No firm is an island

Nope.

Appleby did well to pick up a four-strong team from Ozannes (the firm made the decision to open on the Islands 18 months ago).

And yes, Conyers is now on the hunt for a team or a firm that will allow it to gain a foothold on the Islands (see story).

But Conyers employed a team to look at the viability of the jurisdiction back in October last year. There are subtle differences in the two firms’ approach too.

Given the difficulty Appleby had in finding the right team, it looks as though Conyers will have to plump for a merger with an existing firm. Collis, an old hand at opening greenfield sites, admits that the move will have to be “substantial” if it is to succeed.

Once completed (this summer if all goes well) Conyers will present its Channel Islands office to its clients – no Guernsey or Jersey distinction for them.

The firm’s strategy of picking up work from FTSE 500 and multi-national companies means it will market its Channel Islands office as a singular entity, reflecting the view of its clients.

“We are delivering one service,” Collis told us. “Our clients in Sao Paulo won’t know the difference.”

For more on this see an exclusive interview with John Collis, managing partner of Conyers Dill & Pearman in the Offshore Special Report, The Lawyer on 22 February.