Why off-shore?

More City lawyers are opting to move out to the Channel Islands to develop their careers. Both Jersey and Guernsey are home to several of the largest and best, top tier rated, award winning off-shore law firms. The calibre of lawyers (many of whom are ex City), the work and the international blue-chip client base is high and these firms have particularly strong international corporate, investment funds, banking/finance, trusts/private client and litigation practices. Quite apart from the quality of the firms and the work, the Channel Islands have a number of USPs:

Work/life balance: the working hours are generally considerably better than in the City, leaving evenings and weekends free.

  • Lifestyle: the short commute to work (many people walk), the beach on your doorstep, the great range of outdoor sports (eg cricket, golf, sailing, surfing, other water sports, etc) the fabulous local cuisine, the beautiful, unspoiled landscape and safe, family friendly environment. The weather is generally better too!
  • Take home pay: lawyer salaries on both islands are comparable with the UK City firms, a little below the top tier BUT the low tax rate – *income tax is only 20% *- means that your take home pay is much higher than it would be on the equivalent salary here. The firms also offer a very competitive benefits package.
  • Proximity to UK: it is easy (and relatively cheap) to take weekend trips back to see family and friends (and some lawyers regularly commute between their firms’ London and Jersey/Guernsey offices). There are several flights a day to/from both islands to London (and other airports around the UK) and flight time is under an hour. It is also a short trip to mainland Europe.
  • A very easy transition to make: if you have a UK or EEA passport, you don’t need a work permit to work on the islands (others need a skilled worker visa) and you can practice there without re-qualifying (although you will be encouraged, and given all the support needed, to become locally qualified once you are eligible to do so). Your new firm will usually offer relocation expenses and/or accommodation for your first few weeks on the island so that you have time to properly settle in before deciding where to live permanently. The firms are incredibly supportive, dealing with all your relocation queries during the interview process, and once you have accepted an offer, guiding you smoothly through the relocation process.

To discuss job opportunities in the Channel Islands, please contact: Sarah Livesey on +44 207 269 9120 or sarah.livesey@gmk-legal.co.uk.