Sophie Kassam

Sophie Kassam

Senior Counsel

T +971 4 363 7919
M +971 56 442 7896

Practice Areas

Sophie is a senior counsel in the Insolvency and Dispute Resolution group advising on Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands laws.

Sophie's areas of practice include shareholder and limited partnership disputes, unfair prejudice proceedings, just and equitable winding up proceedings, derivative actions, applications for disclosure of information, ex-parte applications for urgent interim relief including freezing injunctions, rectification applications, applications to recognise and enforce foreign judgments and arbitral awards, trust disputes and fraud and asset tracing claims.

Sophie has a wide range of experience in advising on multi-jurisdictional restructuring and insolvency matters (whether contentious or non-contentious), regularly representing some of the world’s leading funds, banks, financial institutions, corporates and insolvency practitioners in complex cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. Sophie advises clients on all aspects of Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands voluntary and involuntary insolvency proceedings, security enforcement, receiverships, schemes of arrangement and the manner in which offshore rights and remedies can be used to effect corporate and financial restructurings of multinational corporates.

Examples of transactions that Sophie has worked on include:

  • Advising fund managers across the GCC in connection with the orderly exit and wind-down of Cayman Islands funds.
  • Advising Middle East based directors of both Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands companies in respect of their duties and rights available to them in situations where the company may be insolvent or in the zone of insolvency.
  • Advising the joint official liquidators of nine companies within a large privately owned Saudi conglomerate, including the key holding company in the Cayman Islands. The engagement is one of the largest and most complex liquidations in the GCC and has involved proceedings in the Cayman Islands, the UK, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Bermuda, Bahamas, Jersey and Bahrain. In addition to advising on issues arising out of the liquidations, we are also advising the liquidators on the defence a US$9 billion fraud and proprietary tracing claim brought against the companies in liquidation (the most substantial case currently pending in the Cayman Islands’ Courts).
  • Advising the joint official liquidators of a Cayman Islands company within a leading Middle Eastern entertainment group in respect of claims against its shareholders and other group entities.
  • Advising institutional shareholders in connection with the protection of their interests in investments in a Cayman Islands fund with underlying assets in India and Australia and subsequent winding up proceedings
  • Advising a majority shareholder of a NYSE listed Cayman Islands company with retail operations in the People's Republic of China in respect of a shareholder dispute and just and equitable winding up proceedings in the Cayman Islands courts.
  • Advising a global private equity firm with regard to its investment in a significant logistics, transportation, distribution and petrochemical group operating primarily in the People's Republic of China, advising the client through heavily contested insolvency proceedings in the British Virgin Islands court, and through the subsequent restructuring process.

Sophie joined the Hong Kong office of Walkers in 2012 and relocated to Dubai in 2015.  Prior to that, she worked with Clifford Chance LLP in Dubai and Hong Kong, and with Clyde & Co LLP in both London and Abu Dhabi.

Admitted In:
England and Wales (not practising)

MA (Hons) Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge, 2004
PgDL, Oxford Brookes University, 2005
LPC, Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, 2006

2019 The Legal 500 Middle East - Recomended Lawyer 

2019 Chambers Global Guide - Notable Practitioners (Offshore) - "Sophie Kassam is noted for her "pragmatic and no-holds-barred advice" as well as her impressive interpersonal skills."

2018 Legal 500 Middle East– Recommended Lawyer 

2018 Chambers Global Guide - (Offshore) Associate to Watch. "Interviewees applaud her "great eye for detail" and note that "she tells it how it is."

Member of the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL)

Member of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC)

Member of the Hong Kong chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA)