Appleby has opened an office in Victoria, the capital of the Republic of Seychelles. A global offshore legal, fiduciary and administration service provider, Appleby is the first international law firm to open in the country and the new office provides clients with greater access to the fast-growing emerging markets in Africa, Asia and India.
Malcolm Moller, Managing Partner of Appleby’s Mauritius office, played a key role in establishing the office, and will serve as the managing partner in the Seychelles. The firm’s incorporated entity in the Seychelles, Appleby Corporate Services (Seychelles) Limited, will offer corporate and trust administration services.
‘This is a significant opportunity for both Appleby and the Seychelles as we will offer world-class legal, fiduciary and administration services from the Seychelles to international clients and to businesses based in the islands,’ said Mr. Moller.
‘We believe our presence in this fast growing jurisdiction will complement our Mauritius office and, as the first international law firm to open here, we will be well positioned to offer our clients sophisticated offshore services for investment in the African, Asian and Indian markets. In addition, our global resources and reputation will further assist the growth of international business in the Seychelles.’
The firm has also announced that Conrad Benoiton, Chairman of the Seychelles International Business Authority, Director General – Securities and Financial Markets, Central Bank of Seychelles and the former Executive Chairman and Director of Air Seychelles, will become Managing Director of Appleby Corporate Services (Seychelles) Limited. Mr. Benoiton is credited with the creation of the Seychelles first regulatory body SIBA, in 1995. In addition the new office will be staffed by two further lawyers and a support team.
With its focus on investment into the emerging African, Asian and Indian markets the new office will serve institutional clients looking to establish efficient investment structures created through a well-placed, independent sovereign country with a network of double taxation treaties.
The Seychelles, with a population of 85,000, has a highly literate English and French speaking workforce and created the first regulatory body for its offshore industry in 1995, the SIBA.
Whilst tourism and fisheries are the mainstay of the Seychelles economy, SIBA has successfully established the foundation for an international financial centre which both diversifies the economic base and stimulates inward investment. As an indication of its success, there are now over 57,000 Seychelles International Business Companies currently incorporated and the Seychelles operates one of the fastest growing company registers in the world.
The Seychelles has entered into 11 double taxation treaties, including with China and Indonesia, and is on the OECD white list.
‘Our driving strategy has been to be the leading provider of legal, fiduciary and administration services in the offshore world,’ said Huw Moses, managing partner of the Cayman Islands office.
‘The new office opening in Seychelles further demonstrates our commitment to providing greater resources to our clients across multiple jurisdictions. In particular, our two new offices in the Indian Ocean offer unique access to emerging markets and reinforces Appleby’s position as the first choice in the private sector.’
Appleby recently announced its merger with law firm Dickinson Cruickshank in the Isle of Man, which will create the world’s largest offshore law firm by partner numbers. The firm will have ten offices in key offshore and major financial centres worldwide and a total staff of over 800 including 73 partners.