Russell Willings

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Expertise and Professional Background

Russell joined Harneys in 2005 and became a partner in 2009. Russell maintains a full-time transactional and technical advisory practice. While that practice covers corporate structuring, trusts, private equity and all forms of lending, his focus is on the management of legal risk and the formulation of security enforcement strategies and restructuring solutions in the context of British Virgin Islands, Anguillan and multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceedings. Russell also leads the only dedicated team in the British Virgin Islands focussed on the enforceability of termination, netting and collateral provisions of derivatives and other financial markets documentation through insolvency, providing technical opinions and bespoke advice to many of the world’s major banks, prime brokerage providers and industry organisations.
Before joining Harneys Russell worked in the structured finance department of Allen & Overy in London specialising in structured investment vehicles, CDOs, repackagings and other forms of structured debt.
Russell is one of the contributing editors to British Virgin Islands Commercial Law, Sweet & Maxwell, 2011. He is ranked as a leading lawyer in the British Virgin Islands by Legal 500, Chambers Global and IFLR1000. He is also recognised as being amongst the world’s leading banking lawyers by Who’s Who Legal.


College of Law 2000

Tokyo Institute of Technology 1997
Cambridge University 1990

Bar Admissions

England and Wales 2002 (not practising)
British Virgin Islands 2005
Anguilla 2007


Chambers and Partners: Russell has a broad corporate practice covering secured and unsecured lending, in addition to corporate structuring and private equity transactions. He is described as having “a strong banking and finance practice with an emphasis on complex derivatives, insolvency and enforcement of securities”. Russell leads the BVI transactional team, and also has a great deal of experience assisting with matters governed by Anguilla law; he is described as a “technically strong and very responsive” lawyer.

IFLR 1000, 2017: Russell is recommended as a “leading lawyer” and is praised by a client as a “go-to lawyer for bank regulatory work and opinions, and the quality of his work and his responsiveness are spectacular”.

Legal 500: Russell is described as being “user friendly” and as a lawyer who “knows his field extremely well and cuts to the nub of the issue”. He is a “key adviser” described as being “very likeable, very pragmatic and technically very capable” and as “one of the few offshore lawyers to have mastered offshore aspects of derivatives transactions”.

Who’s Who Legal 2016: Russell is recognised as being amongst the world’s leading banking lawyers.

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