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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.
  • Royal Court Civil Proceedings - A Shift From Ladbroke on External Lawyers' Fees?

    The limits of cost recovery in Guernsey litigation is an ever present issue for clients. It is even more acute where external lawyers are engaged because of the need for specialist assistance. This article explores those limits, with a focus on external lawyers' fees and the leading 2008 case of Ladbrokes PLC v Galaxy International Ltd.
  • The Company Administration Regime in Guernsey

    Introduction 
  • Proposed changes to Guernsey Insolvency Laws

    The Guernsey States of Deliberation have approved changes to the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 which include several key changes affecting insolvencies in Guernsey.The Guernsey States of Deliberation have approved changes to the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 which include several key changes affecting insolvencies in Guernsey.
  • Guernsey Foundations

    A summary of the key aspects of the Foundations (Guernsey) Law, 2012. 
  • 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.
  • Non-charitable purpose trusts in Guernsey

    Guernsey law permits a purpose trust to be established with a particular purpose stated in the trust instrument and for which there are no ascertainable beneficiaries.
  • 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.

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
  • Austria/Malta: Schoenherr advises Oesterreichische Volksbanken on sale of Volksbank Malta

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Österreichische Volksbanken-AG (OeVAG) on the sale of its fully-owned subsidiary Volksbank Malta Limited to Malta-based Mediterranean Bank plc. On 11 April 2014, OeVAG and Mediterranean Bank signed a Share Purchase Agreement for 100% of the shares in Volksbank Malta. Closing shall take place after the required approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received. read more...
  • Austria: Stefan Kuehteubl new head of Employment practice at Schoenherr

    Stefan Kuehteubl will join Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as a partner and the head of the firm's Employment practice as of July 2014. A highly-regarded employment law practitioner, Kuehteubl will be returning to Schoenherr, where he previously worked as a member of its employment team between 1999 and 2004. During the past ten years, he worked in a well-known Vienna-based employment law boutique, in which he was a partner since 2008. read more...
  • Proud to continue charitable donations in 2014

     Read more...
  • New Swiss Law on Product Safety

    The Swiss law on product safety ( Produktesicherheitsgesetz, PrSG) is currently scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2010. This new law aligns Swiss product safety requirements with EU law. It applies not only to manufacturers, but to anyone who commercially or professionally markets products in Switzerland, and it introduces substantial new obligations before and after the sale of a product.
  • Chambers Global has once again recognised Pepeliaev Group's tax practice as the best in Russia

    The Chambers Global 2014 international ratings have hailed Pepeliaev Group's tax practice and the firm's managing partner Sergey Pepeliaev as Russia's best in the area of taxation (band 1 and Star Individuals). Commentators describe Mr Pepeliaev as "the father of Russian taxation." He has an outstanding reputation in tax litigation, for which he is said to be "absolutely brilliant." In addition, Chambers Global  lavishes praise on Rustem Ahmetshin (band 2), one of the firm's senior partners, who has considerable expertise in areas such as VAT and audit advice. Chambers Global sources commend Pepeliaev Group partner Valentina Akimova (band 3) as a "smart tax specialist." She has significant experience in a wide range of tax matters such as VAT, income tax and excise duties. Sources recommend Andrey Nikonov (band 3), another senior partner in the firm, as an authority on VAT, mineral extraction tax and unified social tax.  Chambers Global also rates Mr Nikonov highly for his experience in resolving tax disputes advising on the tax aspects of M&A transactions.
  • DHIR & DHIR ASSOCIATES ADVISES NATIONAL HOUSING BANK ON THE TRANCHE- II OF PUBLIC ISSUE OF TAX FREE

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the Tranche- II of public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 1,000 Crore.
  • WHAT CANNOT BE DONE DIRECTLY CANNOT BE DONE INDIRECTLY ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT

    In a recent landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court in the matter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL) & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors ., the Hon'ble Court has laid down an important principal of law to the effect that SARFAESI Action can be taken by an assignee/ successor in interest only if the original lender had SARFAESI power.
  • DHIR & DHIR ASSOCIATES ADVISES NATIONAL HOUSING BANK ON THE PUBLIC ISSUE OF TAX FREE BONDS AGGREGATI

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 2,100 Crore.
  • Angel Buzalov from “Popov & Partners” has participated in “Legal Day 2014”of GBICC

    On 20.03.2014 was carried the first part of the annually organized forum "Legal Day" of German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber. Representatives of the leading legal companies in Bulgaria and industry representatives also took part in the event.
  • “Popov & Partners” took part in the consultations organized by the German-Bulgarian Industrial C

    On 24.03.2014 a meeting of the Advisory Board "Law" of the German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber (GBICC) was held. The event was attended by representatives of the business as well as lawyers from major law firms in Bulgaria, including the law firm "Popov & Partners."