Why not?! Working as a Lawyer offshore offers so many benefits. The quality of the work, the variety of matters, the high value of projects, the outdoor lifestyle, low tax, high salary, family atmosphere, proximity to other countries. The list is endless. The following guide will give you an idea what work and life is like offshore.
City life can be challenging – long commutes, public transport, the hustle and bustle, but not offshore.
Long commutes don’t exist offshore (given the size of the Islands!). Along with the beautiful weather, you will have a work-life balance that is simply impossible to achieve in the city. There is a culture of outdoor living so once work is done for the day, it's BBQ time.
Offshore life is generally more relaxed and easy going. Given the size of the islands and the population, there is a more family friendly atmosphere compared to the city.
Don’t let the relaxed atmosphere of Island life fool you. Once you start work, it is as fast-paced and competitive as it is in the city. Law firms naturally tend to have smaller teams offshore but this gives their lawyers the opportunity to work with other departments and business development is encouraged. Offshore lawyers will often handle a wide range of transactions and work on a higher number of matters at any one time.
Given the complexity and sophistication of offshore law, barrier to entry is very high. Lawyers must come from a strong academic background and have previous large city firm experience.
Working offshore as a Lawyer with the leading firms means you can demand city rates and in some cases Magic/Silver circle rates. Given the low (if any) tax rate, working offshore is very desirable from a financial point of view.
The size, value and quality of deals, especially in M&A is continuing to grow.
Given the tax structures in place offshore, funds lawyers have and continue to be in demand to assist the increasing number of clients setting up and managing their funds.
Law firms are always keen to speak with experienced Litigation and Insolvency lawyers given the amount of increasing companies and funds present offshore.
Offshore jurisdictions have a longstanding reputation as leading international financial centres and the jurisdictions continue to perform as domestic investment funds domiciles. For example, in early 2016, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority showed nearly 11,000 mutual funds were registered with or licensed by it. Banking & Finance lawyers are involved in major deals acting for borrowers and many of the worlds banks.
The real estate market remains strong and some of the year’s largest transactions had significant offshore elements. Offshore law firms are therefore frequently required to advise the world’s largest investment banks on real estate financing.
There is an increasing demand for Lawyers with Private Client experience. There is a demand for contentious and non-contentious advisory Lawyers to assist clients including trustees, fiduciaries, settlors, beneficiaries and high net worth clients.
Our clients demand the best candidates – what does that mean?
Candidates must have excellent academics from a reputable university and have experience from a leading city law firm. To work offshore you typically need to be UK qualified or qualified from a Commonwealth country.
The Channel Islands
There is no need for a work visa if you are an EU national in order to work in the Channel Islands but you must be England & Wales qualified.
The Jersey legal profession has three types of Jersey-qualified lawyers - Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries Public. Advocates have rights of audience to represent clients in all courts. Jersey solicitors have no general rights of audience. Notaries have no rights of audience.
Guernsey Advocates, have the right of audience to represent clients in all courts.
To work in Cayman you need to be UK or Common wealth qualified and have been offered a role by a law firm. The law firm usually assists with your Visa application.
To work as a lawyer in the BVI you must be UK qualified and generally be at least 3 PQE (although it is sometimes possible under 3 PQE) The law firm tend to assist with requalification and visa applications.
Rowen is our offshore legal expert here at Capital Markets and over the years has built up an extensive network of clients with the leading “Offshore Magic Circle Law firms”. Along with understanding what each law firm expects from their staff, Rowen can advise you on salary, tax, on-boarding and all aspects of making an international move. Rowen and the team at Capital Markets understand the complexity of an international move and are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.