Maples and Calder

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Maples Group
HeadquartersUgland House
121 South Church Street
George Town
Cayman Islands
No. of offices17
OfficesCayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Dublin, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Jersey
No. of lawyers330
Major practice areasTax law
Key peopleAlasdair Robertson
Managing Partner
Date founded1962 McDonald & Maples
FounderJim McDonald
John Maples
Company typeLimited liability partnership
WebsiteMaples Group

Maples and Calder is a multi–jurisdictional law firm headquartered in the Cayman Islands, with offices in traditional tax havens and corporate tax havens. It is a member of the offshore magic circle. The firm specialises in advising on the laws of the Cayman Islands, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands, across a range of legal services including commercial litigation, intellectual property, sport, and finance, in which the firm has a focus on the structuring of tax efficient legal structures (or vehicles), and executing base erosion and profit shifting ("BEPS") type transactions for corporations.


MacDonald and Maples was founded by Jim MacDonald and John Maples. MacDonald later retired and Douglas Calder joined as a partner, resulting in the name of the firm being changed to Maples and Calder[1]. Today it is often referred to simply as Maples and is headquartered in Ugland House in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands office was opened in the early 1960s, followed by the Hong Kong office in 1995. Three years later, the London office opened its doors, with the British Virgin Islands and Dubai office establishing a presence in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Maples and Calder opened a Dublin office in 2006. 2012 saw the opening of a second office in Asia, when their Singapore office opened in September 2012.[2]

Alasdair Robertson is the firm's global managing partner and is based in the Cayman Islands office.

Practice areas[edit]

The principal focus is on tax management (e.g. structuring and domiciling of tax vehicles, corporate transactions for IP–based and Debt–based based erosion and profit shifting (or BEPS) actions).[3][4] Maples and Calder also offers a range of other tax focused legal services, including providing advice on major infrastructure and property development projects (domiciled in offshore tax havens or corporate tax havens), and the establishment and structuring of a "physical presence" in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Dublin, including business licensing, real estate, immigration and employment law.[5]

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, described Ugland House, the then legal home of 12,000 U.S. corporations as: "That's either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world".[6]


Maples and Calder has maintained its position as the largest Cayman Islands law firm, holding top rankings for finance, corporate, investment funds and litigation in legal directories such as Chambers and Partners, Legal 500,[7] and Practical Law Company (PLC),[8] and is the only offshore magic circle law firm to ever achieve Tier 1 in every category of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR).


Maples and Calder maintains a multi–jurisdictional network of offices in leading Caribbean and Channel Islands offshore tax havens[9] such as the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Dubai, and Jersey. As with other offshore magic circle law firms, Maples and Calder have also opened up offices in the major corporate tax havens, and particularly Dublin and Singapore (see Conduit and Sink OFCs).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maples and Calder (9 June 2012). "Founding Partner passes". Lord Maples first partnered with fellow lawyer, James MacDonald, in the 1960s and later with Douglas Calder to form the partnership of Maples and Calder, now a leading international law firm. His contributions and impact on the legal profession in the Cayman Islands were notable.
  2. ^ "Maples boosts offshore presence in Singapore". Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  3. ^ Madison Marraige (10 November 2017). "Offshore Magic Circle law firms fear Paradise Papers fallout". Financial Times. The “offshore magic circle”, a term given to the top firms based in the Caribbean and the Channel Islands that specialise in helping clients move money to low-tax countries, include Ogier, Mourant Ozannes, Walkers, and Maples and Calder, as well as Appleby. “All offshore firms are terrified about this,” said one partner at a UK-based law firm, speaking privately. Another said: “The offshore firms are in complete company lockdown.” Jonathan Riley, head of tax at accountancy firm Grant Thornton, added: “There will be some concern the heavens will come down on [these firms]. There will be collateral damage for the offshore centres.”
  4. ^ "Maples and Calder in Bloomberg Business Week". Retrieved 2012-03-01.
  5. ^ "Law firm specialising in tax havens to create 75 jobs in Dublin". 19 June 2012. AN INTERNATIONAL corporate and finance law company which advises international clients on the laws of global tax havens – including Ireland – is to create 75 new jobs in Dublin over the next three years.
  6. ^ "Tax Spotlight worries the Cayman Islands". BBC. March 2009. During last year's US presidential campaign, Mr Obama referred to a building in the Cayman Islands that, he said, supposedly housed 12,000 US–based corporations. "That's either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world," he said. The building Mr Obama talked about is Ugland House, the head office of the international law firm Maples and Calder. Situated on the outskirts of Georgetown, it is actually the address of almost 19,000 companies. For some, the building has come to symbolise the drain on the economies of the big nations, a view rejected by the law firm.
  7. ^ "Maples and Calder". Retrieved 2012-03-01.
  8. ^ "The offshore law firm elite". Retrieved 2012-03-01.
  9. ^ "Who's Who Legal Profile". Retrieved 2012-03-01.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°17′31″N 81°23′07″W / 19.2920°N 81.3854°W / 19.2920; -81.3854