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International law firm Harneys adds Cyprus office

Published on Monday, April 12, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version


Pavlos Aristodemou leads
Harneys’ Cyprus office

International offshore law firm Harney Westwood & Riegels formally announces the opening of its new Cyprus office, the latest addition to the firm’s international network.

The Cyprus office in Limassol will provide advice on all aspects of commercial, banking, corporate and tax law with emphasis on investment flows into and via Cyprus, which is driven by the country’s favourable tax regime, according to the firm’s statement.

“Cyprus is a preferred jurisdiction for Russia investment,” says Development Partner Peter Tarn, “and Harneys has been the leading provider of BVI legal advice to Russia for more than three decades. So the addition of Cyprus was a natural step for us.”

Ultimately, however, Mr Tarn says that Cyprus is “part of our broader emerging markets strategy” because he believes that the country will be relevant to many of their clients, including those in the Far East, India and Europe.

Harneys entered into a “best friends” agreement with leading Cypriot law firm Aristodemou Liozides Yiolitis LLC in 2008, and ALY has now formally been brought into the Harneys network, he says.

“ALY’s commitment to service standards and fast-growing reputation with magic circle and large international law firms means this relationship effectively picked itself,” adds Mr Tarn.

The Cyprus office is under the leadership of Managing Partner Pavlos Aristodemou, who practices banking, finance and corporate law. Other Cyprus partners are Corporate & Commercial Partner Demetris Loizides and Tax Partner Emily Yiolitis, who leads the new Tax & Regulatory Department, which joins the firm’s Cyprus tax practice with its BVI and Cayman regulatory offering.

Aristodemou says that Cyprus’ extensive network of double tax treaties, its EU membership, and its location make it attractive to a wide range of cross-border commercial and finance applications.

“With its political and economic ties to Europe and definitively on-shore identity,” says Mr Aristodemou., “Cyprus is most certainly a jurisdiction of the future. We are already beginning to see international law firms following Harneys to Cyprus, and we expect to see this trend continue.”

Aristodemou adds that as part of the merger, the firm plans to relocate a BVI lawyer to Cyprus and a Cyprus lawyer to London in the coming months.

With the addition of the Cyprus practice Harneys is the first offshore law firm to offer fully integrated service in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands and Cayman, according to Mr Tarn. Its other offices are in Hong Kong and London.
 
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