Robert has a considerable amount of experience of corporate and funds matters, ranging from a number of billion-dollar-plus private equity funds, real estate and infrastructure funds through hedge funds and multi-billion-dollar EMTN (euro medium-term note) programmes and the offshore aspects of cross-border takeovers and mergers for large corporates, banks, sovereign wealth funds and governments, to a USD 20 billion pipeline joint venture, and a large number of ground-breaking Islamic funds and bonds issues.

Robert joined Appleby in October 2018. Previously, he headed the funds team at another offshore law firm for eight years and before that he was managing partner of Walkers’ Dubai office. He read law at the University of Oxford where he gained his BA in 1990 and MA in 1997. Robert trained in the City of London and was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1994 and the BVI in 2006. He has also worked in Hong Kong and Singapore and (on secondment to the World Bank) in Orissa State, India.

Robert is named as a leading individual in the current edition of Legal 500, where he is described as “very accessible” and “really knows his stuff”. In previous editions he has been described as “very approachable and experienced, able to offer the right direction and advice” and “an outstanding funds lawyer”.




  • HSBC: various funds matters.
  • Credit Suisse: numerous private funds.
  • Mubadala: financing of high profile real estate and infrastructure project in Abu Dhabi (US$1.2bn).
  • Carlyle: Expert witness in relation to litigation over Carlyle Capital Corporation (U$S32bn leveraged fund).
  • Deutsche Bank: various fund‐linked products.
  • UBS: various fund‐linked products.
  • Nomura: various listed funds
  • Schroders: various funds (principally for Japanese market)
  • Large US hedge fund: bid for GB£4bn debt portfolio from Irish government agency.
  • US$2 billion infrastructure fund.
  • BNP Paribas: US$1.2 billion real estate fund.
  • Investment Dar: significant real estate investment, and investment in regional telecoms joint venture.
  • Gulf‐based SWF: hostile takeover of BVI company.
  • MENA Infrastructure Fund: several acquisitions involving BVI entities.
  • CQS Partners: advice on listed fund.
  • Aspect Capital: advising on and establishing various hedge funds.
  • Advent Capital: various funds.
  • Kuwait Finance House: Al Manar Real Estate Fund.
  • Gulf Finance House BSC: various sharia‐compliant funds with aggregate value over $4bn.
  • Large Islamic bank: advice on distressed fund and management joint venture.

Corporate and corporate finance

  • Various high‐profile UK corporate property financings/acquisitions/disposals.
  • Yahoo Inc: purchase of Maktoob (US$164m).
  • Renault: purchase of Autovaz (US$1.325 bn, as part of US$5.3bn transaction).
  • Russian mineral company: listed GDRs issued through BVI holdco (market cap US$709m).
  • Consortium of banks: establishing creditor‐friendly corporate structure to permit development of central African oilfields.
  • US$1 billion sukuk programme.
  • National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed): US$463 million sukuk, listed on London Stock Exchange.
  • Large GCC bank US$2 billion EMTN programme.
  • US$2 billion sovereign ijara sukuk.
  • ADCB: US$7.5 billion EMTN programme.
  • Offshore counsel for UHNWI’s holding company structure (c. US$18bn group value).
  • US$20-35 billion Transcaucasus pipelines project: structuring JV between state and multinational parties.
  • Multi‐billion dollar securitisation for large US investment bank.
  • Credit Suisse: leveraged acquisition of US industrial group.
  • Sale of regulated Guernsey financial services business to Dutch group.
  • Structuring, establishing and listing EMTN issuer on TISE.
  • Structuring, establishing and listing private equity funds on TISE.
  • US hedge fund: advice on hostile takeover of underperforming listed company.
  • Advice on charitable distribution of GBP200m assets from structure involving various corporate and fund structures.
  • Advice on various US$1bn+ loan note structures.
  • Advice on restructuring of holding structure for UHNWI family ownership of very high profile assets.
  • Advice on restructuring of various large investment holdings for very high profile settlor.



  • University of Oxford (England)
  • College of Law (England)


18 Feb 2020 | News

BVI Joins EU Whitelist

On 18 February 2020, the European Council updated its list of ‘non-cooperative tax jurisdictions...

29 Jan 2020 | News

Private Equity Fund Regulation in the BVI: Dawn of a new age or business as usual?

Presents come in all shapes and sizes, and some are more gratefully received than others. Superficia...

26 Nov 2019 | News

BVI Securities and Investment Business (Amendment) Bill

The BVI has gazetted draft legislation which, if enacted, will introduce a supervisory regime for cl...

Contributors: Robert Varley
16 Oct 2019 | News

The Rules on Economic Substance in the British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands International Tax Authority (ITA) published the Rules on Economic Substan...

12 Sep 2019 | News

BVI Economic Substance Update

The BVI House of Assembly passed amendments to the beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 20...

Contributors: Robert Varley
26 Oct 2018 | News

Appleby strengthens BVI practice

Appleby is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Varley to its Corporate partnership, in the...

Contributors: Robert Varley


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