Ogier Guernsey: An island of opportunity

With numerous opportunities for corporations, firms and individuals to conduct business in, Guernsey has become the place to be. Eleni Chalkidou speaks to Ogier Guernsey’s Founding Partner Roger Le Tissier to discover why

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Guernsey offers clients a superior, safe and reputable legal system that is especially well-equipped to cover all matters relating to financial services, while maintaining a close proximity to European markets. The island is an exceptionally well-regulated British Crown Dependency and continues to be one of the jurisdictions of choice for the needs of corporate clients. Financial and political dependability, tax neutrality, and a highly professional environment for both banking and infrastructure, have led to Guernsey being seen as one of the key centres for providing first-class legal and fiduciary services.

Leading law firm Ogier has borne witness to the region’s rapidly increasing reputation as a globally recognised centre for top-notch offshore financial services. Ogier Guernsey focuses principally on finance matters in areas including private equity, investment funds, private wealth, trusts, insolvency and restructuring, corporate and commercial litigation. The internationally renowned firm has received accolades from clients and competitors alike, particularly for its investment fund advice. It has itself experienced remarkable growth over the past few years and has appointed numerous lawyers to meet the increasing demand in legal representation.

Founded in Guernsey in 1998, Ogier also provides fiduciary services through Ogier Fiduciary Services, a large group of professionals, who provide services in a number of areas including property, mezzanine funds, private equity, and registrar services for investment funds. The firm’s fully integrated offering, its international expertise, and the uniqueness of being able to offer its clients a full service offering through its strategically placed global office network, sets Ogier Guernsey apart. It has become a favourite within the jurisdiction as it connects with local people by providing support to its communities through generous contributions to chosen charities, as well as funding music, arts and sports projects.

Founding partner of Ogier Guernsey, Roger Le Tissier, has been in the thick of the island’s progress and knows the appeal the jurisdiction holds in the finance sector. When asked about Guernsey’s desirability, Le Tissier said: “There are a number of reasons I can think of. One of the key attractions is longevity, with five decades of professional expertise in Guernsey and the Channel Islands. A further draw is undoubtedly the area’s international reputation.”

Earlier this year the IMF published six evaluation reports on Guernsey which identify and laud, along with its healthy criminal justice structure, its standards of financial regulation, stability and supervision. After it examined the financial stability of its insurance and banking sector, it reported that the high standard across all sectors is in line with Financial Action Task Force recommendations.

Le Tissier says: “When the IMF came to Guernsey it rated us alongside Jersey at the very top for regulation and standards. Now that this second-to-none footing has been established, corporations know that the Channel Islands offer the best service money can buy.” Le Tissier also believes that the manner of communication plays an important role. “The ability to reach across markets from the GMT time zone and be in communication with the key jurisdictions and London is a major advantage,” he says.

Ogier was recently instrumental in achieving approval for Guernsey companies to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “Partner Caroline Chan led the legal work in the initiative to have them listed. The fact that Hong Kong has accepted Guernsey shows how our international recognition has broadened,” Le Tissier said.
Referring to the effect of the recent economic crisis, the team at Ogier Guernsey has observed an increasing demand for counsel in areas such as insolvency and restructuring. “The clients we look after have proven remarkably resilient but legal advice has gone up in our Guernsey office. We know that the global financial downturn has clearly caused some difficulties but it also brings a huge amount of opportunities. Funds investing in distressed debt and other situations have grown and are still on the rise,” Le Tissier believes.

For more information please contact Roger Le Tissier by tel: +44 (0)1481 737150 or email: roger.letissier@ogier.com