Carey Olsen links up with BVI firm in Caribbean push

Channel Islands-headquartered firm Carey Olsen has entered into an association with two-partner British Virgin Islands (BVI) outfit Hempel & Boyd in a bid to strengthen its Caribbean offering to clients.

Carey Olsen joined several of its offshore competitors in the Cayman Islands last year (12 June 2012) and also offers BVI law through dual-qualified Guernsey partner Andrew Boyce. The new association will give it a physical presence in the BVI through Hempel & Boyd.

Hempel & Boyd was established in early 2012 by Maples and Calder lawyers Clinton Hempel and Greg Boyd. As well as an office in Road Town in the BVI the firm also has an office in South Africa.

Carey Olsen managing partner Alex Ohlsson said the Cayman Islands office has been successful and the opening there, followed by this new association, was due to a significant growth in client interest in legal services in both jurisdictions.

Hempel added: “The BVI remains firmly entrenched as one of the premier offshore jurisdictions, particularly for international transactional work and asset holding structures. I have no doubt that our clients will benefit from the multi-jurisdictional capability which our association with Carey Olsen brings to our practice.”

Mourant Ozannes also moved into the BVI last year, picking up two lawyers from Ogier as well as relocating a partner to the jurisdiction (24 September 2012).

Hempel also said Hempel & Boyd was planning to expand its Cape Town presence to become a full-service office.

No offshore firms have a significant presence in mainland Africa. BVI firm Harneys operates a representative office in Zimbabwe with counsel Patrick Colegrave on the ground, while Appleby has an office in the Seychelles and Mauritius and Conyers Dill & Pearman and Bedell Cristin are also both present in Mauritius. The Seychelles and Mauritius are popular jurisdictions to domicile companies investing into Africa.