The Channel Islands' largest firm Mourant du Feu & Jeune is opening a London office.
Mourants will be the first Jersey firm to establish an office in the capital. The office will practise Jersey law and will concentrate on corporate and finance work.
Mourants' managing partner, Richard Jeune, says the office will make the firm more accessible to its clients among the City's financial institutions and top law firms.
“A lot of the work we do in Jersey is in capital markets, structures and fund work, and many of the banks operating in Jersey have headquarters in London and want assistance putting together various structures.
“Much of the offshore-type work originates through the principal law firms in London. We assist them at the Jersey end of any of those structures.”
Offshore legal work has moved away from its old private-client-led base towards structuring offshore vehicles as a base for assets. “So much of what we do now involves a Jersey entity – a company, a limited partnership or a fund – and we would be involved in the structure that's being provided,” says Jeune.
The firm plans to recruit a City partner to head the office and will recruit other City lawyers, who will be trained in Jersey, to meet growth.
“We will take on someone who is imminently partnership material to head the office – either a partner or about to become one,” says Jeune.
There are several offshore law firms with offices in London, such as Bermuda-based Conyers Dill & Pearman and Maples & Calder from the Caymen Islands.
But Jeune believes Mourants will be the first based in the British Isles' offshore centres to establish itself in the capital.
The office will be open “by the end of the summer” and will be based at the Stanhope Gate premises of the firm's trust company, Mourant & Co.