Guernsey's new company legislation has been praised by a leading London lawyer.

More than 230 company directors, managers and administrators attended Carey Olsen's seminar on 30 June entitled, 'A Practical Guide to the Guernsey Companies Law 2008'.

Jonathan Baird, Partner at leading Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, gave a UK perspective on the new legislation, which went live on 1 July.

"Guernsey is already a very popular location for listed investment funds and the new Companies Law should help consolidate this position, as well as potentially adding to Guernsey's attractiveness for holding companies and other corporate vehicles," said Mr Baird.

"Guernsey already has a reputation as a well regulated jurisdiction with a pool of impressive local talent providing a high quality and responsive service. Competition among offshore jurisdictions can be strong so it is important to stay up-to-date. The new Companies Law and the services of the new Guernsey Company Registry should add to Guernsey's appeal.

"That said Guernsey cannot afford to take its eyes off the competition so the option to add to the legislation should not be discounted."

On the panel of speakers at the Carey Olsen seminar was John Ogier, Deputy Company Registrar at the Guernsey Company Registry.

"The Company Registry and the new law go hand in hand, and are very much intertwined. The Registry brings a new culture of compliance that places Guernsey among the world leaders of online company registry. However things are always changing and we need to keep up with our competitors in terms of accessibility, speed and cost effectiveness," said Mr Ogier.

Chairing the seminar was Graham Hall, partner and head of Carey Olsen's corporate and finance group.

"The Guernsey Companies Law is the result of three years of work for the Commerce and Employment Department's Registry Steering Group, and is the biggest change to company law in more than 100 years. The importance of the new law was reflected by the number and range of people who attended the seminar," said Mr Hall.

Also on the panel of speakers at the seminar were two of Carey Olsen's corporate and finance partners - Tom Carey, who presented on the practical impact on company administrators, and Andrew Boyce, who considered the practical effects of the new law on the role and responsibilities of company directors.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

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