Managing nine offices in different countries spanning across three continents is no easy feat, but for Mr. Bastien Trelcat, the Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, rather than be overwhelmed, he sees it as an opportunity to immerse himself in the various cultures of the countries they operate in.
Trelcat is a lawyer specialising in the investment immigration industry who has pioneered the industry and extended its reach to more citizens around the globe.
“We do not see borders, we see opportunities. The greatest challenge with so many different offices is to convey the partners’ vision of where the firm is headed to, how to apply processes the same way in South Africa, a very recent office, as we would in Hong Kong where the office was established 22 years ago, versus that of Montreal which has been 28 years in existence. When it comes to integrating cultures, I usually read a lot of books on history and immerse myself in countless hours of research to help myself and our different offices understand the different cultures that we are faced with,” says Trelcat.
He manages offices in South Africa; Thailand; Cambodia; Myanmar; Bangladesh; Ivory Coast; France; Nigeria and Kenya, where a typical day includes consultation with clients, associates, Governments and their diplomatic personnel all over the world. Trelcat is also responsible for drafting various legal, administrative and financial proposals to assist clients with their immigration needs.
He says while it is his job as a lawyer to know as much about each country that they operate in, he is still fascinated by some of the bureaucracy in effect in some regions and how this limits the mobility of its citizens.
“As a commercial lawyer in the immigration space, you must deal with people’s reasons and needs to immigrate and negotiate the best solutions for them. The concept of investment immigration is very new in some countries and many people simply do not know they have options beyond the standard immigration processes. Many think the notion of investment mobility too far-fetched so, our job also becomes one of advocate and teacher.
“But I love seeing the happiness on our clients’ faces when they understand the solutions on offer to their families, to either relocate or pursue their dream lives overseas,” says Trelcat.
He says despite a pause in immigration during March and April with the advent of COVID-19 and the disastrous impact it has had on travel and the economy, they managed to outpace the negative economic effects of the pandemic by having a footprint in multiple locations.
“Historically, we established in 1992, have had a strong presence in Asia since 1998, but not to put our eggs in one basket, we decided to tap into the African market in 2019 with the opening of our Abidjan and Johannesburg offices. In parallel, we decided to strengthen our presence in Paris and grow our offering to include Istanbul and Brazil to cover more territories. This also led to us widening our scope of services to include government advisory on new investment programmes; a diligence department that focuses on Know Your Client (KYC) which have been well received by our clients',” explains Trelcat. He attributes his success to self-discipline, the control and efficiencies instilled by his law background, and the international culture at Harvey Law Group.