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22-Nov-2022
Walkers BVI Acts on ESG Bond Deal of the Year

Walkers' British Virgin Islands ("BVI") office is delighted to have acted as BVI counsel on the "ESG Bond Deal of the Year", awarded at the Bonds & Loans Latin America & Caribbean Awards 2022.

Walkers' BVI office acted as BVI counsel to The Central America Bottling Corporation in relation to its US$1.1 billion Sustainability-Linked Bond ("SLB") offering. The offering is the first US dollar-denominated SLB by a bottling company in the Americas region, as well as being the first SLB by a Central American issuer, and the second largest single tranche SLB by a Latin American issuer ever.

Walkers was led by BVI Managing Partner Matthew Cowman, with support from partner Omonike Robinson-Pickering.  Matthew Cowman said "Walkers was delighted to support The Central America Bottling Corporation on this landmark deal, which highlights both our leading Latin America practice as well as the important role BVI plays in finance markets generally."

Since 2015, the Bonds & Loans Awards have been recognising the year’s most innovative and ground-breaking deals from Sovereign, Corporate and Financial Institution issuers and borrowers.

22-Nov-2022
Walkers wins four titles at Who's Who Legal Awards 2022

Walkers, the international law firm, has won four titles at the prestigious Who's Who Legal Awards 2022, which recognise the world's leading law firms across a range of practice areas and jurisdictions.

Competing against a field of all top tier international law firms, Walkers won three practice area titles and Cayman Islands Law Firm of the Year in the country and state categories.

Walkers was named Asset Recovery Law Firm of the Year and Restructuring & Insolvency Law Firm of the Year, both for the second year running, and Best Commercial Litigation Firm for the first time.

These titles reinforce Walker's reputation as the premier global restructuring, insolvency and corporate recovery practice advising on offshore jurisdictions. The firm's dedicated teams in each of its 10 offices across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, offer Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Irish and Jersey legal advice on all aspects of restructuring, insolvency, corporate recovery, litigation and dispute resolution.

Walkers' Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group partner Neil Lupton commented: "I am delighted that we have retained our Asset Recovery and Restructuring and Insolvency awards and added the Best Commercial Litigation Firm accolade. Our talented international team of lawyers across our 10 offices work hard for our clients every single day. We are proud that clients trust our ability to advise them on their most complex, ground breaking, cross-border cases involving offshore jurisdictions."

Commenting on the Cayman Islands Firm of the Year title, Walkers' Managing Partner for the Cayman Islands, Tim Buckley, added: "This award is welcome recognition of the commitment of all of our people to providing outstanding advice and client service. We will continue to focus on assisting our clients successfully navigate their biggest challenges and take advantage of opportunities across the market."

 

H WONG WWL Awards 2022

London partner Hughie Wong collects the trophy for Best Cayman Islands Law Firm


The Who's Who Legal Awards 2022 winners were announced at a ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall in London in front of an audience of 200 guests representing top law firms and consulting firms from across the world. The winners were determined on a range of factors, including feedback received from clients and peers in the research process, breadth and depth of practice area and geographical capability, and the number and proportion of individuals selected as Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders. 



18-Nov-2022
Will Policy Makers Stifle The Dao Revolution

DAOs, a new form of the online decentralized organization, have shown massive growth over the past two years, with more than 10,000 DAOs and billions of crypto assets held in DAO treasuries. They are increasingly important in the context of crypto-token networks, and many DAOs hold significant assets, but their legal and regulatory status is unclear.

 

Click to view article

 

First published in Amplify (November 2022). Amplify is published monthly by Cutter Consortium, an Arthur D. Little community.



18-Nov-2022
Walkers Banking Specialist Graduates as Dr Tiny Musesengwa

Banking and finance lawyer Tiny Musesengwa has successfully completed her Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree and graduated with the University of South Africa.

Dr Tiny Musesengwa, an Associate in Walkers' growing Banking & Finance Practice Group in Guernsey, attended her graduation ceremony in Cape Town on Friday 11 November 2022 and her thesis was titled “Unconscionability and a breach of a negative stipulation in the underlying contract as exceptions to the autonomy principle of demand guarantees in South Africa”.

Tiny has been working in Guernsey in private practice and in-house roles since 2016 and advises on all aspects of banking and finance law, including real estate finance, fund finance, restructuring and distressed finance transactions. She also has experience in and advises on a wide variety of financial services regulatory, compliance and risk management advisory law matters.

Group Partner Kim Paiva who leads Walkers’ Banking & Finance Practice Group alongside Group Partner Zoë Hallam, said: “Completing a Doctorate of Laws degree is a massive accomplishment that demands commitment, dedication, a lot of hard work and skill. We are all thrilled by Tiny’s achievement.”

Tiny said: “I am very pleased to have completed this journey and graduated as Dr Tiny Musesengwa. I would like to thank everyone who supported and encouraged me including my banking and finance colleagues and the wider Walkers team. I am looking forward to my next challenge, whatever that may be!"

The firm recently moved to new, larger premises in Guernsey after strategic growth in the team saw headcount almost treble over four years.

Walkers is the largest offshore law firm and also has offices in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cay-man, Dubai, Dublin, Jersey, Hong Kong, London and Singapore.

17-Nov-2022
Aongus McCarthy Joins Walkers’ Ireland Asset Management and Investment Funds Team as Partner

Aongus McCarthy has joined Walkers as a Partner in the Asset Management and Investment Funds Practice Group in Ireland.

Aongus, who previously led the Investment Funds team of an international law firm, and advises domestic and international asset managers on the structuring, establishment and operation of investment funds under Irish law, across the entire life cycle of the fund.

His practice focuses on UCITS, retail investor alternative investment funds (RIAIFs) and qualifying investor alternative investment funds (QIAlFs) covering all types of strategies and asset classes, including debt, credit, real estate and private equity strategies.

Nicholas Blake-Knox, Partner and Head of Asset Management and Investment Funds at Walkers in Ireland said "We are delighted to welcome Aongus to our Tier 1 rated team here at Walkers – his extensive experience across a wide range of asset management and investment fund matters makes him a perfect fit for our growing team.

"Our Asset Management and Investment Funds Practice Group works closely with our Regulatory, Tax, Corporate, Finance & Capital Markets and Employment practice groups, and Aongus' will add much-needed experience, expertise and bandwidth to our busy teams."

Aongus also advises on the establishment and operation of UCITS management companies and alternative investment fund managers and also has experience in various aspects of corporate governance, distribution and regulatory compliance matters.

With more than 140 staff in Ireland and more than 1,100 colleagues globally, Walkers is the largest offshore law firm with a global offering across all time zones. Across our ten offices, we advise on the laws of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey. Complementing our legal offering, Walkers Professional Services offers corporate, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and fiduciary services.

16-Nov-2022
First Cayman Restructuring Officers Appointed

Walkers successfully represented Oriente Group Limited (the "Company") in the very first petition in the Cayman Islands seeking the appointment of restructuring officers (the "RO Petition") pursuant to Section 91B of the Companies Act (2022 Revision) (as amended) (such restructuring officer regime having only recently been introduced into the Cayman Islands on 31 August 2022).

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the "Grand Court") appointed Andrew Morrison, David Griffin (both of FTI Consulting (Cayman) Ltd.) and Kenneth Fung of FTI Consulting (Hong Kong) Limited as restructuring officers of the Company (the "Restructuring Officers") for the purposes of presenting a compromise or arrangement to creditors (or classes thereof) by way of Cayman Islands law, foreign law and/or by way of a consensual restructuring.

Notably, the RO Petition was opposed by two creditors (the "Opposing Creditors") who had presented a winding up petition in respect of the Company to the Grand Court (the "Winding Up Petition"), prior to the presentation of the Company's RO Petition. At the hearing of the RO Petition on 11 November 2022, the Opposing Creditors, amongst other things, asserted that the automatic moratorium did not operate to stay the Winding Up Petition, on the basis that it had been presented prior to the RO Petition. However, it was held by the Honourable Mr Justice Kawaley that Section 91G of the Companies Act operated to stay any and all "… court supervised insolvency or restructuring proceedings against the company…" from being commenced and/or proceeded with from the date of presentation of the RO Petition (regardless as to when such other proceeding had commenced), except with the leave of the Grand Court. This is helpful judicial confirmation that the moratorium on unsecured creditor action automatically arises upon the filing of a petition seeking the appointment of restructuring officers.

Given the novel nature of the RO Petition, being the first restructuring officer proceeding before the Grand Court, Kawaley J indicated that he would provide written reasons for his decision in due course and a more detailed update will follow.