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 Aug 2019

Walkers Admits Two New Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Dajsha Samuels and Abigail Drummond have completed their legal training and have both been called to the Cayman Islands Bar.

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Bermuda: Notification of the Amendment to the Insurance Act 1978

On 5 August 2019, the Insurance Amendment Act 2019 (the "Amendment Act") came into operation, amending the Insurance Act 1978. The Amendment Act makes provision for the supervision and regulation of two new classes of insurer, namely "Collateralised Insurers" and "Class IIGB", and for the supervision and regulation of a new category of insurance intermediary, namely the "insurance marketplace provider".

An insurance marketplace provider is aimed at addressing the growing interest in the establishment of InsurTech-related insurance market places.

This advisory will deal in broad terms with the requirements for the new classification of Collateralised Insurers. This advisory is not legal advice and not intended to be exhaustive, but provides brief details and information on the new class.

A Class IIGB Insurer is for those insurers who intend to conduct insurance business in an innovative manner, for instance, utilising digital assets. Unlike the existing Class IGB this is a non-sandbox innovation class and we would be happy to provide further details.

 

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Ireland - Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 – Explained

The Residential Tenancies Board (“RTB”) (formerly PRTB) was established back in 2004 by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Since 2015 in particular, there has been a steady flow of amendments to this legislation, generally in favour of tenants. The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (“2019 Act”) is no different and with some exceptions, strengthens protection for tenants in the rental market. While these changes may be easier to absorb for institutional landlords, they will make life more difficult for non-professional landlords. The content of the legislation should bring no surprises to anyone watching the PRS market. Given the government focus on the sector – due to increased rental levels, lack of availability of quality accommodation and so on - the introduction of sanctions and greater policing powers for the RTB was inevitable.

 

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Ireland - Update – Beneficial Ownership Reporting Commences

The Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (the “Central Register”) launched on 29 July 2019.

Irish incorporated companies and other legal entities (“Relevant Entities”) are obliged by Part 3 of the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 110 of 2019) (the “2019 Regulations”) to file details of their beneficial ownership with the Central Register.

Existing Relevant Entities have until 22 November 2019 to file the details of their beneficial ownership with the Central Register and Relevant Entities incorporated after 22 June 2019 shall commence providing information to the Central Register within five months of their incorporation.

Relevant Entities must submit their beneficial ownership information through the Central Register’s online registration portal - https://rbo.gov.ie/. Paper submissions are not accepted and no fees are charged.

The launch of the Central Register had been delayed to allow for some clarifications regarding the legality of the submission of PPS numbers to the Central Register to verify the identity of the beneficial owners of Relevant Entities. Following the entry into force of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (Specified Bodies) Regulations 2019 from 29 July 2019, the Central Register now has the relevant authority to use the PPS numbers of beneficial owners in performing its functions. 

Further details of issues relating to the submission of PPS numbers to the Central Register are set out in more detail in the full version of our briefing (link below).

For further information relating the requirements of the 2019 Regulations and the functioning of the Central Register, please consult our previous briefings on the topic here and here.

 

Click to view advisory

Notice to Industry - Excluded Person (AML-CFT Form)

On 9 August 2019, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (the "Authority") published a Notice to Industry ("Notice") to remind all persons currently registered as excluded persons under the Securities Investment Business Law (2019 Revision) ("SIBL EPs") of their obligation to file AML/CFT Reporting Forms (AIR-157-75 and ARC-158-75) by 15 August 2019.

The Notice states that in the event that the SIBL EP does not provide the required information to the Authority by 15 August 2019, they will be de-registered as a SIBL EP by the Authority.

Walkers is liaising with the Authority regarding the potential impact of this advice, however in the interim we would strongly encourage you, to the extent not done so already, to ensure that the forms are completed fully (all questions are mandatory and must be answered in full) and returned to Walkers as soon as possible. In the event a SIBL EP is de-registered, it will need to re-register before it can undertake SIBL regulated activities in the Cayman Islands.

We are aware that many clients are in the process of finalising these forms and we will continue to provide ongoing support. If you have any questions regarding this Notice, please reach out to your usual Walkers contact.

Update in Respect of Cayman Islands Economic Substance Requirements

August 2019 - The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation (“DITC”) has issued an industry advisory (click here) regarding developments in relation to economic substance requirements. Our advisory with an overview of the economic substance requirements can be viewed here and our subsequent update can be viewed here.

Positive Outcome of Assessment of the Cayman Islands
On 23 July 2019, the OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS published the results of OECD level reviews of the economic substance legal framework of the Cayman Islands and other OECD-compliant jurisdictions with no or nominal tax. The outcome is positive, with the Cayman Islands’ legislative framework for economic substance judged to be in line with OECD standards. The legislative frameworks of Bermuda, the British VirginIslands, Guernsey and Jersey were also judged to be in line with OECD standards.

In terms of next steps, there will be an annual monitoring process at OECD level to cover any changes in the legal framework, as well as the implementation of safeguards and enforcement measures in practice.

Draft legislative amendments are expected to be issued for consultation in August with a view to the Cayman Islands being considered by the OECD as having a fully equipped monitoring mechanism.

Economic Substance Guidance Update
An updated version of the Tax Information Authority’s Guidance on Economic Substance for Geographically Mobile Activities (“ES Guidance”) is being prepared in consultation with industry working groups over the coming weeks. The new version of the ES Guidance will include sector specific guidance for each relevant activity, as well as in respect of the exemption for investment funds, and is expected to be published after summer.


Click to download advisory



Walkers has a dedicated global Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice group of regulatory lawyers that can offer legal advice and guidance inconnection with all aspects of the economic substance regime as it continues to evolve. Through its affiliate, Walkers Professional Services, Walkers is also committed to providing economic substance solutions that will enable all clients impacted by the regime to satisfy the necessaryrequirements for substance in the Cayman Islands, including notification and reporting.

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