Ray Wearmouth

Partner British Virgin Islands
Ray Wearmouth
Ray Wearmouth delivered exceptional service Legal 500 Caribbean, 2023


Ray is recognised by the leading legal directories as being one of the BVI's leading corporate, finance and restructuring lawyers. He has advised on many of the jurisdiction's most prominent transactions over the last 20 years.
  • Background & experience

    Ray is recognised by the leading legal directories as being one of the leading corporate, finance and restructuring lawyers in the sphere of BVI law. In 2022, Ray was named one of the Top Offshore Lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal's A-List. He has advised on many of the jurisdiction's most prominent transactions over the last 20 years. Ray regularly deals with large and complex refinancing mandates, as well as corporate restructurings and reorganisations. He led teams on the BVI's first statutory plans of arrangement in the early 2000's, the BVI's largest known financial restructuring (US$ 18 billion of debt with over 100 facilities in 2009), the BVI's largest property portfolio receivership (42 BVI prop-co's), the BVI's largest listed debt exchange, as well as several multi-billion dollar debt restructurings and refinancings. He regularly works closely with contentious teams on special situation work-outs, as well as on formal insolvency proceedings. He acted for Toys "R" Us on its 2017 USA Chapter 11 proceedings, UK procedures, the related DIP financings and subsequent reorganisations and asset sales.

    Ray is an experienced private equity lawyer who regularly advises some of the world's leading PE participants on the various stages of their investment life cycles, from start-ups through to IPOs, other exits and downstream M&A. He also has significant experience in dealing with contentious PE investments.

    In addition to his transactional practice Ray also provides expert evidence on BVI law to overseas courts and tribunals in international disputes. This includes both corporate and finance matters, as well as evidence on the effectiveness of BVI security interests.

    Ray is the Practice Partner of the BVI office.

    Prior to joining Ogier in 2009, Ray was a partner of another leading BVI law firm for several years and had opened its Hong Kong office. Ray previously worked for Ogier in Jersey and prior to that DLA in England.

    Ray is a member of the Company Law Review Advisory Committee (a statutory body) and was heavily involved in the drafting of the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004.

    He has been actively involved in, and has advised the BVI government upon, several key pieces of BVI legislation and financial services initiatives, including in relation to international matters.

    Ray is a Notary Public of the British Virgin Islands.

    Admitted in:
    2005 - Foreign Registered Lawyer, Hong Kong
    2002 - British Virgin Islands
    1994 - England and Wales (non practising)


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  • Recognition

    Ray Wearmouth delivered exceptional service Legal 500 Caribbean, 2023
    Leading Individual Legal 500 Caribbean, 2023
    Recommended Who's Who Legal, Banking, 2022
    Well respected and one of the top individuals in the market. Chambers Global, 2021
    One of the top offshore lawyers Asia Business Law Journal, The A-List, 2022
    Leading Individual Legal 500 Caribbean, 2022
    Recommended Who's Who Legal, Banking, 2021
    Very strong and experienced lawyer. Chambers Global, 2021
    Leading Individual Legal 500 Caribbean, 2021
    Leading individual. Has led many of the BVI's most complex and high-profile transactions. Legal 500 Caribbean, 2020
    Market-leading reputation, with a long track record of advising on major transactions. Chambers Global
    Market leader IFLR 1000 2020
    Recommended Who's Who Legal Guide - Banking 2019
    A very strong practitioner Chambers Global, 2019
    Responsive and helpful Chambers Global, 2019
    Leading individual Legal 500 Caribbean, 2019
    Market leader IFLR 1000, 2019
    Has a very strong reputation in the market. Commentators regard him as the person to go to for tricky matters and one of the top corporate lawyers Chambers Global, 2018
    Banking Expert Who's Who Legal Banking, 2018
    Market leader IFLR 1000, 2018
    One of the most experienced practitioners operating in the jurisdiction. He continues to be held in high esteem be fellow practitioners Chambers Global, 2017
    Recommended Legal 500 Caribbean, 2018
    A fantastic lawyer Chambers Global, 2017
    Exceptional legal knowledge with a practical, commercially focused application of that knowledge. Chambers Global, 2016
    Advised Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan on the structured $1.3bn acquisition of Socar T.E. Legal 500 Caribbean, 2017
    Advises on billion-dollar-plus corporate and finance mandates and has noteworthy experience. Legal 500, 2016
    Has earned an outstanding reputation in the market thanks to his extensive experience handling complex corporate and finance transactions Chambers Global, 2015
    Magnificant at getting deals done and remains a great calming effect under pressure Legal 500, 2015
    Delivers what you want from local counsel and more, knows BVI law very well, is available when necessary 24/7, have woken him up at 3am with questions IFLR 1000, 2015
    Commands tremendous market respect. Clients appreciate that he "has a pragmatic approach and the quality of work is very good" Chambers Global, 2014
    Peers call Wearmouth "a top lawyer and by a far way the lead corporate lawyer " IFLR 1000, 2013
    Lauded by clients..one of the star lawyers in the BVI. He becomes a key part of the team, contributes ideas, is creative, anticipates issues, helps form strategies and is always available. Chambers, 2013
    Singled out for praise by competitors..technical..and well regarded IFLR, 2012
    Very highly regarded Chambers, 2012
    A real substantive knowledge, quite sophisticated IFLR, 2011
    Ogier continues to build out its BVI offering with hires such as ex-Harneys Finance and Corporate Head Ray Wearmouth ...indeed, for some clients, Ogier is now the "most progressive of the BVI law firms" Legal 500, 2010
    Lucas is the latest addition in a series of significant lateral hires from Harneys, all following Wearmouth's lead in going over to Ogier. IFLR, 2010
    Has lately advised on an impressive volume of high-value transactions and interviewees describe him as ‘an excellent all-rounder.’ a great team player Chambers Global, 2009 & 2010