Withers dips its toe in Virgin territory

Withers is set to make its first foray into the offshore legal sphere with the launch of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) office, The Lawyer can reveal.

Margaret Robertson

Withers is set to make its first foray into the offshore legal sphere with the launch of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) office, The Lawyer can reveal.

Withers managing director Margaret Robertson said the firm had launched the office because an increasing amount of international litigation, such as insolvency litigation and fraud and asset tracing, involves a BVI offshore component.

“This in turn requires expert advice and coordination between the world’s financial centres and the island itself,” she added.

Robertson said the office would be ideally located to deal with global litigation that is intrinsically connected to proceedings in ­London, Switzerland and Hong Kong, where the firm already has presences.

Withers will relocate litigation partner Jeremy Scott and funds, investments, tax and trusts partner John Greenwood to the BVI from the London office.

Greenwood joined the firm in 2007 from offshore giant Appleby, where he was managing director for Appleby Corporate Services.

Many offshore firms have seen significant increases in instructions coming directly from clients, as opposed to onshore firms. This move by Withers is one way of shoring up its offshore credentials and keeping hold of clients that would otherwise use offshore firms.

Robertson said Withers had no plans to further expand its offshore office network, having already hired Cayman Islands ­specialist Ziva Robertson from offshore firm Mourant du Feu & Jeune in January.