Aliya G. Allen

Aliya Allen is a Partner in the firm’s Financial Services, Private Client, Trusts and Estates Practice Groups. Aliya re-joined Graham Thompson in February 2016, following four years as CEO and Executive Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board.

Aliya’s practice is primarily focused in banking, investment funds, securities, securitisation and capital markets, technology, FinTech, blockchain and digital assets and regulatory matters such as FATCA, CRS, AML/CFT. She has played a leading role in the development and revision of industry defining legislation including the Investment Funds Act, 2019, the Investment Condominium (ICON) Act and in crafting and promoting policy initiatives on FinTech, Blockchain and digital assets.

Recent engagements  include:

  • Advising a global investment manager on the impact of economic substance requirements on its operations.
  • Acting for a global bank in a large-scale independent AML/CFT compliance audit.
  • Acting for a global bank with AUM in excess of $300 million undertaking a significant regulatory and compliance audit for the purposes of a global compliance project.
  • Acting for a syndicate of lenders in a $100 million facility to a utility company taking security over assets and revenue streams.
  • Acting for a major global bank as lead arranger in a billion-dollar facility to a company with global oil and gas assets taking security over local assets.
  • Acting for one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by daily trading volume in the world in connection with the issuance of a stable coin backed by fiat currency including regulatory interaction and fiduciary structuring.
  • Advising one of the largest technology investment companies in the world valued at over 100 billion in connection with Bahamas cross border securities issues.
  • Advising a banking conglomerate in connection with the issuance via its Bahamas holding company of over 100 million in debt securities.
  • Structuring a crypto-focused investment fund for a significant asset manager.
  • Advising one of the major operating companies of one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in the world on the Bahamas’ economic substance requirements.

Practice Areas

Education

  • LL.B (Hons) University of Buckingham, UK
  • Bar Vocational Course, Manchester University, UK

Admissions

  • Bar of England and Wales
  • The Bahamas Bar

Awards

  • Recognized by IFLR 1000 – Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms –  as a 2020 “Notable Practitioner”.
  • Citywealth IFC Power Women Top 200, 2016, for outstanding contributions to the financial services industry.

Publications

Membership

  • The Bahamas Bar Association
  • The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Firm Description

GrahamThompson (GT) prides itself on its unique combination of expert legal skills and real-world experience in working out effective solutions to complex problems.  With 70 years of continuous history and a first-rate balance between seasoned practitioners and dynamic young lawyers, GT is excellence-driven in every way. 

Producing and sustaining clientele drawn locally and from across five continents is the focal point of the Firm’s efforts. Integrity, hard work, understanding the “bigger picture” that frames the specific legal needs of clients, creativity, rigorous ethical restraint in the charging of fees, and uncompromising loyalty to the client, are key ingredients of the GT ethos. 

The Firm, well known as the largest commercial law firm in the Bahamas, has successfully expanded from its main downtown Nassau location in recent years to better serve its broad range of corporate and private clients. In 2000, the Freeport, Grand Bahama office was opened, followed by the launching of licensed affiliate GTC Corporate Services in 2001, and the Lyford Cay, New Providence office in 2011.  In December 2012, GT expanded to Providenciales, in The Turks and Caicos Islands, where it already enjoys a reputation as one of the leading firms for civil and commercial litigation, and more recently, for transactional real estate matters.

The Firm has an enviable reputation both domestically and globally in a variety of important legal disciplines. Our attorneys are sought after by leaders in the real property, resort development, banking and capital markets, and Domestic tax and Regulatory sectors. We are highly regarded for our expertise in trust and estate planning, commercial matters, civil litigation, family law, securitization, employment and immigration matters.

The Firm is consistently ranked a tier one law firm by the leading international ratings publications, including CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS, IFLR 1000, and CITY WEALTH LEADERS LIST, among others.

Unique among law firms, GT has all through the years made notable contributions to high public service. GT’s former Partners have played critical roles in the Bahamas’ judiciary including three of the nation’s past Attorneys-General, the former Chief Justice, several Justices of the Bahamas Supreme Court, and Court of Appeal, and the Chairman of the Judicial Review Commission. Other Partners have served the Bahamas government as Senators, a Minister of Labour & Housing, a Gaming Board Chairman, a Water & Sewerage Corporation Chairman, a Broadcasting Corporation Chairman, and the Vice-Chair of the College of The Bahamas. Presently, our Partners serve as Chairman of the National Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Deputy Chair of the National Health Insurance Authority and as Directors of the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the National Insurance Board.  This record of service to successive governments and the judiciary is wholly without parallel in the history of the legal profession of the Bahamas.

