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11-Jun-2021
Walkers' Jersey Team Advises Babylon Health on $4.2 Billion Merger

Walkers' Jersey team has advised on the merger of Babylon Health, a leading global digital-first value-based care company and Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp (a Special Purpose Acquisition Company), a transaction which implies an initial pro forma equity value of approximately USD4.2 billion.

Upon closing of the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2021, the combined company will operate as Babylon and plans to trade on Nasdaq under the new symbol “BBLN”.

The company was founded in the UK in 2013 and provides services to 24 million patients across four continents.

The company scaled by approximately 5x annual revenue growth in 2020, and is expected to grow again by approximately 4x in 2021.

The Walkers team are longstanding advisers on matters of Jersey law for Babylon. Partner Jonathan Heaney and Group Partner Dilmun Leach led the Walkers team working with lead counsel Allen & Overy (London) and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (New York) on the deal.

The team included senior associate Tom Fothergill and associates Luke Steele and Ruth Donnellan. Walkers Jersey advised on the Jersey corporate and regulatory aspects of the deal as well as on the corporate governance, incentive schemes and operational requirements around becoming a listed public company.

Jonathan Heaney said: "We would like to congratulate all involved on what is a very significant deal in this sector. Having worked with Babylon as their Jersey counsel since 2015, we are delighted to have advised on this matter.

"A deal of this high value and profile demonstrates how attractive Jersey companies are for structuring major global transactions. We are very pleased to have been able to advise our client on this latest stage of their growth and development."

09-Jun-2021
Britannia Owners' Golf and Beach Club Rights Upheld

On 9 June 2021, the Grand Court handed down its judgment in Cayman Shores Development Ltd and Palm Sunshine Ltd v Registrar of Lands and others (FSD Cause No. 143 of 2019) protecting certain recreational and sporting rights of residential owners at the Britannia development.

In one of the most significant pieces of local litigation heard in the Cayman Islands in many years, the case involved the island's largest property developer on one side and around 200 residential owners at Britannia on the other. The judge had to consider core principles of the jurisdiction's land law in reaching his decision. This judgment provides substantial reassurance to residential owners as to the security of recreational and sporting property rights in the Cayman Islands, and gives valuable guidance on the construction and registration of restrictive agreements and easements.

The Plaintiffs, Cayman Shores Development Ltd and Palm Sunshine Ltd (members of the Dart group of companies, and together referred to for convenience as "Dart Realty"), are the registered owners of a golf course adjoining the Britannia development, together with a nearby hotel and beach resort on Seven Mile Beach (formerly the Hyatt Beach Suites, now Palm Heights). From the early 1990s, the Britannia owners enjoyed rights granted by the original Britannia developer and then owner of the golf course land and beach resort, including the rights to play golf on the golf course, to use the facilities at the beach resort and to use the tennis courts. These recreational rights were recorded in numerous written agreements lodged at the Land Registry, both in favour of the titles to the properties of the Britannia owners (or their Strata corporations) and against the titles to the golf and beach resort land.

Upon acquiring the golf course land and beach resort in 2016, Dart Realty told the Britannia owners that the rights enjoyed by the Britannia owners over the golf course and the beach resort were mere licences and that, as such, the rights did not bind Dart Realty. Dart Realty closed the golf course, taking quantities of turf from the golf course for use at another Dart Realty property, and in 2018 denied the Britannia owners access to the beach club facilities.

In 2019, Dart Realty brought proceedings against the Britannia owners asking the Court to order that the rights to use the golf course, the beach resort and the tennis courts were mere licences and such rights should be deleted from the Land Register. The Britannia owners defended the claim, and brought counterclaims seeking rectification of the Land Register (to the extent necessary) together with damages for the removal of the turf and pumps on the golf course, and damage to the irrigation system.

In his judgment, which followed a two week trial in late 2020, the Honourable Mr Justice Segal has upheld the rights of the Britannia owners to use the golf course and the beach resort, though not the right to use the tennis courts (one of which is now under the Esterley Tibbets Highway).

The key findings are that:

  1. The written agreements include a restrictive agreement within the meaning of Section 93 of the Registered Land Act. The owner of the golf course and the beach resort may not modify the “facilities as constitute the Rights” (namely the rights to play golf and to use the beach resort) or their location, and may not suspend the exercise of the rights for any purpose other than to carry out repairs and maintenance in respect of the facilities. The agreements were properly registered at the Land Registry and are binding on Dart Realty as owner of the golf course land and beach resort.

  2. The Britannia owners' right to use the golf course and beach resort granted by the written agreements were properly characterised as easements. Although these were not registered as easements, the Land Register should be rectified to include a reference to the rights as easements.

  3. Dart Realty substantially interfered with the Britannia owners' rights to play golf by removing large quantities of turf from the golf course causing serious damage, which rendered the course unplayable. The quantum of damages payable by Dart Realty fall to be determined in further proceedings, if not agreed.

The Britannia owners did not satisfy the Court that Dart Realty was responsible for the removal of pumps or damage to the irrigation system and these counterclaims were dismissed.

The judge noted that the numerous witnesses who gave evidence for both Dart Realty and the Britannia owners were truthful and honest, and in the case of the latter noted that their evidence revealed their understandable concerns and strength of feeling about the issues in question.

Colette Wilkins, Nick Dunne and Daisy Boulter of Walkers, together with John Randall QC and Marc Brown of St Philip's Chambers, acted for the participating Britannia owners, working closely alongside Paul Simon of Bodden & Bodden. 



09-Jun-2021
Global STEP Exam Award for Guernsey Trusts Lawyer Nitrisha Doorasamy

Walkers Associate Nitrisha Doorasamy has been recognised by STEP Guernsey Branch for gaining the top score of any student globally in the "Trust Administration and Accounts" exam that forms part of the STEP qualification process.

