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Walkers Acts for Stratos in Innovative ABS Structure

Walkers acted as Irish and Cayman Islands counsel in JP Lease's recent asset backed securitisation of a portfolio of 15 aircraft arranged and managed by Stratos. The structure was the first to combine the ABS structure with Japanese equity and the Japanese operating lease structure.

Walkers Professional Services also provided Cayman and Ireland based services to the issuer of the senior notes and the AOE issuers (including independent director services, accountancy services (for the AOE Issuers) and other administrative services).

Walkers, led by Cayman Islands partner James Burch and senior counsels Richard Williams and Paul Osborne in the Cayman Islands and Caitlin Friel in Ireland, were instructed by Stratos.

For more information, visit Aviation Finance, here

Three Walkers Lawyers named 'Top 35 Under 35' in 2019 eprivateclient

Carla Plater, James Turnbull and Fritha Ford from Walkers Jersey are featured in the 2019 eprivateclient Channel Islands Top 35 Under 35, an annual list of top young private client practitioners in Jersey and Guernsey.

It is the second time that the private client publication has compiled a Channel Islands-specific version of its long-running Top 35 Under 35 initiative, running alongside the established UK and UK Crown Dependencies' Top 35 Under 35. eprivateclient is a leading UK-based news service for private client practitioners, including lawyers, accountants, trustees and fee-based independent financial advisors.

The selection process began with an open call for nominations from across the private wealth sector for young and upcoming stars within the private client advisory professions, be they lawyers, accountants, trustees or any other professional intermediary, in Jersey and Guernsey.

A champagne reception to honour the 35 men and 35 women who have been recognised by eprivateclient will be held in Jersey on Tuesday 18 June.


Walkers Wins Restructuring & Insolvency Firm of the Year at Who's Who Legal Awards

On Thursday 16 May 2019 Walkers collected the Restructuring & Insolvency Firm of the Year award at the Who's Who Legal Awards 2019, held at Gibson Hall, London.

Ireland partner Gavin Smith, along with senior associates Paul Gross and Emma Hill from the London office were in attendance to accept the award.

Who’s Who Legal lists only the leading lawyers in each field, based on the findings of an independent six-month research process that encompasses feedback from private practitioners, clients and other experts in the sector.

In 2018 Walkers was awarded the Asset Recovery Firm of the Year award, having previously picked up the Leading Law Firm in the Cayman Islands award in 2017 and 2016.

Gavin Smith, Ireland's Head of Insolvency & Dispute Resolution practice commented "To be recognised by Who's Who Legal for the 4th consecutive year is a testament to the hard work and quality of our outstanding team", adding "We have invested considerably in our insolvency and dispute resolution teams across our offices by a series of strategic hires and promotions, which enables us to continue to provide top quality legal advice for our clients."

London Insolvency & Dispute Resolution partner John O'Driscoll added: "Walkers' unique global footprint of London, Dublin, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, in addition to our offshore offices, positions us perfectly to advise global clients on contentious and strategic matters which relate to the six laws that we practice. We are delighted that Who's Who Legal continues to recognise this strength."


WWL Legal 2019
(L to R): Emma Hill, Gavin Smith, Paul Goss

About the Who's Who Legal Awards

Who’s Who Legal directory is an international legal publication that identifies the “foremost legal practitioners” in the different areas of business law and acts as a “reference source for companies seeking to corroborate the reputations” of the lawyers being recommended by another party.

Walkers and Business to Arts Celebrate Two Years of the Walkers Photographer In Residence

Walkers and Business to Arts joined Irish photographer Kate Nolan, the 2019 Walkers Photographer-in-Residence, and transition year students from CBS Westland Row to celebrate the completion of the second year of the Walkers Photographer in Residence. The student’s project work was showcased at Walkers Dublin offices highlighting the development of their photographic skills together.

Walkers and Business to Arts announced the winners of the ‘Walkers Stories from the Docklands Photography Competition’. The three competition categories focused on the themes of community, neighbourhood, work and play. 

This project builds on the Walkers Photographer-in-Residence programme which is now its second year. In February 2018, Irish photographer Kate Nolan was announced as the Walkers Photographer-in-Residence. The residency includes a series of workshops, where Kate has introduced documentary photography to CBS Westland Row transition year students through ‘story walks’ of the Docklands. The residency supports Business to Arts’ wider programme of activity, which promotes the Arts collaboratively with businesses, artists, audiences and communities.

Garry Ferguson, Managing Partner, Walkers commented, ‘’The photography competition itself is just one component of the Photographer-in-Residence programme which involves our staff, the students of CBS Westland Row and Visual Artist, Kate Nolan in a manner which we believe reflects the 'Walkers Way' of working collaboratively in the community. Introducing art through the medium of photography into the Walkers workplace has had many benefits, including the promotion of enhanced communications between our people and those living and being educated in this community and the creation of a shared Docklands vision on the themes which have been the focus of this competition, namely community, neighbourhood, work and play". 

Commenting on the announcement, Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts said, ‘As we build on our partnership with Walkers and the Docklands Arts Fund, we are very happy to see the collaboration between Kate Nolan, the students of CBS Westland Row and Walkers staff continue to evolve. This programme has enabled the students and staff involved to develop their photographic and creative skills while documenting life within the Docklands area. Taking the beautiful backdrop of Dublin Docklands as inspiration, we were delighted with the response to the Walkers photography competition from both staff and students in the local area ’.

