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Editorial

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.

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.
  • 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
  • Lower VAT On Hotel Services In Montenegro

    An important piece of regulation has been introduced in Montenegro recently, through the reduction of VAT on catering services in four stars hotels (in the north of the country) and five-star hotels (on the seaside), which will be effective from 2018. According to media reports, Olivera Brajović, General Director of Tourism Development and Standards in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, pointed out that these reduced tax rates on services of preparing and serving food and drinks are expected to raise the overall competitiveness in the hospitality sector, while at the same time contribute to the combat against grey economy.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Joins The NextLaw Global Referral Network

    Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that it has joined the NextLaw Global Referral Network, created by global law firm Dentons. We are particularly excited by the fact that Nextlaw presents a new type of network, with a unique invitation-only approach in their selection, ensuring that all of its members have the highest quality standards and a proven track record of excellence.
  • Sweet Smell Of Success - Serbian Sugar Industry Consolidates Its Forces

    After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šećer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko.
  • New Bridge Over Danube To Be Built In Belgrade

    News reports are informing us that Belgrade will gain another bridge over the Danube river in the near future – this one at the Ada Huja island and over three kilometres long.
  • Nikola Tesla Airport To Acquire Sava Centar?

    Media outlets have recently been reporting on the possibility that Nikola Tesla Airport will acquire Sava Centar (SC), with the purpose of turning it into its company headquarters. This acquisition would be followed by an investment of over EUR 30 million in the next three years for the building's reconstruction and adaptation. Such a decision would result in Sava Centar changing its name to "Congress Centre Nikola Tesla Airport", with an expanded array of facilities, including a tower, a shopping mall, and a hotel. The funds for the investment in question will be hailing from the Airport's own assets.
  • Too Big To Hide – European Commission Sanctions Truck Cartel

    Global competition law circles have recently been shaken by the European Commission's record-setting fine of EUR 2.93 billion for collusion on the automotive market, imposed against Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks. The sanctions in question varied amongst the accused parties, with Daimler facing the largest penalty in the amount of more than EUR 1 billion on its own. Iveco's fine was set at EUR 494 million, DAF's at EUR 752 million, and Volvo's fine has been set at EUR 670 million.
  • Cartel Office ensures greater competition in rail sector

    The German railway company Deutsche Bahn must allow for more competition. The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, found that the company had abused its dominant market position with respect to the sale of rail tickets.
  • ETERNA LAW IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE START OF THE COOPERATION WITH PUBLIC ASSOCIATION "ACADEMY OF PREVE

    Eterna Law (representative office in Almaty) announces the beginning of co-operation as a legal adviser with the Public Association "Academy of Preventive Medicine of Kazakhstan."
  • LAG Sachsen-Anhalt on video surveillance at the workplace

    Video surveillance at the workplace does not inevitably give rise to claims for damages. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] (Az.: 6 Sa 301/14).
  • Final stretch for loan withdrawal

    Those who still want to withdraw from real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010 should take action now while the right of withdrawal is on its last legs. This get-out-of-jail-free card is set to lapse shortly.