Nitrisha – who is part of Walkers' Guernsey Private Capital & Trusts Practice Group – was presented with a performance award at the STEP Guernsey Branch Conference at Beau Sejour on Thursday.

Walkers Group Partner Rajah Abusrewil said: "We are very proud of Nitrisha, and congratulate her for this achievement which demonstrates the quality of her technical knowledge and skill."

Matthew Gilligan, STEP Guernsey Branch Student Liaison Officer, said: "Congratulations to Nitrisha and indeed all of her fellow students on their success in the 2020 qualifications, which is even more impressive in light of the adaptations they have had to make as a result of the pandemic.

"The Guernsey branch is immeasurably proud that the island’s professionals choosing to take their STEP qualifications continue to feature in STEP’s highest global rankings year on year and are a shining example of our talented and dedicated workforce."

08-Jun-2021
Six Cayman Partners Named as WWL Thought Leaders in Restructuring & Insolvency Guide 2021

Walkers is pleased to announce that six of its Cayman-based Insolvency & Dispute Resolution ("IDR") partners have been included in Who's Who Legal and Global Restructuring Review's annual Restructuring and Insolvency Thought Leaders Guide.

Partners Rupert Bell, Neil Lupton, Matthew Goucke, Barnaby Gowrie, Shelley White and Colette Wilkins have all made the list of 16 Cayman Islands practitioners, which represents the highest number of Restructuring & Insolvency thought leaders from any Cayman Islands law firm.

The guide features the most highly regarded lawyers and experts according to the latest research – those who truly stand out as the apogees of the restructuring and insolvency world and who are held in the highest esteem by clients and fellow practitioners. Over nearly two decades WWL has used the recommendations of clients and private practitioners to pick out the leading experts in a wide range of practice areas around the world.

Walkers' IDR team is the largest in the Cayman Islands and part of the world's largest offshore IDR group. We are the only offshore law firm with Insolvency and Dispute Resolution teams on the ground in not only the traditional jurisdictions (Cayman, BVI and Jersey) but uniquely also in Ireland, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bermuda and Guernsey.

08-Jun-2021
Walkers Admits Caymanian Attorney David Lee

Walkers is pleased to announce the admission of Caymanian David Lee, who was called to the Cayman Islands Bar as an Attorney-at-Law after successfully completing his legal training with the firm. He joins Walkers' Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group and is the third Caymanian to be admitted to the Cayman Islands Bar by Walkers in 2021.

David was a recipient of the 2015 Walkers Legal Scholarship. He completed his LLB in 2018 at the University of Liverpool, where he graduated with a First-Class degree. He went on to complete his Legal Practice Course with Distinction at the University of Law in Manchester. During his studies, he participated in three legal internships with Walkers, rotating through the firm's core practice areas of Investment Funds, Insolvency & Dispute Resolution and Finance & Corporate.

David officially began his Articles of Clerkship in 2019 under the mentorship of Walkers' Finance & Corporate Partner, Philip Paschalides, who described him as having a "first-rate work ethic."

Last year, he also spent four weeks participating in the Judicial Clerkship Programme, an initiative offered by the Cayman Islands Judicial Education Committee and the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association which enables Articled Clerks to receive in-depth exposure to the court's work, apply learned skills, understand the inner workings of the courts and learn about the process of judicial decision-making. When speaking to the programme, David shared with the court: "I found the Judicial Clerkship Programme tremendously insightful; it truly tipped the scales and convinced me to take a litigation seat."

Walkers' Partner and Chair of the Trainee Committee, David Collins commented: "David Lee has been a diligent Articled Clerk and a high achiever throughout his articles. We will continue to support him as he begins his career as an associate with the firm.”

In addition to his new legal career, David Lee is a distinguished football player and recently represented the Cayman Islands as its goal keeper in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.



04-Jun-2021
Walkers supports launch of 100 Women Who Care Guernsey

A new community crowdfunding charity, 100 Women Who Care Guernsey, was launched at an event at the St Pierre Park Hotel in Guernsey last night, sponsored by law firm Walkers.

Walkers Group Partner Zoë Hallam is one of five women who came together to establish the charity, which is modelled on an international formula which has seen similar organisations established in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Ireland and the US.

At the quarterly meetings of the 100 Women Who Care events, each attendee donates £100 and votes to distribute the combined £10,000 between three local charities.

At last night's launch event, members voted to allocate the donation pot to charities Grow, Help a Guernsey Child and The Clean Earth Trust. Walkers also donated £1,000 to each charity.

Walkers Group Partners Rajah Abusrewil and Kim Paiva, Senior Counsel Sarah Ash, Senior Associate Jessica Robinson, Associate Katherine Jensen, Business Development Manager Victoria Tailby, and Executive Legal Secretary Hannah Green – all from the firm's Guernsey office - were also amongst the attendees who gathered and made a donation of £100 each.

The law firm has a long-established relationship with the Cayman Islands branch of the charity, having previously sponsored their events and donated funds. 

Zoë said: "We are delighted to have launched.

"This is such a great way to harness the collective fundraising power of women in Guernsey – by each of us contributing we can make a massive difference to charities in the Bailiwick regularly and at the same time members will be meeting new people at every event and extending their networks on the Island."

The well-established alliance, 100 Women Who Care, was launched in the US in 2006 as a simple way to raise money quickly for local charities in communities.

It currently operates all over the world bringing women from diverse backgrounds, ages and ethnic groups together to give something back to the communities in which they live.

Walkers is this year marking its fifth anniversary in the Island.

Click here learn more about the Guernsey branch of 100 Women Who Care or here for the Cayman Islands branch.