Appleby saw a drop in numbers last year, with a net loss of 15 lawyers including 11 partners. Partners quit for firms including Mourant Ozannes and Withers, and natural attrition was also blamed.
Nevertheless, the firm is still one of the largest offshore players and, with a presence in jurisdictions such as the Seychelles and Switzerland, has one of the widest global offerings. Bermuda remains the firm's largest office, with 136 staff in total including 17 partners, but the Cayman, Jersey and Isle of Man offices are all sizeable, fielding about 30 lawyers each.
Significant hires last year included Conyers Dill & Pearman's knowledge management head Barbara Padega to the new role of global knowledge management director. This coincided with the redevelopment of Appleby's internal knowledge management platform. Using 'wiki' technology, the platform is designed to allow a more collaborative approach to knowledge sharing. Better interaction with clients is another focus, through the use of client portals.
Appleby has also undertaken a review of its work processes, resulting in the formation of sector-facing teams to mirror the way onshore firms work. Client teams led by relationship partners have been formed, so referring firms have a single point of contact. The firm has also continued interviewing clients to get feedback to improve service delivery.
Other areas of investment last year included Appleby's client relationship management system and the creation of a common fiduciary management platform.
Appleby also intends to grow its fiduciary offering, in contrast with other offshore firms, which are reducing their reliance on this area, as well as expanding in Asia, particularly China. The firm is not ruling out further new offices.
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