Gibraltar’s wealth of talent in the legal, banking, accounting and related sectors adds significant value to its offerings as an investment destination. Gibraltar’s top-level professionals have the tenacity and expertise to cut through bureaucracy, expedite legal processes, and overcome any other adversities investors might face.
Gibraltarians take pride in their ability to find solutions to what at the outset seem like insurmountable problems. Franco’s decision to close the border with Spain in 1969 (it did not fully open until 1985), if anything, served to enhance a spirit of enterprise in the face of adversity. The territory today can call on a pool of experts in the legal, banking, accounting, compliance and logistics sectors, and this talent is at the heart of its prosperity.
Gibraltar has never been short of experienced lawyers well-versed in the intricacies of British common law, and many of them have plied their trade doing work farmed out by English barristers. During the course of the territory’s transformation into a vibrant onshore financial services centre, they have further honed their skills in complex legal issues by acquiring knowledge of different jurisdictions.
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James Levy, the senior partner of Hassans, recalls the time in 1988 when Gibraltar’s chief minister, Joe Bossano, called in the territory’s leading law firm to help resolve the problem of a massive backlog in European Commission directives that had not been transposed into local legislation. A large chunk of the problem was resolved in one fell swoop as Hassans noted that 27 of the 100 or so directives applied to rivers and streams and the coal and steel industries, all of which Gibraltar had none and therefore no need to implement.
Peter Caetano, the managing director of Lombard Odier’s operations in Gibraltar, says the Swiss private bank has been able to call on local talent to meet its needs, not just in the banking sector, but also in legal, accountancy and tax areas.
Hassans’ affiliate trust and corporate services brand, Line Group, takes pride in being able to put together a complete package of services to meet the particular needs of individual clients, while local logistics firm Redwood gets called in to help relocate recruited overseas employees from wherever they are based to Gibraltar.