 

Ahmed Pekin

Ahmed Pekin is the founding senior partner of Pekin & Pekin, established in 1971 in Istanbul and now one of the most prestigious and largest independent corporate firms in Turkey. Renowned as an outstanding attorney, Ahmed Pekin has an unrivalled breadth of knowledge across many practice areas.

He is a highly experienced litigator and advises on complex banking and finance, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and taxation matters. He has led the majority of large scale transactions in the jurisdiction, notably in the banking sector, and has won numerous accolades and awards in his long career.

The Banking & Finance Practice:

Pekin & Pekin advises on the incorporation of financial institutions and banks. The Firm has incorporated many first-of-a-kind regulated companies, and has been retained to advise on the conversion and acquisition of all of Turkish brokerage companies.

Pekin & Pekin:

Founded in 1971, Pekin & Pekin is a full-service law firm providing integrated legal services to clients involved in transactions within Turkey.

The vision of Pekin & Pekin today is the same vision as in 1971 – to provide clients with legal advice that helps them achieve their long-term objectives in Turkey and globally with the greatest efficiency. This vision is attained by a strategy of steady expansion, allowing the Firm to retain its boutique character and standard of service.

The Firm has pioneered legal structures for Turkish banking transactions, facilitated the introduction of new financial products and organisational structures, advised regulators on new laws and regulators on new laws and regulations across multiple sectors acted in the largest and most high profile finance and M&A deals in the jurisdiction and succeeded in complex arbitration cases.

Dina Wadia

Dina specialises in Banking & Finance, Investment Funds, Financial Services and Mergers & Cross Border Investments & Acquisitions. She has extensive experience in Banking & Finance related transactions including all manner of Debt Transactions (secured, limited recourse and syndicated), Project Finance, Acquisition Finance, Structured Finance, Real Estate Financing, Security creation, Unlisted Debt and General Banking Products.

Dina also advises on the establishment of funds and investment by onshore & offshore funds and investment vehicles including general or sector specific Private Equity vehicles, Venture Capital funds, Mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. She has been involved with the domestic mutual fund industry since the opening of this sector to banks, offshore and private players in 1989 and with offshore depository receipt programmes of Indian issuers since inception of these transactions in India in 1993 / 1994.

In addition, she has extensive experience in Corporate Commercial and Finance related transactions including Private Equity & Capital Markets, Foreign Investment, Joint Ventures and Acquisitions across industry sectors.
She has been practicing law since 1982. Before joining JSA, she was for twenty one years with Little & Co, one of India’s premier and oldest law firms and she was a partner there for over ten years.

Banking and Finance Law Practice:

JSA has been widely recognized as having a leading national Banking & Finance practice which is highly regarded for its excellence, consistency and commercial sense, and has a reputation for working on challenging and innovative transactions.

The practice covers a wide range of financing transactions such as (i) Corporate Debt, including syndicated loans, secured and unsecured loans, revolving credits, guarantee facilities and other forms of security; (ii) Structured Finance; (iii) Acquisition and Leveraged Finance using senior, mezzanine and subordinated debt; (iv) Project Finance and Public Private Partnerships across all Infrastructure and Energy sectors; (v) Securitization; (vi) Real Estate Finance including structured lending, secured property lending and property securitization; (vii) Asset Finance; (viii) Derivative transactions; (ix) Debt Capital Markets encompassing issues of rupee denominated bonds and debentures, foreign currency convertible bonds, bank MTN programmes and other securities; and (x) Debt Restructuring and re-financing, including asset reconstruction and schemes of arrangement.

We have extensive experience in diverse types of Banking & Finance transactions and have represented clients on high-profile and complex Syndicated Lending, Structured Products, Project Finance, External Commercial Borrowings, and plain vanilla bilateral lending deals. Our scope of work covers the entire spectrum including structuring transactions, drafting term sheets and transactional documents, negotiations, advising on the regulatory framework and related issues.

The Firm acts for several Global & Domestic Banks, and also represents a number of Institutional Lenders, Multi-lateral, Developmental & Export Credit Institutions, Asset Managers, Funds, Real Estate Investors, Arrangers and Corporate Borrowers.

