WINNER

Offshore Firm of the Year

Ogier

It has been an eventful year for Channel Islands firm Ogier, which disposed of its fiduciary in a £180m management buy-out in February 2014. Following the disposal, Ogier maintained its momentum and used its new, law-only focus to expand its offering. It moved a disputes team into Hong Kong for the first time and continues to grow its unique Luxembourg office.

When it comes to work, Ogier has advised on two of the largest pieces of litigation seen in its home jurisdictions of Guernsey and Jersey – representing Carlyle in a $1bn Guernsey funds dispute and for the beneficiaries of a trust in a very significant and ground-breaking claim against the trustees for gross negligence, which was settled last year.

The firm is also demonstrating innovation, running a structured client satisfaction survey and a scheme whereby paralegals are hired with the prospect of becoming trainees in the firm. The scheme is specifically designed to provide an alternative route to qualification for young lawyers from the Channel Islands or mainland UK who might otherwise struggle to find a training contract.

With its new law-only focus, Ogier is well set-up to continue its expansion and keep on building its profile.

Runner up
  • Mourant Ozannes

Mourant Ozannes is a perennial fixture on the Offshore Firm of the Year shortlist and for good reason. It had another strong year in 2014 with a 5 per cent increase in revenue and continued lateral hires.

The firm’s standout piece of work last year was the conclusion of a long-running piece of litigation connected to the Bernard L Madoff Ponzi scheme collapse in 2008. Its client Primeo settled a $150m dispute with the Madoff trustee which saw the trustee gain $500m more for former Madoff clients, while dramatically reducing the amount which Primeo had to pay out.

The case was just one example of Mourant Ozannes’ diverse transaction list last year.

Third place
  • Carey Olsen

Last year’s winner, Carey Olsen has expanded its geographical horizons in recent years and is now seeing this investment pay off in instructions. Following the hire of litigation partner Michael Makridakis to launch a Cayman litigation practice in 2013 the firm picked up an instruction from Grant Thornton as the liquidators of the Weavering Macro Income Fund on its ongoing $400m negligence claim against EY. The case was handled out of both Cayman and Guernsey.

Meanwhile Carey Olsen reported a considerable rise in turnover of around 17 per cent in 2014 as its headcount increased substantially, with its litigation team beating the firmwide growth.

Shortlisted
  • Bedell Cristin
  • Campbells
  • Harneys
  • Hassans International Law Firm
  • Hatstone Lawyers