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Sheba Raza

Counsel

Recognition

Chambers Global 2020 IFLR1000 Notable Practitioner 2019

Sheba Raza is Counsel in the London office of Conyers Dill & Pearman. She joined Conyers in 2007, after practising for 5 years as an English solicitor, and was appointed Counsel in 2013. Sheba has over 10 years’ experience advising clients on a wide variety of Bermuda and British Virgin Islands corporate and finance transactions.

Sheba has a diverse practice acting for a broad range of financial institutions and public and private companies across the energy, insurance, real estate and financial services sectors. She also regularly advises lenders and high net worth individuals on real estate and corporate jet financings. Areas of expertise include asset finance, capital markets, derivatives, insurance finance, real estate finance, structured finance, and general bank lending along with segregated account company structures and equity investments.

From 2010 – 2012, Sheba was a regular speaker on asset finance and Islamic finance panels at London conferences held by the Bermuda Business Development Agency highlighting the benefits of Bermuda based structures and in 2013 successfully hosted and moderated a private roundtable discussion on “Gender Diversity in the Boardroom” to a group of international corporate lawyers from over 16 countries. In 2015, Sheba was appointed as a director and member of the Management Committee of the Bermuda Society, a non-profit organisation which operates as a platform to promote Bermuda’s image as a reputable, competitive and well-respected jurisdiction for international companies to do business and to foster relationships between business communities in Bermuda, the U.K. and elsewhere. Since 2016, Sheba has hosted and moderated a series of workshops, seminars and panels focussed on key issues affecting and new products available in Bermuda.

Experience Highlights

Recent experience includes advising lenders on a series of insurance financings in support of Funds at Lloyds’ obligations for a number of listed insurance groups; acting for purchasers on a multi-billion dollar series of high-yield debt offerings by Smurfit Kappa Group between 2009-2018; advising the lenders on an €800 million debt refinancing completed by the Hilding Anders group; and acting for a large corporate client on a series of internal restructuring actions prior to a significant merger.

In addition to transactions in the public domain, details of which can be found in the deals and cases section below, Sheba’s experience includes the following:

  • Advising a UK privately-owned investment management business on a significant restructuring of the business – particularly with respect to Bermuda law issues relating to a new Bermuda based holding company structure, debt financing and series of equity investments from external third party investors, corporate governance issues and a series of employee share schemes.
  • Advising a US-listed Bermuda based insurance company on a number of reinsurance transactions utilising Bermuda segregated account structures including with respect to seeking external financing, restructuring internal corporate arrangements and establishing/unwinding joint venture arrangements, corporate governance issues and advice notes to independent experts and international regulators.
  • Advising Russian investors on BVI law issues arising in connection with a series of secured bank and bond financings linked to the acquisition of listed securities in Russia and CEE.
  • Advising an international advertising company on BVI law issues with respect to the acquisition of assets in Russia by way of a joint venture arrangement.
  • Advising a range of international financial institutions and industry associations on netting and collateral issues under Bermuda and BVI law in respect of securities lending and financial derivative transactions.

Professional Background

  • Banking lawyer - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, London
  • Corporate and banking lawyer - White & Case LLP, London (including secondments with the Global Loans team at Barclays Capital, London and the Loan Syndications & Trading Desk team at BNP Paribas S.A, London)
  • Corporate lawyer - Nabarro LLP, London

Education

  • University of Amsterdam, LLM, International and European Trade Law (Distinction), 2004
  • London School of Economics & Political Science, LLB Laws (2:1), 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands), Solicitor, 2012
  • Registered associate with Bermuda Bar, 2007
  • England & Wales, Solicitor, 1999 (not currently practising)

Speaking Engagements

  • Bermuda Business Development Agency Bermuda Executive Forum – moderated Asset Management Panel “Bermuda: Innovation in Alternative Assets” (London: November 2018)
  • The Bermuda Society – hosted and moderated Breakfast Workshop “Key Developments in Bermuda’s economy and new opportunities for UK based investors and businesses” (London: April 2017)
  • The Bermuda Society – moderated Autumn Lunch lecture “Offshore Centres: Good for all not just the privileged few.” (London: October 2016)
  • Lex Mundi – hosted and moderated roundtable discussion “Gender Diversity in the Boardroom” (London: September 2013)
  • Business Bermuda Financial Services Conference - Islamic finance and asset finance panellist (London: April 2012)
  • Business Bermuda Financial Services Conference - Islamic finance and asset finance panellist (London: April 2011)
  • Business Bermuda Financial Services Conference – Islamic finance and asset finance panellist (London: March 2010)

Awards & Accolades

  • Recognised in the 2020 edition (and since 2014) of Chambers Global (corporate and finance - expert based abroad, UK foreign expert)
  • Recognised in the 2020 edition (and since 2014) of Chambers UK (offshore law)
  • Recognised in the 2020 edition (and since 2013) of Legal 500 United Kingdom (offshore firms in London)
  • Recognised in the 2020 (and since 2018) edition of IFLR1000 (financial and corporate)
  • Recognised as a "leading offshore finance lawyer", Islamic Finance News Poll 2012

Associations

  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (2013-17)
  • The Bermuda Society – director and member of Management Committee
  • The Anne Frank Trust UK – member of Annual Lunch Committee (2015-17)

Languages

  • Hindi
  • Urdu