Offshore law firms Mourant du Feu
& Jeune and Ozannes have announced their plan to merge.
The resulting firm will be known as
Mourant Ozannes and form one of the largest offshore firms with 50 partners and
more than 200 fee-earners in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and London.
The full economic merger of the
companies will take effect on 01 May 2010, subject to regulatory approval.
Representatives from both firms
will form a management committee that will run the new partnership.
Mourant du Feu & Jeune’s Jonathan
Rigby will be appointed as group managing partner. Peter Ferbrache of Ozannes
will become senior partner and Ian James of Mourant will become chairman. The
managing partner of Mourant’s Cayman office Neal Lomax will be the merged
firm’s managing partner in Cayman.
Following unsuccessful merger talks
with fellow offshore firm Walkers in late 2007, Mourant focused its strategy on
the legal side of the business.
The firm sold its private client
trust business Mourant Private Wealth to Royal Bank of Canada Wealth in
February 2009 and its company and financial administration company Mourant
International Finance Administration to State Street in December 2009.
The merger between Ozannes and
Mourant comes after offshore firm Appleby announced in January 2010 that it is
going to open an office in Guernsey staffed with four former Ozannes associates.
Mourant du Feu & Jeune also announced
last week that it was going to strengthen its litigation practice with the
promotion of three senior associates to partner. They include the Jersey
advocates Bruce Lincoln and Justin Harvey-Hills as well as Cayman Islands based
attorney Peter Hayden, who is heading Mourant’s Cayman litigation team.