03 May 2018

Channel Islands law firms putting Caribbean rivals in the shade

Offshore under scrutiny

A survey by The Lawyer of top thirty offshore law firms shows Channel Island firms taking more of the top spots.

For the first time since compiling data, The Lawyer’s Offshore Top 30 legal firms has more Channel Islands-headquartered firms in the top five than Caribbean firms. The change has taken place mostly in the past five years. Back in 2013, Mourant Ozannes was third surrounded in the top five by Caribbean firms.

Appleby falls
Firms are ranked by number of qualified lawyers and, in the case of a tie, by the number of partners, and Jersey remains the biggest jurisdiction by lawyer headcount, now with 373 lawyers. Appleby, one of the world’s largest and most established offshore firms, has slipped down the rankings this year to sixth place. Once second by lawyer numbers, just behind Maples and Calder which sits atop the rankings with over 300 lawyers worldwide, Appleby is now in sixth place with less than 200 lawyers. Walkers and Mourant Ozannes retain their second and third positions from last year, while Carey Olsen and Ogier are fourth and fifth.

Collas Crill rises
The jurisdictions covered in the Offshore Top 30 are Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. The Lawyer’s data highlights Collas Crill, which is following their larger Channel Islands rivals and adopting similar strategy of joining a Guernsey-Jersey merger and expanding internationally by launching in the BVI and opening a representative office in Hong Kong. The firm is now one of the largest 10 offshore firms worldwide, in what the report called “a remarkable growth story” over the past seven years.

The report can be found here