Ogier completes WSmiths merger

Offshore giant Ogier has completed its merger with WSmiths in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), giving the firm access to three further offshore jurisdictions.

The newly merged firm, which went live today (1 February), continues to operate under the Ogier brand.

Ogier’s chairman Jonathan White retains his role at the helm of the combined firm, while WSmiths’ managing partner Duncan Smith becomes head of the Hong Kong office.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (5 October), the combined firm has over 600 staff across nine offices, including the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, London, Uruguay and New Zealand.

The merger extends Ogier’s reach into the BVI, Montevideo and Hong Kong. The firm had existing presences in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey and London, with an associated trust company in New Zealand.

WSmiths (formerly Walker Smiths) was formed five years ago in the BVI, has a turnover in excess of $5m and expanded into Montevideo, Uruguay, and Hong Kong last year.

Ogier has a history of growth through merger, having combined with Boxalls in 2003, the first transatlantic merger of offshore firms.