Markus Bruckmüller

Markus Bruckmüller is a partner of Wolf Theiss in Ljubljana and Vienna and heads the Slovenian office of Wolf Theiss. He is specialized in corporate/M&A, banking & finance and real estate. His career experience includes advising on several large-scale M&A transactions, cross-border banking and finance projects and real estate transactions.

He regularly holds internal and external lectures on aspects of M&A transactions and restructurings, inter alia at the Wolf Theiss School of Excellence and on the Ljubljana Faculty of Law. Markus is admitted as attorney in Austria and Slovenia and was educated at University of Vienna.

The Banking & Finance Law Practice:

Recent years have presented financial markets across the globe with historic challenges. With world markets finally regaining balance, your business needs fresh thinking to help you adjust to the demands of new regulations and political and economic developments.

Known for its analytic rigor, our Banking & Finance team draws on its banking product expertise. We collaborate with all our teams, including our regulatory, dispute resolution and restructuring teams to help you realise your business goals. It’s routine for us to provide clients with innovative, customised solutions: much imitated, our financing techniques have set the standard for the industry.

The largest banks, insurers and financial institutions and their customers in CEE/SEE trust us on issues ranging from commercial lending, project financing and private equity to regulatory work, Medium Term Notes (MTN), Eurobonds, IPOs, takeovers, credit-linked notes, securitisations, de-listings and loan portfolios.

We’re aware that regulatory issues are driving banking and financial markets these days. This is why we’ve made it such a high priority to develop relationships with local regulators, stock exchanges and government officials. We pass the benefits of these relationships on to you as we advise on MiFID II, CRR, payment services, and data protection, EMIR, MAD II, Investment Fund Regimes (UCITS IV, UCITS V) and AIFMD.

Wolf Theiss:

Wolf Theiss is one of the leading law firms in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CEE/SEE). We have built our reputation on a combination of unrivalled local knowledge and strong international capability. We opened our first office in Vienna 60 years ago. Our team now brings together over 340 lawyers from a diverse range of backgrounds, working in offices in 13 countries throughout the CEE/SEE region.

Tarja Wist

Ms. Tarja Wist is a Founding Partner of Waselius & Wist. Her practice areas include banking and finance, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Wist received her LL.M. degree from the law faculty of the Helsinki University in 1989 and was admitted to the Finnish Bar in 1994. Prior to the establishment of Waselius & Wist, she spent eight years with Roschier-Holmberg & Waselius.

Ms. Wist has also been actively involved in legislative work in the area of securities law and served as a member of the Legislative Working Group for the Securities Law Reform 2009-2011 and as a secretary to the Legislative Commission for Securities Market Legislation 1990-1993. During 2004-2005, Ms. Wist served as member of the Legislative Working Group for the Implementation of the Takeover Directive.

She is also an author of several articles in international publications in the fields of capital markets and financial law.

The Banking & Finance Law Practice:

Waselius & Wist has a very strong practice in banking and finance and is one of the market leaders in Finland representing lenders and borrowers alike. The practice covers all aspects of banking and financing transactions including bank and syndicated loan facilities, asset based lending, acquisition financing, bond issuances, securitisation and project finance as well as asset financing for aircraft, ships, real estate and other capital assets.

The firm has a high profile in advising banks, investment firms, fund managers and other financial institutions and market participants on the full spectrum of regulatory issues.

Waselius & Wist:

Waselius & Wist is a commercial law firm, committed to providing highly specialised legal services in complex business transactions. The firm is especially renowned for high-end advice within the fields of capital markets, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, IPR, tax law as well as EU and competition law.

Waselius & Wist has earned the confidence of some of the world’s most demanding clients. They advise leading investment banks, investors, multinational and Finnish companies, public and private organizations as well as governments and government agencies.

The firm aims to build long-term relationships with its clients, gaining a thorough understanding of each client’s business, operating environment, needs and goals is in the heart of a successful client relationship.

Edite Ligere

Appointments

– Galileo Global Group, New York, NY, U.S.A., Senior Advisor.

– Member of the Philanthropy Board of the Institute of Cancer Research.

– Chairman of the Windsor Benefit Trust (for the advancement of music and the arts.)

– Member of various international and U.K. pro bono legal initiatives.

