Jessica Roland > Mourant > St Peter Port, Guernsey > Lawyer Profile

Mourant
ROYAL CHAMBERS
ST JULIAN'S AVENUE
ST PETER PORT
GY1 4HP
Guernsey

Work Department

Employment, litigation, intellectual property.

Position

Jessica is Managing Partner of the Guernsey office of Mourant Ozannes and practises commercial and common law litigation, specialising in employment law and human/corporate rights. She has substantial experience before Guernsey courts at all levels, and has advised some of the island’s largest institutions on dealing with non-contentious and contentious employment matters including redundancies. Jessica lectures and advises in this area for both locally based and international corporations with Guernsey employment issues, and frequently contributes articles on employment law. She has appeared before the Guernsey employment tribunal on numerous occasions.

What the directories say:
“Jessica Roland is described by clients as possessing ‘a knack of giving us all the time that we need to articulate the problem and talk through the issues with her, and then she leads us to a conclusion that is clear, understandable and acceptable to all’,” (Chambers UK, 2016).  Jessica is listed in Citywealth’s ‘IFC Power Women Top 200 List 2015’. “A client singles out Jessica Roland for offering ‘sound, pragmatic advice with a sensible range of options’,” (Chambers UK, 2015). Jessica is ranked in Band 1 in the category Offshore: Employment – Guernsey. Jessica is ranked as a Leading individual and recommended in Employment by (Legal 500 UK, 2015) as well as being described as ‘measured, thoughtful and articulate’. “Managing partner Jessica Roland receives glowing praise for her ‘commercial orientation and understanding of the business dimension. She provides excellent and flexible advice.’ She is widely recognised as one of the market’s leading practitioners,” (Chambers Europe, 2014). “Jessica Roland is ‘a brilliant employment lawyer’,” (Legal 500, 2013). Jessica “is widely considered one of the strongest practitioners in the market. ‘Her breadth of knowledge is huge. She can explain complex situations in a way that is easy to understand,’ agree market commentators,” (Chambers Europe, 2013).

Career

Qualified as a solicitor (England) 1997 (currently non-practising); solicitor in England (conducting general litigation and appearing in courts); returned to Guernsey 1998; advocate (Guernsey) 1999; appointed notary public 2006; CEDR-accredited mediator.

Lawyer Rankings

Guernsey > Employment

(Hall of Fame)

Jessica RolandMourant Ozannes

Mourant regularly handles the employment aspects of significant corporate transactions for global banks, funds administrators and other financial services institutions. Specific mandates involve redundancy programmes, pension issues, data protection and executive exits. The team is led by Jessica Roland, who also acts on contentious issues such as unfair dismissal and allegations of criminal activity and harassment, as well as strategic-level non-contentious work. Roland will take the role of Deputy Bailiff effective May 2020.

Guernsey > Dispute resolution

The practice at Mourant acts on the full range of instructions from its roster of multinational financial institutions, trustees and liquidator clients. Recent highlights saw the team acting in a number of highly-publicised, multi-jurisdictional insolvency instructions as well as complex trust litigation, breach of contract claims, regulatory disputes, fund litigation and corporate crime matters. The team, which includes industry-leading litigators such as Gordon Dawes, Jeremy Wessels, Robert ShepherdAbel Lyall and the firm’s managing partner Jessica Roland, also represents a number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals concerning challenges to Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), negligence claims and beneficiary disputes. Dawes and counsel Chantel Barrett handle insurance work for, among others, the Medical Protection Society. Roland is scheduled to take the role of Deputy Bailiff, a senior full-time judicial post, in May 2020.

Guernsey > Legal market overview

Guernsey remains a leading offshore jurisdiction for tax planning, asset protection and pension investments using local trust structures. The Trusts (Guernsey) Law, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday, underpins the jurisdiction’s favourable reputation as a flexible and innovative beacon of fiduciary and trust structures. Despite its South-Easterly neighbour having the bulk of the momentum in this space and proposals to change technicalities of UK Stamp Duty Land Tax, Guernsey continues to be popular for real estate structures, with the Guernsey Property Unit Trust providing an extremely similar offering to its Jersey cousin, the JPUT.

Despite a positive Moneyval review of Guernsey’s anti-money laundering regime (which locals would consider stronger than in England & Wales), the Channel Islands have come under increased Westminster attention regarding their financial transparency. This has included a constitutionally striking proposal for the British government to impose a public register of beneficial ownership on the Crown Dependencies over the best part of a millennium of self-government. Guernsey is experiencing healthy growth in insurance-linked securities (ILS) activity and is leading the charge in innovation in this sector; ‘convergence’ is the key work on investors’ lips, as they seek to combine insurance and investment activity into one vehicle.

Strong competition from Luxembourg notwithstanding, many leading names in private equity continue to domicile their funds in Guernsey, favouring its stable legal system with tried and tested corporate structures. Indeed, many would question if Luxembourg has the ability to handle something such as the Carlyle directors’ duty litigation concerning the collapse of CLO fund in the 2008 crash, which was regarded as well-run in Guernsey. On the topic of litigation, insolvency and trusts cases are key, on the latter a recent ruling in the Guernsey Court of Appeal clarified of the Hastings-Bass principle concerning the circumstances in which fiduciaries could set aside transactions with unforeseen tax liabilities.

The Bailiwick of Guernsey also includes the significantly smaller jurisdictions of Alderney, which was spotlit by locally-registered and regulated Sky Bet’s purchase by The Stars Group, as well as Sark, which averted a black-out thanks to a last-minute nationalisation of its energy company. Differences in legal systems notwithstanding, these islands are serviced by the Guernsey Bar.

With the exception of Maples and Calder, all of the major international Offshore firms in the Jersey market are also present in Guernsey, with Carey Olsen and Mourant some of the largest on the Island. Ferbrache & Farrell LLP  and Babbé LLP constitute the leading independent alternatives.

Mourant managing partner Jessica Roland is scheduled to leave the firm in May 2020 to become new Deputy Bailiff, to replace Richard McMahon who is taking the role of Bailiff as Sir Richard Collas retires.