Colette Wilkins QC to Head Walkers Asia Litigation Practice

Walkers is pleased to announce that Cayman Islands partner, Colette Wilkins QC, will be relocating to the firm's Hong Kong office to lead its Asia litigation practice from January 2022.

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Walkers Expands Market Leading Professional Services to the BVI

Walkers is pleased to announced that Walkers Professional Services (WPS) is expanding its operations to the British Virgin Islands.

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Walkers Launches Online AML Training Solution in Bermuda

Walkers Professional Services has announced that it has launched an innovative e-Learning Anti-Money Laundering Training platform in Bermuda.

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Walkers London Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Walkers is pleased to announce that its London office is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

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Walkers Tops Market Leading Rankings in Chambers Global Again

Walkers leads the way with 10 "Band 1" practice area rankings (out of a market leading 23 practice areas) and an overall "Band 1" ranking in 'Global Offshore'.

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Events & Webinars

See upcoming virtual events and webinars.

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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
Diversity

Diverse & Inclusive

At Walkers we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can feel comfortable, happy and confident in an inclusive environment.

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Ireland Update: Time to Justify Retirement Age

In Ireland, many employers include a mandatory retirement age in their contracts of employment or employee handbooks.  The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2021 prohibit discrimination in employment on a number of grounds, including age.  However, there is an exception that allows employers to impose a mandatory retirement age on employees, provided the retirement age can be objectively justified. Read our advisory, which covers recent case law on mandatory retirement ages, the Code of Practice on Longer Working, the Pensions Commission's recommendations on the State pension age and key takeaways for employers.

 

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Walkers triumphs in Privy Council "Black Swan" Appeal

Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea and Cho Kwai Chee [2021] UKPC 24

The Privy Council has today handed down its judgment in Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Limited and Cho Kwai Chee, the so-called "Black Swan" Appeal and a related appeal, dismissing both appeals from the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

The appeals, which were heard by a seven-member Board in February of this year, concerned two principle issues: (i) the "Service Out" issue: whether the BVI Court has jurisdiction to permit service out of the jurisdiction under r 7.3(2)(b) of the Civil Procedure Rules of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ("CPR") of an application claiming only freestanding freezing relief; and (ii) the "Power" issue: whether the BVI Court had jurisdiction or power to grant a freezing injunction against Broad Idea, a party within the jurisdiction of the court, to assist enforcement through the court’s process of a prospective (or existing) foreign judgment, the so-called "Black Swan" order named after the original case in which such relief was granted, Black Swan Investment ISA v Harvest View Ltd (BVIHCV 2009/399 (unreported) 23 March 2010).

On the Service Out issue, the appellant, Convoy Collateral Ltd ("Convoy") unsuccessfully sought to persuade the Privy Council to overrule the decision in both Siskina (Owners of cargo lately laden on board) v Distos Cia Naviera SA (“The Siskina”) [1979] AC 210 and Mercedes Benz AG v Leiduck [1996] AC 284 and to hold that the BVI court has power to authorise service on a defendant outside the jurisdiction of a claim form in which a freezing injunction is the only relief sought. Citing the importance of the stare decisis doctrine, the Board confirmed that deviating from the established position of both common law and statute would lead to confusion and uncertainty not only in the BVI, but across all common law jurisdictions over which the Privy Council has authority. The Board accordingly dismissed Convoy's appeal on this point and affirmed the decision of both courts below that Dr Cho could not be brought within the jurisdiction of the BVI court by serving him with a claim form abroad.

With respect to the Power issue, the majority (Lords Leggatt, Briggs, Sales and Hamblen) held that Black Swan was correctly decided and that the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in the present case was wrong to conclude that it should be overruled. The minority (Sir Geoffrey Vos, Lords Reed and Hodge) considered that the issue did not arise for decision on the appeal since all seven members of the Privy Council agreed that (a) there was, on the facts, no sufficient basis for the conclusion that Broad Idea was merely holding assets to which Dr Cho was beneficially entitled, (b) Broad Idea’s assets were not amenable to any process of execution to satisfy any judgment that might be obtained against Dr Cho in Hong Kong, and (c) that there was therefore no basis for a finding of a risk of dissipation.

Rosalind Nicholson, led by Richard Morgan QC (Maitland Chambers) with Andrew McLeod (One Essex Court), appeared before the Board on behalf of Broad Idea International Limited, supported by Murray Laing, Renell Benjamin and Eleanor Browne.

Ireland Update: Central Bank of Ireland Proposes Amendments to Certain Pre-Approval Controlled Functions

On 22 September 2021, the Central Bank of Ireland published a Notice of Intention regarding proposed amendments to certain Pre-Approval Control Functions under its Fitness and Probity regime. These proposed amendments will impact a broad range of Irish regulated financial services providers.

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Irish Regulatory Framework for Real Asset Depositaries

Following the issuance of guidance by the Central Bank of Ireland earlier this year, a number of entities have sought authorisation as real asset depositaries. In this advisory we set out the key considerations for entities contemplating making an application for authorisation as a depositary of assets other than financial instruments ("DAoFI").

 

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Bermuda | Three Day Registration for Special Purpose Insurers Issuing Bonds

Bermuda has always provided an efficient process for insurance submissions of all classes, with applications being approved in under two weeks. On 20 August 2021, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the "BMA" or the "Authority") issued a notice announcing that enhancements have been made to allow further streamlining of the registration process for Restricted Special Purpose Insurers ("R-SPI"). Now, the licensing and registration processes of R-SPI registrants whose business model is to issue bonds (e.g. catastrophe bonds and mortgage bonds) will be consolidated and registrants can be fully registered by the BMA within three business days.

Previously, the same process applied to R-SPI as any other class with in-principle approval available within five business days, provided an application is submitted by 5pm on a Monday in any working week. Now an R-SPI application can be initiated electronically on any business day before 5pm, reducing that five day process to three. This new streamlined three business-day initiative is focused on meeting the needs of the continually evolving and expanding Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market in Bermuda, further solidifying Bermuda as a global ILS market leader. As a result of the hardened market and the continued increase in the availability of capital this is a significant regulatory enhancement removing even more friction from the process and facilitating the swift introduction of ILS transactions to market, as demanded by investors. The change places Bermuda further ahead of other competing jurisdictions as a result of the speed at which the BMA can now register new catastrophe bond vehicles.

This amendment to the registration process is yet another example of the BMA adapting to market demands, to ensure Bermuda remains a market leader in the (re)insurance industry. The BMA is a well-respected financial markets regulator, a reputation which extends beyond Bermuda, and has been earned in part through the BMA's ability to innovate and collaborate with market participants.

Walkers (Bermuda) Limited, along with its corporate services provider, Walkers Corporate (Bermuda) Limited, is experienced and well-equipped to assist clients with the filing of R-SPI applications, and applications for any other SPI, collateralized insurer, intermediary or innovative license class.

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