Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ogier and WSmiths merger to create offshore powerhouse

Full service offshore law firm Ogier has merged with WSmiths in the British Virgin Islands, which gives the firm access to three further offshore jurisdictions. The merger will be effective from 1 February 2007.

The merger will create a large offshore company with 9 offices, including the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Hong Kong, Guernsey, London, Ireland, Uruguay and New Zealand. The combined company will employ over 600 staff under the brand of Ogier. The companies have already begun the integration of their services and operations.

The group will be able to offer its customers advice on various aspects of the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Channel Islands law supporting all the financial markets including the dynamically developing Asian and Chinese markets.

So, Ogier’s reach will be extended into the BVI, Hong Kong and Montevideo where it has not had presence yet. Ogier has already experienced growth through merger with Boxalls, the 1st transatlantic merger of offshore firms, in 2003.

Ogier chairman Jonathan White said they are planning to provide services from all key offshore jurisdictions, which is realistic because of this merger, and that the merger moves they closer to becoming the undisputed market leader.

WSmiths was formed in the BVI 5 years ago. The company has quickly gained the respect of the market as a leading offshore firm. WSmiths was shortlisted for the HighNets Awards as “Offshore Advisers of the Year 2005” and as “Offshore Law Firm of the Year” by The Lawyer in 2006. Currently, it has a turnover of USD 5 million.

WSmiths managing partner Duncan Smith said that the merger is an exciting opportunity to move further with an enhanced multi-jurisdictional capability.

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