Asa full-service law firm, Carey Olsen Bermuda works across a range of disciplines, including banking and finance, corporate and M&A, and investment funds. The European caught up with Gavin Woods, a member of Carey Olsen Bermuda’s Corporate Practice, to
learn more about the firm, its approach to resolving client issues and responding to the ever-changing
global regulatory landscape.
Tell us about the firm’s history and also highlight the calibre of the team at Carey Olsen Bermuda.
Gavin Woods: Carey Olsen was founded in 1898 and has grown to be a leading offshore law firm. Having initially launched in Bermuda in 2017 with a single fee earner (managing partner Michael Hanson), in a little over a year the office has grown to 16 lawyers, with more joining in the first six months of 2019.
Our focus on providing exceptional legal services has already placed us as a leading player at the high end of the market, we attract the largest international clients on the island. The team has also attracted highly-respected lawyers, both locally and internationally, and enticed recognised and talented in-house lawyers back into private practice. Partner Keith Robinson joined from Appleby shortly after the launch, while Mary Ward joined from Conyers Dill & Pearman in April 2018. Together with other senior hires, the firm has established itself amongst the most formidable and respected teams on the island, already boasting one of the largest litigation practices and one of the fastest growing corporate teams.
What areas are typically of concern to clients and what is your approach to resolving such issues?
GW: Bermuda has seen an increased amount of legislation in recent years. Our clients want certainty when it comes to these changes, as well as with their evolving duties and obligations. Our advice is delivered by an approachable and experienced team of globally minded lawyers who work with clients to help them achieve their objectives.
How are international developments and the role of pan-national organisations, such as the OECD, affecting the type of advice offered?
GW: Bermuda is accustomed to rules and regulations promulgated in response to international developments (e.g. FATCA, common reporting standards, AML/ATF, Solvency II and economic substance). Carey Olsen’s lawyers have a wealth of international experience and are well-versed in these developments, allowing them to provide timely, technically strong and relevant advice.
How does the Carey Olsen approach differ and how do you see the market and jurisdiction developing?
GW: At Carey Olsen we make a point of getting to know our clients, their business and their circumstances, allowing us to tailor advice around their needs and add value wherever possible. The Bermuda legal market recently saw the introduction of new, international law firms and we expect this trend to continue. Inevitably, this will lead to increased competition, but this will only benefit the jurisdiction in the long-term. ν