Guernsey: Guernsey Image Rights Lure EPL Elite

Last Updated: 21 November 2013
Article by Fiona Le Poidevin

Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, September 2016

The Island of Guernsey remains the only jurisdiction in the world to offer its own image rights legislation and register. Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, shares her expertise on the unique concept of image rights and its relevance today through this new law.

Launched in late 2012, the law has opened up a new chapter in asset protection and exploitation management. While initial take-up has been steady, if not spectacular, the register achieved its biggest coup last month when Manuel Pellegrini, manager of English Premier League (EPL) side Manchester City, registered his image rights through the Guernsey service provider Finsbury Image Rights.

Pellegrini took charge of the club, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group, in the summer of 2013. The 60-year-old Chilean has previously managed Spanish giants Real Madrid, so he was already a well-known figure in the football world, but it is interesting to see that his arrival on UK shores has coincided with a desire to protect his personal brand and identity.

Other big names on the Island's image rights register include British tennis star Heather Watson, UK model Megan Williams, professional boxer Bradley Saunders and international DJs Tiesto and Afrojack. These individuals have clearly identified that the Guernsey legislation provides greater clarity in the definition of rights and a higher degree of protection from unauthorised use by third parties than is currently on offer in any other jurisdiction. The applications also show that they are comfortable and in tune with Guernsey itself, a British Crown Dependency that has become a leading international finance centre over the past 50 years. The Island has prominent banking, insurance, investment funds and private wealth industries, supported by a network of professional services, including multi-jurisdictional law firms and global accountancy practices.

In addition, Guernsey has gained a reputation for being an adaptable and innovative place to do business. This cutting-edge innovation includes Guernsey pioneering the cell company concept with the introduction of the Protected Cell Company (PCC) and launching our own regional stock exchange, the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX). Guernsey becoming the first jurisdiction globally to recognise image rights in law and provide them with a register is just the latest step in the evolution of our financial services industry.

Image right concept

Traditionally, the main way to protect the IP in a personality has been through trademark rights. While there are other related IP rights that come into play, such as copyright and design rights, trademarks are the most relevant. However, they only go so far in protecting the rights of the modern celebrity and sport star, whose interests are more wide ranging than has historically been the case. Guernsey's worldfirst image rights legislation addresses the needs of the modern marketplace by allowing a personality to formally register not only images but also other characteristics of themselves.

The rationale behind it is that individuals should have control over their image and how it is used, but they also have the capacity to earn a livelihood from that image. The Guernsey legislation works on two levels: the registered personality right; and the underlying image rights.

A personality is a person's brand i.e. the name by which the person is known. To be registerable, it must be the personality of one of five types of person or subject, referred to as the personnage.

A personnage can be a:

  • Natural person (living or deceased within 100 years from the date of application);
  • Joint personality (two people intrinsically linked);
  • Group or team (e.g. sports or music);
  • Legal person (i.e. corporate); or
  • Fictional character (of a human or non-human)

Under the registered personality, images can be registered and protected, including their name and other names. Expressions of their personality can be voice, signature, likeness, appearance, silhouette, feature, face, expressions, gestures, mannerism, other distinctive characteristics or attributes, as well as photographs, illustrations, pictures, moving images, electronic or other representations of a personality.

In practice

As yet there have been no cases of infringement or abuse to test the enforcement of the law in the courts. However, a court order secured in Guernsey is a threat that, up until now, has not existed. Not only is the register at the Island's Intellectual Property Office evidence of the recording of these image rights, but the threat of a Guernsey court order is a tool to deter potential infringers, in whatever jurisdiction they may be operating. A court may also query the value of an individual's image if they have not registered it on the only such register in the world.

However, there are a number of clear benefits that can be gained from registration. By placing image rights on a statutory footing it provides definition around the person as the individual and the brand. In doing so, it creates both certainty for tax matters and also a commodity which can be both protected and exploited. Designated as an asset class, image rights can be valued, bought, sold, licensed and used for collateral and sit readily within a managed company, foundation or trust structure.

In addition, the Guernsey Image Right is a renewable right that can last in perpetuity and be used as an effective tool for succession planning after the personality is deceased, particularly if a client who is famous wishes for their image to be passed on or protected after his or her death.


Guernsey's expertise as a private client and wealth management centre means it is perfectly suited to cater for all these requirements, particularly with the asset management, pension planning, insurance, banking, fiduciary and legal services available locally. In the often short lived world of the modern celebrity and sports star, these related services can be particularly beneficial.

Originally published in The Oath, November 2013.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

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.

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
Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.