– Rights of audience in the courts of England and Wales.

Awards

– Hubert Greenland Scholar, awarded by The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (2000)

Education

– Intern at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law focusing on EU and international law (1999 – 2002)

– Bar Vocational Course, (Outstanding in Advocacy), Inns of Court School of Law, London (2000)

– LLB (First Class Honours: 1996-1999); LLM in EU law, international law, human rights and United Nations law, University of London, (2000-2001)

Memberships

– The International Bar Association (2008 – Present)

– Insurance Institute of London (2008-Present)

– The Bar Association For Commerce, Finance and Industry (2008-Present)

– The Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee (2006-Present)

– The European Law Committee of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (2005-Present)

– The Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association of England and Wales (2002-Present)

– The Bar European Group (2002-Present)

Edite Ligere’s practice focuses on global financial regulation, banking, insurance, human rights, consumer protection, charity law, data protection, machine learning, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

Selected representations publicly disclosed include:

– AIG Inc. in the development of the first global insurance capital standard (“ICS”).

– MetLife Inc. in the development of the activities based approach to the identification and mitigation of systemic risk in the insurance sector and the development of the ICS.

– Abu Dhabi Investment Council in various acquisitions.

– Scotiabank in various acquisitions.

– AmTrust in its $218.7 million acquisition of ANV Holding B.V.

– AIG with the preparation of a recovery and resolution plan under section 165 of the Dodd‑Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

– Lloyd’s of London High Premium Group.

– AIG in the proposed sale of AIA Group Limited to Prudential plc for $35.5 billion.

– GreyCastle Holdings in its $570 million acquisition, backed by a consortium of investors, of the run‑off Life Reinsurance operations of XL Group.

– TIAA‑CREF in its partnership with Henderson Group PLC to create TIAA Henderson Real Estate Limited, a new global real estate investment management company, with total assets under management of over $25 billion.

– Hardy Underwriting in its response to the unsolicited takeover approach announced by Beazley plc.

– Syncora Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda‑domiciled holding company, and its wholly‑owned New York and London subsidiaries, which underwrite financial guarantee insurance, Syncora Guarantee Inc. and Syncora Guarantee UK Limited (the “Company”), in a comprehensive restructuring that relieved the Company of approximately $6 billion in losses and loss reserves.

– Catlin Group in its £200 million rights issue, underwritten by JP Morgan and UBS.

– Omega in its agreement with Canopius Group on the terms of a recommended £164 million all‑cash bid for Omega by Canopius.

– Hanover Insurance Group in its £313 million public bid for Chaucer Holdings.

– Novae Insurance Company Limited on the transfer of its insurance business and reserves to Lloyd’s Syndicate 2007 by court order under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Selected Publications:

– Profit in Cyberspace? The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Law; Vol. 2, No. 3, 2019 U.K. and EU chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Practical Law, August 2018

– U.K. chapter on banking law and regulation in Getting The Deal Through, 12th Edition, March 2019

– U.K. and EU chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Getting The Deal Through, 11th Edition, August 2018

– U.K. and EU chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Practical Law, September 2017

– U.K. chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Getting The Deal Through, 10th Edition, August 2017

– Global systemic risk in the insurance sector – insurers split on recovery and resolution planning: Insurance ERM Issue 21 Spring 2017

– U.K. chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Getting The Deal Through, 9th Edition, August 2016

– Brexit For Insurers One Month On; Debevoise & Plimpton update August 2016

– Insurance and Reinsurance Global Guide Q&A “Insurance And Reinsurance In The U.K. (England And Wales): Overview,” 2016/2017, Thomson Reuters Practical Law: published July 2016

– Identifying Systemic Risk – A Risky Business?; Banking Law Journal July/August 2016 p. 364

– IAIS Introduces New Assessment Methodology for GSIIs and Discontinues NTNI Label; Debevoise & Plimpton update June 2016

– S. Federal Reserve Provides Guidance on Supervisory Approach to Insurance; Debevoise & Plimpton update May 2016

– The Importance of Being a Global Systemically Important Financial Institution; Insurance Day 28 April 2016, Law & Order section p.7

– Brexit – Regulatory Implications for Banks, Insurers and other Financial Services Firms; Debevoise & Plimpton update April 2016

– Prudential Regulation Authority Consults on Remuneration Rules; Debevoise & Plimpton update April 2016

