Russell Willings is co-head of our global Banking & Finance and Corporate groups. He has responsibility for developing all aspects of our legal and corporate services offerings.
Within his practice, Russell’s focus is on the management of legal risk, the development of corporate governance solutions and the formulation of security enforcement strategies and restructuring solutions in the context of multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceedings. He also leads the only dedicated team in the offshore world focused on the enforceability of termination, netting and collateral provisions of derivatives and other financial markets documentation through insolvency, providing technical opinions and bespoke advice to many of the world’s major banks, prime brokerage providers and industry organisations.
Prior to joining Harneys in 2005, Russell worked in the structured finance department of Allen & Overy, specialising in structured investment vehicles, CDOs, repackagings and other forms of structured debt. He became a partner of Harneys in 2009. Russell's recent experience includes:
- Acting as BVI and Cayman counsel to HKSE-listed PRC property development firm Kaisa Group in a US$2.77 billion debt restructuring via a scheme of arrangement.
- Advising the bondholders on related security uptake in the British Virgin Islands for the US$375 million DIP financing for TOYS ‘R’ US.
- Acting as BVI and Cayman counsel to the Virgin Group on three major corporate reorganisations, the sale of Virgin Active and the listing on the main market of Virgin Money.
- Acting as BVI counsel to the TMF Group on its €750 million refinancing of its high yield bonds and revolving credit facility.
- Advising Quilvest Private Equity on its global reorganisation, which involved legal advisers in over 10 jurisdictions and the structuring and incorporation of over 20 vehicles for new investments.
Russell is ranked for his Capital Markets expertise.Chambers and Partners, 2022
Russell is recognised as a notable practitioner for his Anguilla expertise in the Chambers Global 2020 guide. He is regarded by peers as a "very good" practitioner.Chambers and Partners, 2020, 2021
Russell has a broad corporate practice covering secured and unsecured lending, in addition to corporate structuring and private equity transactions. He is described as having “a strong banking and finance practice with an emphasis on complex derivatives, insolvency and enforcement of securities”. Russell leads the BVI transactional team, and also has a great deal of experience assisting with matters governed by Anguilla law; he is described as a “technically strong and very responsive” lawyer.Chambers and Partners
Russell is recommended in the British Virgin Islands Banking, Finance and Capital Markets rankings.Legal 500, 2019
Russell is recognised for his Banking and Finance expertise.Latin Lawyer 250, 2020
Russell is ranked as “highly regarded”.IFLR 1000, 2020
Russell is recognised as being amongst the world’s leading banking lawyers.Who's Who Legal
- England and Wales (not practising)
- British Virgin Islands
- College of Law (LPC)
- Tokyo Institute of Technology
- Cambridge University