Channel Island firms offer one-stop shop

Jersey's Bedell Cristin and Guernsey's Babbe Le Poidevin Allez have formed an alliance to provide one-stop legal advice in the Channel Islands.

The news marks the second such link-up in three months. In September The Lawyer (20 September) revealed that Jersey's Olsen Backhurst & Dorey and Guernsey's Ferbrache Morgan had formed an alliance with a view to merging.

The firms have worked together informally over the last few months in response to the growing links between the finance sectors on both islands following the creation of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange, based in Guernsey.

Michael Richardson, managing partner at Bedells, says the firms will provide a one-stop service for clients.

“We believe the association between ourselves and Babbe Le Poidevin Allez will enable us to provide a timely and efficient service on matters of Guernsey and Jersey law and work with the regulatory authorities in both islands in creating effective structures to meet the needs of banking and investment clients,” he says.

The Jersey and Guernsey bars do not allow profit sharing between firms on each island. But three of Jersey's four dominant firms now service work in both islands.

Ogier & Le Masurier opened an office in Guernsey last year, leaving only Mourant de Feu & Jeune without dual-island capability.

On whether the firms would consider a merger if the restrictions were lifted, Richardson says: “We are saying we think it will become an even more close association as time goes on, which will be beneficial to both parties and our clients.”