Leading Jersey firm Ogier & Le Masurier has become the first Channel Islands' practice to set up a branch in neighbouring Guernsey.
The firm has set up an associated firm in St Peter Port, which will be headed by local advocate Roger Le Tissier. Le Tissier joins from Guernsey International Fund Managers, a subsidiary of Dutch bank ING, where he headed the legal department.
Partner Michael Lombardi said that the firm had been looking at setting up its first office abroad and it had considered opening in London, a move that rival firm Mourant du Feu & Jeune made last month.
But this option was rejected. Lombardi said: "We already receive instructions from most of the leading City firms and we doubted whether a London presence would ever contribute to profitability in real terms."
After extensive market research, the firm felt that it could use its expertise in financial services to build up a business closer to home. "A large number of financial institutions are based in Guernsey and we thought it might be attractive if we were able to offer legal advice throughout the Channel Islands," Lombardi said.
He also noted that the Guernsey market is not saturated with lawyers in spite of its large financial services industry, there are only 83 registered advocates on the island.