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Chris Bound, Collas Day’s senior partner

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Merger will boost Channel Islands stature, says Collas Day senior partner

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The merger this spring of Guernsey law firm Collas Day with Jersey’s Crill Canavan, this spring will strengthen the profile of the combined firm throughout the Channel Islands and boost its ability to service clients worldwide, especially from Asia, according to Collas Day senior partner Chris Bound (pictured).

The two firms will combine to create a 15-partner firm, Collas Crill, that will enjoy a high profile in areas including funds, property, litigation and dispute resolution, and employment.

Bound argues that the similar profile of the two firms is an important factor in their compatibility. “The rationale for the merger is that we are similar firms, with a similar age profile, outlook, and culture,” he says. “We’re not hugely different in size, and both firms have developed a strategy to become cross-jurisdictional.”

Collas Day’s associated fiduciary business, Guernsey Trust Company, will continue to service the international market. Collas Day IP Management will become Collas Crill IP Management, and Collas Day’s London office will support the combined legal practice.

Currently, Collas Day has eight partners and around 70 lawyers and support staff. It has a 22 per cent market share in Guernsey property transactions, and has acted in most major property deals across the island over the past decade, while its litigation team has acted in high-profile cases including the Landsbanki collapse. Crill Canavan doubled in size in the two years following its establishment in 1992, and now has six partners and 60 staff.

Says Bound: “Crill Canavan are very strong in litigation and have had a very good reputation in that field for a long time. They have three or four partners specialising in litigation, plus very good property and commercial practices. It’s a good fit.

“The merger is good for the Channel Islands as whole because it gives greater choice. We’ll be a solid group in both locations, and together we will service clients in the Channel Islands, the UK and internationally – including the increasingly important Asian market.”

Bound adds that the European Union’s finalisation of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, which should enable funds domiciled in Jersey and Guernsey to be marketed throughout the EU from 2015 under a passporting arrangement, has added to optimism in both islands.

Crill Canavan senior partner Nuno Santos-Costa adds: “We have found in each other an excellent strategic fit. As mid-sized firms in our respective markets we already punch above our weight.”

According to Santos-Costa, the merger will provide clients with greater strength and depth of expertise across their full service offering. “Our objective is to grow both firms and extend the jurisdictions we operate in,” he says.

“We will also keep what makes each firm special, namely our ability to offer a depth of skill and experience while maintaining the hands-on expertise and responsiveness of a partner-led service.”
 

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