When taking stock of the markets over the last 12 months, it is safe to argue that tougher times must inevitably be afoot. While upheavals wrought by the pandemic may have largely receded into the rearview mirror, the volatility that has come to characterise recent times shows no sign of abating, with the Ukraine war leading to energy insecurity and the cost of living crisis, the need to navigate ever-changing Russian sanctions, as well as the looming threat of a global recession.
However, even in this tumultuous environment, offshore law firms continue to defy the odds, with 2022 only building on the growth seen by many in previous years. ‘Despite expecting a challenging economic environment, income has been up across service lines and sectors, without exception,’ states Edward Mackereth, global managing partner at Ogier, echoing the sentiment of many offshore law firm leaders. Continue reading “Offshore report: Tempering against the tempest”
If market commentators thought the world was ready to get back on an even keel after two years of global pandemic, events of recent months have very much put paid to that notion. But while law firms and their clients still have much volatility to contend with, the 2022 financial results season has once again underlined the resilience of the global legal market, with a steady stream of firms posting more than healthy revenue and profit hikes.
And the leading offshore law firms are no exception, with booming deal markets, post-pandemic restructuring work and emerging trends such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) contributing to a landmark year for many. Continue reading “Ports in a storm – the offshore leaders thriving in turbulent times”
Driven by different dynamics, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Bermuda have each experienced their own problems in the Covid era – much like the rest of the world – but collectively and individually these sophisticated legal jurisdictions have continued to fare well. Driven by experienced and talented lawyers, strong commercial nous and a well-honed judicial system, the leading global players in the Caribbean can take whatever is thrown at them.
As all jurisdictions were forced to adapt quickly to the coronavirus pandemic, the Caribbean was no exception, with working from home and reduced contact due to social distancing swiftly becoming the norm. The climate has not been without its challenges as multiple lockdowns forced local businesses to suffer and caused substantial disruption to many in the hospitality sector. Indeed, the region’s once-thriving tourism industry continues to stall as travel levels remain low compared to pre-pandemic times – an inevitable blow for Bermuda, the BVI and Cayman – given their significant reliance on international cash injections into the local economy. Continue reading “Caribbean Offshore Report: The vital signs”
‘Anyone who says they’re not struggling would be lying,’ says Tim Pearce, global managing partner of Bedell Cristin, referring to the Jersey market. ‘Every sector of the economy and every business has struggled or suffered as a result of Covid, though businesses have struggled in different ways. Some financially, others socially. Others are struggling in terms of pure management. But for us, and indeed for the offshore industry as a whole, we’ve weathered the storm OK so far.’
Pearce’s cautiously optimistic outlook reverberates throughout the discussions with partners across the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands archipelago and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea to the north – the jurisdictions collectively known as the Crown Dependencies. Unlike the UK, domestic property is booming, buoyed by numerous factors. ‘In times of crisis, people invest in what they know,’ says Pearce. ‘People are looking for safe havens right now and property in all of our offshore jurisdictions is benefiting from that.’ Continue reading “UK offshore report: Staying afloat”
The Caribbean’s offshore financial centres have faced their fair share of challenges in recent years thanks to the increased international scrutiny of the tax haven environments, the impact of falling oil prices and the business interruption caused by the seemingly endless cycle of hurricanes, which sees the region bear the brunt of the ever-pervasive impact of climate change. Add to that a global pandemic, and there’s certainly the potential for a substantial economic disaster.
While the Covid-19 infection numbers for the Caribbean as a whole have remained low thanks to quick action by the local governments to close borders, enact temporary lockdowns and implement testing and contact tracing methods, the primary impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Caribbean is undoubtedly on tourism. For Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman), the tourism industry contributes 28%, 52% and 70% of the average GDP respectively and figures suggest that, at worst, 2020 could see a 71% reduction in the number of international visitors. Continue reading “Caribbean offshore report: End of the storm?”