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Garry Ferguson, Managing Partner, Walkers, Transition year students of CBS Westland Row and Walkers photographer in Residence, Kate Nolan, at the launch of photographic exhibition titled ‘Docklands Story Walks’.


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Transition year students of CBS Westland Row, Walkers photographer in Residence, Kate Nolan, and Eoin O'Connor, Walkers Partner, at the launch of photographic exhibition titled ‘Docklands Story Walks’.

Walkers Trainee Represents Ireland at Prestigious Philip C Jessup International Moot Court

Walkers trainee, Mark Collier, recently represented Ireland at the prestigious Philip C Jessup International Moot Court in Washington D.C. in February.

While completing the Law Society of Ireland's Professional Practice Course 1 (PPC 1), Mark signed up to try-out for the Philip C Jessup Moot Court team. This involved preparing a draft legal submission and presenting oral arguments on a selected aspect of the previous year's moot court competition. Mark was choosen for the final team, which comprised four speakers and one researcher.

The Jessup competition is the largest and most prestigious moot court competition globally. Teams from over 100 countries and jurisdictions take part in a fictional dispute between two states in front of the International Court of Justice.

Over a number of months, Mark and his colleagues prepared written submissions for both the applicant and respondent in respect of the Jessup "compromis". This year's fictional dispute concerned state responsibility for corporate actors, transboundary harm, cultural/religious rights infringements, and intellectual property rights in the context of the Nagoya Protocol and traditional knowledge.

Following extensive research and the completion of the written submissions in early January 2019, Mark and his team undertook oral advocacy practice rounds twice a week in preparation for the national rounds. The national rounds were held on 23 February 2019 in the Four Courts. Mark's Law Society team defeated the teams representing Kings Inns and Griffith College Dublin to advance to the international rounds in Washington DC as the team selected to represent Ireland. After completing his exams, Mark flew out a few days before the competition in Washington DC to practice with his team. Overall, 124 teams made the international rounds in Washington DC. The rounds were judged by leading practitioners and academics in international law from around the world.

Upon arrival at the Moot Court, Mark and his team were provided with copies of the opposing teams written submissions, in order to assist with their arguments. Mark was the first speaker for the respondent and his team provided counter points. Over the course of the next few days, Mark's team competed against teams from Vietnam, Indonesia, and the USA (Fordham University), before being defeated by Hungary (Eötvös Loránd University), the eventual winners of the competition and the best speaker award.

While in Washington DC, Mark and his team were extended an invitation to visit the home of the Ambassador of Ireland, Dan Mulhall, and to lunch at the Irish Embassy, where they were given a tour by Deputy Head of Mission, Michael Lonergan.


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China Shanshui: The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has recently overturned the Order of Justice Mangatal dated 19 October 2018 by which she struck out a just and equitable winding up petition brought against China Shanshui by Tianrui (a shareholder). The Court of Appeal's decision dated 16 January 2019 has reaffirmed certain key principles applicable in circumstances where a winding up petition may be considered an abuse of process (or not).

The main grounds on which Tianrui's petition was struck out by Mangatal J were that:

(1) There were alternative remedies available to Tianrui which it unreasonably failed to pursue; and
(2) Tianrui's petition was brought for an improper collateral purpose.

Tianrui's appeal was allowed and the Court of Appeal determined that the petition should not have been struck out for an abuse of process for the following main reasons:

Alternative remedies available

Mangatal J held that the fact that Tianrui could have pursued alternative remedies for redress was "fatal" to a winding up petition brought on the just and equitable ground. The Court of Appeal considered that it was "well settled" law that a petition will not succeed if there exists an adequate alternative remedy which the petitioner has "unreasonably failed to pursue"; but only in circumstances where it is "clear at an early stage" that the petition be struck out as an abuse of process. The mere fact that an alternative remedy is available, and is not pursued, is not sufficient.

Petition brought for improper collateral purpose

Mangatal J held that the petition was "brought for the improper collateral purpose of obtaining a de facto injunction… without having to satisfy the guidelines for the grant of injunctive relief and without giving a cross-undertaking as to damages. The petition was brought to put pressure on the Company…" and was also struck out on this basis. The Court of Appeal also agreed that, in principle, a winding up petition will be struck out if it is brought for an improper collateral purpose. However, in the Court of Appeal's view, the allegations set out in the petition (if true) were clearly capable of establishing that it would be just and equitable to wind up the Company; and it was not obvious (without examination at trial) as to whether pursuing some other course of action (rather than winding up) was the more appropriate remedy.

Petition does not advance a class remedy

Mangatal J held that the petition "was not presented with the purpose of a class remedy on behalf of the shareholders" and was therefore an abuse. The Court of Appeal agreed that, in the context of creditor's petitions, the fact that a petitioner is not invoking a class remedy may mean that the petition is an abuse but doubted whether the same could be said in the context of a contributory's petition such as in the present circumstances. In such a case, the Court of Appeal considered, obiter, "…it is likely that the petitioner will complain of matters specific to him…" but that fact alone cannot be a reason for restraining the petition.