Offshore law firm Harney Westwood
& Riegels has formally added an office in Cyprus to its international
The office in Limassol will offer
advisory services in relation to commercial, banking, corporate and tax law
with a focus on investment flows into and out of Cyprus attracted by the
country’s tax regime.
In addition to Cyprus Harneys
maintain offices in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and
Development Partner Peter Tarn explained
that Cyprus is a preferred jurisdiction for Russia investment.
As Harneys has been “the leading
provider of BVI legal advice to Russia for more than three decades”, the addition
of Cyprus was a natural step, he said.
“But ultimately we see Cyprus as
part of our broader emerging markets strategy because we believe Cyprus will be
relevant to a great many of our clients including those in the Far East, India
Harneys entered into a ‘best
friends’ agreement with leading Cypriot law firm Aristodemou Liozides Yiolitis
LLC in 2008 and ALY has now formally been brought into the Harneys
Mr. Tarn noted the close cultural
fit of two firms. “ALY’s commitment to service standards and fast growing
reputation with magic circle and large international law firms means this
relationship effectively picked itself,” he said.
The Cyprus office is under the
leadership of Managing Partner Pavlos Aristodemou who practices banking,
finance and corporate law. Other Cyprus partners are Corporate & Commercial
Partner Demetris Loizides and Tax Partner Emily Yiolitis, who leads the new Tax
& Regulatory Department, which joins the firm’s Cyprus tax practice with
its BVI and Cayman regulatory offering.
Mr. Aristodemou said that Cyprus’
extensive network of double tax treaties, its EU membership, and its location
make it attractive to a wide range of cross-border commercial and finance
applications. “With its political and economic ties to Europe and definitively
on-shore identity Cyprus is most certainly a jurisdiction of the future,” Mr. Aristodemou
said. “We are already beginning to see international law firms following Harneys
to Cyprus and we expect to see this trend continue.”
Mr. Aristodemou added that as part
of the merger the firm plans to relocate a BVI lawyer to Cyprus and a Cyprus
lawyer to London in the coming months.