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Walkers Trusts Disputes Specialist Recognised in Future Leaders Top 100

Walkers senior associate James Turnbull has been included in Citywealth’s Future Leaders Top 100 of the best advisers and managers in the wealth management and private client industries aged under 40.

James – a Jersey Advocate who qualified as an English solicitor at Allen & Overy in London before moving offshore - has a busy practice advising private clients, trust companies and onshore counsel on a range of contentious matters including contentious trusts and probate, as well as disputes over trust assets, with a client base in Jersey, London, Switzerland and the Far East.

He is recognised by Legal 500 and is an active member of the Contentious Trusts Association.

Partner Nigel Sanders, who leads Walkers' Jersey Insolvency and Dispute Resolution Practice Group, said: "I am delighted to see this thoroughly deserved recognition for James, who is an outstanding disputes lawyer with a growing reputation in the market.

"We continue to develop and build our Insolvency and Dispute Resolution teams in both Jersey and Guernsey, and the complex contentious trusts work in which James specialises is a key part of our practice."

Walkers Partner Hire Boosts Market Leading Professional Services Team

Walkers and Walkers Professional Services (WPS) are pleased to announce that Caymanian partner Dorothy Scott has been appointed to the role of Managing Director of Compliance & Regulatory Services at WPS.

WPS is a leading provider of corporate, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and fiduciary services to corporate and institutional clients across global financial centres. The business works in tandem with Walkers law firm to offer clients a unique, seamlessly integrated approach to providing high quality and cost-effective legal and professional services.

In her new role, Dorothy leads a team of compliance and regulation experts, who provide tailored services to clients globally. These services include outsourced anti-money laundering compliance and money laundering reporting officer roles, client identification, verification and remediation services, AML audit services, regulatory inspection and general compliance support and in-house training.

Prior to joining WPS, Dorothy was a partner in Walkers' Global Investment Funds Group, where she practiced for 17 years and specialised in the formation of investment funds with a particular niche in advising distressed hedge funds and counselling emerging and start-up managers on establishing offshore products. During her time at the firm, Dorothy worked with a broad range of highly regarded investment managers, private equity sponsors, trustees and family offices, as well as emerging and start-up managers.

Cayman Managing Partner, Tim Buckley, stated, "It has been fantastic to see Dorothy's accomplishments and progression at Walkers over the years lead to this new and dynamic role with WPS. It speaks volumes about her capabilities and skillset, which will only serve to enhance our integrated service offering. The strength of the team at WPS and its ability to attract and retain the best talent is indicative of its outstanding reputation in the market."

Dorothy's lengthy career with Walkers commenced when the firm sponsored her in 1999 to study Anthropology and Law at the London School of Economics. She then completed her articles and became an associate at Walkers, working her way through the ranks, before becoming a partner in 2014. She has also mentored numerous young Caymanian lawyers over the years.

Dorothy commented, "Walkers has thoroughly prepared me for this next stage of my career and I am delighted to be joining WPS. The rapid global expansion of the business is testament to its best in class talent, technology and focus on client service. Transitioning to this role provides me with the unique opportunity to do what I frequently counselled my clients to do while I was at the law firm – build a scalable business and create new career opportunities for highly competent and ambitious teams."

In addition to her accomplishments at Walkers, Dorothy is a frequent speaker at industry events and a member of several boards and associations, including the Cayman Islands' Human Rights Commission. She is also the Chairperson of the National Drug Council of the Cayman Islands.

Walkers Named #1 Global CLO Market Offshore Service Provider in Creditflux's CLO Census

Walkers Professional Services (WPS) is pleased to announce that for a third consecutive year, we have been ranked as number one for 'Best Offshore Fund Administration Services' in Creditflux's fourth annual CLO Census for services provided to the global collateralised loan obligation (CLO) market.

WPS partners with its clients to provide best in class fiduciary and administrative services to a broad range of structured and asset finance vehicles across multiple jurisdictions, all within a competitive cost model.

Head of Walkers Fiduciary, Steven Manning comments, "We are delighted to be named for the third year running as the top CLO service provider. WPS works tirelessly to deliver high-quality, incisive service and ensure that our clients achieve their business and operational objectives. The fact that we are consistently recognised by our clients in Creditflux's CLO Census is all the more meaningful and rewarding and we are very grateful."

Creditflux's CLO Census surveys global CLO market participants on an annual basis, 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 promotes Jon Le Rossignol to Group Partner in Jersey Banking & Finance team

Walkers has promoted Jon Le Rossignol to Group Partner in its Jersey Banking & Finance team.

Walkers Jersey Banking & Finance team is widely regarded by clients as a market leader, with particular expertise in real estate finance, general secured lending, leveraged financing, asset financing and TISE listings.

Jon will lead the team along with Banking & Finance partners Alexandra Corner and Nigel Weston.

The firm has also announced the promotions of Advocate Lauren Stott and Joseph Barker-Willis (both from the Investment Funds & Corporate Practice Group) to senior associate.

Jonathan Heaney, the managing partner of Walkers' Jersey office, said: "Jon is an absolutely first-class lawyer who is already taking on leadership responsibilities within the group, and on behalf of the Jersey partners I am delighted that he has been promoted.

"He is building an outstanding reputation for his work on real estate financing and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters both here and in London, and his promotion is thoroughly deserved.

"I am equally delighted at the contribution that Lauren and Joseph have made in the growth of the Investment Funds & Corporate practice group, both in terms of their client service and the very high technical quality of their work."

