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Offshore services firm Maitland Group has abandoned plans to become a player in the offshore legal world, closing its Cayman Islands office a year after launching in the jurisdiction.
Maitland traditionally operated as an offshore trusts services company, but in June 2008 opened in Cayman in an effort to break into the offshore legal world (The Lawyer, 23 June). The firm poached litigation partner Sara Collins from Walkers to spearhead its push into Cayman.
At the time of the launch managing director Steve Georgala said: “We started with the Cayman Islands because it’s the easiest jurisdiction to launch in. We’ll be launching a trust company there later this year.”
The firm beefed up its operations there with the recruitment of Solomon Harris lawyer Magda Embury as a partner and head of the finance and local business group. It is understood that Embury has since left the firm and Collins has defected to rival Conyers Dill & Pearman.
In a statement Maitland said: “As part of a worldwide strategic business review prompted by the worldwide recession, Maitland decided to withdraw from the Cayman Islands. This decision does not affect Maitland’s other operations.”