Sinead Harris

Partner | London, British Virgin Islands

Sinead is a partner in the litigation and arbitration team.

She is a dual qualified and practising lawyer (England & Wales and British Virgin Islands). Sinead advises in a wide range of commercial disputes in litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on disputes involving contentious insolvency, fraud, asset recovery and enforcement.

Sinead’s work includes shareholder and joint venture disputes, creditor claims and enforcement actions, asset tracing and recovery matters - frequently involving elements of dishonesty, fraud or breaches of fiduciary duties. She also advises a range of clients including companies, officeholders, creditors, and directors in relation to all aspects of contentious insolvency and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring. Working collaboratively with colleagues, Sinead draws on the firm’s expertise in a range of disciplines such as corporate law, wealth planning and employment law to develop creative strategies and solutions to resolve disputes.

She is particularly well-versed in the strategic use of tools such as freezing orders, receiverships and other officeholder appointments, disclosure orders and Norwich Pharmacal relief to maximise prospects of recovery. Sinead has also frequently acted for respondents to similar applications, successfully achieving discharges and setting aside interim orders.

Most of her cases include a cross-border element, with particular expertise in British Virgin Islands law and a broad familiarity with offshore practice. Sinead has worked for a range of both UK and overseas clients in international disputes before an array of arbitral tribunals and courts including the English High Court and Court of Appeal, the UK Supreme Court, the Commercial Court of the Virgin Islands, Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. She has also worked collaboratively with foreign lawyers on disputes before the Courts in a range of jurisdictions as diverse as the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Russia and various offshore jurisdictions (such as the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus and many others).

Prior to joining Withers in 2017, Sinead worked at an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands. In that role, she worked on a number of high profile commercial disputes and contentious insolvency proceedings – most notably the ground-breaking Fairfield Fund liquidations in the BVI (and related Ch 15 proceedings in the US), recovering money for the benefit of victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

‘‘

Sinead is very efficient, hardworking and has good client relationship skills.

Legal 500 UK, 2018

Track record

Admissions

Memberships

Acted for the joint liquidators of Fairfield Sentry Limited in relation to a multi-billion dollar ground-breaking liquidation, assisting the liquidators across a range of actions and disputes in major and substantial recoveries for the benefit of victims of the Madoff fraud.

Acted as the lead lawyer and advocate for Hong Kong Bankruptcy Trustees in achieving landmark first-of-its-kind recognition of a foreign insolvency proceeding in the British Virgin Islands.

Acting for claimants and defendants in a range of commercial and shareholder disputes including a significant multi-jurisdictional unfair prejudice petition involving competing allegations of fraud.

England and Wales, 2010

British Virgin Islands, 2010

Recovery and Insolvency Specialists Association (BVI) Limited

Education


Languages


  • English

Dates


Joined

2017

London

20 Old Bailey,

London,

EC4M 7AN

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British Virgin Islands

Withers BVI,

Little Denmark,

PO Box 145,

Road Town,

Tortola,

VG1110

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