Walkers Leads Landmark Defence of Mega-Litigation

Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi Brothers Company (AHAB) v. Saad Investments Company Limited (In Official Liquidation) (SICL) and Others, a case in which claims and counterclaims at their height amounted to over US$17 billion.

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Walkers Leads Offshore

This year Walkers received 10 Band 1 practice rankings in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide, more than any other offshore law firm.

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Walkers Acts on $1B Asia Deal

Walkers BVI and Cayman advised Didi Chuxing on its highly-publicised US$1 billion acquisition of 99 Taxis.

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Brexit

Following the 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 practise.

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Walkers Asset Recovery

Fifteen Walkers lawyers were recognised in the 2017 Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery guide. This is more than any other global law firm worldwide.

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Walkers Wins HFM Week Award

Walkers has been awarded the Best Offshore Law Firm Award for Client Service at the HFM Week US Hedge Fund Services Awards 2017.

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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.
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Powerwomen 200

Walkers in IFC Powerwomen Top 200

Six Walkers lawyers have been ranked in the 2017 edition of CityWealth's IFC Powerwomen Top 200.

 

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A sting in the tail: the latest instalment from the Crociani litigation

Although the substantive judgment in the Crociani litigation was handed down on 11 September last year, that vine still had some fruit to bear. In particular, two of the inquiries ordered by that judgment have now been decided in a subsequent judgment, which is the subject matter of this note. This subsequent judgment is particularly illuminative of the approach taken by the Royal Court when assessing liability of trustees for the loss of growth in the value of trust assets that were paid away in breach of trust.

Background

The Crociani litigation is relatively complex and has yielded useful judicial commentary on a number of issues, ranging from electronic discovery to the interpretation of forum and jurisdiction clauses. But for the present purposes, the history can be summarised as follows:

  1. the Grand Trust was established by the settlor, Edoarda Crociani, principally for the benefit of her two daughters;
  2. the Grand Trust was, during the relevant period, a Jersey law trust;
  3. in 2010, the then-trustee, at the instigation of the settlor, made an appointment from the trust to another trust;
  4. this appointment extended to an investment portfolio of significant value together with the benefit of certain loans;
  5. one of the two daughters, Cristiana Crociani, successfully established that the appointment was an improper attempt to deprive her of potential benefit from the appointed assets; and
  6. as a result, the substantive judgment in 2017 ordered the then-trustee and the settlor to restore the trust fund (or rather, a sub-trust established for Cristiana’s benefit) commensurate with the value of the appointed assets.

 

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New Courts and Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill Announced for Ireland

On 29 May 2018 the Minister for Justice and Equality announced that a new Courts and Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill (the “Bill”) will be drafted increasing protections for mortgagors facing repossession proceedings. The Bill has its origins in the Keeping Persons in their Homes Bill (previously introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in 2017) and proposes amending the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 to include provisions for persons facing repossession who cannot avail of an insolvency remedy under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.

The Minister’s press release states that the Bill would require the court, when considering an application for a possession order in such cases, to have regard to the following factors:

  • “the overall proportionality of the application for a repossession order;
  • the circumstances of those resident in the property;
  • the details of, and responses to, any proposals put forward by either party which would enable the borrower to remain in the property, including participation in a Government scheme for distressed mortgage holders (for example, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme or the Abhaile scheme); and
  • where the mortgagee is not the original mortgagee that granted the loan or mortgage to the mortgagor, the amount paid for the purchase
    of the loan or mortgage by reference to the amount of debt outstanding in respect of the loan or mortgage.”

 

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Updates in respect of Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) May 2018

The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation (the “DITC”) has issued an Industry Advisory to update the relevant dates for reporting under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”).

The statutory reporting deadline for CRS and FATCA remains 31 May 2018. However, completion of 2017 CRS and FATCA reporting on or before 31 July 2018 will not result in compliance measures being taken by the DITC for late filing and will not attract adverse consequences, enforcement measures or penalties.

Reports submitted after 31 July 2018 will be noted and may be subject to compliance reviews by the DITC.

The Cayman AEOI Portal will be taken offline on Friday 1 June 2018 at 12 noon Cayman Islands time. The DITC intends to reopen the AEOI Portal on 15 June 2018 and keep it open until 31 August 2018.

The DITC would like to remind all Cayman Financial Institutions that they must file a CRS Filing Declaration even if they have no Reportable Accounts.

Important Reminder: Beneficial Ownership Deadline

Further to our previous advisories on this topic, the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership regime is in force and steps need to be taken by all companies and limited liability companies.

The regime mandates that all Cayman Islands companies and limited liability companies must establish and maintain a non-public register of beneficial owners, unless they fall within an exemption.

Exempt companies and limited liability companies are required to provide their corporate services provider with written confirmation of the applicable exemption.

Failure to comply by 30 June 2018 may result in financial penalties against the company and its directors, as well as restrictions on the transfer of shares.

Where Walkers Corporate Limited is your registered office provider, and if you have not done so already, please reach out to either your usual Walkers contacts or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ensure that you are compliant with the regime.

For further detail relating to the beneficial ownership regime generally, please see our previous advisories dated 10 April 2017, 5 January 2018 and 8 March 2018.

Jersey's New Private Funds Prove Attractive to Experienced Investors

The Island's new Jersey Private Funds regime appears to be successfully striking the right balance between investor protection and freedom for experienced investors to invest where they want, according to law firm Walkers.

The Jersey Private Fund will eventually take over from other similar investment products where the rules are simpler because their use is restricted to experienced or wealthy investors.

The JPF can only be marketed to a maximum of 50 investors who are 'professional' or have a minimum of '£250,000 each to invest. The fund does not need Jersey-resident directors or require an offering document to be approved, and it can be set up in a streamlined process taking less than 48hours.

The main requirement is that it needs a designated service provider registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission who has to carry out the due diligence on the fund's promoters.

In just over a year since the regime was introduced, more than 120 JPFs have been approved to invest in a wide range of alternative assets. Two of the earliest funds were for the Westbrooke Group which has a presence in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

 

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This article first appeared in the Jersey Evening Post.

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