The map of the offshore market will have to be redrawn again following the decision by Walkers to merge with Jersey-based Crills Advocates to create a 33-partner offshore powerhouse with offices in the Caribbean, the Channel Islands, the Middle East and Asia.
The new entity is called Walkers and went live on 1 July. Peter Harris and Julie Melia will remain senior partner and managing partner of the Jersey office, while Grant Stein remains global managing partner of Walkers.
Harris told The Lawyer: “I’m happy that, culturally, the firms are very similar. Early on we made a decision to operate under one brand and that exhibits the spirit in which the Jersey partners have entered into this merger.”
Walkers launched in Dubai last year, but Stein said the merger was a more practical option in Jersey. “Unlike Dubai, Jersey’s a very mature market, so we thought it would be better to have critical mass than be a self-starter,” he said.
The two firms are now working towards full integration. Stein also wants to introduce Jersey law into the London office, which offers Cayman Islands law advice.
Walkers now boasts offices in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jersey and London, covering dispute resolution, hedge funds, private equity, property and structured finance.
Walkers won Offshore Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards last week.