Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Walkers continues to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its people, its clients and its business.

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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 Oct2019
RacialEquality

Statement on Racial Equality

We at Walkers strongly condemn racism, systemic bias and discrimination. We are horrified by the tragic killings of black men and women, and acknowledge that these events are painful for many. We stand with the black community and all others who are victims of racial injustice.

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Working Time Compliance and Remote Working | Ireland

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employers to require their employees to work remotely. This situation looks set to continue for many office-based businesses. The Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business outlines that employees who can perform their functions remotely should remain working remotely until phase 4, currently scheduled to commence on 20 July 2020. However, it is likely that many employees may need to continue working remotely for a variety of legitimate reasons which we have summarised here.

Employment rights, entitlements and obligations continue to apply during this extraordinary time. In this advisory, we will examine employer obligations under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (“OWT Act”) and how these obligations are impacted by remote working, as well as our recommendations for employers to ensure compliance with the OWT while employees are remote working.

 

Click to view advisory

Update on Cayman Islands Mutual Funds Law and Regulation

Timing for Registration of Previously Exempt Funds

The sponsors and operators of Cayman Islands mutual funds which benefited from the “15 investor exemption” under the Mutual Funds Law (as amended) (the “Mutual Funds Law”) should, unless otherwise out of scope, by now be undertaking the process of registering with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”). The formal deadline for applications to be filed is 7 August 2020. Please see our client advisory on the removal of the 15 investor exemption

 

Update for all Regulated Mutual Funds - Contents of Offering Documents

In exercise of its authority under the Monetary Authority Law (as amended), CIMA has published rules for the contents of offering documents.

All mutual funds registered or licensed under section 4 of the Mutual Funds Law are required to comply with the rules.

The rules are largely a reiteration of best practice, although they do require the addition of language confirming that CIMA assumes no liability for the performance or creditworthiness of the mutual fund, nor for the veracity of the information contained in the offering document.

In most cases, we do not expect mutual funds will need to make significant changes to their existing offering documents.

Click to download advisory

Ireland update: EBA ICT and risk management guidelines apply from 30 June 2020

The European Banking Authority (“EBA”) Guidelines on ICT and security risk management (the “Guidelines”) set out detailed requirements regarding the information and communication technology (“ICT”) arrangements for in-scope firms (link to the Guidelines here).

The Guidelines define ICT and security risk as the:

Risk of loss due to breach of confidentiality, failure of integrity of systems and data, inappropriateness or unavailability of systems and data or inability to change information technology within a reasonable time and with reasonable costs when the environment or business requirements change (i.e. agility). This includes security risks resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes or external events including cyber-attacks or inadequate physical security.”

 

Click to view advisory

Update on Cayman Islands Private Funds Law and Regulation

Registration and Timing

The sponsors and operators of private funds established in the Cayman Islands should by now be well on their way to completing the classification of their entities and to registering those entities that are required to be registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) under the Private Funds Law, 2020 (the “PFL”). The formal deadline for applications to be filed is 7 August 2020. However, many lenders under capital call facilities insist that applications for registration be filed well in advance of that deadline.

Once registered, private funds will be required to pay an annual fee to CIMA, and to file their audited accounts and a fund annual return (“FAR”) within six months of each financial year-end following registration (starting with the financial year that ends in 2020).

For a reminder of which entities are affected and required to register, and which are not, please click here.


Contents of Marketing Materials

In exercise of its authority under the Monetary Authority Law (as amended), CIMA has published rules for the contents of marketing materials inviting investment in private funds registered under the PFL. The rules are largely a reiteration of best practice, though they do require the addition of language confirming that CIMA assumes no liability for the performance or creditworthiness of the private fund, nor for the veracity of the information contained in the marketing materials.

The rules recognise that certain private funds do not prepare marketing materials, and do not require them to do so.

When preparing marketing materials, fund sponsors and counsel should be cognisant of the requirement to make certain disclosures relating to the discharge by the private fund of its obligations under the PFL in relation to the valuation and custody of assets, and cash-flow management. Walkers will, of course, also address these requirements when reviewing the relevant materials.

Click to download advisory

Supervision of costs in UCITS and AIFs

On 4 June 2020, ESMA published a supervisory briefing aimed at promoting convergence on the supervision of costs in UCITS and AIFs across the EU.

The briefing provides details for managers of UCITS and AIFs on what constitutes compliant implementation of UCITS and AIFMD cost provisions including ESMA's expectations regarding the manager's pricing process and its content.

Our advisory provides a summary of the key issues set out in the briefing.

 

Click to view advisory  

 

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