Has a strong understanding of the trust world. Very commercial and good at explaining things in a layman’s manner. Legal 500 UK, 2021

Overview

Mathew leads Ogier's Dispute Resolution team in Guernsey, and is also global head of the firm's multi-disciplinary Restructuring and Corporate Recovery practice. His practice encompasses commercial and financial dispute resolution, with a special focus on contentious insolvency and restructuring and regulatory matters, schemes of arrangement, shareholder disputes and matters involving investment schemes. Mathew also has considerable experience in relation to more general commercial disputes involving financial services businesses, Guernsey trusts and large scale construction claims.
  • Background & experience

    Mathew qualified as an advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey in February 2011, where he appears regularly on complex commercial and trusts disputes and insolvency/restructuring matters. Substantive court work over the past 12 months includes acting for the joint administrators of a Guernsey company holding significant mining rights through subsidiaries, advising beneficiaries of a high value trust seeking to remove the trustees, and acting for trustees of a family trust with liquidity and sustainability issues. At present Mathew is acting for the insolvency office holders of Providence, a regulated Guernsey fund which was used as Ponzi scheme, in a high profile litigation-funded claim against the fund's auditors. Mathew also has experience of civil cases involving proceeds of crime, sanctions and anti-money laundering legislation. Mathew is ranked by Chambers & Partners (tier 2) and by Legal 500 (leading individual).

    Mathew joined the firm in 2008 from global firm DLA Piper where he was a member of the Restructuring Group. Mathew is a qualified commercial mediator and is a member of the executive committee of ARIES, the local chapter of INSOL International.  He is a member of the Guernsey insolvency law reform committee, the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) and is an overseas member of the Chancery Bar Association.  Mathew is also a member of the editorial board of International Corporate Rescue magazine. He is currently studying for INSOL International's Global Insolvency Practice Course. 

    Mathew was named Offshore Litigator of the Year at the Citywealth IFC Awards 2021.

    Mathew's recent cases include:

    Restructuring and Corporate Recovery

    • Advising for former joint administrators of BSG Resources Limited, a Guernsey incorporated high value mining company
    • Advising the administration managers of a Guernsey investment scheme, Providence Investment Funds PCC Limited, and its investment manager, Providence Investment Management International Limited, in relation to their respective claims against their auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, for professional negligence in respect of their alleged failure to spot the fact that both companies were being used to operate a Ponzi scheme.  The case is ongoing in the Royal Court of Guernsey with a trial expected in the first quarter of 2022.   PwC made an application to strike out the claim in  December 2020 based on legal causation/reliance and loss, which was dismissed by the Court in May 2021 – see here [insert link to the case briefing note].  The administration managers are being funded by Manolete Partners, and the Court's decision to approve the decision to enter into the funding agreement is the first time that the Royal Court has considered questions of champerty and maintenance in the context of litigation funding – see here
    • Advising a Cayman based re-insurance portfolio manager in relation to a contested administration/cell receivership application relating to Guernsey incorporated re-insurance cells brought by a Lloyd's Syndicate.  The case remains ongoing and has spawned satellite proceedings in New York. 
    • Advising UK trustee in bankruptcy who was seeking information from a Guernsey trust service provider.  As there is no power under Guernsey law to compel third parties to produce documents or information to insolvency office holders, the Court refused to make an order to assist the trustee in bankruptcy under the common law (but did so under section 426 of the Insolvency Act 1986 subsequently), basing its decision on the lack of comparability between Guernsey and English insolvency processes in relation to office holders' investigatory powers – see here
    • Advising the bidders for assets of CanArgo Limited, a company in liquidation with interests in the Georgian energy market, which resulted in a contested application to bless the decision of the liquidators to enter into a transaction with our client and bring the law relating to the approval of decisions of insolvency office holders closer to the equivalent law relating to the blessing of trustees' momentous decisions by the Court – see here

    Trusts and Estates

    • Advising the trustees of two family trusts, over many years, which were, in effect, a family inheritance, holding both investments and real property. 
    • Advising the trustee in the recent Court of Appeal case In the Matter of the K Trust – this was an application for the construction of the trust instrument in circumstances where the word "share" had been used in the substantive provisions of the trust instrument to refer to a discretionary interest.
    • Providing advice to settlors and beneficiaries in relation to the many issues with their Guernsey trustees thrown up by the recent UK requirement to correct legislation including prospective civil claims and Hastings Bass applications
    • Advising one half of a Middle Eastern family in relation to the removal of the trustee and protector of the high value family trust – the removal proceedings lasted for over three years due to the complexities involved and involved satellite proceedings in the British Virgin Islands.
    • Advising the trustee of a pension scheme, who member was seeking a divorce in the Family Division of the UK High Court.  The case involved an examination by the Royal Court of the principles involved when a trustee seeks guidance on whether to submit to a foreign jurisdiction – see here

