Jersey: Focused On The Future In Market Trends And Service Delivery – Josephine Howe On Life At Ogier
Last Updated: 7 December 2018

It might not be a huge intellectual challenge, but it is still fairly testing to talk sensibly about anything while munching your way through the market vegetable special (which looked lovely, by the way) and being photographed while doing it.

It is even harder if the thing that you are trying to talk sensibly about is your thorough technical understanding of trust and foundations law, your firm and your role on various committees and legal working parties.

If anyone was going to be up to the task, however, you suspect it would be Josephine Howe, a private wealth lawyer who has worked with Ogier for 13 years and has an excellent perspective on both the changes in her area of law and the shift in the firm's culture in recent years.

In her view, Jersey is a jurisdiction that has demonstrated that it can adapt to the needs of clients and has the ability and drive to improve and implement new legislation, such as the foundations law and modernising the charities law to ensure that it was offering the best possible basis for its services.

"There has been a change in private wealth work and it is true to say that the days of the off-the-peg trust are gone. Typically the structures we see being established now are more bespoke with the principal driver not being tax planning, but wealth protection, long term succession planning and philanthropy. There has also been an increase in family offices for high net worth families and, often, there is a real interest in having a physical presence in Jersey where they employ staff directly and family members relocate here. That has been driven by global changes too; tax and regulatory changes and what is happening in the UK and internationally all impacts our market."

The nature of the clients and their wealth has also seen a change from the 'old money' that has been in families for generations to newer wealth generated by entrepreneurs and investment professionals. "These are first or second generation business people – educated professionals – who have created their wealth, want to understand the structures they are establishing and have a continuing role which means that private trust company structures, reserved power trusts and the family offices where an element of control or oversight of the structure is retained and suits their family dynamics is increasingly important."

"I work predominantly with local trust company providers as well as settlors, beneficiaries and family offices. I advise in relation to the establishment and administration of the structures as well as the powers and duties of the trustees. One of Jersey's main selling points is the number of experienced trust professionals that work here."

Another of the changes is the transfer of wealth to the next generation, sometimes involving the disposal of key family assets and a change in family dynamics. "The first and second generations may have been involved in a family business and sit on the board, but the younger generation may not want to be involved in the same way. We will need to look at how these generational changes affect the structure and advise families on sometimes substantial and very emotive changes."

One of the results of this generational change is an increased call to invest in asset classes which may carry a higher risk than the traditional and cautious trustee would be comfortable with, such as bitcoin.

"The challenge for us is to advise the trustees on how they deal with these investments. Jersey does have reserved power trusts so that a trustee can hold slightly riskier investments in a way where investment power is reserved to the settlor so that the they are not in the position of making a decision about the acquisition or disposal of a  particular investment asset. This is commonly the case with private equity as it is often in this area that the settlor has generated their wealth and has a fuller understanding of that specific investment."

Alongside the need to develop in line with the sophistication of their client-base, Ogier itself has undergone cultural change.

"We have refocused our minds on our core values as a law firm and we have redefined how we want to be over the next five, ten and even 20 years and, interestingly, everyone has really bought into that vision. Most importantly, change has been led from the top and because of this it is genuine it is easy for staff to get on board.

"Part of this process was to look carefully at our corporate social responsibility practices and how to benefit the communities that our offices are based in. All staff have two volunteering days to use for our core CSR theme of education and their personal volunteering and fundraising endeavours.

"There has been a lot of emphasis on how technology can support how we work, stripping out all the unnecessary aspects of what we were doing and provide as much of a polished product as possible. We have embedded as much of a problem-solving culture as possible, so if you see something that doesn't work you do something about it."

This push on technology is reflected in more flexible working practices and the firm's green footprint.

"I realise that, as a loyal long-serving employee, I am biased, but we have seen a lot of change from an old-school law firm to an adaptable business with a genuine desire to make things better both for our clients and our employees. It's interesting to see people coming in with fresh eyes and saying that they haven't worked somewhere like this before; then we can see how much we've changed and that we are taking a different approach. It's this investment in innovation and our employees that keeps me at Ogier."

Josephine has also been involved with the philanthropy working party established by Jersey Finance working with the States of Jersey to look at existing laws and new ones.

"The philanthropy working party was interesting because it worked in tandem with the work being undertaken by the charity working party to modernise Jersey's charity law. We also looked areas such as impact investing; investing to turn a profit but in a more ethical way. You may not have an exclusively charitable intention but still want to avoid certain industries. There has been an uptake in ethical types of investment.

"We also concentrated on how to promote Jersey as a centre of excellence. There was a feeling that we already do this well and have the skills and knowledge base but don't necessarily shout about it. Now that the new charities law has come in there is an opportunity for the Island to demonstrate that it is well-regulated and has the right framework for people who want to manage philanthropic wealth in a sophisticated way with the structures that we have here."

Josephine is also a mother of two and, like many women in her position, has been balancing family life with career ambitions. "It is difficult to decide that you want to go for partner if you haven't slept for two weeks." True enough, but with a supportive husband and growing children now may be the time to drive on forward.

"I am driven by being the best lawyer that I can be from a technical perspective. I enjoy working with the team hugely and have been lucky to work with the leading private wealth lawyers in the offshore world. I have learnt so much from them and part of my role now is giving people the same support that I have had.

"Ultimately it is still about providing the best service that we can."

This editorial was first published in Connect's Working Lunch feature.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
By Bradley Kruger, Michael Robinson
By Tim Clipstone, Emily Haithwaite, Bradley Kruger, Niamh Lalor, Marcus Leese, Nick Rogers, Simon Schilder, Ray Wearmouth
By Laura Malpass
By Simon Lofthouse
By Peter Longstaffe
By Peter Longstaffe
By Ray Wearmouth, Simon Schilder, Michael Killourhy, Nathan Powell
By Marcus Leese
By Emily Haithwaite, Niamh Lalor
By Nick Rogers, David McIntyre
Font Size:
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions