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Walkers Named #1 Global CLO Market offshore service provider in Creditflux's CLO Census

Walkers is delighted to announce that we have been ranked for a second year running as number one for 'Best Offshore Fund Administration Services' and 'Best Offshore Legal Services' in Creditflux's third annual CLO Census for services provided to the global collateralized loan obligation (CLO) market.

Head of Walkers Fiduciary, Steven Manning comments, "We are delighted to be recognised by our clients in this manner. We have an earnest commitment to helping our clients consistently achieve both their legal and operational objectives."

Creditflux's CLO Census surveyed global CLO market participants, including, arrangers, investors, managers and service providers on a series of questions designed to gauge the current sentiment of the market, investigate views on controversial topics and highlight the industry’s preferred service providers.

Walkers Partner, Garry Ferguson commented, "Walkers is delighted to receive this award for the second year running in recognition of our market leading and fully-integrated legal, taxation, corporate and listings services. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a high quality of service that is incisive, responsive and dependable and we are grateful to have been recognised by our clients in Creditflux's CLO Census as the top CLO service provider."


Download CLO Census

Update on Guernsey's discrimination legislation proposals

The Committee for Employment & Social Security announced on Friday 8 November that it will be focusing its efforts on delivering a reduced set of discrimination proposals. It is clear from the announcement that the Committee's intention is to stagger the implementation of the 10 proposed protected grounds, rather than reduce their number.

Its immediate priority is to introduce protection on the grounds of disability including for carers of disabled people. Having received the most challenging and critical consultation feedback on its proposals for disability discrimination, the Committee has committed to revisiting the definition of disability. This will provide some comfort to employers, many of whom have been concerned with the breadth of the proposed definition and the fact that it would be so different from the approach taken in Jersey and the UK.

If sufficient progress is made with disability, the additional grounds of protection that the Committee will advance are race, religious belief and sexual orientation. This is because the consultation responses have indicated only minor modifications to the proposals will be needed for these to be put forward.

The Committee will be suspending work on the other grounds on which it consulted: age, carer status (in relation to parents), marital status, pregnancy or maternity status, sex, and trans status. However, we can expect to see an indicative timeline for when these grounds should be addressed and included in the legislation, in the Committee's Policy Letter.

Employers should continue to prepare for the introduction of the proposed legislation by reviewing their existing policies and procedures; ensuring that they are dealing with any bad practices within their organisations promptly; and continuing to raise awareness and encourage best practices via workplace training.

Walkers' Guernsey Fund Finance Team Advise On £20 Million Facility

Walkers' Guernsey Fund Finance team has advised OakNorth Bank Plc on a £20 million finance facility for RAW Mortgage Fund. Founded in 2015, OakNorth Bank is expanding rapidly and today is one of the most active lenders in the UK having lent circa £4bn to date.
A Walkers team including partner Kate Storey and senior counsel Zoë Hallam advised on the Guernsey-law aspects of the facility and security arrangements, alongside instructing counsel Pinsent Masons LLP.
RAW Mortgage Fund provides loans for buy-to-let properties secured against UK real estate assets. The fund is based in Guernsey.
Walkers' Channel Islands' Fund Finance team includes lawyers in Jersey and Guernsey with prior experience working in London and Cayman, and who have significant expertise advising on fund financing deals in respect of the UK and US markets.
Kate said: "We continue to advise a significant number of lenders and borrowers on investment and financing arrangements in the funds and real estate sectors. Guernsey is a popular structuring choice for UK real estate investment and we are very pleased to have been able to support OakNorth Bank and RAW Capital Partners on this transaction."
Walkers continues to expand its Guernsey investment funds and finance teams – Zoë transferred to the Guernsey team in January this year after eight years with the firm's market leading fund finance practice in Cayman as one of a series of arrivals that has seen lawyer headcount rise by 50% in the last 12 months.

Walkers Grows Hong Kong Finance Practice with New Partner Hire

Walkers is pleased to announce that Nick Davies has joined the firm as a partner in the firm's global Finance & Corporate Group where he will be based in the firm's Hong Kong office.

