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Maples and Calder acquires BVI law firm and launches Jersey office

Leading law firm Maples and Calder has opened a new office in Jersey, Channel Islands, and has acquired a key law firm in the British Virgin Islands.

Maples and Calder, ranked as the world's leading offshore law firm in hedge funds and structured finance, this week unveiled both the establishment of a Jersey, Channel Islands office and the acquisition of the legal practice of Smith-Hughes, Raworth & McKenzie (S-HRM), the second largest law firm in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Maples and Calder will now have 34 partners, over 100 lawyers and more than 380 staff in five offices in the key offshore jurisdictions, London and Hong Kong.

Senior Partner, Anthony Travers commented that both new offices had been opened in response to demand from Maples and Calder's existing institutional clients.

Travers said: "The acquisition of S-HRM is a good technical and cultural fit. Now that they have the international initiatives behind them, the popularity of the British Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction is increasing. S-HRM have been focussed on providing good quality legal advice and fund administration services to many of our existing institutional corporate clients. Jersey provides a sound European base with a high quality professional infrastructure for the very type of structured fund, sophisticated hedge fund and private equity transactions in which we specialise."

He continued. "Now that we have expanded our areas of expertise into the British Virgin Islands and Jersey, we can analyse the benefits and commercial opportunities of the tax and regulatory regimes of the major offshore jurisdictions and customise better solutions for our clients. This means they have access to the broadest array of offshore advice with the simplicity of a single primary point of contact."

In addition to Cayman Islands and BVI law, the Jersey law firm office will advise on Jersey law governed financial products and will specialise in hedge funds, private equity, capital markets, structured debt, securitisation, asset and corporate finance.

Travers will implement the integration of the Jersey law firm with Maples Finance Jersey, the existing St.Helier based trust company which provides management and administration to Jersey and Cayman Islands structured finance, private equity and hedge fund vehicles.

The new law firm in St. Helier will be headed up by Jersey-qualified resident partner, Natalie Sullivan, who joins the firm from Ogier & Le Masurier. Natalie will be supported by ex-Ogiers lawyers, Andreas Haug and Paul Govier.

The acquisition of S-HRM in the BVI will provide Maples and Calder's clients with a full service law firm specialising in the same range of institutional corporate and commercial transactions but will also offer commercial litigation and insolvency expertise.

Lead Maples and Calder funds partner, Charles Jennings, will head up the team of new Maples and Calder partners Robert McIntyre, Clinton Hempel and Anthony Lynton. Former senior Partner of S-HRM, Chris McKenzie, and partner, Barry Mitchell, will join the London and Hong Kong offices of Maples and Calder as partners. S-HRM's wholly-owned trust company will become Maples Finance BVI, part of the Maples Finance Group's management and administration division.

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