The Legal 500

Guernsey

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

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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