Clarity over the ability to formally register a Guernsey image right for international sports stars was welcomed by their advisers and agents at a London conference this month.

Image rights expert David Evans, director of Collas Crill IP, joined a panel of specialists discussing image rights and royalty payments for sports stars at the IIR & IBC Tax Planning for Entertainer sand Sportspeople Conference 2014 in London.

He said: "There was much discussion over problems with structuring of image rights for European residents since the Lionel Messi case, in which the footballer and his father were suspected of using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use Messi's image, thereby circumventing tax obligations in Spain.

"I pointed out that the Guernsey image right can be owned by any individual or company anywhere in the world, with no requirement for a Guernsey company."

Of most interest to delegates - advisors to the world's top entertainment and sportspeople - was the ability to now be clear on what is actually meant by an image right, as it is now possible to register these formally in Guernsey. There was also a lot of interest in the potential for clubs or other organisations to own these rights within cell structures, said David.