Keystone take tentative first steps overseas with Guernsey launch

Keystone Law has kicked off its international expansion strategy by opening its first overseas office in Guernsey.

The office will be led by John Stephens, who joins from English-law practice Spicer & Partners. Stephens will focus on providing Guernsey-based clients with inward investment advice across various practice areas.

Prior to Spicer & Partners, English-qualified Stephens worked in the property departments of City firms including Simmons & Simmons. He specialises in commercial property, inward investment to the UK and regulatory and due diligence aspects of energy efficiency and carbon reduction obligations.

Keystone Law’s managing partner James Knight said the new office was the start of a drive to expand internationally and that the next international office would be further afield.

“This will be what you might call a representative office doing UK work and channelling mainly inward investment work from international clients or work where the funds have been channeled through Guernsey. A lot of the advisors instructing law firms are based in Guernsey, I suppose the benefit for them is proximity – they like to deal with people they know,” he said.

The firm has already expressed an interest in launching a commercial arm in Australia, and revealed plans to set up similar joint venture structures in Italy, France, Israel and South Africa earlier this year (3 August 2012) with announcements on the latter two of those expected in the autumn.