The Legal 500

Guernsey

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Editorial

Legal market overview

While Guernsey continues to develop its international profile as an investment fund centre, particularly for private equity and venture capital, transaction structuring and services, it has recently experienced a decline in fund activity.

M&A activity for the island in 2012 featured many cross-jurisdictional property and financial services deals involving Guernsey companies. The new Competition Law, effective from August 2012, impacted on M&A activity by creating an additional layer of analysis as to whether deals required the competition authority’s consent.

Financing instructions tended to focus on bridge financing to private equity funds, and real estate finance transactions, while refinancings and restructurings remained a significant source of work. There was also a rise in listings on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

IP lawyers in Guernsey can look forward to new instructions following the launch of the world’s first image rights register in Guernsey in December 2012. The legislation established image rights as a separate branch of IP law, and provides defined safeguards for celebrities and sports personalities.

A major development in Guernsey’s private wealth sector was the introduction of the island’s own version of foundations, which already existed in Jersey and the Isle of Man, thereby meeting demand from jurisdictions more used to the foundation structure than trusts.

Dispute resolution lawyers remained active throughout the year. A number of law firms on the island were called on to advise in relation to a $1bn-plus compensation claim brought against the directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation, in relation to a collapsed fund that invested in residential mortgage backed securities.

International developments for Guernsey’s legal practices included Carey Olsen opening a Cayman Islands office, with a team of four partners who specialise in corporate, finance and investment funds. The firm also launched a BVI practice, and in January 2013 entered into an association with offshore law firm Hempel and Boyd.

Bedell Cristin established a BVI office at the start of 2012, and launched a Singapore outpost in July 2012. Mourant Ozannes opened up in the BVI in September 2012, following on from its Hong Kong launch at the start of 2012, and Appleby founded a representative office in Shanghai in April 2012.

Key market movements for the island included corporate and finance expert David Moore and litigation advocate Rupert Morris joining Bedell Cristin from Mourant Ozannes and Ogier respectively, and Roger Le Tissier retiring from Ogier in 2013.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Guernsey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • In re B; B v T (Court of Appeal, 11 July 2012)

    A trustee's duty of confidentiality has recently been discussed and to some extent clarified in the recent Guernsey Court of Appeal decision of In re B; B v T (Court of Appeal, 11 July 2012). This summary has been prepared to provide you with a summary of the case as well as the general issues raised, but is not intended to cover all matters or to provide commentary.   This summary does not constitute legal advice.
  • The Company Administration Regime in Guernsey

    Introduction 
  • Guernsey Image Rights Legislation

    The Image Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance 2012 (the Ordinance) and The Image Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations, 2012
  • Guernsey Foundations

    The Foundations (Guernsey) Law, 2012 (Law) is awaiting Royal assent, expected to be given by the end of the year or early next year. Whilst Guernsey is not the first jurisdiction to provide for foundations, the Law does provide a number of unique options for individuals wishing to take advantage of the benefits provided by foundations. The purpose of this note is to provide both a general summary of the features of a Guernsey foundation, as well as a summary of these unique options that will be available under the Law.
  • Competitive Guernsey

    Guernsey has been considering the introduction of local competition law since at least 2005 and by bringing into effect The Competition (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2012 on 1 August 2012, has introduced an effective Competition Law regime, to regulate the same 3 core areas recognized in most competition regimes, namely the abuse of a dominant position, anti-competitive arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Foundations in Guernsey

    On 25 July 2012 the States of Deliberation, Guernsey’s parliament, approved the project de loi The Foundations (Guernsey) Law, 2012 (the “Law”). Subject to Privy Council approval, the Law is expected to come into force in late 2012 or early 2013. This note is a brief summary of certain features of the new Law.
  • Friendly Rivalry? The Competition Laws of the Channel Islands

    • New Competition Law for Guernsey in force on 1 August 2012 • Jersey and Guernsey now both regulate the abuse of a dominant position, anti-competitive arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions • Key differences between the islands' competition laws • Overall, a pan-Channel Island approach to regulation
  • Making a will in Guernsey May 2012

    On 2 April 2012 The Inheritance (Guernsey) law 2011 came into force which has replaced Guernsey’s forced heirship regime with a system of full testamentary freedom (accompanied by family and dependent provisions).
  • Listing Specialist Securities on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange

    The Channel Islands Stock Exchange LBG ("CISX") began its operations in October 1998. It is based in St Peter Port, Guernsey and provides a listing facility and bespoke trading platform.
  • Image rights laws to be introduced in Guernsey

    “Image is everything” - Andre Agassi once famously declared in an advert for camera brand, Canon.

