Merger creates first global firm on Isle of Man and world’s largest offshore law firm

Leading global offshore legal, fiduciary and administration service provider Appleby, has today announced a dramatic expansion of its international reach, merging with Dickinson Cruickshank, the largest law firm in the Isle of Man. The firm will continue to be known as Appleby and the merger is to be effective, once all conditions are met, on 1st October, 2009. Appleby is the first global offshore law firm on the island and the move will see Appleby emerge as the offshore law firm with the widest jurisdictional reach, and become the largest offshore law firm by number of partners. The firm will now have 73 partners and 200 lawyers, with a total of over 800 staff in 9 offices worldwide, including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Mauritius, Hong Kong, London, Zurich and the Isle of Man.

Dickinson Cruickshank is the largest and one of the longest established firms of advocates on the Isle of Man. Founded in 1899, it is now one of the two dominant law firms on the island with 11 partners, 27 other lawyers, 17 fiduciary service providers and a total staff of 119. It is a full service firm practising Isle of Man law with a specific focus on corporate and commercial, private client, dispute resolution, property and fiduciary services. The firm is consistently in the top ranking in the major international legal directories and has twice been nominated as “Offshore law firm of the Year”.

Commenting on the merger, Paul Morris, Dickinson Cruickshank’s Senior Partner said: “We believe that the merger with Appleby, as a global offshore services provider, is not only a first on the island and an invaluable resource for our clients, but it will also provide a huge boost to the Isle of Man’s capabilities, status and reputation in the international offshore sector. Appleby’s global reach in the key offshore jurisdictions, its recent expansion through Mauritius into the emerging markets in India, Africa and Asia, and its market leading position in international financial centres, will have a significant impact on the breadth, range and choice of services we are able to offer to our Isle of Man and international clients.”

Peter Bubenzer, Appleby’s Global Group Managing Partner added: “The opportunity to merge with a firm of the size and quality of Dickinson Cruickshank was compelling for us. The firm’s focus on their clients’ needs and, as the offshore sector evolves, their recognition of the value to clients of truly global resources, as well as a choice of jurisdictions and structures, mirrors our own strategic thinking. The merger will position us as the leading provider of legal, fiduciary and administration services across the offshore world. Our entry into the Manx market further builds our strength and depth across multiple jurisdictions — providing greater resources and greater choice to our clients. In addition, Dickinson Cruickshank’s London presence will strengthen our offering in the UK market. The merger will provide both firms’ corporate, institutional and private clients with greater resources across the locations and time zones in which they do business and a broader choice of structures and jurisdictions, unmatched by any other offshore firm. We believe that the move will reinforce Appleby’s position as the first choice for clients in the offshore sector.”

The merger will enable Appleby to further extend the services it offers to global clients seeking high quality, sophisticated financial centres through which to invest. It follows the firm’s successful opening in Mauritius in 2008, providing clients with greater access to the high growth Middle East, Asian, Indian and African markets, and in Zurich in 2009, offering access to the range of offshore centres to private bank and institutional clients in Switzerland.

Appleby first ventured out from its Bermuda origins in 1979, with the establishment of a Guernsey office for administration clients, and this latest merger is part of a thirty year development of the firm. The firm has expanded rapidly in the last three years and now has a legal and professional staff of approximately 800. It is the only offshore legal, fiduciary and administration service provider with a major foothold in six of the world’s leading offshore business centres in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Mauritius and now Isle of Man, as well as offices in London, Hong Kong and Switzerland.


For further information please contact:

Nicola Stokes or Paul Jaffa, Myddleton Communications – London on +44 207 689 5545 or


Vicki Cummings, Director of Marketing, Appleby – Bermuda on +1 441 298 3294 or email

Notes to Editors

Appleby is the leading provider of sophisticated offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services. The Group now has over 800 lawyers and staff in the major offshore jurisdictions of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Mauritius and Isle of Man as well as the key financial centres of Hong Kong, London, and Zurich.