Gibraltar firm to set up NY office

GIBRALTAR firm Marrache & Co has announced plans to establish a presence in New York, only weeks after opening a London office under the direction of former Richards Butler lawyers.

Managing partner Benjamin Marrache confirms the practice, which incorporates both barristers and solicitors under Gibraltan fused profession rules, is talking to a “top five” commercial firm in New York.

One of the largest law firms in the colony, Marraches opened an office in Knightsbridge last month – signing Richards Butler's Michael Robinson and Frances Purdie as partners and Roger Billis as a consultant.

The firm has now turned its attention to the US, where it is hoping to win American clients seeking to invest in offshore trusts in Europe.

While remaining tight-lipped about the identity of the US practice, Marrache says the two firms have worked together in the past.

He says discussions about the possibility of an association or merger began six months ago, and it is likely the outcome will be known by the end of the year.

The US firm could make considerable gains by joining with Marraches, which would provide its clients with direct access to legal services in the European tax haven.

In turn the link would ensure Marraches is promoted in the US, bringing in additional business to the four-partner firm.

“We have been looking for the last two to three years to form an association with a major New York law firm or to set up there ourselves,” says Marrache.

“The firm we're involved in talks with is very attracted by the fact that Gibraltar is such a good location for them by virtue of the fact that it can service their clients in Europe.

“The fact that it can open a new offshore tax centre to the Americans was interesting to them. As far as we are concerned, they would obviously be our flagship. They would basically promote Gibraltar as the offshore centre to go to.”

Nicole Maley