to which the clients subscribed for USD 285 million of fixed coupon notes;
  • KEYTECH LIMITED, Advising in connection with a multi-layered transaction that included the acquisition of the remainder of Bermuda Digital Communications Ltd. (CellOne) and the acquisition by Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., of a controlling interest in Keytech;
  • AFRICAN RISK CAPACITY INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, Acted in connection with the expansion of the existing business (drought insurance coverage) to parametric risk models to underpin new parametric insurance programmes to cover tropical cyclone and flood risk for African Union member countries.

Recognition

John is consistently recognised by Chambers Global since 2009 and ranked band 1 for Dispute Resolution. He is a well-established litigator who regularly advises clients on insolvency and commercial litigation, as well as debt restructuring and regulatory matters, among others. “John is very commercial, good at client management and hugely responsive. He picks things up at the drop of a hat and he has good judgement. He knows what judges in Bermuda generally want to see and he ensures the wider legal team is alive to the particular issues that arise in Bermuda,”  enthused one interviewee. Another client explained, “He drives cases with considerable brio, tact and knowledge. His ability to achieve the client’s objectives within the legal, practical and procedural demands of large-scale litigation is impressive.” 

John is also repeatedly ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ by Legal 500 Caribbean for his dispute resolution practice where he is described as “a clever strategic thinker with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Bermuda law” and “the weapon of choice for bet-the-farm issues”. Clients praise John as: “A superb litigator and tactician with a keen sense of what will and won’t work. His knack of combining strong leadership, assiduous client care and a supportive approach to colleagues, often under considerable pressure, is truly impressive.” One source explained: “ John – rightly in very high demand; extremely experienced and exceptionally good on client management. I will recommend John to anyone litigating in Bermuda.”

John is identified as a leading commercial litigator and insurance/reinsurance specialist in the Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer Guide. He is also recognised as a thought leader in the Insurance & Reinsurance chapter of WWL: Thought Leaders – Global Elite 2021. John is also listed as being among the world’s preeminent lawyers in The International Who’s Who of Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Asset Recovery and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.

Coverage & Insights

Qualifications & Education

In addition to being admitted in Bermuda, John has also been admitted in New York, England, Hong Kong, Canada and the British Virgin Islands.

  • University of British Columbia (Canada) (JD)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (Canada) (LLM)

Memberships & Associations

John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Bermuda Branch of CIArb.

“[JOHN] IS ONE OF THE BEST LITIGATORS AROUND, PROVIDING EXCELLENT TECHNICAL YET BUSINESS-SAVVY LEGAL ADVICE AND JUMPING IN WITH BOTH FEET TO DO ALL HE CAN TO SUPPORT HIS CLIENT’S POSITION.”

The Legal 500
Caribbean

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