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Ulrich Payne is an English-qualified, Cayman- and BVI-admitted attorney and a partner in the Cayman lslands’ Dispute Resolution Practice Group.

He specialises in high-value, multijurisdictional disputes involving insolvency and restructuring, fraud, financial products and services, private equity, boardroom and shareholder disagreements, ranging in multimillion to multibillion U.S. dollar amounts across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, South America, Russia and Asia. Consequently, he has substantial experience in managing complex, cross-border asset recovery efforts, as well as conducting regulatory investigations for investment banks, financial institutions and international corporate groups.

He also serves the Cayman Islands government as a contributor to legislative subcommittees tasked with advising on the impact of important proposed legislation, such as contingency and  conditional fee and third-party funding arrangements, as well as identifying and resolving procedural and legal issues arising in dissenting shareholder proceedings.

Work Highlights

Representative work* includes:

  • Advising current and former executives of Luckin Coffee with regard to an internal investigation into alleged fabricated transactions totaling over $300m.
  • Advising multiple investment funds in defending parallel insolvency proceedings in Cayman and BVI brought by a lending consortium in connection with a very substantial margin loan facility (c.USD700 million).
  • Advising the world’s leading manufacturer of digital currency mining servers with regard to boardroom and founder shareholder disputes regarding issues of directors duties, shareholder control and ownership.
  • Advising one of India’s largest group of companies with regard to multiple disputes (in excess of US$6bn) across multiple jurisdictions, advising on issues including insolvency, Norwich Pharmacal orders, worldwide freezing injunctions, asset tracing, fraud and restructuring.
  • Advising a Brazilian Airline with regard to complex issues relating to the recognition and enforcement of a Brazilian ICC arbitration award in Cayman and elsewhere.
  • Advising the Joint Official Liquidators of a Cayman Islands Mutual Fund used for the purposes of investing in factoring transactions, including advising on professional negligence and fraud claims for very substantial damages against the Fund’s auditors by way of a AAA arbitration.
  • Advising a leading Austrian bank with regard to the recovery of significant assets transferred to third parties as part of a fraudulent conspiracy intended to asset-strip the former parent company of the borrower against which the bank had the benefit of a number of guarantees, also including advising on novel issues arising out of claims: (i) under Cayman’s Fraudulent Dispositions Law; (ii) pursuant to the tort of unlawful means conspiracy, including as to the availability of mandatory injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages payable to a party other than the claimant.
  • Advising a leading global day-trading firm in relation to challenging the proper basis upon which both the Australian and Cayman financial regulators were entitled to cooperate to investigate various allegations made against the trading firm and its parent and subsidiaries.
  • Advising on a multi-jurisdictional banking dispute, acting for the UK-based subsidiary of a Bahrain-based business in relation to a claim by a leading European bank regarding a highly complex murabaha finance structure, including providing defence strategy advice in relation to threatened arbitrations and/or litigation in several jurisdictions.
  • Advising on a multi-jurisdictional financing dispute relating to claims arising from a highly complex financing structure, including issuing or defending legal proceedings with multiple claimants and respondents, in multiple jurisdictions and multiple governing laws, as well as possible regulatory reporting obligations under the fledgling Maldivian regulatory framework.
  • Advising a leading private equity firm defending a breach of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claim and conducted an internal investigation of the underlying business.
  • Advising a leading global asset management in relation to potential multijurisdictional (UAE/US/UK) criminal and civil proceedings including in relation to exposure to UAE criminal and civil proceedings, and investigations by the US Inland Revenue Service and the UK’s SFO and FSA, arising out of allegations made to the press and UAE police. Conducting a sensitive internal investigation (relating to potential allegations of corruption, hacking, and tax evasion) in the UAE.
  • Advising on a multi-party LCIA arbitration, coordinating all aspects of a multi-billion international arbitration in the LCIA, including working closely with key stakeholders and the client’s board of Directors.

*(Prior to joining Appleby).


Ulrich has been recognized in leading legal directories since he arrived in Cayman, most recently in Chambers Global 2023 which describes him as being “noted for his skilled handling of a wide range of disputes, including insolvency matters and his in-depth understanding of contentious investment funds work”, noting clients describe him as “very easy to work with, not intimidated by anyone or any case and absolutely brilliant on fraud cases.”

Legal 500 also describes Ulrich as having “considerable expertise in complex asset recovery matters and regularly conducting regulatory investigations for financial services clients”, noting clients comments such as: “Great to work with – a real team player who can be relied on to fight a client’s corner.”

Qualifications & Education

  • Guilford College, LPC
  • Durham University, LLB

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