Isle of Man: Business Environment
The Isle of Man is a well regulated offshore jurisdiction with a sophisticated professional infrastructure benefiting from an open-door immigration policy. This means that Manx enterprises can recruit good people - something which has become increasingly difficult in the Channel Islands.
The legal market is dominated by the two largest firms and one large London practice has a local office. Its main attraction as an offshore jurisidction must be its highly developed system of client protection ranging from mandatory professional indemnity insurance for law and accountacy firms, to the Depositor Compensation Scheme for bank depositors and the Collective Investment Schemes (Compensation) Regulations 1988 providing for the establishment of a Compensation Fund for investors.
Furthermore, the Island has designated territory status under the UK Financial Services Act 1986. New legislation is also envisaged for the licensing of 'corporate service providers'. Such a level of client protection and regulation has made the Isle of Man an attractive jurisdiction for the investor by attracting top of the range professional firms.
Lawyers are not permitted to work on a contingency fee basis. Partners' time is usually charged at GBP225-275 per hour. Other fee earners are charged at from GBP50-150 dependent on the work type.
The business community in the Isle of Man is strongly supported by approximately 80 chartered accountancy practices ranging from the sole practitioner to representatives of the 'Big Five' accountancy firms. The Isle of Man Society of Chartered Accountants represents the interests of approximately 350 members and acts as a voice for the profession in liaison with government.