Walkers Leads Offshore

This year Walkers received 10 Band 1 practice rankings in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide, more than any other offshore law firm.

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Walkers Acts on $1B Asia Deal

Walkers BVI and Cayman advised Didi Chuxing on its highly-publicised US$1 billion acquisition of 99 Taxis.

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GAIM Ops Cayman 2018

Walkers will once again be a headline sponsor of the 2018 GAIM Ops Cayman conference.

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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 Asset Recovery

Fifteen Walkers lawyers were recognised in the 2017 Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery guide. This is more than any other global law firm worldwide.

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Walkers Wins HFM Week Award

Walkers has been awarded the Best Offshore Law Firm Award for Client Service at the HFM Week US Hedge Fund Services Awards 2017.

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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.
Powerwomen 200

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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European Securities Law Update: Prospectus Regulation

In our latest European Securities Law Update and following the recent publication of the ESMA final report of technical advice issued on 3 April 2018 we provide a high-level synopsis of the recent Prospectus Regulation, its implementation in Ireland and its applicability as regards Irish SPVs operating in the debt capital markets (“DCM”) space.

Timing and Implementation
Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the “New Regulation”) entered into force in Ireland on 20 July 2017. The New Regulation will take effect from 21 July 2019, save for a handful of specific provisions as outlined below.

The New Regulation forms part of the EU’s Capital Markets Union initiative which aims to ensure investor protection and market efficiency, while enhancing the internal market for capital.

The New Regulation will replace and repeal the existing Prospectus Directive regime and related measures (the “Old Regime”). The new rules are introduced by directly effective European regulation in order to eliminate regulatory arbitrage at Member State level and to ensure consistency and certainty of application.


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New EU Securitisation Regulation: Impact for UCITS and AIFs

On 17 January 2018 the new Securitisation Regulation (Regulation EU 2017/2402) (the “Securitisation Regulation”) came into force and will apply from 1 January 2019. The Securitisation Regulation represents a long awaited reform of the EU securitisation rules which will replace the existing patchwork of sector-specific legislation governing European securitisations with harmonised rules on due diligence, risk retention and disclosure applying to all securitisations and introduces the rules for issuing simple, transparent and standardised (“STS”) transactions.

Significantly, UCITS will be within the scope of the Securitisation Regulation. This briefing highlights key points for managers of UCITS and AIFs to consider in terms of the impact the new rules will have on their existing portfolios and investment strategies going forward.


1. What is a Securitisation?
The definition of “securitisation” (broadly speaking, a transaction or scheme, whereby credit risk is tranched) used in the Capital Requirements Regulation (“CRR”) and cross-referred to in the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) has been replicated in the Securitisation Regulation with the addition of a new limb exempting transactions which create “specialised lending exposures” in accordance with Article 147(8) of the CRR, being exposures towards an entity specifically created to finance or operate physical assets...


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Update on Cayman Islands AML/CFT

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) has provided helpful clarification in relation to its recent statement that natural persons should be designated as anti-money laundering compliance officer (“AMLCO”), money laundering reporting officer (“MLRO”) and deputy MLRO (together, the “AML Officers”). This advisory provides a summary of the key points only and we would be happy to advise in further detail if required.


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Bermuda Launches ICO and Digital Assets Legislative Framework

The Government of Bermuda has tabled the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”), introducing a statutory framework for the offering of digital assets by Bermuda companies. The ICO Act provides that offerings of digital assets (“ICOs”) will be treated as a Restricted Business Activity, subject to approval by the BMA Advisory Committee upon application and submission of an offering document. Digital asset offerings will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of published regulations as well as ongoing supervision and compliance requirements, including AML/ATF.


The ICO Act is part of a wider initiative to provide regulatory certainty and a reliable legal framework with a view to creating an environment within which companies focused on blockchain, virtual currencies and other digital assets will thrive, whilst also implementing the highest standards of corporate governance, transparency and consumer and market protections.

As part of this ambitious agenda, it was announced that further legislation would be introduced over the course of coming months, including the Virtual Currency Business Act 2018 to be tabled in early May 2018, a Bermuda digital identification platform (E-ID) in July 2018, and Virtual Currency Exchange targeted for September 2018.

The Virtual Currency Business Act 2018 (the “VCB Act”) along with published regulations and a code of conduct, will establish a licensing and supervisory regime for entities engaged in virtual currency business and the provision of services related to digital currencies and assets, including custody and exchange activities. The VCB Act has now been published in draft form, along with a consultation paper.

The Bermuda government emphasised its commitment to this space, highlighting the collaborative approach to the development of the digital assets regulatory framework. The framework was described as the product of work across multiple government ministries and departments, and the focused engagement of the Bermuda Monetary Authority as well as internationally recognised advisors and industry experts. The stated aim of the Bermuda Government and regulator is to be a leader, setting the standard for market best practices and effective, efficient regulation and supervision of digital assets and related businesses.

Taylors partner Ariane West acts as counsel to fintech and blockchain companies and is a member of the working group advising on the development of Bermuda’s digital assets regulatory framework. 

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Regulatory Oversight Puts Bermuda in Prime Position

With some offshore jurisdictions having only moved recently to introduce registers of beneficial ownership, one could argue that having had its own register in place for over 70 years, Bermuda has been ahead of the curve. Now, as global regulatory oversight and transparency expectations rise, Bermuda is well placed to demonstrate that its house is very much in order.

The Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority have always paid close attention and cared to know who is doing business in Bermuda. “That has been the standard operating procedure for Bermuda throughout its history as an international financial centre,” says Ariane West, Partner in the corporate and finance practice at Taylors, a full service law firm which works in exclusive association with Walkers.

She says that whilst other offshore jurisdictions have had to ramp up their regulatory regimes, for the BMA it has been more a case of maintaining a commitment to the highest standards and best practices. What that has meant, in recent years,is keeping abreast of all the updated requirements driven by international initiatives such as CRS, signing up to a FATCA agreement with the US Government, as well as signing up to the BEPS initiative. In April 2016, the island became the 33rd signatory of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports on income and taxes paid by corporates.


Partner Ariane West was interviewed by HedgeWeek.


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