The announcements come as part of Walkers' annual promotion round that sees nine new partners and nine new senior counsel across the firm's ten international offices in Bermuda, BVI, Cayman, Dubai, Dublin, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, London and Singapore.

In Guernsey, Walkers has promoted Zoë Hallam and Kim Paiva to Group Partner in its top-tier Guernsey Banking & Finance team, and Advocate Laurent Thibeault (Insolvency and Dispute Resolution) and Adam Pickering (Investment Funds & Corporate) to senior associate.

Matt Sanders named new Managing Partner of Walkers' growing Guernsey office

Matt Sanders has been appointed Managing Partner of international law firm Walkers' rapidly expanding office in Guernsey.

Matt has practised in Guernsey for more than 13 years and takes over the role from partner Louise Hall who is retiring from the firm at the end of the year.

Matt joined Walkers' predecessor firm AO Hall as a corporate and funds lawyer in 2009 and was made Group Partner in 2011, prior to AO Hall's merger with Walkers in 2016.  Guernsey is one of Walkers' ten offices across Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

Matt will continue to jointly lead the Guernsey Investment Funds & Corporate team with partner Kate Storey, where he focuses on Guernsey private fund structures, and M&A deals involving regulated corporate service providers and trust companies.

Matt said: "This is a really exciting time for our Guernsey office. In the past two years in particular we have seen significant growth not just in the number of partners and staff headcount in the Guernsey office, but also in our reach and reputation in the local and international market as a leading Guernsey law firm.

"A huge amount of credit and recognition must go to Louise for the exceptional work that she has done in building this practice over the last 15 years, having founded AO Hall with Alison Ozanne.

"I've worked closely with Louise since she hired me more than a decade ago and she will be a very tough act to follow."

Fraser Hern, Walkers' head of the Channel Islands, said: "We're very pleased to have Matt take over this leadership role in our Guernsey office, which is rapidly outgrowing its current premises.

"He is a very well-respected lawyer who has been consistently recognised by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR, and is a very popular figure in our Guernsey team.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Louise, who I am pleased to say will be with us until the end of the year, for the way that she has led the team in Guernsey.

"The co-operative and collaborative culture that made AO Hall such an obvious and natural fit for a merger for Walkers is in large part down to her leadership and the direction that she set for the firm. She will be missed when she leaves us, but I am sure she will remain closely connected with the firm."

Walkers' headcount in Guernsey has grown by over 75% in the last two years, and new arrivals so far this year include partner Adam Cole, senior counsel Jamie Bookless and associate Katherine Jensen in the Insolvency and Dispute Resolution team, associate Kathryn Macken in the Private Capital and Trusts team, and associate Pascalle Palmer in the Banking & Finance team.  The firm's market-leading Employment team was strengthened by the arrival of former City lawyer Sarah Ash in 2018 and the promotion of Vicky Pratt to Senior Counsel in 2019.

More announcements on recruitment in the Guernsey team are set to be made next month.

BVI: Privy Council Considers Approach to Winding Up in "Deadlock" Cases

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has handed down judgment in the case of Chu v Lau  [2020] UKPC 24 (on appeal from the British Virgin Islands) on 12 October 2020. Walkers' Partner Rosalind Nicholson and Associate Renell Benjamin appeared for the successful Appellant, Mr Lau. The Board's decision is an important one and brings welcome clarity to the approach which the Court will adopt in considering whether a shareholder is entitled to the remedy of winding up on the just and equitable ground. Since BVI law is similar to English law in this area, the decision is likely to be of interest to English practitioners as well as to BVI practitioners dealing with shareholder remedies.

Chu v Lau concerned a shareholders dispute between the two equal shareholders in a BVI company, Ocean Sino Limited ("Ocean Sino"), which was operated as a quasi-partnership between them. Over time, the relationship between the two partners deteriorated and, following unsuccessful attempts to separate their business interests,  Mr Lau ultimately filed an application in the BVI Commercial Court to wind up Ocean Sino on the just and equitable ground. The trial Judge (Justice Roger Kaye QC (Ag.)) found that that there was an irretrievable deadlock and breakdown in relations between Mr Lau and Mr Chu, at the time the proceedings had been commenced and which continued at the date of the trial and made an Order winding up Ocean Sino. Mr Chu appealed to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal ("ECCA") who allowed the appeal and overturned Justice Kaye's Order. The ECCA also refused Mr Lau leave to appeal to the Privy Council. However, having granted Special Leave and expedited Mr Lau's Appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council allowed the Appeal and reinstated the Order of Justice Kaye.

The Board's advice addresses a number of issues which frequently arise on a shareholder's application to wind up a BVI company on the just and equitable ground, including the importance of the applicant's responsibility for the breakdown in the relationship between the shareholders and what is to be deemed an "alternative remedy" which renders the applicant's pursuit of a winding up unreasonable. In particular, Lord Briggs and Lady Arden in separate speeches, considered the question of deadlock between the shareholders as a grounds for just and equitable winding up. Lord Briggs identified "functional deadlock", that is a situation where the shareholders are unable to co-operate in the management of the company with the result that the company ceases to function as board or shareholder level, as proving grounds for winding up, whether or not the company is a quasi-partnership. By contrast, however, an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between the shareholders such that the trust and confidence is grounds for winding up only where the relationship is one of quasi-partners and as such subject to equitable considerations due to the nature of that relationship.