Nick joins us from an international offshore law firm and comes with a wealth of experience in finance and corporate, with specialist focus on debt capital markets/structured finance and private equity. He will be a strong addition to our Finance team with the ability to advise on Cayman, BVI and Bermuda* law. Nick also has a wealth of onshore experience practising as an English capital markets and finance lawyer with several of the magic circle firms. Nick brings a broad range of international experience and network having worked in the UK, Moscow, Jersey, Cayman and Hong Kong/Greater China.

The hiring of Nick complements the recent addition of two Bermuda associates, Shannon Dyer and Ben Green to the Hong Kong office, allowing us to provide clients in Asia and the Middle East with time-zone friendly Bermuda advice and execution support, adding to the strength of our team of highly talented lawyers in Bermuda.

Andy Randall, Managing Partner of Walkers' Hong Kong office commented: "We are delighted that Nick has joined Walkers. We have earned a solid reputation over the past 15 years in the Asia market for delivering top-quality Cayman and BVI legal advice. We're excited to have been able to expand our offering to include Bermuda law recently from Hong Kong. This advanced offering and the arrival of Nick will further enhance our ability to provide a one-stop offshore solution for our clients."

Commenting on joining Walkers, Nick said: "I am delighted to be joining such a well-regarded international offshore firm, which has a top-tier reputation in Hong Kong and globally. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and being part of a dynamic team of trusted advisors to Walkers' high-calibre clients."

*subject to approval of registered associate status by the Bermuda Bar Association

Two Walkers Partners Named in Top 20 List of Private Client Advisers In Guernsey

Walkers partners Rajah Abusrewil and Sarah Brehaut have been named in a new list of the top 20 wealth management and trusts professionals in Guernsey.

The pair are two of only five lawyers included on Citywealth's Leader's List for Guernsey, and no law firm has more practitioners on the list than Walkers.

Rajah is a group partner in Walkers' Private Capital & Trusts team, and Sarah is a partner in the Insolvency and Dispute Resolution team, specialising in contentious trusts matters – she is also the current Bâtonnier, or Head of the Guernsey Bar.

Strategic growth across the Channel Islands has seen the number of lawyers in Walkers' Guernsey office increase by 50% in the last 12 months, and the growth is set to continue with the arrival of a new partner at the start of next year.

Rajah said: "All independent recognition is very welcome, but it's particularly great to receive this kind of attention, because Citywealth's Leader's List is based on ratings and reviews from peers and contacts."

Sarah added: "We have worked particularly hard over the last couple of years at Walkers not just to grow strategically and recruit in a very targeted way, but also to do so in a manner that has not disrupted the culture and standards that we have.

"Recent recognition not just for individuals but also for wider teams is showing that clients continue to value the quality of our work and the way that we operate."

Walkers' Global Private Capital & Trusts Team Retains Top Tier Ranking

Walkers' international Private Capital and Trusts team has been named in the highest tier by independent publisher ePrivateClient for the second successive year.

The team – offering BVI, Cayman, Guernsey and Jersey law advice – is named in the top rank in ePrivateClient's 2019 Top Offshore Law Firms List.

The accolade comes during a period of sustained strategic growth for the firm, which has increased its global legal headcount by 20% in the last year – including a 50% increase in legal headcount in Jersey and Guernsey.

Partner Rupert Morris said: "Independent recognition for our work is always very welcome, and we are particularly pleased to have been able to continue to offer a seamless, integrated service across our ten offices during a busy period of recruitment and growth.

"Changes in the way that the growing volume of private capital is structured and deployed, and international regulatory developments, mean that our practice is changing – and we continue to lead the way in legal advice on family offices, private trust companies and private fund structures."

Walkers – which has long-established offices in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore – has also seen an increase in inquiries and instructions from clients in the Middle East and Asia using Caribbean and Channel Islands structures for asset protection and succession planning.

The ePrivateClient list recognises 29 offshore law firms specialising in forming private foundations and trusts, and advising on establishing and maintaining private wealth structures.