    Commercial Litigation

    • Advising the shareholder of a Guernsey company holding substantial property in Eastern Europe, in relation to an unfair prejudice/just and equitable winding up application brought by the other shareholder group.  The case went to trial and then on to appeal and remains the leading authority on these types of claims in Guernsey.
    • Currently advising a number of groups of shareholders in relation to shareholder disputes, involving unfair prejudice applications and derivative actions. 
    • Acted for another Guernsey law firm in relation to an appeal against a wasted costs order made against it. 
    • Acted for the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to interpleader proceedings commenced in the Royal Court in respect of monies held in Guernsey which were subject to a fraud against US investors.
    • Acting for a Guernsey fund and its manager in relation to a Hague Convention request for documents made by a US litigant in the Guernsey courts, and acting for the same fund in relation to disclosure of documents in related US proceedings. 

    Regulatory

    • Acted for Perenco SA in relation to monies held by a Guernsey private bank under local proceeds of crime legislation.  Proceedings were issued against the Bank to recover the monies held, and the funds were eventually released in full when the allegations made against our client were proved to be completely unfounded. 
    • Acting for a number of local banks in relation to various proceeds of crime and regulatory issues. 
    • Acted for a Chinese beneficiary of a Guernsey trust whose assets had been frozen due to the operation to local proceeds of crime legislation. 
    • Acted for an international bank facing a claim by a customer in relation to monies held by the bank under local proceeds of crime legislation.  This was the first such case to come before the Royal Court since the leading case of Garnet in 2009 – see case briefing here

    Admitted in:
    2011 - Guernsey
    2002 - England & Wales

     

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  • Recognition

    Has a strong understanding of the trust world. Very commercial and good at explaining things in a layman’s manner. Legal 500 UK, 2021
    Offshore Litigator of the Year Citywealth IFC Awards 2021
    A very commercial and very responsive lawyer. Chambers UK, Dispute Resolution, 2021
    Leading individual Legal 500 UK, 2021
    Has a mastery of the law and is able to communicate his ideas clearly and thoughtfully. Legal 500 UK, 2020
    His practice is one of the leading insolvency and restructuring offerings on the island. Legal 500 UK, 2020
    Very good insolvency practitioner. Chambers UK, 2020
    Leading individual Legal 500 UK, 2020
    He has provided wise counsel and his advice has been truly excellent from a legal point of view Chambers UK, 2019
    Mathew is very personable, reliable and available 24/7 for advice whenever needed Citywealth Leaders List, 2019
    Extremely well-regarded Legal 500 UK, 2019
    Matthew is an outstanding lawyer and has a rare skill for unrivalled client-care and inter-personal skills Citywealth Leaders List, 2019
    Gives very clear and concise advice, and is very experienced and a pleasure to work with. Chambers UK, 2018
    He is extremely knowledgeable, accessible and responsive and I trust and value his judgement Citywealth Leaders List, 2018
    Diligent, thorough and methodical. Legal 500 UK, 2017
    Mathew has really impressed me with his clear, strategic thinking. He is extremely knowledgeable, accessible and responsive and I trust and value his judgement. Citywealth Leaders List, 2017
    Mathew is one of the top insolvency lawyers on the island, with a wealth of experience and good judgement. Chambers UK, 2017
    very responsive, very hardworking and very knowledgeable about Guernsey law and Guernsey procedures Client feedback, 2017
    fast developing into a very capable advocate. Chambers UK, 2016
    Responsive and effective Legal 500 UK, 2016
    Mathew Newman is rated highly for his ‘understanding of Guernsey law, strategic advice and courtroom presentation’ Legal 500 UK, 2015
    Hard-working, industrious and imaginative, Mathew Newman is always prepared to do that bit more for his clients Chambers UK, 2015
    He kept us abreast of not only the progress in the case in terms of compliance of directions and movement along the timetable of the case, but also the steps being taken to press the other side for a suitable settlement for us Client Feedback, 2015
    Has already acquired extensive experience in commercial disputes in the Royal Court Chambers UK, 2014
    Very good insolvency lawyer Legal 500 UK, 2014
    A great deal of experience Legal 500 UK, 2014
    An instinctive eye for a good point Legal 500 UK, 2013