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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GAIM Ops Cayman 2018

Walkers will once again be a headline sponsor of the 2018 GAIM Ops Cayman conference.

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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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New EU Securitisation Regulation: Impact for UCITS and AIFs

On 17 January 2018 the new Securitisation Regulation (Regulation EU 2017/2402) (the “Securitisation Regulation”) came into force and will apply from 1 January 2019. The Securitisation Regulation represents a long awaited reform of the EU securitisation rules which will replace the existing patchwork of sector-specific legislation governing European securitisations with harmonised rules on due diligence, risk retention and disclosure applying to all securitisations and introduces the rules for issuing simple, transparent and standardised (“STS”) transactions.

Significantly, UCITS will be within the scope of the Securitisation Regulation. This briefing highlights key points for managers of UCITS and AIFs to consider in terms of the impact the new rules will have on their existing portfolios and investment strategies going forward.

 

1. What is a Securitisation?
The definition of “securitisation” (broadly speaking, a transaction or scheme, whereby credit risk is tranched) used in the Capital Requirements Regulation (“CRR”) and cross-referred to in the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) has been replicated in the Securitisation Regulation with the addition of a new limb exempting transactions which create “specialised lending exposures” in accordance with Article 147(8) of the CRR, being exposures towards an entity specifically created to finance or operate physical assets...

 

Click to view advisory

Bermuda Launches ICO and Digital Assets Legislative Framework

The Government of Bermuda has tabled the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”), introducing a statutory framework for the offering of digital assets by Bermuda companies. The ICO Act provides that offerings of digital assets (“ICOs”) will be treated as a Restricted Business Activity, subject to approval by the BMA Advisory Committee upon application and submission of an offering document. Digital asset offerings will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of published regulations as well as ongoing supervision and compliance requirements, including AML/ATF.

 

The ICO Act is part of a wider initiative to provide regulatory certainty and a reliable legal framework with a view to creating an environment within which companies focused on blockchain, virtual currencies and other digital assets will thrive, whilst also implementing the highest standards of corporate governance, transparency and consumer and market protections.

As part of this ambitious agenda, it was announced that further legislation would be introduced over the course of coming months, including the Virtual Currency Business Act 2018 to be tabled in early May 2018, a Bermuda digital identification platform (E-ID) in July 2018, and Virtual Currency Exchange targeted for September 2018.

The Virtual Currency Business Act 2018 (the “VCB Act”) along with published regulations and a code of conduct, will establish a licensing and supervisory regime for entities engaged in virtual currency business and the provision of services related to digital currencies and assets, including custody and exchange activities. The VCB Act has now been published in draft form, along with a consultation paper.

The Bermuda government emphasised its commitment to this space, highlighting the collaborative approach to the development of the digital assets regulatory framework. The framework was described as the product of work across multiple government ministries and departments, and the focused engagement of the Bermuda Monetary Authority as well as internationally recognised advisors and industry experts. The stated aim of the Bermuda Government and regulator is to be a leader, setting the standard for market best practices and effective, efficient regulation and supervision of digital assets and related businesses.

Taylors partner Ariane West acts as counsel to fintech and blockchain companies and is a member of the working group advising on the development of Bermuda’s digital assets regulatory framework. 

Click to view advisory

No Basis for Appointment of Receivers Over Interests Held in a Discretionary Trust

In a recent case before the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court Walkers successfully argued that a discretionary interest in a Cayman Islands trust was not an available asset for enforcement purposes over which a receiver could be appointed.

Background
In the Matter of Y v R concerned an application to enforce a US arbitral award in the Cayman Islands pursuant to the Foreign Arbitral Awards Enforcement Law. The Plaintiff sought the appointment of receivers by way of equitable execution to receive all distributions made to or for the benefit of the Defendant from a Cayman Islands law governed irrevocable trust (the “Trust”), of which the Defendant was a discretionary beneficiary.

Whether Receivers can be Appointed Over Interests Held in a Discretionary Trust
The key issue determined by the Grand Court was whether an interest in a discretionary trust amounted to an asset susceptible to enforcement. In this case, the Defendant had already received substantial and regular distributions from the Trust which had represented the overwhelming majority of his income for a number of years.

It was common ground that the Court has the same jurisdiction as the English High Court with respect to the appointment of receivers, and also that where a judgment debtor owns the beneficial interest in a bare trust, the Court may appoint receivers by way of equitable execution in respect of that beneficial interest.

However, the position here was different in that because the trust was discretionary in nature, the debtor’s interest in the trust assets was yet to crystallise, albeit that it might well do so in the future.

The Plaintiff relied upon the English Court of Appeal decision of Masri v Consolidated Contractors International (UK) Ltd which held that the Courthad jurisdiction to appoint a receiver by way of equitable execution in respect of future receipts due to a judgment debtor from a defined asset, and recognised the possibility of incremental developments in the Court’s jurisdiction, as established principles were applied to new situations.

However, the Defendant’s position was simply that there was no asset over which receivers could be appointed. The only right of the Defendant was to require the trustees to consider from time to time whether or not to apply the whole or some part of the Trust assets for the benefit of the Defendant, which did not amount to an interest in the Trust in itself. There was no suggestion that the trust was a sham or under the de facto control of the Defendant himself.

 

Click to view full advisory

Update on Cayman Islands AML/CFT

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) has provided helpful clarification in relation to its recent statement that natural persons should be designated as anti-money laundering compliance officer (“AMLCO”), money laundering reporting officer (“MLRO”) and deputy MLRO (together, the “AML Officers”). This advisory provides a summary of the key points only and we would be happy to advise in further detail if required.

 

Click to view advisory

Updates in respect of Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation ("DITC") has issued an Industry Advisory in which it provides important updates to all Cayman Islands Financial Institutions (“CFIs”) in relation to FATCA and CRS.

As well as announcing the reopening of the AEOI Portal, the DITC has published revised versions of the AEOI Portal User Guide, CRS Guidance Notes and Entity Self-Certification Form. This Advisory provides a high-level summary of the key changes.

 

Click to view advisory

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