Guernsey and Jersey firms to form first inter-island alliance

A Jersey and Guernsey firm have formed the first alliance between Channel Islands firms.

Jersey firm Olsen Backhurst Dorey and Guernsey practice Ferbrache Morgan have come as close to merging as possible within the rules of the offshore centres' law societies and bar associations.

Ferbrache Morgan will now be known as Olsen Ferbrache Morgan and will expand into bigger premises.

The move has been instigated by the establishment of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange in Guernsey.

Advocate Paul Sugden of Olsen Backhurst says: “We believe our global institutional corporate clients should have access to a broader know-how and skills base, which is achievable by an alliance of this type rather than by two individual firms.”

Sugden is also calling for the offshore centres' authorities to change the rules barring inter-island mergers.

“We don't know what the attitude will be in either jurisdiction in the short-term.

“If there is a merit in alliances of this type then clearly the argument against mergers would not appear to hold water in the long-term,” he says.

Advocate Mary Ferbrache of Ferbrache Morgan says: “By working together both firms can offer a complete Channel Islands-based legal service.”

The firms will work together closely and share investment in common infrastructure and systems.

See Special Report pages 25-3