Ogier leads offshore pack as it opens in Shanghai

Ogier has continued its Asian expansion with an office in Shanghai, the first offshore firm to open in mainland China.

The office will be run by Kristy Calvert, who joins Ogier from mining giant Rio Tinto where she was legal director for China and Asia. Calvert, who will be managing director at Ogier, will be joined by a locally-hired assistant.

The move follows the relocation of Guernsey-qualified partner Marcus Leese and Jersey-qualified partner Nathan Powell to Hong Kong last year.

Ogier CEO Nick Kershaw said the move was in response to client demand. Kershaw added that although Chinese clients could be served through Hong Kong, there were benefits to being on the ground in Shanghai.

“We as a firm are pretty heavily focused towards financial services, and we found that in terms of financial services-driven work and particularly financial work that Shanghai probably has the edge over Beijing,” Kershaw told The Lawyer. However he said Ogier would not rule out future expansion into the Chinese capital.

The Shanghai office would focus on investment funds, IPOs and private wealth work. Kershaw said both the legal practice of Ogier and its fiduciary business would pick up business through Shanghai.