Abel Lyall

'Highly capable'

— Legal 500, 2017

Abel Lyall



I lead our Guernsey Dispute Resolution and Trusts and Private Client practices.

My practice covers all areas of private client and commercial disputes, with a focus on trusts, financial services and investment funds. I regularly appear before the Royal Court of Guernsey and the Guernsey Court of Appeal.

I advise trustees, settlors and beneficiaries on all aspects of contentious and semi-contentious trust matters including breach of trust claims, trust applications and regulatory issues. I also have extensive experience in insolvency and restructuring, and act for creditors, directors, shareholders and insolvency practitioners on all aspects of contentious insolvency and asset recovery.

My work includes acting in a number of contentious and non-contentious schemes of arrangement, including appearing in both the Royal Court and Court of Appeal for the shareholder who successfully opposed the sanction of the Puma Brandenburg Limited scheme of arrangement in 2017, the first of its kind in Guernsey. I am also experienced advising on regulatory issues and have acted for financial institutions and individual directors in a number of significant regulatory investigations and proceedings.

Professional qualifications

  • Advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey, February 2011
  • Solicitor in England and Wales (currently non-practising)
  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland, 2002 (currently non-practising)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the liquidators of Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited in relation to claims, exceeding US$1.4bn, brought against its directors over the collapse of the fund in 2008. Appeared as Counsel (with Jeremy Wessels) in the Royal Court of Guernsey on the six-month trial of the claims in 2016 -

  • Acting for the Trustees of the St John Ambulance and Rescue Service Pension Scheme on their application to sanction a substantial restructuring of the scheme – Re St John Ambulance Pension Scheme [2019] GRC 066
  • Appeared in the Royal Court of Guernsey and the Guernsey Court of Appeal as counsel for a shareholder on its successful opposition to the sanction of a scheme of arrangement by Puma Brandenburg Limited.
  • Advised and appeared as counsel on a number of non-contentious schemes of arrangement including for Japan Residential Investment Company Limited (a takeover by scheme of arrangement by Blackstone valued at £153 million); NewRiver REIT plc (redomicile via scheme of arrangement and main market listing on the London Stock Exchange valued at £750 million) and Mariana Resources Limited (takeover via scheme of arrangement by Sandstorm Gold Limited valued at £167 million).
  • Appeared as Counsel for EFG Private Bank in Royal Court proceedings regarding competing claims to assets held by the bank in relation to BC Capital Group Limited and the alleged fraudulent investment scheme conducted by Nikolai Battoo.
  • Acting for Norway's largest bank, DnB, in relation to a contested administration application against Propinvest Group Limited, arising from circa £200 million owed under guarantees.
  • Acting for the administrative managers of the Global Mutual Fund PCC Limited, Worldwide Mutual Fund PCC Limited and the Universal Fund ICC Limited, who were appointed by the Guernsey regulator following allegations against the promoters of the funds.
  • Advising administrators and liquidators of a number of regulated entities including Northern Rock (Guernsey) Limited, Yorkshire Guernsey Limited, Lancelot Management Limited, FIM Long-Invest PCC Limited, Mission Real Estate Investment Fund PCC Limited, Claridges Trust Company (Guernsey) Limited, KSK Emerging India Energy Fund Limited, Letterstone Emerging Europe Fund Limited and Whitechapel Property Fund Limited.


  • Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP)

  • The Insolvency Lawyers' Association
  • Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3)
  • Director and Executive Committee member of ARIES (the Channel Islands member association of INSOL International)
  • Guernsey Insolvency Law Reform committee advising on changes to Guernsey's insolvency laws

What the directories say

‘It was great to witness Abel Lyall in the courtroom fighting our case. Abel also handled communication to our board of directors very well in a calm and consistent matter, accepting the highly distressed state of the board members and the challenges they faced in understanding the legal technicalities.' Legal 500 UK, 2022

'Abel Lyall is incredibly re-assuring and calm under pressure. He provides valuable advice in a timely manner and has the ability to assist in making complex transactions understandable by breaking down the task.' Legal 500 UK, 2021.

Legal 500 UK 2021 lists Abel as a leading individual for Dispute Resolution. Client feedback calls him an 'industry leading litigator'.


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