– Insurers remain unconvinced by attempts to identity systemic risk; Global Risk Regulator – A Publication from The Banker, Financial Times, March 2016/Volume 14, Issue 3

– Age of Aquarius for Individual Accountability in Financial Services?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2016, 31(3), p. 174

– U.K. chapter on insurance and reinsurance in Getting The Deal Through, 8th Edition, June 2015

– Industry Prepares for Senior Managers Regime; Insurance Day 19 November 2015, Law & Order section p. 6

– Development of International Regulatory Capital Standards Continues, Insurance Day, 2 September 2015, Law & Order section p. 6

– New Global Insurer Capital Requirements Could Increase M&A, Law360, 27 October 2015

– The EU Solvency II Regime for Insurers: An Update on Implementation FC&S, 1 May 2015

– Quo Vadis, Europe?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2015, 30 (2), p. 121

– Co‑author of the Debevoise & Plimpton Insurance and Investment Management M&A Deskbook published by the Practising Law Institute, Corporate and Securities Law Library, 27th April 2015, particularly:

– Chapter 2 – Private Acquisitions of an Insurance Business

– Chapter 3 – Acquiring a Block of Insurance Business

– Chapter 5 – Insurance Regulatory Approval Requirements for a Stock Purchase Deal

– Chapter 10 – Investing in Lloyd’s

– IAIS Consults on G‑SIIs and NTNI: Are G‑SIIs sellers of non‑core and NTNI business units?; Debevoise & Plimpton update December 2015

– Solvency II – What you need to know as effectiveness nears; Debevoise & Plimpton update December 2015

– Solvency II equivalence decisions and U.S. – EU Covered Agreement; Debevoise & Plimpton update December 2015

– IAIS begins public consultation on HLA for G‑SIIs; Debevoise & Plimpton update July 2015

– Financial Stability Board publishes updated list of global systemically important insurers and global systemically important banks; Debevoise & Plimpton update November 2015

– Bank of England and Financial Services Bill extends senior managers and certification regime to all U.K. regulated financial services firms; Debevoise & Plimpton update October 2015

– NAIC begins to develop a group capital measure for U.S. insurance enterprises; Debevoise & Plimpton update August 2015

– The Insurance Act 2015 – Key Considerations; Debevoise & Plimpton update March 2015

– Solvency II – The Way Forward; Debevoise & Plimpton update October 2014

– The Future of Banking in the EU ?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2014, 29 (5), p. 308

– Enhanced Prudential Standards for Foreign Banking Organisations – A Guide for Each FBO Type; Debevoise & Plimpton update February 2014

– Bonus Caps – A Step to Ever Closer Union or Fragmentation in the EU?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2013, 28 (7), p. 293

– The United Kingdom’s New Financial Services Regulatory Structure – The Shape of Things To Come?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2013, 28 (4), p. 156

– Cross‑Border Resolution of Banking Groups – International Initiatives and U.S. Perspectives; Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, Volume 9, Number 7, p.583, October 2013

– The U.K.’s Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill : Expect the Unexpected; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2013, 28 (4), N47

– Equivalence Under the EUs Solvency II Directive; Law360, January 2012

– Hot CoCos from Basel III – The Next Bank Hybrid?; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2011, 26 (8), p. 412

– EU Regulation 3642/09 on Credit Rating Agencies; Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 2010, 25 (1), p. 1

– Editor of Lincoln’s Inn lectures on European Law and Human Rights, 2010 Sweet & Maxwell

– K. Financial Services Authority adopts enhanced liquidity standards – the first test of global financial regulatory coordination? Debevoise & Plimpton Financial Institutions Report 13 October 2009

– Locus Standi and the Public Interest: A Hotchpoch of Legal Principles; Journal of Planning Law, 2005 Sweet & Maxwell

– Providing the Court with Legislation; Judicial Review 2004, 9 (2), p.157

– The law of confidentiality, the emerging law of privacy and the operation of the European Convention on Human Rights in domestic Courts; Lawtel Human Rights Bulletin, 4 September 2003

Selected speaking engagements:

– United nations in a divided world: geopolitical turbulence and global financial stability: Columbia Law School, New York, NY, U.S.A. March 2019

– The Activities Based Approach to Systematic Risk: The Way Forward, Eurofi Financial Forum, Vienna, September 2018