Press Releases in Guernsey

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Russian industrialists and VEGAS LEX discuss development of procedural law with Supreme Court

    VEGAS LEX and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and chaired by Mikhail Fridman have discussed improvement of judicial procedure in Russia, also in the context of the new unified Civil Procedure Code Concept and the Code of Administrative Court Procedure now in the works. The event convened representatives of the Supreme Court, the Presidential State-Legal Directorate, the State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal and Commercial Legislation, major industrial companies and legal experts.
  • Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC co-sponsored the CFA first seminar of the year, 6th & 9th March 20

    The Cyprus Fiduciary Association organized two (2) full-day seminars on the Role and Liabilities of Directors which were co-sponsored by Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC. The seminars took place at Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia on March, 6 and at St. Raphael Hotel in Limassol on March 9 and were hailed with great success.
  • Baker & Partners Drive Best Practice for Local Trust Firms

    Baker & Partners have issued a Guidance Note covering the retirement, replacement and removal of trustees, with information of great relevance to Jersey’s legal community and the broader legal and financial sectors. 
  • Popov & Partners admitted as a member of Bulgarian Water Association

    At the beginning of April 2015 Popov & Partners was admitted as a corporate member of the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) . BWA is the largest organization in Bulgaria that combines all WSS operators, trade companies and business consultants with focus on the management of the water resources and the development of the water-supply services in the country. In international aspect BWA has parnership relations with European Water Association and International Water Association and other international water organizations, whose activity reflects directly over the development of the water sector in global aspect.
  • Slovenia: Schoenherr advises Laško shareholders on a majority stake in Slovenian brewer to Heineken

    Schoenherr advised a consortium of owners of Pivovarna Laško, d.d. ("Laško"), Slovenia's leading brewery group, in the sale of their combined holdings of over 51% in Laško to Heineken International B.V., part of the Netherlands-based brewing group. The opening of final offers took place on 13 April 2015, with Heineken offering EUR 25.56 per share in Laško (translating into a total purchase price of approx. EUR 114 million for the 51.11% stake on sale). Following the selection of Heineken as best bidder, the respective share purchase agreement was signed in Ljubljana the same day. read more...
  • Popov & Partners admitted as a member of Bulgarian Water Association

    At the beginning of April 2015 Popov & Partners was admitted as a corporate member of the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) . BWA is the largest organization in Bulgaria that combines all WSS operators, trade companies and business consultants with focus on the management of the water resources and the development of the water-supply services in the country. In international aspect BWA has parnership relations with European Water Association and International Water Association and other international water organizations, whose activity reflects directly over the development of the water sector in global aspect.
  • Austria: Arbitration expert Leon Kopecký joins Schoenherr as Counsel

    Leon Kopecký has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr Kopecký focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, international litigation, and compliance matters. His clients are international firms in the construction, raw materials, infrastructure, finance, fashion and health care industries. He regularly advises clients on complex investment matters. read more...
  • HaoLiWen Selected by ALB as Finalist for Regulatory Compliance Law Firm of the Year

    HaoLiWen has been recently selected by ALB as the finalist for Regulatory Compliance Law Firm of the Year (2015), a market recognition of the regulatory compliance practice of HaoLiWen, which has a history of around ten years.
  • fwp advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the sale of Immobilien Holding portfolio

    Vienna, 16 January 2015. Business law firm Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the multi-stage structured sale of the real estate portfolio it holds via Immobilien Holding GmbH. read more...
  • fwp advises HETA on individual applications for review of special Hypo legislation

    Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner Rechtsanwaelte GmbH (fwp) represents HETA Asset Resolution AG (formerly HYPO Alpe-Adria Bank International AG) in connection with the judicial review proceedings before the Austrian Constitutional Court following the implementation of special Hypo legislation. The Constitutional Court has now rejected all individual applications filed by Austrian and international investors as inadmissible. Read more...