The Guernsey International Legal Association (“GILA”) is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1989, with the objective of providing a fun and informative forum for Guernsey based lawyers (qualified in all jurisdictions) to meet.A GILA continues to enjoy an enthusiastic and steadily growing membership which currently stands at approximately 300.
Each year, the GILA Committee organises a programme of events for members which includes international guest speakers talking about various global political and legal issues and local practitioners discussing subjects closer to home.
International guest speakers have covered an array of topics over the years and have included many high profile figures such as:
Geoffrey Robertson QC, a human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster.
Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield a House of Lords life peer, political journalist, professor of contemporary history, author.
Lord Woolf, former Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and President of the Courts of England and Wales.
Shami Chakrabarti CBE, director of Liberty and Chancellor of the University of Essex.
Baron Cecil Parkinson, a former MP;
Baroness Butler Sloss, a retired English Judge and the first female Lord Justice of Appeal;
Ben Habershon, a head of Company and Commercial Law at Wheelers LLP;
Carol Thatcher, a journalist and daughter of Margaret Thatcher;
Cherie Blair, a CBE, QC (known professionally as Cherie Booth, QC);
Courtenay Griffiths, a QC and British Barrister;
Dr Vivek Khosla, a Forensic Psychologist;
Joshua Rozenberg, formerly the BBC’s Legal Affairs Correspondent and now the Legal Affairs Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph;
Judge James Hanratty, formerly President of the Council of Immigration Judges for the United Kingdom;
Lord Hoffmann, a retired senior British Judge and Lord Justice of Appeal;
Lord Mackay, a former Lord Chancellor;
Professor Barry Rider, an international anti-money laundering expert and Director of the Institute of AdvancedLegal Studies, University of London;
Professor Mike Green, an independent consulting forensic pathologist;
Professor Robert Pearce, University of Buckingham;
Rhodri Thompson, QC Matrix Chambers;
Sir David Rowland, ex Chairman of Lloyds of London;
Sir Ivan Lawrence QC, criminal barrister and former Conservative politician, and
Sophie Poirey, Lecturer at the University of Caen.
Guernsey based speakers have included:
Melissa Davis – marketing and business development in the legal world
Charles Parkinson, a founding member of GILA and former Minister of Treasury and Resources for the States of Guernsey;
Patrick Rice, a Chief of Guernsey Police and Border Agency;
Sir de Vic Carey, a former Bailiff of Guernsey;
Sir Geoff Rowland, a former Bailiff of Guernsey;
Sir John Foley, His Excellency, the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey;
Russell Finch, a Judge of the Royal Court of Guernsey, and
Talmai Morgan, a former director general of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and a former President of GILA.
Guernsey law lectures have included topics such as Guernsey’s constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom, the All Crimes legislation, Employment Protection legislation (and the dangers of the office Christmas party!), the workings of the Ecclesiastical Court and the making of Guernsey wills, the effect of European Union Law on Guernsey, the future of customary law in Guernsey and a talk about Magistrates and the challenges their work presents.
Other notable and recent events include:
A seminar and practical workshop on stress relief techniques by Caroline Wickham in February 2015
Legal Hustings hosted by GILA in 2012 ahead of the Guernsey States Deputy Elections. This provided a lively forum for members of the legal fraternity who were vying for election to discuss their platform and proposed policies;
A “cultural” visit from members of the Bar of Aix en Provence in the South of France.A GILA hosted a lively social evening in 2012 at which the common interests of Guernsey resident lawyers and the French lawyers were explored in depth, ably assisted by their generous donation of pastis, and
Guernsey’s first ever Legal Symposium, chaired by Bailiff Richard Collas was held in February 2013 and was repeated in September 2014 to discuss various current topics affecting Guernsey legal practitioners.A Both senior and junior members of the legal community formed a panel to answer questions from the audience. A The symposium stimulated a lively debate on issues including women in law in Guernsey, the future of customary law and the requirement for the Certificat da Etudes Juridiques FranAaises et Normandes from Caen University for Guernsey lawyers and access to legal services in Guernsey (Legal Aid etc.).
In addition to the legally related talks and lectures, GILA hosts 4/5 social events each year which provide a vibrant and fun forum for members to meet and network. Social events usually comprise Spring Drinks, dinner in Herm after our AGM, Summer Drinks and a long (and legendary) Christmas Lunch. Over the years we have also celebrated Halloween, Australia Day and Thanksgiving and we have organised Guernsey cultural evenings hosted by Guernsey historian Annette Henry. All GILA events, social, lecture or otherwise, incorporate drinks and canapes or drinks and dinner to allow members to get to know each other.
GILA functions are also often open to non-lawyers which can result in attendees comprising a wide cross-section of individuals from the local community including States members, senior police and border agency staff, trust practitioners, members of the judiciary and various other people associated with finance industry in Guernsey. This allows for an even greater opportunity for networking at events.
There is no doubt that GILA is a fantastic forum for socialising. This is particularly so for those new to the Island, looking to meet their counterparts in other law firms or for those who would just like to get to know those in their own firm a bit better.