– Participated in the New Approaches to Economic Challenges: “10 years after the crisis; what have we learned?” Forum at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris, September 2018

– Participated in the IAIS Global Seminar in Moscow, July 2018

– Global Financial Stability and Systemic Risk: Columbia Law School, New York, NY, U.S.A. February 2018

– Systemic Risk, Recovery and Resolution in the Insurance Sector: Institute of International Finance/PricewaterhouseCoopers, London, U.K. October 2017

– Identifying and addressing global systemic risk in the insurance sector: the way forward: Eurofi Financial Forum 2017, Tallinn, Estonia, September 2017

– Various meetings at the Bank for International Settlements, Basel, Switzerland in 2016 and 2017

– Brexit: Issues for Financial Institutions: Debevoise & Plimpton, London, U.K., May 2017

– Global recovery and resolution standards: Institute of International Finance/PricewaterhouseCoopers, London, U.K. October 2016

– Brexit – Issues for Insurers: Debevoise & Plimpton, London, U.K., July 2016

– Regulation of financial services in the U.K. and M & A considerations: Debevoise & Plimpton, London, U.K., April 2016.

– Lloyd’s of London and Managing General Agents/Underwriters – the way forward – Debevoise & Plimpton, London, U.K., September 2015

– Human Rights Update – The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London, U.K., June 2015

– Basel III and CRD IV – Risk Management Association’s European Conference at Nomura, London, U.K., May 2015

– Raising the Bar: Insurers Worldwide Likely to Face More Burdensome Capital and Resolution Planning Requirements Arising from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors Amsterdam Conference – Debevoise & Plimpton New York & London, U.K., 31 October 2014

– Market Risk and Counterparty Risk – Risk Management Association’s European Conference at Citibank, London, U.K., May 2013

Torben Welch

Head of the Messner Reeves Utah office, and licensed in multiple states including Colorado New York and Utah, Torben Welch has built his legal expertise by aiding in the resolution of complex business and commercial transactions. His industry experience includes banking and financial institutions, corporations and businesses and he has a side interest in representing professional sports franchises. Among outside general counsel responsibilities, Torben has legal expertise in enterprise strategic planning, asset acquisitions, cyber-security, contract and lease negotiation, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, workout and recovery strategy (including representation of creditors in bankruptcy matters) for both domestic and international clients. Mr. Welch focuses on litigation prevention but serves as a trial attorney performing independent internal and external investigations or appeals hearings as needed.

FIRM DESCRIPTION

Messner Reeves provides the full range of legal services to a diverse group of clients — from Fortune 500 companies to individual entrepreneurs. We are as excited about working with the small business owner as we are the largest corporation because, for us, it’s all about maximizing potential. We develop the legal strategies that can help propel the minor operation to the next level or the next ten levels — whether that means doubling in size or becoming a worldwide, publicly traded enterprise. We serve family-owned and emerging enterprises, entrepreneurs, insurance carriers and agencies, banks and other financial institutions, venture capital funds, engineering firms, real estate developers, and individuals.

No other law firm is structured quite like we are. At Messner Reeves, we act as general counsel to an amazing array of clients which makes us a large consumer of legal services on our clients’ behalf. That means we are able to maintain a perspective — as both a client and a firm.         

We figured out a long time ago that clients want only the best!

  • Great quality
  • Great service
  • Great value
  • The highest level of professional integrity

And that’s what we deliver — effective legal counsel with a quick response and professional integrity in all we do.

We counsel clients with great personal attention.

“We work to understand your business and what you are trying to accomplish. We look at creative and flexible solutions to solve complex problems. And we do it in partnership with you.” — Bryant S. “Corky” Messner

The attorneys at Messner Reeves represent the highest standards in the legal profession. The firm is AV peer review rated by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, the authoritative source for information on attorneys and law firms worldwide. An AV rating is the highest awarded.  It confirms that our partners have reached the height of professional excellence, skill, and integrity.
Even more, we judge our own performance by the success we achieve for clients — from individuals to institutions and small business owners to large corporations.

Marguerite M. Schaffer

Marguerite M. Schaffer is the President and Managing Principal at Shain Schaffer PC, a law firm located in Bernardsville, New Jersey. She specializes in commercial litigation; land use; real estate and banking law. Ms. Schaffer, who currently serves as Chair of the Somerset County Democratic Committee was elected as a Delegate to both the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.

