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TIME OUT WITH…


Mark Helyar


“Scuba diving during the Asian tsunami, I was carried over a kilometre under water…”


Mark is Managing Partner at Bedell Cristin, Guernsey


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How did you get where you are? After leaving university, where I took a degree in environmental sciences, I returned


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to Guernsey and worked as a civil servant for five years. I ended up at the sea fisheries committee arresting French fishermen at the height of the dispute in the mid-nineties. It was the evidence collection and prosecution experiences that first made me want to be a lawyer. Advocate Dr Nick Le Poidevin took me on as a clerk in 1996. I studied for a post-graduate degree in law, and then went on to be called to the Bar in England and Guernsey. I became a partner in another Guernsey law firm before opening the Guernsey office of Bedell Cristin in 2006, and I was recently responsible for the opening of our new offices in Mauritius.


What’s your favourite quote? More a maxim than a quote: “Never reinforce a defeat” from Erwin Rommel.


It’s very simple, but has a very wide application in business as well as in your personal life.


Complete this sentence: I couldn’t live without… People are more important to me, but if


you mean possessions, it would be a classical guitar. I’ve played since I was very young, in styles from classical to heavy rock – and in well known local bands like the Johndoes and Nemesis. My children are now taking up instruments and playing in bands, so it’s great to be able to share this with them.


tsunami. I was doing an advanced scuba exam at the time with my instructor. With no warning, we went from no current at all to being carried just over a kilometre under water in 10 minutes. Had it not been for the good organisation and safety provisions of the dive centre we almost certainly would have been swept into the deep ocean. When we surfaced, the island lagoon above us was empty and there were hundreds of fish flapping about on the sand. We were very lucky to get off so lightly.


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Why Guernsey? I’m proud to be Guernsey born and bred. As an island we have no crippling national


debt, a relatively small deficit that is well within our means to fix, a beautiful, safe and stable place to live, and the opportunity to do some of the best quality legal work anywhere in the world. There are very few places with so much to offer.


Time out… My fiancée and I have five children, including a nine-month-old son, as


well as two dogs and two goats – our house is quite a menagerie. So though I have many hobbies, I don’t get the chance to pursue them. I’ve taken up photography over the past few years because you can combine it with other activities, and I enjoy a good round of golf when I get the opportunity.


What has been your most memorable travel experience? Diving in the Maldives during the Asian


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