Ogier has announced plans to offer Jersey and Guernsey services in Asia. In May, Guernsey and Jersey lawyers will be relocating to the firm’s Hong Kong office, where the firm has an established BVI and Cayman legal practice. This latest move comes in response to increased client demand for Channel Islands legal and fiduciary services in the Asian time zone. This is yet another first for Ogier as it will be the first time that Guernsey and Jersey lawyers will operate in this region.

Marcus Leese, a partner based in the Ogier Guernsey office, will head up the new Channel Islands practice in Hong Kong. Marcus is an advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey, where he has been practising for the past 11 years. He is also admitted as a solicitor in New Zealand and in England and Wales. His expertise covers private client and trusts matters, investment funds, banking and corporate and commercial work. He was named as a leading individual by The Legal 500 for his commercial and banking practice in 2009, and he featured in Citywealth magazine’s “Leaders List 2009” as a leader for his trusts practice, and was recognised by PLC Which Lawyer? for his funds expertise.

Marcus joins partners Duncan Smith (Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office), Timothy Bridges and Nicholas Plowman.

Lawyers from the Ogier Jersey office will also transfer to Hong Kong to set up the joint Channel Islands practice and will join associate director, Maria McDermott, who recently relocated to Hong Kong to head up Ogier Fiduciary Services in Hong Kong.

The firm will have the capability to offer a range of Guernsey and Jersey legal and fiduciary services in the Asian time zone including corporate and commercial advice (including listings), investment funds, banking and finance, as well as trust and private client services through Ogier Private Wealth. This will complement the BVI and Cayman services which Ogier already offer from its Hong Kong office, which was established in 2006.

The growing strength and importance of emerging economies notably in Asia and in particular China is one of the drivers behind this latest development. A considerable amount of planning and research has gone into this move and, having canvassed a number of clients and intermediaries in the region, significant interest in providing Guernsey and Jersey legal services from Asia was evident.

Nick Kershaw, Chief Executive Officer, commented “This is an exciting development for the firm. Our Hong Kong office continues to experience dramatic growth and in establishing a Channel Islands practice there we are ensuring our client driven strategy is being achieved. We have seen the success of offering Cayman and BVI services in Asia so it is a natural step forward to look at extending our Guernsey and Jersey services to this region.”

Marcus Leese added “We recognise that to provide our clients with the full range of legal and fiduciary services it is necessary to establish a permanent Guernsey and Jersey presence in Hong Kong. We already advise a number of Asian-based clients from Guernsey and Jersey who have responded very positively and welcome this initiative.”

Ogier has offices in nine locations which cover all time zones and key financial markets. It is the only offshore law and fiduciary firm with a significant, established presence in the four key offshore financial centres of BVI, Cayman, Guernsey and Jersey.

The firm has already acted as Jersey legal adviser to Jersey incorporated United Company RUSAL Limited, the world’s largest aluminium and alumina producer, which was the first ever listing of a Jersey company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.