ogier-expands-to-the-middle-east-and-japan

Ogier expands to the Middle East and Japan

The offshore legal services firm opens its first Gulf office in Bahrain and hires Skip Hashimoto from a rival to head up its new offices in Tokyo.
Multi-jurisdictional offshore legal services provider Ogier announced yesterday that it has opened new offices in Bahrain and Tokyo as it further expands its network worldwide.

The Bahrain office is the firm's first office in the Middle East, but the opening comes less than two weeks after Ogier launched a trust advisory joint venture in the kingdom together with professional services firm Keypoint Consulting. The JV, named Two Seas Trust, will offer personal and corporate trust services to customers throughout the Middle East.

The new Bahrain office will serve customers in the Gulf region. Offering offshore legal and fiduciary services, it will complement its operations in the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong and the new Tokyo office and allow the firm to offer 24-hour services. Chartered secretary Paul Perris will transfer from Ogier's offices in Jersey to head up the new Bahrain practice.

ôWe felt it critically important to establish a strong presence in both the Middle East and Japanese markets so that we can provide the full range of OgierÆs services to our clients in their own time zone and in a manner that is responsive to local conditions and practices,ö says Ogier group chairman Jonathan White in press release.

The Tokyo office will be run by Skip Hashimoto, who joins Ogier from another leading offshore law firm in Japan. Hashimoto has more than 12 years experience of working in the Japanese market, including six years at Deutsche Bank. According to an Ogier press release, he brings "extensive structured finance and investment funds expertise" to his new firm.

ô[Bahrain] relies heavily upon fiduciary and other professional services to support the wide range of companies based here,ö says Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain. ôThe choice of Bahrain by Keypoint and Ogier as a location for their new joint venture reflects not only the strong reputation of Bahraini trust law, developed by the CBB [Central Bank of Bahrain], but also the business-friendly attitude which makes setting up in the Kingdom both simple and cost-effectiveö.

Ogier offers offshore legal and fiduciary advice to its clients. By being located offshore, the firm is able to offer advisory services under less restrictive regulatory schemes while continuing to serve investors in all of the worldÆs major markets. The cash-rich Middle East presents significant opportunities to Ogier and other financial and legal advisory firms as the regionÆs family-run businesses mature and demand new financial and legal advisory services.
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