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administration

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The How, Which & Why of Outsourcing for Lawyers

1024 698 Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer

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In the increasingly competitive legal industry, law firms are being pressurised into streamlining processes and reducing costs to increase efficiency and keep their profits viable in the long term. Outsourcing certain tasks is the perfect way to achieve this, improving the productivity of your firm and eliminating wasted time and unnecessary expense. With over 2 million jobs being outsourced from the US each year, this is a growing trend that law firms, like most enterprises, need to take advantage of. But knowing which tasks to outsource and which to keep in-house can be tricky. Here are some of the ones that you can safely outsource to help your business thrive.

“Outsourcing your marketing is simple: you locate a freelancer or marketing company who are experts in marketing for law firms, and you employ them to promote your business. In the long term, this is a far more cost-effective way of handling your visibility, both online and off.”

Marketing

Although the internet is inundated with ‘how-to’ articles on how to market your business, the truth is that in order to drive a truly successful marketing campaign, you need to have either a lot of time or plenty of experience. Most lawyers have neither. Take video marketing, for instance, which now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic online and is swiftly growing in importance and influence: do you have the time, equipment, and expertise to shoot and produce footage to put on your website or promote through social media channels? Outsourcing is simple: you locate a freelancer or marketing company who are experts in marketing for law firms, and you employ them to promote your business. In the long term, this is a far more cost-effective way of handling your visibility, both online and off.

The nuts and bolts

Small firms especially can really benefit from outsourcing the small but time-consuming tasks that can eat into a productive work day. This can be anything from payroll and financing all the way through to food services and mail. These are the tasks which significantly reduce the number of hours we have to spend on the most important and most profit-yielding activities: the ones that, as lawyers, you’re trained and qualified to do.

Legal and administration

There’s also a growing trend for law firms to outsource certain legal and administrative tasks to other firms, either in the US and with lower rates than themselves, or offshore to India or elsewhere. There are entire companies dedicated to taking on these assignments, offering firms the ability to provide customers with 24/7 provision, and the financial benefit of focusing on client procurement and service.

Isle of Man

Fund Administration in the Isle of Man

1024 683 Galileo Fund Services Limited

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The Isle of Man, amongst many other things, is an ideal centre for the administration of niche fund and investment products. The legislation in place offers a wide variety of fund structures around which the most appropriate investment vehicle may be constructed.

Moreover, the Island has developed over many years, a robust political and financial infrastructure with an emphasis on pragmatic regulation. The purpose of this paper is to give a brief background to the Isle of Man fund environment and to focus on one particular type of popular structure available in the Isle of Man, the Closed-Ended Investment Company or “CEIC”. CEIC’s have been successfully used by many fund promoters in recent years as the vehicle of choice when establishing an investment company, be it a private unlisted company or a stock market listed company. It should be remembered that the information contained within this paper is for guidance only and interested parties should consult the relevant original legislation when structuring an Isle of Man product.

The Constitutional position of the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing dependency of the British Crown and is not part of the United Kingdom. Through long-established constitutional convention, the Isle of Man has autonomy in relation to its domestic affairs, including taxation and business law. As the Island is not a member state of the European Union (as provided under Protocol 3 to the Act of Accession), EU rules only apply to the Isle of Man in relation to a limited range of matters. Tynwald, the Island’s parliament, has been in existence for over 1,000 years and is the world’s oldest continuously functioning parliament. As a common law jurisdiction, the Island’s legal traditions draw heavily on those of England providing a level of familiarity when dealing with the Island.

Regulatory environment

The Isle of Man has developed a reputation as a jurisdiction of quality through its enactment of pragmatic legislation enabling industry to operate in a business friendly environment whilst at the same time adhering to international standards of financial supervision. Fund managers, administrators, and providers of corporate and fiduciary services, are regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) and to complement the licensing framework for the regulation of such entities, the Island has adopted extensive measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Closed-ended Investment Companies

Legislation in the Isle of Man makes a fundamental distinction between an “open-ended investment company” and a “closed-ended investment company”. Open-ended investment companies are corporate vehicles which provide investors with a right of exit by allowing them to redeem their shares and are considered to be collective investment schemes for the purposes of Isle of Man law.