In 1975 she received her law degree, cum laude, from Seton Hall University and was Editor of its Legislative Journal. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Philosophy was earned at the University of Dayton in 1970. She holds a Teacher’s Certification in Secondary English from the State of New Jersey. She received a NITA diploma in the Art of Trial Skills in 2015.

Ms. Schaffer served as an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall Law School (1981–1983) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (1985–1986). She was the Assistant Counsel and Municipal Prosecutor, City of East Orange, NJ (1978–1979); Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Adjustment, City of East Orange, NJ (1982–1986); Counsel to and Member of Board of Directors of Mountain Ridge State Bank (1982–1990); and Counsel to the Planning Board, City of East Orange, NJ (1982–1986).

She currently serves as Borough Counsel to the Boroughs of Bradley Beach and Lake Como, Special Counsel to the Borough of Roselle and Jersey City, and Director of Law to Monroe Township, Middlesex County, NJ.

Ms. Schaffer is a past President of Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ), the State’s premier organization for Professional Women, having served from 1998–2002, and a member of the Board of Directors since 1994. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers. From 1985–1995, Ms. Schaffer was a Director Emeritus of the Banking Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, having served as its first female Chair from 1990–1991.

Professional memberships held by Ms. Schaffer include: Committee on the Judiciary Budget and the Supreme Court Ethics Committees of both Essex and Morris Districts. She was a founding member and secretary of the Essex County Women Lawyers Association. Ms. Schaffer was honored as a “Woman of Distinction” by the Somerset Hills Girls Scouts and named to Business News New Jersey’s Top 500 Leaders List. In 2006 she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Service Award from the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women. In 2010 she was honored at the Executive Women of New Jersey Salute to the Policy Makers Dinner. In 2013, the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women awarded her the Woman of Achievement in Government Award. In 2015, she received the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award from the New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus. She was named a 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Super Lawyer by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.

FIRM DESCRIPTION

We are a full-service law firm located in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Our commitment to you is our number one priority.

Shain Schaffer attorneys are precise and winning litigators, dedicated to providing you with unsurpassed personal attention from the initial consultation through the conclusion of your case. Our ability to address and solve our clients′ legal problems, whether through planning, negotiations or litigation, is our strength.

Our attorneys are known and recognized by the legal community for their integrity and legal talent. The firm is  AV® PREEMINENT™ PEER REVIEW RATED BY MARTINDALE-HUBBELL®, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry, for its professionalism and ethics.

Bolaji Ayorinde SAN

Mobolaji Ayorinde is the principal partner of B Ayorinde & Co Legal Practitioners and Notaries Public, highly specialised in providing first-class expertise in litigation and commercial practice. His main practice areas include: general civil litigation, commercial litigation, company law, family law, property and land law, banking, insurance and liquidation law, arbitration, maritime and shipping law, public advocacy, and parliamentary counselling services. Mobolaji attended University Hall, Buckland in Oxfordshire, England (UK) where he obtained a University of Oxford-accredited GCE certificate (law, intermediate LLB (1983)). He also attended the prestigious Holborn Law Tutors in London for his University of London, Bachelor of Laws (LLB, Hons) degree certificate (1985).

He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. During the national youth service programme, he attached himself to the private law firm of Messrs Akin-Delano Legal Practitioners (a renowned firm for its commercial practice spanning a period of over 40 years), where he was a junior counsel in the firm. He worked directly under the principal, Chief Akin – Delano SAN, and was later seconded to take charge of the Lagos Office until 1990 when he set up the Law Firm of B Ayorinde & Co.

He was appointed notary public for Nigeria in November, 1994, under the Notaries Public Act Cap 331 by Honorable Justice Mohammed Bello GCON, former Chief Justice of Nigeria. In 2005 he was elevated to the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He was appointed pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State of Nigeria where he served for the statutory four years. He was also the chairman of the Oyo state committee on the decongestion of prisons.

He has attended and participated in as facilitator or presenter at several international and local law conferences and seminars. In November 2011, he was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM). In June 2012, he was appointed chairman of the governing board of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria by the president.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the International Bar Association (IBA), the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, the Nigerian-Belgian Commercial Information and Documentation Centre and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. He has been a council member of the section on public and development law (SPIDEL) of the NBA; and chairman of the finance committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch. He is an active member of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, Nigeria. In September 2014, he was conferred with the national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).

