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2014 was a mixed year for Guernsey’s law firms, with some practice groups reporting extraordinary volumes of work, and others bewailing a drop-off in instructions.

On the whole, private client and trust departments have been very busy, and the volume and complexity of transactions has been on the increase. This trend has largely been driven by investment from financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals in the Middle East, Russia and Scandinavia. The maturity of the sector means that there has been a decline in the number of new structures being established, but a drive by trust companies to increase their international footprint and to mitigate compliance and regulation costs has led to a lot of M&A activity.

Funds departments have also had a good year, and Guernsey remains a significant domicile for private equity funds and managers. A number of new funds have been established, and there has been a good deal of M&A activity in this space, as well as eight listings of Guernsey-domiciled funds on the London Stock Exchange. Infrastructure and real estate funds are also increasingly common, and more and more firms report that they are occupied with pensions-related work.

In the world of litigation, many firms have reported that the number of cases going to court has declined. The area is characterised by the fact that a small number of high-profile and long-running cases occupy lawyers from almost all the major firms. Naturally, these tend to be trust matters. Dispute resolution specialists have also found themselves providing regulatory advice to many clients, not because new regulations have been introduced, but because regulators have become more energetic.

The majority of firms reported a quiet year in commercial property, with no major retailers establishing a presence on the island.

Guernsey’s market for legal services is not a large one. Two international firms, Carey Olsen and Mourant Ozannes, are to be found at or near the top of most tables, and Appleby, Bedell Cristin, Collas Crill, and Ogier are all highly regarded. Of the local firms, AFR Advocates, AO HALL, and Babbé are the most prominent. The market is a fairly stable one, and 2014 saw no new firms and no mergers. There was also very little movement of personnel between firms.

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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.
  • The Company Administration Regime in Guernsey

  • 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