Video interview with Walkers’ Pierce: offshore sector focused on transparency

Walkers’ recently-elected managing partner Ingrid Pierce has spoken of the way the offshore sector is reviewing its transparency and corporate governance laws in a video interview with The Lawyer.

Ingrid Pierce, Walkers
Ingrid Pierce, Walkers

Addressing the question of whether offshore jurisdictions are doing enough to address onshore concerns about transparency, Pierce pointed out that the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands are examining their corporate governance regimes, including the issue of company directors, at the moment.

Pierce also discussed the reasons behind Asia’s popularity as a jurisdiction for offshore firms to set up offices. “We think the growth potential is huge,” she said, adding that this extended beyond the traditional hubs for offshore vehicles like Hong Kong to new markets such as Taipei.

According to Pierce, the line between offshore and onshore firms remained “clear” as the offshore market remains distinct from onshore with a symbiotic relationship between the two.

She pointed to litigation, particularly insolvency and restructing, as the busiest practice area for offshore at the moment following the financial crisis.

Pierce also spoke of her ambitions for Walkers and the fact that her election (15 October 2012) as the firm’s first female managing partner indicated that perhaps there would be an increase in diversity within the offshore market.

In the future, she said Walkers would focus on its core legal services as well as expanding into new markets.

For more on the offshore legal market, see today’s feature on the British Virgin Islands and our quarterly round-up of deals and cases.