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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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BEPS Country-by-Country Reporting in the Cayman Islands

This Client Advisory is a high-level summary of practical issues arising from the Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (Country-by- Country Reporting) Regulations, 2017 (“CbCR Regulations”).

The CbCR Regulations
The Cayman Islands is a member of the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”), which brings together over 100 jurisdictions to collaborate on the implementation of the OECD BEPS Package. All OECD and G20 countries have committed to implementing CbCR. The CBCR Regulations were gazetted on 15 December 2017 to implement BEPS Action 13, namely Country by Country Reporting (“CbCR”), in the Cayman Islands. On 2 February 2018 the Cayman Islands Department of International Tax Cooperation (“DITC”) issued an Industry Advisory with further details.

Application of the CbCR Regulations
The CbCR Regulations only apply to multinational enterprise groups with consolidated group revenue of USD 850 million or more during the previous fiscal year (“MNE Groups”). Groups with consolidated group revenue of less than USD 850 million are excluded and do not need to take any steps to comply with the CbRC Regulations.

However, Cayman Islands resident entities which are constituent entities of MNE Groups (“Constituent Entities”) will be required to take certain steps to comply.

Being “resident” in the Cayman Islands for these purposes means being incorporated, established, having a place of effective management or being subject to financial supervision in the Cayman Islands.


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

The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation has issued an industry advisory which includes updated lists of CRS Participating Jurisdictions and CRS Reportable Jurisdictions.

The notification and reporting deadlines currently remain at 30 April 2018 and 31 May 2018 respectively.

A number of what were previously only Participating Jurisdictions are now Reportable Jurisdictions for reports due in 2018 onwards, meaning the total Reporting Jurisdictions for 2018 has doubled to 90, as compared to 45 for 2017.

The CRS Guidance Notes will be updated later in February 2018 to reflect these and certain other changes regarding the CRS.

A revised form of Entity Self-Certification will be released later in February 2018.

The AEOI Portal User Guide will also be updated to reflect new functionality on the AEOI Portal, including new processes for changing the Principal Point of Contact or Authorising Person of a Cayman Financial Institution and for deactivating a Cayman Financial Institution.

The AEOI Portal is expected to reopen in early March 2018.

Suspension of Employment - Guernsey

This Advisory considers the circumstances in which it may be appropriate for an employer to suspend an employee, when a suspension may amount to a breach of contract, factors that should be taken into consideration before making the decision to suspend and what to include in a suspension letter. It is intended to assist HR practitioners and managers to avoid claims that the suspension may have been in breach of contract or outside the ‘range of reasonable responses’ test applied by the employment tribunals when considering whether a fair procedure has been followed prior to taking the decision to dismiss.

Can I suspend?
Employers are frequently uncertain whether they can lawfully suspend an employee when a potential gross misconduct issue first comes to light. The answer is, it depends. In cases involving serious misconduct, or where the employee’s continued presence at work could prejudice an investigation, the answer is usually ‘Yes, you can suspend’.

However, because an unwarranted or badly handled suspension can backfire and lead to a claim by the employee for breach of contract, we recommend that you think carefully about the following four things before taking any decision to suspend:

  • whether or not the terms of the employment contract allow you to suspend;
  • whether suspension would amount to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence;
  • whether suspension might constitute unfavourable treatment giving rise to a discrimination claim; and
  • whether the employee’s contract, or the nature of their work, creates the express or implied right to work.

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Not All Plain Sailing - Guernsey Employment Tribunals

The Guernsey Employment Tribunal has recently considered a case involving allegations of gross misconduct. This article considers the case and what can be learnt from the Tribunal’s approach.

The Facts
The employee, who worked as a yacht compliance officer at a specialist aviation and marine administration business, was dismissed following allegations relating to bribery and the deliberate concealment of wine on board a yacht with the intention of avoiding tax duties whilst transiting the Suez Canal.

The employer relied on evidence from two co-workers to dismiss. They claimed to have overheard the employee speaking on the telephone with the captain of the yacht and telling him to “hide everything under the bunks, in the jacuzzi and put the cover on”. Evidence was also given of a conversation between the employee and the yacht owner’s PA. The employee was alleged to have said that the PA should “ensure the captain has sufficient funds on board to pay the crew and any bribes necessary”.

The employee did not deny speaking to the captain or referring to bribes. However, he claimed that he had simply parroted back the terminology used by the captain during the phone call. According to the employee, the “bribe” was in fact a “baksheesh”, or gift, customarily demanded (indeed expected) by Egyptian authorities for doing nothing more than their job, not a payment to get something extra or on the side. He had, he said, given the captain advice on how to store the wine to avoid petty pilfering. He denied having spoken to the PA about wine storage.


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Guernsey’s Beneficial Ownership Register - What you need to know

On 15 August 2017 the Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law, 2017 (the “Law”) came into operation. The effect of the Law is, amongst other things, to create and establish Guernsey’s first centralised but non-public register of beneficial owners for Guernsey entities (the “Register”).

The purpose of this note is to outline requirements and implications for Guernsey legal entities, their resident agents and beneficial owners as a result of the Law and Register coming into effect.

Who is under the duty to disclose information?
The Law places duties on the resident agents and beneficial owners of “Relevant Legal Persons” to disclose the “required particulars” of the “beneficial owners”.

In that regard, the required particulars of a natural person are his or her name, nationality, date of birth, principal residential address, when he or she became a beneficial owner and the grounds on which he or she is considered to be a beneficial owner (see more on this below).

The required particulars of a corporate beneficial owner to be recorded on the Register are, the Relevant Legal Person type, name, registration number, jurisdiction of incorporation, registered office address and percentage of shares or voting rights held.


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