GILA has co-hosted a number of successful events with the Guernsey Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Guernsey Association of Compliance Officers (GACO) and the Guernsey Sanctions Committee.
GILA’s continued involvement with and consultation on prospective legislation is testimony to its high profile on the island. Most recently, GILA was invited to make representations on the introduction of a competition policy in Guernsey. GILA is also a strong supporter of the work carried out by the GTA University Centre and has provided company law materials for use in various training sessions and seminars.
Since 2011 GILA has provided an annual bursary of £1000 to GDL students at the GTA University Centre to assist with educational expenses.
Chet Pohl Chancellor and Former President
Rachel Richardson Former President
Emma Roberts Former GILA President.
Geoff Allez GILA’s very own sommelier.
Jonathan Carter GILA’s current honorary auditor.
Maxime Le Tocq Former GILA President and organiser of the legendary GILA Christmas lunches and Herm outings.
Michael Morris Former GILA President.
Mike McKean Former GILA President and founding member.
Richard Whitford Former GILA treasurer, serving in the role for over 15 years.
Simon Bourge Former President.
Harry Ball Founding member.
David Bateman Founding member.
If you should like to apply for membership or know of someone who may wish to apply, please print off the form below. Completed membership forms should be posted to Kellie Sherwill at Ogier, Redwood House, St Julian’s Avenue, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1WA.
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, admitted in 2009. Guernsey Advocate.
Managing Associate, Ogier.
All aspects of commercial and financial dispute resolution with a special focus on contentious trusts, regulatory matters, insolvency, schemes of arrangement, employment and shareholder disputes. Sandie is experienced in advising in connection with complex and high value international matters with multi-jurisdictional elements.
Sandie likes to participate in pub quizzes, enjoys walking on the south coast cliffs and eating out with family & friends.
Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, admitted in 2007.
All areas of corporate and commercial law, particularly banking and fund financing, the structuring and launch of funds and mergers and acquisitions. Legal 500 says he is “extremely knowledgeable and provides the right advice on extremely complicated matters.” IFLR1000 named Chet as a “Rising Star” in the 2014 edition for his Banking and Finance work.
Chet regularly surfs, gets Zen with his bonsai Ficus collection and plays guitar.
Esme is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and is due to be admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in April 2019.
Paralegal, Law Officers of the Crown.
Commercial law with a broad practice of procurement, capital projects, tech/IP and employment law.
Esme is a keen equestrienne and regularly volunteers at a local riding centre.
Barrister, called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple in 2016.
Kellie has experience of working within both corporate and commercial litigation practices. Kellie works within a busy Dispute Resolution team and provides advice on all aspects of corporate and commercial dispute resolution, insolvency, trust and employment issues.
Kellie enjoys weekend breaks away and travelling to new places, wining and dining out and playing netball.
Barrister, called to the English Bar in 1989, Guernsey Advocate since 2001.
Partner, Mourant Ozannes
Civil litigation with a broad practice base comprising commercial disputes, insured risks and public law with a particular interest in Guernsey law as a subject in its own right. Gordon is the author of the only textbook of Guernsey law in modern times, Laws of Guernsey (Hart, 2003).
Gordon is passionate about classical music, Formula 1, the arts/culture more generally and long sessions in restaurants/bars with good friends.
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland, admitted in 2013 and the High Court of Australia, admitted in 2014.
Senior Associate, Bedell Cristin
Civil litigation with a broad practice including contentious trust and probate, insolvency and regulatory work, and general commercial dispute resolution including ADR. Jasmin has prior experience in corporate advisory, equity and debt capital raising and M&A.
Jasmin enjoys travelling and all kinds of outdoor pursuits, from trekking to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to cliff walks on Guernsey’s rugged south coast.
Solicitor in the Senior Courts of England and Wales.
Associate, Collas Crill LLP.
Guernsey trust law with a particular interest in semi contentious trust matters.
Greg is a keen travel photographer and film maker.
Charlotte is currently completing her Training Contract with Ogier and is due to qualify as a Solicitor in England & Wales in March 2019.
As part of her training, Charlotte has gained experience in dispute resolution, corporate and banking.
Charlotte enjoys being active; she plays netball and softball. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Solicitor & Barrister (England & Wales non practising).
Associate Bedell Cristin
Generalist disputes lawyer with a particular focus on insolvency and trusts.
Richard enjoys spending time with his young family and exploring wonderful Guernsey. He also refuses to recognise his status as a footballing veteran just because he is the wrong side of 35. He is also a keen follower of politics and recently retweeted that: “Brexit is like watching your library being burnt down by people who can’t read”.
Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, admitted in 2016.
Associate, Ferbrache & Farrell LLP
Litigation and Dispute Resolution, specialising in insolvency, commercial and contractual disputes and contentious trust matters. Alison also has experience in employment law, family law, professional negligence and construction disputes.
Alison enjoys skiing and likes to travel, mainly to gain culinary inspiration for her love of food and cooking.
Advocate, Law Officers of the Crown
Associate, Bedell Cristin