Appleby to merge with Jersey firm

Local law firm Appleby Spurling Hunter will merge with Channel Islands-based Bailhache Labesse on 1st September 2006, a press release announced this week.

This merger will create an offshore provider of legal, fiduciary and administrative services with a major foothold in four of the world’s leading offshore business centres – Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Jersey – as well as a presence in the major financial centres of London and Hong Kong, the press release said.

The combined group will be known as Appleby Hunter Bailhache and will have a projected staff worldwide of nearly 600 employees, including 44 partners.

The merger continues an industry trend of consolidation both globally and locally in offshore jurisdictions as firms attempt to expand their reach to gain greater access to broader European, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern markets.

Appleby Spurling Hunter’s Managing Partner, Peter Bubenzer, stated: ‘Our strategic vision is to be the leading provider of legal, fiduciary and administrative services in the offshore world.

‘By merging with Bailhache Labesse, we are strengthening and extending our reach into another key jurisdiction and positioning ourselves as the first choice for clients in the offshore world.’

Mr. Bubenzer said clients will benefit from the merger.

‘We will be able to offer clients more choice and enhanced resources, while offering dispassionate guidance on where to place their business,’ he said.

‘While organic growth can build expertise over time, we believe that this transaction brings immediate depth and breadth of resources and benefits to clients.’

Mike O’Connell, Chairman of the Bailhache Labesse Group’s Management Committee said the two groups were a natural fit.

‘Both are already leaders in their respective jurisdictions and we share a common vision to provide outstanding offshore services to clients,’ he said. ‘Appleby has already demonstrated success in integrating practice and client management through combination and growth to the benefit of the clients, firm and employees.’

Mr. O’Connell said the combined resources of the new group matched Bailhache’s vision to provide superior services and support to clients looking at conducting offshore business in the key global offshore jurisdictions.

The press release stated that Appleby Hunter Bailhache will focus on the core strengths of each firm, including general company and corporate advice, insurance, funds and investment services, asset finance and banking, telecommunications and technology, dispute resolution, insolvency and restructuring, capital markets and financial structures, trusts and real property.

Additionally, the offshore legal services are complemented by trust, corporate administration and company accounting and management services

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