Walkers Fundamentals Seminar 2018

Join us at the Plaza Hotel, New York for our 11th annual Walkers Fundamentals Seminar on Tuesday 6 November 2018.

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FinTech

Our lawyers advise clients ranging from global financial institutions leveraging cutting-edge technology, to start-ups changing the status quo with innovative products and services.

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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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Walkers IDR Among Top Global Law Firms in GRR 30

Walkers' Global Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group has been ranked as the 13th strongest global law firm for restructuring and insolvency by Global Restructuring Review

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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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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.
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Promotions 2018

Walkers' Promotions Highlight Growth of Global Firm

We are pleased to announce that 8 attorneys across our 10 global offices have been invited to join the partnership. In addition, 18 associates have been promoted to senior counsel, or local equivalent.

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Ireland to introduce Individual Accountability Regime

Recent speeches by the Central Bank of Ireland’s (the “Central Bank”) Director of Enforcement (August 2018) and the Director of Securities and Markets Supervision (September 2018) highlight proposals for the adoption of policy “reforms assigning responsibility to senior personnel” in regulated financial service providers (“RFSPs”) which will be modelled on the UK’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (the “SMCR”).

The proposals target four areas of reform; (i) the introduction of high level standards of behaviour in the financial services industry, (ii) the establishment of a senior executive accountability regime, (iii) enhancements to the current Fitness & Probity regime (the “F&P Regime”) and (iv) the unification of the Central Bank’s enforcement process. The first, third and fourth proposals are to be applied to at all RFSPs, including investment funds and fund management companies regulated by the Central Bank. The second proposal for a senior executive accountability regime is intended, initially, to be limited in scope to banks, insurers and certain types of investment firms.

Although the Central Bank has acknowledged that the introduction and operationalisation of such reforms would be a “mutli-year project” these appear, nonetheless, to be a key regulatory focus for the Central Bank. As such, early familiarisation with the proposals would be advisable to allow for a considered implementation of the reforms in due course.

 

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UCITS regime to be amended for EU fixed income products

The European Commission (the “Commission”) has published two legislative proposals for the establishment, at EU level, of enabling frameworks for sovereign bond-backed securities (“SBBSs”) and covered bonds (“CBs”).

Both proposals incorporate amendments to the provisions of the UCITS regime governing investment in these asset classes. For CBs, it is proposed to remove the current provision (Article 52(4) of the UCITS Directive) and replace it with a reference to CBs as defined under the Commission’s proposal, while the draft framework for SBBSs proposes permitting UCITS to invest in these securities on a look-through basis i.e. as though they were sovereign bonds.

 

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Back-to-back Redemptions in Cayman Islands Master/Feeder Investment Fund Structures

A recent judgment of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (Grand Court) has raised a number of important issues for the processing of redemptions in master-feeder structures. In Ardon Maroon, the Grand Court held that “industry practice” is not a relevant consideration in determining whether a back-to-back redemption by a feeder fund has been validly effected - rather, the Grand Court found that master and feeder funds must strictly follow the redemption mechanics set out in their constitutional and operational documents in order to ensure that back-to-back (or automatic) redemptions are ultimately effective as a matter of law.

This decision serves as a timely judicial reminder that the practice which is ultimately adopted by managers, administrators and transfer agents must accurately reflect the actual redemption procedure set out in the constitutional and operational documents of master-feeder structures (or vice versa).

 

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Bermuda Digital Assets Business Act Comes Into Force

Bermuda has a long-standing reputation for conservative and effective supervision and regulation in the financial services sector and currently operates one of the largest (re)insurance markets in the world. The approach of the financial service sector’s regulatory authority, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the “BMA”) and the Bermuda Government has historically been to collaborate with industry to actively foster innovation within the regulatory environment.

The Bermuda Government is now well underway to implementing its strategy, announced in November 2017, to embrace blockchain technology and digital currencies, with a view to leveraging the island’s significant expertise in regulatory management and to introduce pioneering legislation designed to create regulatory certainty, investor confidence and compliance with international standards.

The Digital Assets Business Act 2018 (“DABA”) became operative with effect from 10 September 2018, creating a legislative framework for digital asset business and services to be operated within a regulated environment in or from within Bermuda.


Scope of DABA
DABA regulates the following ‘digital asset business’ activities where they are conducted by any entity in or from within Bermuda (whether or not incorporated or formed in Bermuda):

  • issuing selling or redeeming virtual coins, tokens or any other form of digital asset
  • payment service provider business utilising digital assets
  • operating an electronic exchange whereby digital assets of any type are exchanged for cash or other digital assets
  • provision of digital assets custodial wallet services
  • digital asset services vendors

The term ‘digital asset’ is widely defined and covers anything which exists in binary form and comes with the right to use it and includes a digital representation of value. It captures digital coins, security, equity or utility tokens and anything intended to provide access to an application, product or service by means of distributed ledger technology.

 

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The Entitlement of Redemption Creditors to Statutory Interest

A recent judgment of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (Grand Court) has provided clarity for investors and insolvency practitioners alike with respect to the entitlement of former investors with claims for unpaid redemption proceeds in a solvent winding up of a Cayman Islands investment fund to statutory interest on such claims.
 
The Grand Court's decision is the most recent in the ongoing liquidation proceedings of Herald Fund SPC (in Official Liquidation) (Herald), a segregated portfolio company incorporated in the Cayman Islands which was one of the largest so-called feeder funds into the Madoff Ponzi scheme. This issue involved a novel point of law, the determination of which was not directly illuminated by binding or persuasive authority - as stated by the Honourable Justice Kawaley, at paragraph 1 of the judgment: "'There is nothing new under the sun' is an adage which has only limited resonance for Cayman Islands insolvency law." The relevant issue was whether unpaid redemption creditors, whose claims are deferred by section 49(g) of the Companies Law (as revised) (Companies Law), are entitled to statutory interest pursuant to section 149 of the Companies Law, following the commencement of the liquidation.

 

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