In this interview for STEP, partner Anthony Partridge from Ogier's Private Client & Trusts team in Cayman provides insights into his role and industry.
What does your firm do?
Ogier provides legal advice and services, mainly for the corporate and financial sectors, on British Virgin islands (BVI), Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey and Luxembourg law. We have offices in those jurisdictions as well as in Asia. We also provide corporate administration services via Ogier Global, providing clients with a simplified source for their services.
What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?
I originally qualified as a STEP member in 2004 in Queensland, Australia and was an active member of my local STEP branch. But looking back, I think it is the access to a worldwide network of opportunities which comes with STEP membership that directly influenced my decision to move offshore, and STEP has therefore played a key part in my career path and development.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
The answer to that question is two-fold, professional development and networking. As a professional body, STEP is a world leader amongst other industry groups, and clients seek out recognised experts in their field who are easily identifiable by having the TEP designation. This is due to STEP's continuous training and development options, from formal courses to regional conferences or local branch seminars, which provide countless networking opportunities.
What do you most like about your job?
The interaction with my clients (I deal with real people!) and the fact that every trust and estate is different. I could never say that my job is boring!
.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
Finding a solution in a complicated trust matter, or assisting a client with an estate, through what might be one of the most difficult times in his or her life.
What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?
This is an industry that is very client-focused, where you will be dealing with real people and their personal issues. You have to have excellent communication skills, and good people skills to succeed. You also have to enjoy the area of law that you have chosen. There would be nothing worse than getting up every day and going to a job that you disliked. Most importantly, continue to believe in yourself.
Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?
The long-awaited Cayman Islands Foundation Companies Law, 2017 has been passed and enacted. I foresee the use of trusts and foundation companies being used to hold digital assets and operate blockchain technology systems. I also envisage the introduction of family office legislation in offshore jurisdictions.
What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?
The main challenges that all organisations face, including law firms, is trying to develop innovative ways to deliver the best client service possible, and at competitive prices. At Ogier we have a group of dedicated staff members from all levels of the firm that comes together regularly to brainstorm ideas of how to improve all aspects of our client service and work.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.