Conyers Dill & Pearman is mirroring the offshore trend of becoming full service in all locations by launching a litigation department in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is one of its main satellite offices.
Mark Forte, a senior junior from Manchester set 8 King Street, has been hired by the offshore giant, which has its main base in Bermuda, to set up the department.
Conyers, which has two corporate partners in the BVI, is on the offensive after the decisive move, announced last week, by its Bermudian arch rival Appleby Spurling & Kempe to merge with the number three firm in the Cayman Islands, Hunter & Hunter.
Forte has no offshore experience, but does have an impressive client list in his core areas of banking and commercial contract law.
A key client is British Nuclear Fuels, which Forte is currently advising, alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, on a £1bn reactor for the South African government. Forte has also been retained by the British Airports Authority in relation to commercial contracts arising out of the development of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.
Forte is likely to retain a door tenancy at 8 King Street.