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Michael J Burns

Michael Burns is the managing partner and head of the Corporate and Commercial department in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). He is also the group team leader and local team leader of the Segregated Accounts Team.

Michael Burns

In addition to his practice in the BVI, Burns is group general counsel and a member of both the Group Management Committee and the Group Executive Board. He joined Appleby as an associate in June 1992 and became a partner in April 1998.

Burns specialises in all aspects of corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on corporate finance, insurance, alternative risk financing (including captive insurance company regulation and formation), segregated portfolio companies, private offerings of debt and equity securities and public offerings of debt and equity securities. He was instrumental in establishing Appleby’s top-ranking insurance team in the BVI.

Burns is regularly instructed by insurance companies, investment banks, financial institutions and law firms across the globe. He is also a frequent commentator on BVI law and the offshore world, having written numerous articles in leading international trade journals and regularly speaking at international and local conferences and other venues.

He is regarded as one of the leading commercial lawyers in the BVI, thanks to his corporate and finance transactional experience combined with a strong insurance background. Chambers Global recognises Burns for his ‘strong insurance experience’, which is ‘useful for dealing with the large number of captive insurance entities in the BVI’. PLC Which Lawyer? endorses Burns for his insurance work, one of only two lawyers in the BVI to receive this accolade. IFLR 1000 recognises him as a leading lawyer for corporate and finance work in the BVI and Legal 500 notes Burns’s work in corporate finance and offerings of debt and equity securities.

Burns is a member of the Bermuda Bar, the Canadian Bar Association and the International Bar Association. He has been a fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers since 1982.

He is a member of the BVI International Finance Centre’s TEAM BVI — a select group of private and public sector members working together to promote the BVI’s financial products and services and to represent the BVI on the international stage.

Burns served as secretary to the Bermuda International Business Association (now called Business Bermuda) Legislative Change Committee for five years, followed by three years as the Appleby representative on the committee. He also served as special representative of the committee in formulating, developing, drafting and negotiating on behalf of the committee with the Bermuda Ministry of Finance and Attorney-General’s Chambers regarding the Segregated Accounts Companies Act 2000 and its subsequent amendment.

Burns is currently working on the development of Incorporated Segregated Accounts Companies (ISAC) draft legislation for Bermuda.

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