WEDNESDAY, MAY 16: Appleby’s Shanghai office is open and running.
The law firm is poised to reap the benefits of being in the centre of action for the growing economy of the world’s most populous country.
Group chairman Peter Bubenzer and group head and corporate and commercial partner Judith Collis represented the Bermuda office at the opening on April 2, which was also attended by Ambassador Le Gall from the Republic of the Seychelles and other dignitaries.
Appleby will be able to offer a suite of services, including, but not limited to: incorporations, fund administration, private client trust and wealth administration, employee share plans and captive insurance administration.
Appleby chose to set up office in Shanghai rather than the capital Beijing because Shanghai is the financial centre for China.
Tim Faries, local group head, corporate group team leader, and insurance, partner, said: “We’ve always been interested in the Asian region when we set up our Hong Kong office as Appleby Spurling and Kempe over 20 years ago.
“Taking advantage of the devolution of large Hong Kong companies out of Hong Kong to safe havens like Bermuda after the British signed to cede sovereignty back to mainland China.”
He said China represents “opportunity for the future. The manner in which its economy has developed and is continuing to develop is common knowledge.
“The expectations are there will be opportunities and jurisdictions like Bermuda, which has carved out a niche for itself as quality probative jurisdiction, the opportunities will be plentiful for us.
“Getting in as early as we can and getting on the ground and getting a sense as to what those opportunities are and how they manifest themselves is the objective for the opening of the Shanghai office.”
Mr Faries said Appleby’s Shanghai office will be a relatively small team to begin with and will grow as opportunities present themselves.
“They are principally business development professionals and fiduciary and administrative service providers. We expect the office will be a landing point for Appleby and other professionals close by like our Hong Kong office to work though. We’ll grow as the business dictates.
Kiernan Bell, managing partner for Bermuda, said: “We’ve been interested in having a presence in China for quite some time and we’re very pleased that it has now come to fruition.”
Appleby took part in some of the activities on the recent Business Bermuda tour.
Mr Faries said: “We had a fairly visible participation in the Business Bermuda Asian Tour. A couple of our partners in Hong Kong spoke and participated in the Hong Kong portion of that.”
Ms Bell added: “It’s very synergistic. Appleby is out there flying the flag and it is of absolute assistance to us to have the Ministry of Finance and Business Bermuda also working with us on behalf of the jurisdiction.
“We all partner together. It’s not just Appleby, there are other service providers as well.
“We work with other service providers and have worked with other service providers to develop strategies to bring back business from China to Bermuda. We’re pretty excited about it.”