The Lawyer’s latest global offshore report reveals the most important developments taking place in the offshore world. This report also includes the widest geographical spread of jurisdictions so far in one issue – a reflection of the growth in offshore work.

There has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks in offshore markets. Mourant du Feu & Jeune announced plans to launch an office in Guernsey in January, as first reported in The Lawyer (24 October), Gibraltar firm Marrache & Co opened in Prague and Isle of Man firm Cains launched in London last month.

The spate of office openings reflects the expansion of many firms’ multijurisdictional bodyparallel with the markets they serve. Asian interest in offshore vehicles has grown dramatically over the last two years as a result of the diverse investment opportunities. Meanwhile, the tax advantages available within Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark have been highlighted as a sideline result of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s attempt to level the playing field within the EU for tax recovery. There is a lot of work out there to capture, and the leading offshore firms are targeting it aggressively.

This issue reports on these trends, as well as the most significant legislative developments and the direction industries are taking. These include the wave of lawsuits in the British Virgin Islands involving international business companies owned by, or investing in, Russian interests; the development of the Cayman Islands’ ‘orphan’ special purpose company model as a crucial tool in structured finance transactions; and the increasing use of mediation in Jersey.