Mark Forte is Managing Partner and Head of the Litigation and Restructuring practice in Conyers’ BVI office. He specialises in complex commercial litigation and contentious cross-border insolvency, being widely recognised for his emergency interim relief work and considerable insolvency experience. Mark also regularly advises foreign states, government agencies both at home and abroad, and liquidators on international asset tracing measures. He has appeared as an expert witness in proceedings as diverse as investment treaty arbitrations before the ICSD in Washington DC and the United States Bankruptcy Court.
Mark has over 30 years’ litigation experience, having started his professional career as a barrister at 8 King Street Chambers in England in 1989 after completing pupillage at Grays Inn, London. Since joining Conyers in 2004 to launch the BVI Litigation and Restructuring practice, he has grown the team to include ten experienced solicitors and barristers, all of whom are based in the BVI.
A frequently appearing advocate in some of the jurisdiction’s leading cases, Mark regularly acts as lead counsel in both Commercial Court and Court of Appeal cases, often against visiting counsel and Kings Counsel. His broad experience includes arbitration before various tribunals and assistance measures from the BVI courts to assist other arbitrations. In recent years, he has developed a strong practice in work involving the CIS states, in particular involving leading fraud and asset tracing work from that region, working both for in-house counsel and counsel located regionally. From his extensive work in both Russia and Kazakhstan in particular, Mark is familiar with the practices and cultures of the corporate landscape there and how that has evolved into work from other regions such as the UAE and Africa.
Mark leads the team acting for the largest creditor in the Three Arrows Capital insolvency, working with counsel from various countries in the highest value crypto related dispute in the BVI to ultimately set important and law-making precedents regarding crypto-related jurisprudence.
Globally recognised for his expertise, Mark has been ranked for the past 18 years by Chambers Global, as well as in Legal 500 which describes him as being “renowned in the jurisdiction” for his “huge experience” alongside his “gravitas and sure client touch”. He continues to be named as a thought leader by Who’s Who Legal in their Global Elite Asset Recovery list and is regularly ranked by the Global Restructuring Review, IFLR1000 and the CityWealth Leaders List, amongst others. A respected speaker, Mark has appeared as a panellist at COMBAR (UK), INSOL, C5 and other international conferences. He previously served on the editorial board of INSOL World and is currently a director of BVI International Arbitration Centre.
- Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal dismisses appeal brought by Olive Group in a welcome underlining of limited basis on which Court can interfere in the appraisal mechanism and determination of minority discount when considering minority squeeze out provisions.
- Acting for successful claimants seeking rectification of a BVI share register in a claim valued at several hundred million to the successful client.
- BVI Commercial Court issues judgment on specific disclosure and privilege arguments – Barclays Bank plc v Red Oak Operations Ltd.
- BVI Commercial Court issues judgment on test for challenging conduct of liquidators in the course of their duties.
- Represented Pacific China Holdings Limited in a landmark case, successfully appealing the order of the Commercial Court wherein it was held that the court did not have the jurisdiction to order a petitioning creditor to bear the liability of the remuneration incurred by liquidators, where their appointment was subsequently set aside. Prior to this decision, there were no reported cases in the jurisdiction or abroad which dealt comprehensively with the question of liability for liquidator’s remuneration in such circumstances.
- Advised French food products company Danone in one of the largest value receivership cases in BVI’s history, providing advice on BVI law elements of the global dispute and ultimate settlement.
- Acted for a German-listed company in the longest running trial experienced in the BVI concerning shareholder relief and oppression arguments.
- Acted for the successful applicant in obtaining the appointment of a director on an interlocutory basis safeguarding shareholder representation on the board of a BVI company and preventing oppressive conduct.
- Acting for a leading internet company in securing injunctive relief to assist overseas arbitration over debt valued in excess of US$100 million.
- Chambers at 8 King Street, Manchester
- Harvard Business School Online, Disruptive Strategy
- Inns of Court School of Law, London
- Manchester Metropolitan University, LLB (Hons), England
- British Virgin Islands, 2004
- N.Ireland, Barrister, 1996 (not currently practising)
- England, Barrister, 1989 (not currently practising)
Awards & Accolades
- Recognised in the 2023 edition (and since 2010) of Chambers Global (dispute resolution)
- Recognised in the 2023 edition (and since 2010) of Legal 500 Caribbean (dispute resolution)
- Recognised in the 2023 edition (and since 2021) of Who’s Who Legal – Asset Recovery (Thought Leader Global Elite)
- Recognised in the 2022 edition of Who’s Who Legal – GIR – Asset Recovery (Thought Leader)
- Recognised in the 2022 edition of Who’s Who Legal – Commercial Litigation (Recommended)
- Recognised in the 2020 edition (and since 2010) of Who’s Who Legal – Restructuring & Insolvency
- Recognised in the 2020 edition (and 2019) of Global Restructuring Review 100
- Recognised in the 2018 edition (and 2011 – 2016) of the CityWealth Leaders List
- Recognised in the 2015 edition of Legal Media Groups’ Expert Guides (insolvency and restructuring)
- Recognised in the 2009 edition of IFLR1000 (corporate and finance)
- Member, RISA local insolvency professionals association
- Honorary member, COMBAR (North American Group)
- Member, Chancery Bar Association
- Regional Chair (Caribbean offshore) for the INSOL International Channel Islands Seminar 2014
Insights & Resources
Deals & Cases