He has written many articles and frequently delivers papers and gives presentations on subjects in his core practice areas. He is the author of various publications, including: “Securing and Enforcing Maritime Claims: Juriscope 1st Edition-2001 Series”, “Wills and Testamentary Disposition”, “Sovereign Immunity and the Trials of Augosto Pinochet”, “Judicial Precedent, Law Reporting and the Need for Regulation”, “Judicial Bias and Justice Delivery”, “A Commentary on the Independence of Electoral Umpire in Nigeria”, “Boko Haram, Terrorism and Fundamental Human Rights; the Challenges that concern us”, “Criminal Justice System in Nigeria”, “53, Years after Independence: the many faces of Judicial Riot”, “Nigerian-Any Strength in Adversity”, “A Reformatory Approach to the Criminal Justice System in Nigeria”, and “The RashidiYekini Case and the State of Mental Health Law in Nigeria” .

B.Ayorinde & Co:

B. AYORINDE & CO. is a firm of legal practitioners established in November, 1989. Our area of superior expertise is in Litigation and Commercial Practice. Our major asset is the ability to form an effective working partnership with our Clients in order to achieve their desired corporate and individual results. Presently our Firm has an integrated network of over 25 legal professionals in Nigeria, United Kingdom and the United States.

Our dynamic team is up-to-date on evolving areas of law. We have a well-equipped modern library with adequate resources which enable us meet the requirements of our Clients, proffer and implement tailor – made solutions to their transactions. We are legal advisers and solicitors to various companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

We specialize in Litigation / Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practice and Corporate / Commercial Law Practice. Our legal professionals have vast experience in major areas of the Law, which include Cross-border Litigation, Recoveries including No Win-No Fee, Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, Probate matters,Securing of Pre-emptive and Protective Court Orders,Family Law, Employment Law, Land Law, Election Petitions, Banking and Finance, Debt Recovery, Insolvency, Maritime Law, Taxation and International Law.

Our head office is located in Ikoyi, the heart of commercial activities in Lagos. We also have offices in Abuja and Ibadan, as well as representative offices in London and New York to serve our growing number of International Clients. The firm is adequately staffed with efficient and dedicated paralegal personnel to compliment the work of the Lawyers.

At B. Ayorinde & Co., we undertake every legal service with an eye for detail and are solution driven to achieve desired results. We are dynamic and positioned to be the very best at providing legal services.

Tarja Wist

Ms. Tarja Wist is a Founding Partner of Waselius & Wist. Her practice areas include banking and finance, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Wist received her LL.M. degree from the law faculty of the Helsinki University in 1989 and was admitted to the Finnish Bar in 1994. Prior to the establishment of Waselius & Wist, she spent eight years with Roschier-Holmberg & Waselius.

Ms. Wist has also been actively involved in legislative work in the area of securities law and served as a member of the Legislative Working Group for the Securities Law Reform 2009-2011 and as a secretary to the Legislative Commission for Securities Market Legislation 1990-1993. During 2004-2005, Ms. Wist served as member of the Legislative Working Group for the Implementation of the Takeover Directive.

She is also an author of several articles in international publications in the fields of capital markets and financial law.

The Banking & Finance Law Practice:

Waselius & Wist has a very strong practice in banking and finance and is one of the market leaders in Finland representing lenders and borrowers alike. The practice covers all aspects of banking and financing transactions including bank and syndicated loan facilities, asset based lending, acquisition financing, bond issuances, securitisation and project finance as well as asset financing for aircraft, ships, real estate and other capital assets.

The firm has a high profile in advising banks, investment firms, fund managers and other financial institutions and market participants on the full spectrum of regulatory issues.

Waselius & Wist:

Waselius & Wist is a commercial law firm, committed to providing highly specialised legal services in complex business transactions. The firm is especially renowned for high-end advice within the fields of capital markets, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, IPR, tax law as well as EU and competition law.

Waselius & Wist has earned the confidence of some of the world’s most demanding clients. They advise leading investment banks, investors, multinational and Finnish companies, public and private organizations as well as governments and government agencies.

The firm aims to build long-term relationships with its clients, gaining a thorough understanding of each client’s business, operating environment, needs and goals is in the heart of a successful client relationship.