Ogier, one of the leading offshore legal and fiduciary firms, has announced ground-breaking plans to offer their Guernsey services in Asia.

In May, Marcus Leese, a Partner of the Guernsey legal practice, will transfer to the Ogier Hong Kong office in an important strategic move for the firm.

The growing strength and development of emerging economies notably in Asia and in particular China, is one of the drivers behind this latest development. A considerable amount of planning and research has gone into this move by Ogier and having canvassed a number of clients and intermediaries in the region, significant interest in providing Guernsey services from Asia was evident.

Mr Leese commented: "We have identified a keen interest in clients requiring Guernsey services in Asia. Having a physical presence there will mean we can advise clients in their own time zone and also promote the benefits of using Guernsey on a permanent basis in the region."

William Simpson, Managing Partner of Ogier in Guernsey, said: "We have grown to such a size now in Guernsey that we have the resources in place to take this innovative step. This is the first time a Guernsey advocate will be operating in Asia which will undoubtedly help increase awareness of what the Guernsey finance industry can offer to a much wider audience."

Mr Leese is an advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey and has been practising in the Island for the past 11 years. He is also admitted as a solicitor in New Zealand and in England and Wales. His expertise covers private client and trusts matters, investment funds, banking and corporate and commercial work. He has been recognised for his expertise in these areas by The Legal 500 and PLC Which Lawyer? legal directories and also featured in Citywealth magazine's "Leaders List 2009" for his trusts practice.

Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "This is extremely positive news for Guernsey. It is now more than two years since we established our representative office in Shanghai and during this time there has been a considerable amount of effort dedicated to increasing awareness of the Guernsey brand in the region. I have always said that it is going to be a long road but we have made significant strides and this decision by Ogier to offer Guernsey law from their office in Hong Kong demonstrates that there is a demand to access the financial products and services offered by the Island. Indeed, many of our independent fiduciaries already have offices in Hong Kong and hopefully we will see the Guernsey presence in Asia continuing to grow."

Ogier has been a keen supporter of Guernsey Finance in recent years, particularly on their visits to regions outside of Europe. Marcus Leese accompanied Guernsey Finance on their Hong Kong and China initiative in 2009, and Partner Caroline Chan, also assisted Guernsey Finance at the STEP Asia event in Hong Kong last year. William Simpson has travelled to Bahrain for the Middle East Funds Forum with Guernsey Finance as well.

Marcus will be heading up a new Channel Islands practice in Hong Kong and be joined by an Associate Lawyer from Ogier Jersey. An Associate Director has also transferred to Hong Kong to establish a fiduciary services operation for Ogier.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.

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