Walkers Launches Compliance Services Offering

Walkers Compliance complements Walkers' legal, corporate and fiduciary services to deliver a one-stop-shop for clients looking to use the Cayman Islands jurisdiction for their business needs.

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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 is a leading international law firm. We advise on the laws of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey.
GlobalMap Oct2018
Admissions April2019

Walkers Announces Admissions of 50th and 51st Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Articled Clerks Gemma Cowan and Sophie Dibb have completed their legal training, both being called to the Cayman Islands Bar. 

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Private Equity Ireland – Investment Limited Partnership Reform

Following a prolonged dialogue with industry participants, on 13 June 2019, the Irish Government approved the publication of the Investment Limited Partnerships (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the “Bill”), which is a positive step in the direction of making Ireland a more attractive domicile for private equity and venture capital funds.

 

The Irish funds industry

The funds industry has long been a major contributor to the Irish economy. According to Irish Funds, as of May 2019, assets in Irish domiciled funds reached €2.64 trillion with approximately 40% of the world’s alternative investment funds administered in Ireland.

A recent report prepared by Indecon regarding the Economic Impact of the Funds Industry on the Irish Economy revealed that in 2018 alone, the funds sector in Ireland contributed nearly €840 million in direct taxes to the Irish Exchequer. The report noted that there are in excess of 16,000 people directly employed within the funds industry with a total employment impact (i.e. direct and indirect) of more than 32,000.

While the statistics paint a very positive picture, the reality is that Ireland has fallen behind its counterparts in relation to its offering to private equity stakeholders. While the ICAV has proven to be a very successful introduction to the Irish fund product offering, it has not captured the attention of private equity managers and investors, who are familiar with, and have always had a preference for, limited partnership structures. The absence of a ‘fit-for-purpose’ partnership vehicle is considered by many to be the biggest gap in Ireland’s current financial services offering.

With dry powder at an all-time high and investor confidence in private equity funds appearing to show little sign of abating any time soon, there is a great deal of opportunity in the private equity and venture capital markets at present, which Ireland is well positioned to serve, particularly in light of the reform of Ireland’s limited partnership legislation which is underway at present. Although an increasing number of managers have turned to Luxembourg as an EU domicile for their private equity and infrastructure funds in recent times, the reform of Ireland’s limited partnership regime is likely to ensure that Ireland will be seen as a viable alternative going forward. Furthermore, with Brexit on the horizon, the introduction of these new measures is timely. Ireland will be the only English speaking EU Member State post-Brexit and with a large number of private equity funds established as partnerships in the UK, Brexit will continue to lead to affected managers looking for alternative options in relation to their choice of fund domiciles.

 

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Update in Respect of Data Protection in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands Data Protection Law, 2017 (“DPL”), which was expected to come into force in January 2019, will not come into force until September 2019. The Office of the Ombudsman has issued a Guide for Data Controllers which aims to explain how the Ombudsman will interpret certain provisions of the DPL. Businesses are therefore well-positioned to prepare.

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Ireland Update - Government Publishes Strategy for International Financial Services

On 26 April 2019, the Irish Government published a report on its strategy for the development and advancement of the international financial services (“IFS”) industry in Ireland up to 2025 (the “Report”).

The Report, entitled “Ireland for Finance”, highlights the benefits of doing business in Ireland and Ireland’s achievement in building a successful IFS industry to date. The Report also sets out the ways in which the Irish Government plans to position the financial services industry to take advantage of the potential for the industry to develop the Irish economy and to provide sustainableemployment into the future. Enhancing the global reputation of the IFS industry in Ireland also features as a principal objective.

 

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Employee information and data protection - deadline approaching (Guernsey)

While most of Guernsey's new data protection law took effect last year, there were a few parts that that had a grace period until 25 May 2019. Vicky Pratt, of Walkers Employment team, sets out below the last headline points that HR professionals should keep in mind to make sure that the business stays on the right side of the data protection law.

  1. By 25 May 2019 make sure privacy notices have gone to all staff, not just new joiners.
  2. From 25 May 2019 nearly all consents given by employees under the old law will fall away and cannot be relied on. Instead the business must be able to point another ground that allows it to process employees' data (this should not be hard).
  3. By 25 May 2019 the employer must have completed data protection impact assessments for its use of employees' special category data and any other data protection impact assessments that are required because of the way the employer collects and/or uses staff data.
  4. If the employer is a joint-controller with another entity (possibly a group company) then by 25 May 2019 the joint controllers' respective obligations must be decided and recorded and the necessary notifications must have been sent to all staff.
  5. By 25 May 2019, make sure contracts with all processors are in place and those agreements include the statutory requirements.


For fuller information about staff data and the end of the data protection transitional period in Guernsey please click here.

Mistake in Jersey trust law - sometimes ignorance is bliss

In giving its reasons for setting aside transfers into a Jersey trust on grounds of mistake, the Royal Court of Jersey has provided a helpful distinction between the law of mistake as it is applies in Jersey as against its English law counterpart such that it is now expressly clear that in Jersey, relief can be granted for a mistake made out of mere “causative ignorance”. The Court also confirmed that it has a real discretion when deciding whether or not it is just to make a declaration that a transaction be set aside on grounds of mistake.

Background to the Application
In the Matter of the G Trust [2019] JRC 056 concerned a Jersey law discretionary trust which had been established by the Representors for the benefit of themselves, their three adult children and their four grandchildren with provision for future issue. Over the years, various transfers were made into trust; however, between November 2008 and January 2014 the Representors made four transfers to two BVI companies solely owned by the trustee, from two different UK bank accounts (maintained by a banking arm of the trustee entity) which was held in the Representors’ joint names (the Transfers). The evidence before the Court was that the Representors did not contemplate that the Transfers would expose them to a UK tax liability; neither of the Representors were British citizens, nor were they resident, ordinarily resident or domiciled in the UK. Further, neither the Trustee nor the bank had given them any warning as to the potential tax consequences of the Transfers. Indeed, the evidence was clear that had the Representors been aware of the tax exposure, expert advice would have been sought and the Transfers structured so that monies came from non-UK accounts. Accordingly, the Representors applied to the Royal Court, seeking orders that the Transfers were made by mistake and should be set aside. HMRC was notified of the application and the Attorney General was convened; however, neither participated.

 

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