29 September 2015News

New law firms bring fresh opportunities to Bermuda

Recent moves by leading global law firms to establish offices in Bermuda mark something of a watershed for the jurisdiction and means it now offers greater choice than it has ever done, Ross Webber, the CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), has said.

International offshore firm Walkers announced in May it planned to open a full-service Bermuda operation in 2015, adding to its current stable of eight other locales around the world.

The firm said it plans to offer a broad range of practice areas from the Island, encompassing litigation, insolvency, corporate, investment funds, finance, insurance and trusts. Its intent signals demand for the Bermuda product, as well as confidence in the future of the jurisdiction

And offshore firm Harneys has followed suit, combining with Bermudian firm Hurrion & Associates to form Harneys Bermuda, a full-service legal and fiduciary services business.

“And there's a broader interest about the Island too,” Webber said. “Several onshore firms have been examining Bermuda closely with an eye to a possible presence.

“In April, Canadian firm Bennett Jones formally announced the establishment of its affiliated law practice in the City of Hamilton, with former Toronto-based partner, Bermudian Duncan Card, as Managing Principal.”

He said that the interest will be good news for Bermuda. “Bermuda has been renowned for its strength and depth with regard to quality lawyers-however, it has not always been heralded for its variety of choice. That looks set to change,” he said.

He added: “Adding more multi-jurisdictional firms to our mix—to complement the work of Conyers, Appleby and the impressive group of solely Bermuda-based law firms that handle international transactions—broadens distribution channels and provides extra pipelines for business.

“We become a part of their marketing and business development messages. Our profile is boosted globally, attracting the business world’s attention—and, with it, fresh opportunities.”

For the full opinion piece by Webber on this issue, visit:  www.bda.bm