Paul Govier By Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London:
Although law firm Maples has always been principally linked with the Cayman Islands, the firm also practices Irish and British Virgin Islands law and has a substantial office in London which it opened in 1997. Paul Govier, joint managing partner, London for Maples and Calder reports that it is the largest London office of any offshore firm, providing advice on Cayman Islands and BVI law on the ground in London.
Regulatory changes come and go but Cayman hangs onto its place as one of the most popular jurisdictions for hedge fund registration. Last year eight out of 10 of the top 10 fund launches were registered in the Cayman Islands and approximately 80% of European alternative funds use the Caymans for their fund vehicles.
Govier says: "The reasons that they choose Cayman now are the same reasons that they always have. Its a combination of a tried and tested product that works for managers, investors and prime brokers. They all understand how Cayman works and equally Cayman has designed its laws to work for these people. It is also partly inertia - its a herd mentality but for good reasons. You don't want to be distinguishing your fund vehicle on jurisdiction".
Govier believes that if you were looking to create an offshore jurisdiction, your wish list of features are all present in Cayman. "Political stability; English speaking; English law as the basis; tax neutrality; international best practice on anti m......................
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