Bermudan Bank — Attracting a World Class Lawyer

Our client, a family-owned Bermudan bank, had recently agreed to a management buy-out led by a team of successful international bankers and deal makers who saw large potential for the bank through a series of strategic initiatives that would position the bank as a leader across several business segments.

The chairman and chief executive officer, both seasoned international bankers, were keen to recruit a general counsel who shared their experience of the global capital markets and who would create a legal culture and infrastructure that matched the ambitions and high bar set by the new management team. Essentially, they wanted Wall Street or London City experience. The challenge was attracting a lawyer of that caliber without paying the going market rate, which at this stage of the bank’s development, was unrealistic.

The solution was to approach retired or soon-to-retire partners at law firms for whom this opportunity might be attractive on several counts: a swan song, working with best-in class professionals; a robust and ambitious yet achievable business plan; two or three years in a temperate climate; a favorable income tax regime; the chance to build something and pass it along to a successor in two/three years.

Top-rated transactional and securities lawyers were identified globally, including Australia, Hong Kong, New York, London, Boston, New Hampshire and Jersey. Although location, understandably, was an issue for some, a short list of relevant candidates was ultimately developed and the client was able to attract their unanimous first choice.

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