ASW Law Limited (“ASW”) is a leading, specialist, corporate and commercial law firm based in Bermuda. Our practice comprises three main departments: (i) Corporate; (ii) Dispute Resolution; and (iii) Restructuring & Insolvency.
In addition, ASW has its own dedicated corporate administration company, Compass Administration Services Ltd (“CASL”), a preeminent corporate services provider of secretarial and corporate governance services to Bermuda entities.
Our Barristers and Attorneys bring many years of experience as lawyers in both Bermuda and a number of prominent foreign jurisdictions, including, England & Wales, New York, Canada, the British Virgin Islands, South East Asia, Ireland, South Africa, and Germany. Our lawyers speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Afrikaans and Hungarian.
ASW is internationally renowned and respected and has extensive international ‘best friend’ links to other leading law firms in a multitude of onshore and offshore jurisdictions. We pride ourselves on the first class work we do for our clients both locally and internationally. We apply a rigorous analytical approach to all our work, however complex, whilst keeping in mind at all times the commercial and market considerations of our clients’ businesses.
We believe that by working closely alongside our clients throughout the legal process we provide a more intelligent and effective solution to each and every matter we deal with. By employing only the best, with proven experience in their field of practice, we consistently deliver to our clients.
Whilst we are considered pre-eminent in insurance and reinsurance law, the majority of our work is dedicated to a wide variety of commercial matters, to which we consistently apply a bespoke, strategic, rigorous and dedicated approach to finding intelligent solutions for our clients.
ASW and its lawyers are recognised for excellence in all of the major independent legal directories, including, Who’s Who Legal, Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR 1000.
ASW was founded in 1999 by Rod Attride-Stirling, Jan Woloniecki and Kehinde George. Rod is the Chairperson and Head of Disputes and Kehinde is the Head of Insolvency. Jan, formerly Head of Disputes, very unfortunately passed away in January 2021. This page would not be complete without paying homage to Jan and his massive contributions to ASW and Bermuda (re)insurance law.
Jan authoured the internationally renowned and acclaimed “The Law or Reinsurance in England and Bermuda”, the first, and only, complete reinsurance text on Bermuda insurance and reinsurance law (now in its fifth edition). The text has been frequently referred to by Judges in court judgments across the globe. The ASW Law lawyers take pride in continuing and honouring Jan’s work and legacy into the future, by way of working on an updating sixth edition of the text, and our continued commitment to excellence in our disputes practice. We will all greatly miss Jan.
Jan practised as a barrister in England and worked at Clifford Chance before relocating to Bermuda in 1990, in part to write (together with leading UK solicitor, Terry O’Neill) “The Law of Reinsurance in England and Bermuda”. This leading text has become a recognised authority on insurance and reinsurance law.
Jan arrived in Bermuda in 1990 in the midst of a global reinsurance crisis. He and Ian Kawaley (the former Chief Justice of Bermuda), were involved in the many major (re)insurance company liquidations in Bermuda of the early 90’s such as Focus, Mentor and Bermuda Fire and Marine, and together contributed to the development of modern-day insolvency law in Bermuda. On this foundation, Jan developed a vibrant litigation and arbitration practice, becoming an eminent practitioner in reinsurance dispute resolution and insolvency law. Jan appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Bermuda and Court of Appeal for Bermuda in over 50 cases reported in Bermuda. He had an extensive international arbitration practice as counsel and accepted appointments as an arbitrator in numerous international and domestic arbitrations.
Jan’s knowledge of the law was encyclopaedic. In his practice before the Courts, Jan was always keen to explore all aspects of the law and develop new interpretations and remedies which pushed the boundaries of Bermudian law. So much so that in one case the judge considered that Jan was asking the Court to indulge in “ground-breaking judicial activism”. Notably, he was the first to develop the solvent scheme of arrangement for insurance companies, with the first solvent scheme in 1995.
Some tributes to Jan which were sent to ASW after his passing …
“What a sadness to think that Jan is no longer with us – our condolences from all here at Clyde & Co who knew Jan to you and your colleagues, and to his family, for such a tragic loss. He was truly a larger than life character who never shrank from a controversial view. A great lawyer and a wonderful man to talk to on almost any subject under the sun.” – Michael Payton QC (Hon), Chairman, Clyde & Co LLP
“From where we sit, the Bermuda Bar has lost a wonderful scholar and advocate – and a most unique one. Many senior counsel have a “war story” on any given topic; Jan had three. He seldom seemed to wind up until he had told you two. A delightful and insightful man was Jan. We will miss him.” – Scott Oostdyk, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP
What very, very sad news. Jan was larger than life, a very fine lawyer, a fount of knowledge on a wide variety of subjects apart from the law (particularly historical and operatic), a lover of fine cuisine, and a great raconteur. I know I speak for everyone in saying that we shall miss him very much.” – Michael Collins QC, Barrister and Arbitrator
The founding partners: Rod Attride-Stirling (third from left); Jan Woloniecki (fifth from left); Kehinde George (first on right)