Ogier is on a roll. Providing international legal services from nine jurisdictions worldwide, with its Cayman Islands office located in Camana Bay, Ogier has collected three awards since the end of March – at the Legal Business Awards, WealthBriefing European Awards and The Lawyer awards. These awards are the result of putting in place a focused strategy, a strong team and the right infrastructure to offer the best platform for the future and are accompanied by the Cayman Islands’ economic growth as a jurisdiction.
This year will mark 10 years since Ogier joined the town centre of Camana Bay as a tenant of Dart Real Estate’s. We sat down with Ogier partner Marc Kish to talk about the firm’s winning streak and what this means for both Ogier and the Cayman Islands as a whole. Marc is the head of Ogier’s Insolvency team for the Caribbean region and Asia, and also a member of Cayman’s Dispute Resolution team.
DRE: Ogier has always enjoyed success, but three awards in as many months is a great achievement. Tell us about the awards your firm has recently won.
MK: We picked up the Offshore Law Firm of the Year award at The Lawyer Awards in London at the end of June. We have also received awards in the offshore categories at both the WealthBriefing European Awards in April and the Legal Business Awards in March.
DRE: What do you think is the catalyst behind this winning streak?
MK: It feels more like the culmination of a lot of work and a lot of investment into our legal and business services teams over the last few years. As a firm we have worked hard to get our strategy right, to get the right people in place, and to make sure that they are supported by the right technology.
A good example would be in our Cayman Dispute Resolution team – we have more than doubled in size over the past two years, and in doing so we have been careful to recruit people who fit well with our vision as a firm as well as being technically strong.
We are hopeful that the awards we have won in the last few months are in fact the start of a longer-term trend of growth and recognition.
DRE: Do you see this recognition of Ogier’s Cayman Islands office as a marker of Cayman’s economic growth as a jurisdiction?
MK: Inevitably Cayman’s economic growth plays a big part in that success. It is testament to the commitment of the professional community, the responsiveness of government and the quality of the legal system in the Cayman Islands that our financial services industry continues to attract business from around the world.
DRE: What other changes has this growth effected?
MK: With economic growth comes a knock-on effect on the depth of experience among the people we see applying for roles. Over half of the 100+ people in our Cayman office are Caymanian, and that includes a number of first-class business services professionals as well as lawyers.
We were fortunate enough to be recognised recently as the top law firm employer in the Cayman Islands but, ultimately, an employer is only as good as the talent it employs and the market in which it operates.
DRE: Have you experienced an increase recently in client interest in doing business in the Cayman Islands?
MK: It has been mainly client demand that has fuelled and supported our growth, not just in the Dispute Resolution team but across all our legal disciplines. The success of the US economy has kept our investment funds and corporate teams particularly busy of late, while the Restructuring and Insolvency team (both contentious and non-contentious) has had some very significant instructions that reflect economic challenges in other parts of the world.
Recently, we have also seen an uptick in the amount of contentious trusts and family office work coming into the Cayman office, which is an area in which Ogier has always specialised across all of its jurisdictions.
DRE: You are about to celebrate 10 years in Camana Bay. What does your team most enjoy about being based there?
MK: We love the modern, open office space and the proximity to so many vibrant aspects of the Cayman Islands culture that seem to be centred in Camana Bay. It is a convenient, relaxed place to meet people for lunch, go the gym or arrange boat trips or other events, but we are also well situated in this part of Grand Cayman to walk or drive to other nearby shops and restaurants. There is nowhere we would rather be.