'Band One'

Walkers has been ranked as a Band One 'Global-Wide' provider of offshore legal services in Chambers and Partners' 2017 Global Guide.

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Following the recent result in the United Kingdom's EU referendum, Walkers has created a Brexit page dedicated to providing our clients relevant information about the jurisdictions in which we practice.

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Dubai Award

Walkers (Dubai) has been awarded Best Offshore Law Firm 2017 at the MENA Fund Manager Fund Awards.

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Best Offshore Law Firm

The Hedgeweek USA Awards 2016 named Walkers best offshore law firm and partner Melissa Lim was in attendance to collect the award.

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Walkers is a leading international law firm. We advise on the laws of Bermuda*, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey.

Legal Internships, Scholarships and Articles of Clerkship

Walkers is pleased to announce that it has opened the application process for its 2017 legal scholarships, internships and Articles of Clerkship programmes.


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New Thresholds for PR by Independent Means

A recent change to the Immigration Law [of the Cayman Islands] has resulted in a significant increase in the qualifying sums for persons seeking to make an application to the Cayman Islands Government for permanent residence by independent means.

The Immigration (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations, 2017 (“Amendment No. 4”) were gazetted on 26 May 2017, and despite the provisions of Amendment No. 4 not featuring in the Immigration Regulations (2017 Revision) gazetted later, on 31 May 2017, they are now in force and will effect any new persons looking to consider permanent residence by independent means within the islands.


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Walkers Aviation: Ireland Adopts Cape Town Alternative A

The Irish Government has approved an Order giving immediate effect to the “Alternative A” insolvency provisions of the Aircraft Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (the “Cape Town Convention”).

The Cape Town Convention creates an international body of law to regulate interests and establish remedies in respect of qualifying Aircraft assets between conditional sellers, financiers and lessors.

The Order is made pursuant to section 5(2A) (inserted by section 53 of the State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014 (No. 27 of 2014) of the International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Act 2005 (No. 15 of 2005)). The Order provides that the waiting period required under Alternative A is 60 days.

The adoption of Alternative A demonstrates Ireland’s continued commitment to the Aviation sector and augments Ireland’s competitiveness as one of the leading jurisdictions for Aircraft financing and leasing.

The adoption of Alternative A brings Ireland’s insolvency regime for qualifying Aviation assets in line with the US and provides a legislative basis for the involvement of Irish companies in EETCs and other similar products.


Why is adopting Alternative A significant?

  1. What is Alternative A?

    Alternative A is set out under Article XI of the Aircraft Protocol to the Cape Town Convention. It is a rule-based system, the provisions of which are very similar to Section 1110 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Alternative A is specifically designed to meet the requirements of advanced structured financing and to give certainty as to the right of a creditor to repossess a qualifying Aircraft asset after a specified waiting period.

  2. How does it work?

    Alternative A requires that, upon the occurrence of an insolvency-related event, the insolvency practitioner or debtor either:

    1. gives up possession of the Aircraft object to the creditor; or
    2. cures all defaults other than a default constituted by the opening of insolvency proceedings, and agrees to perform all future obligations under the relevant transaction documents (a second waiting period would not apply in respect of a default in the performance of such future obligations),

    in each case, by the earlier of the end of the specified waiting period (i.e. 60 days in the context of Ireland) or the date on which the creditor would otherwise be entitled to possession of the Aircraft object if the Cape Town Convention did not apply.

  3. What are the practical implications of Alternative A?

    • During the waiting period the insolvency practitioner or debtor is required to preserve the Aircraft object and maintain its value in accordance with the transaction documents until possession is given to the creditor.

    • No court permission is required at the end of the waiting period by the creditor in order to obtain possession. Prior to obtaining possession, the creditor is also entitled to apply for other forms of interim relief available under Irish law.

    • Once possession has been obtained the creditor has the right, if it is the authorised party pursuant to a duly registered irrevocable deregistration and export request authorisation (IDERA), to deregister and export the Aircraft. The Irish Aviation Authority must make these remedies available to the creditor, subject to any applicable Aviation safety laws and regulations, on an expedited basis no later than 5 working days after notification from the creditor of its entitlement to deregister and export the Aircraft.

    • No exercise of remedies permitted by the Cape Town Convention may be prevented or delayed after the expiration of the waiting period. Consequently the adoption of Alternative A has altered Ireland’s Examinership regime in respect of qualifying leasing and security arrangements. Prior to the adoption of Alternative A where a debtor had entered into Examinership proceedings this would prevent a creditor from exercising remedies against the debtor (either under Irish domestic law or under the Cape Town Convention) for 70 - 100 days or longer depending on the complexity of the Examinership. Post adoption of Alternative A this Examinership stay period may not extend beyond the 60 day waiting period.

    • The insolvency regime for all other types of assets (i.e. where the Cape Town Convention does not apply) remains unchanged.


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Green Shoots in the Hedge Fund Industry

For financial journalists, there has been an easy formula for writing an article about hedge funds in the last few years. Draw a graph of an aggregated hedge fund index against the S&P 500 over the last decade or so, and point out the gap. Note the overall industry outflows in the last couple of years. Add a paragraph about how investors are resentful of management and performance fees. Find a large institutional investor, a Calpers or a Nycers, for example, who has made a highprofile decision to downsize its hedge fund portfolio. Finally, you’ll need a picture: a yacht, a stressed-looking trader, Warren Buffett smiling.

As with all of the best clichés, there is some basis in fact for each of these points. However, recent data and commentary have provided clear signs of ‘green shoots’ for the industry. So in the spirit of spring, at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere, we will explore them in this article.

The health of the hedge fund industry is often marked against three metrics: performance, investor flows, and investor sentiment. In April, Preqin released their Preqin Quarterly Update: Hedge Funds for the first quarter of 2017. In this update, they noted that hedge funds as an industry had enjoyed a run of strong returns going back to March 2016. Aggregated across all strategies that Preqin cover, the net returns over the prior 12 months averaged almost 11%. While some strategies had performed particularly well (activist and event-driven funds returning over 15%), returns were positive across all strategies other than CTAs.

While the S&P 500 was up nearly 18% in the same period, comparisons with the S&P (or indeed any other equity index) can be misleading. Investors in hedge funds are not looking for exposure to the broad equity markets; they can obtain those exposures themselves without paying hedge fund manager fees.


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This article first appeared in HFM Week's Cayman Islands Special Report 2017.

In-Houser Lawyer - Restructuring & Insolvency, Cayman

Partner Neil Lupton has worked with The In-House Lawyer Magazine to create a country-specific online Q&A that provides an overview of the legal framework and key issues surrounding restructuring and insolvency in the Cayman Islands.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to Restructuring & Insolvency.

Click to download Cayman PDF

Alternatively, the full online restructuring guide can be found here.

Alternative Investment Funds 2017 | Bermuda

Taylors' Partners Jonathan Betts and Ariane West have teamed up with Global Legal Group to provide a detailed legal guide on the Bermuda alternative investment fund industry. Discussing the regulatory framework, fund structures, marketing, investments, disclosures, taxation and reforms, Jonathan uses his in-depth knowledge to provide readers with actionable intelligence.


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