A collective investment scheme or fund is subject to regulation in the Isle of Man under the Collective Investment Schemes (“CIS”) legislation whilst a CEIC, which provides no such right of exit, is not currently subject to the same CIS regulations. To that end, a CEIC is treated in the same way as any other operating company for regulatory purposes and, as a result of this approach, there are a number of important advantages to operating such a company from the Isle of Man including:

• no regulatory pre-approval requirements for launch in the Isle of Man
• no requirement for a licensed fund manager or administrator to be appointed
• no prescriptive requirements as regards board composition
• no requirement for a separate custodian
• no restrictions on asset classes, investment strategy or leverage
• no prescriptive rules about permitted investors or minimum subscription requirements

Companies – both traditional and modern

Company legislation introduced in 2006 has given promoters wishing to use an Isle of Man investment company the choice between using a vehicle incorporated under the Companies Act 2006 or alternatively a more traditional vehicle established under the Companies Act 1931.

Key features of a 2006 Act company are:

• minimal administrative requirements
• flexible capital structure
• limited disclosure requirements
• suitably regulated registered agent must be appointed

1931 Act companies draw heavily on English corporate legislation and therefore have more prescriptive administrative and statutory filing requirements.

Solution Freedom

Listing an Isle of Man CEIC

Isle of Man CEIC’s are suitable for listing on many recognised investment exchanges and over the years have proved to be a popular choice of vehicle for listing on the AIM Market in particular. A CEIC is not required to appoint a licensed fund administrator, however an Isle of Man corporate services provider may be required to deliver statutory and on-going compliance services.

Taxation

The Isle of Man offers a tax neutral environment in many cases with no capital taxes and a zero rate of corporate tax for CEIC’s. Value added tax may, however be payable on fees levied by certain functionaries to an investment company, dependent on the jurisdiction in which they are based.

 

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Isle of Man: Why Are Family Office Services Becoming So Popular?

1024 913 Crowe Clark Whitehill

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Family Offices are private wealth management advisory services offered to ultra-high net worth investors to centralise focus and control over family finances, legal, tax and administration issues. It is an outsourced solution to manage the financial and investment affairs of wealthy individuals or families. It works to provide the best solution for building, preserving and transferring family wealth onto future generations.

The first known family office was setup for the Rockefeller family of New York in the 19th Century. The family, faced with increased wealth management concerns, began hiring trusted advisors with certain expertise to assist with the management and protection of their family’s interests. Thus the concept of family office was born.

Family Offices are most commonly utilised because assets have grown in size and complexity, demanding full-time professional management. The world’s most wealthy families establish Family Offices to ensure their wealth is suitably preserved for future generations.

One of the main attractions of the use of a family office for wealthy families is having one central source for information and advice on the family’s financial matters. Having a dedicated team of professionals who are completely focused on the client’s goals and financial aspirations in a completely confidential manner who can ensure wealth management and future proofing of complex structures to ensure the wealth is managed effectively for future generations.

One of the most important parts of any family office is to consolidate all relevant financial information into one report and coordinate with various financial institutions to establish an overall investment strategy. This saves valuable time and resources for family members and can focus the mind on the main goals for the family’s wealth and is a pragmatic way to manage overall investment risk.

A family office may also act as a connection between family members and as a trusted advisor for younger generations. Research has shown that many wealthy families are not able to preserve their wealth for longer than three generations. This is often caused by a lack of strategy within the family or a lack of communication between the family members. A family office can build long-term relationships with all family members and involve and educate the younger generation on wealth management matters. As the family office is a third party, it is often easier for family members to discuss financial matters with the family office instead of dealing directly with each other.

It has been said that the most important considerations of any family office are a professional comprehensive service, discretion and extensive wealth management experience and at CCW we can offer all three.

If you are considering a family office for your family or are a trusted advisor who is looking to move a family office which is currently in existence we would be happy to discuss your needs. Crowe Clark Whitehill have looked after families and their needs for over 30 years, our people are highly skilled and qualified client professionals. We have extensive experience in the management of international structures and through our network we have links to professional advisors in almost every jurisdiction around the globe.

Crowe Clark Whitehill’s services are uniquely crafted to give each family exactly what they need. We will take the time to get to know you, your aspirations and concerns. We understand that there is nothing more important than family and that you will be in trusting personal matters to us, we will work with you to gain understanding and build long term relationships.