Harris & Co opens up in Switzerland

LAW firm D. Harris & Co has opened an office in Zurich to cater for the growing number of hedge funds setting up in Switzerland.

In a sign of the growing popularity of the alpine region, the Baker Street-based company expects up to 30 per cent of its staff to relocate to its Swiss branch.

Managing partner Daniel Harris said the move was as much about quality of life and work-life balance as about taxation issues.

The news comes as alternative investment giants such as Brevan Howard and BlueCrest Capital set about opening premises in Geneva.

Harris, whose legal partnership advises fund managers on trading activities, said there was no evidence of an impending mass exodus of investment houses from London.

However, he added: “It’s important for us to be close to the big players. Switzerland is a sophisticated place – it has all the big financial institutions there already – and it’s very business-friendly. The authorities are welcoming to foreign participants and that makes it well-placed to develop itself as a destination for the alternative investment industry.”