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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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Central Bank of Ireland Publishes Findings from its Fitness and Probity Thematic Inspections

On 17 November 2020, the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") published an industry letter to all regulated financial service providers setting out its findings from thematic inspections assessing the level of compliance with obligations under the Central Bank's fitness and probity regime. The findings focus on five key issues:

  1. the role of the board of directors in the fitness and probity process;
  2. the level of due diligence being conducted by firms;
  3. outsourcing of roles which are subject to the fitness and probity regime;
  4. engagement with the Central Bank; and
  5. the role of the compliance function.
Firms should consider the contents of this letter and determine what, if any, action needs to be taken. Our advisory provides an overview of the issues raised in the Central Bank's letter.

 

Click to view advisory

Revisiting the “Old Chestnut”: The Inherent Discretion to Confirm the Powers of Controllers Appointed Under Section 24 of the Insurance Law

On 29 September 2020, Chief Justice Smellie QC handed down his judgment in the Matter of Premier Assurance Group SPC Ltd (in Controllership) (FSD Cause No. 210 of 2020) confirming the powers of the controllers appointed under section 24(2)(h) of the Insurance Law, 2010 (the “Insurance Law”) so as to enable them to exercise their powers as against the “world at large”. In doing so, the Chief Justice held that the Court has an inherent jurisdiction to supplement section 24 of the Insurance Law to “fill the practical gap” left by that provision.

Click to view advisory

Ireland Update: Winds of Change for Whistleblowing

Upcoming Whistleblowing Directive
Ireland already has substantial protection for whistleblowers under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 ("Act"). Even so, the scope and applicability of employers' obligations towards whistleblowers will broaden when Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law ("Whistleblowing Directive") is implemented.

Ireland and its fellow EU members must implement the Whistleblowing Directive by 17 December 2021. From then, private employers of 50 or more employees will be required to establish reporting channels (which may be internal or provided by an external third party) within their organisation for workers who wish to report breaches of EU law.

Employers who are subject to EU Law relating to financial services, products, markets, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, transport safety and the protection of the environment will be required to establish reporting channels irrespective of the number of employees employed.

The definition of relevant wrongdoings will be broadened to include breaches of financial services regulations, laws relating to products, markets, prevention of money-laundering and terrorist financing, corporate tax laws, product and transport safety, animal health, protection and welfare, environmental protection, public procurement, data protection, consumer protection, radiation, nuclear safety and public health and breaches affecting the financial interests of the European Union and the single market.

The Whistleblowing Directive will also impose strict timeframes within which employers must comply with their obligations. Receipt of a protected disclosure must be acknowledged within seven days. The disclosure itself must be "diligently followed up" within three months.

Feedback must be provided within three months, though it will not be necessary to communicate the outcome of an investigation within three months.

 

Click to view advisory

Opening of DITC Portal | Updates on AEOI and Economic Substance

The Department for International Tax Cooperation (“DITC”) Portal is now open. The DITC’s industry advisories dated 30 October 2020 and 12 November 2020 advise industry of updates in relation to the automatic exchange of information for CRS and FATCA and economic substance respectively. This advisory provides a summary of the key points.

Opening of DITC Portal for AEOI
The DITC Portal is now open for CRS and FATCA purposes, as anticipated in our previous advisory and the DITC’s industry advisory dated 30 October 2020. Users at clients who held a User Account on the former AEOI Portal will receive an account activation email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with steps on how to access the new DITC Portal. For new CRS and FATCA notifications, the DITC portal is accessed by clicking “CRS & FATCA Registration” on the DITC Portal. Reporting Financial Institutions must register on the DITC Portal if not already registered previously on the AEOI Portal.

Action point: Users in relation to entities which are classified as financial institutions for CRS and FATCA purposes are encouraged to access the DITC Portal and commence registration and reporting, as applicable, in line with the revised deadlines discussed below.

AEOI 2020 Deadlines
The 2020 deadlines are extended as follows:

  • the new entity registration deadline for CRS and FATCA is extended to 16 December 2020 (instead of 30 April);
  • the reporting deadlines for CRS and FATCA are extended to 16 December 2020 (instead of 31 July); and
  • the CRS Compliance Form filing deadline is 31 March 2021 (instead of 15 September).
 

Ireland | UK Treasury Consultation on the Proposed Overseas Funds Regime

The UK is currently considering proposals on its overseas funds regime ("OFR"), which are relevant for managers planning to market investment funds in the UK at the end of the Brexit transition period. The temporary marketing permissions regime ("TMPR") permits investment funds for which applications have been made to utilise this regime prior to the end of the Brexit transition period to continue to be marketed in the UK. 


Our advisory considers the current proposals for the OFR and the action that needs to be taken to make use of the TMPR.

 

Click to view advisory

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