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03-Apr-2020
Walkers acts for CLSA Limited in Ever Harmonic's acquisition of Clear Media

Walkers has acted as Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands legal counsel to both the offeror and the lenders in a voluntary cash offer to acquire the entire issued share capital of Clear Media Limited ("Clear Media"), including Clear Channel Outdoor Holding's stake in Clear Media. Clear Media is listed on the mainboard of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and is the largest operator of bus shelter advertising panels in China. The offer was announced on 30 March 2020 with a deal value exceeding HK$3,846 million (US$493million).

The offeror, Ever Harmonic Global Limited ("Ever Harmonic") is wholly owned by a consortium of investors, which comprises of Antfin (Hong Kong) Holding Limited (backed by Ant Financial, Alibaba group's affiliate), JCDecaux Innovate Limited, China Wealth Growth Fund III L.P., and Mr. Han Zi Jing, the current chief executive officer and executive director of Clear Media.

Commenting, Walkers' Hong Kong Office Managing Partner Andy Randall said, "We pride ourselves on delivering high performance multi-jurisdictional legal advice and we are delighted to have advised the offeror and the banks in this transaction. This is testament to the fact that we are only one of the few offshore firms in the region with the depth and expertise to provide seamless Bermuda, BVI and Cayman law advice to help our clients in achieving their business goals."

The lenders, led by CLSA Limited, were advised by Rupen Shah (Partner), Jonathan Betts (Partner) with support from Benjamin Green (Associate).  The Walkers team advising Ever Harmonic included Jo Lit (Partner), Natalie Neto (Partner) and Kristen Kwok (Partner) with support from Tiffy Wan (Senior Associate) and Kate Pang (Senior Associate).


13-Mar-2020
Our approach to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

Walkers is both prepared and open for business

At Walkers, our priority is the health and wellbeing of our people, our clients and our community. Walkers is applying a balanced and informed approach that is cognisant of our whole firm.

Being mindful of ever changing circumstances and in line with current advice from the World Health Organisation, as well as Government advice in the locations in which we are based, for now we have no scheduled office closures. It is business as usual at Walkers with the exception of more staff working remotely from home than would ordinarily do so under our typical agile working processes.

Walkers has robust, secure and fully tested work from home arrangements which are in place as a function of our agile working processes and business continuity measures.

Our global and local COVID-19 response teams are organised to monitor, review and manage our response to the unfolding pandemic and the possible impact on our people, office locations, operations and client services. In the event that matters escalate and office closures are required, we are confident that there will be no interruption to the services provided to clients by our teams across our 10 global offices.

Further information: If you have any questions or require further information about Walker's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please get in touch with the managing partner of the relevant office or your usual Walkers contact.



09-Mar-2020
Walkers' Jersey Investment Funds Group Continues Expansion with Recruitment of Former Government Adviser

Walkers' strategic recruitment continues with the arrival of Tom Fothergill as a Senior Associate in the firm's Jersey Investment Funds & Corporate Group.

Tom joins Walkers with particular expertise in the regulatory field, having most recently been the Lead Policy Adviser, Financial Crime at the Government of Jersey. During his time in Government, Tom advised on the development of policy and legislation related AML/CFT, beneficial ownership, economic substance, fintech and bank resolution, among other things.

His arrival comes as part of a wave of recruitment and growth in the team in the last six months including Group Partner Leanne Wallser and associates Ruth Donnellan and Ellen Jarvis. The growth in the size of the team carries through into a growing market share - the prestigious Monterey Insight report on the Jersey Funds sector recorded that the Walkers team ranked second of all Jersey law firms in respect of market share of non-domiciled funds measured by assets and third of legal advisers by total fund assets serviced in Jersey.

Jonathan Heaney, who leads Walkers' Investment Funds & Corporate Group, said: "We are delighted to welcome Tom to the team as our growth continues across our Channel Islands offices.

"Our Investment Funds & Corporate and Banking & Finance teams are winning market share, and we are recruiting in direct response to growth in instructions and client demand for our services.

"We also have the largest team of dedicated regulatory specialists of any offshore law firm reflecting the rapidly-changing regulatory landscape that our clients face and the need for insightful, commercially-focussed and forward-thinking advice.

"Tom's appointment further supplements our capacity to provide this market-leading regulatory support to our clients."

Fraser Hern, Walkers' Head of the Channel Islands, said: "We are thrilled to have Tom in the team.

"The expansion of our Jersey and Guernsey Investment Funds & Corporate business is a key component of our Channel Islands expansion generally. We look forward to making more announcements about growth in the coming weeks."

09-Mar-2020
Walkers Ireland Hosts International Women's Day Event and Celebrates the Centenary of the First Equality Legislation (1919)

Walkers international financial services law firm and corporate services business hosted an International Women's Day staff event in their IFSC based offices on the theme of #EachforEqual with guest speakers Hugo MacNeill, Ambassador for the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities ("TCPID"), and EY Diversity and Inclusion Assistant Director, Alannah Mc Mahon.

The event began with a fireside chat involving Walkers' (Ireland) Diversity & Inclusion Lead Partner Nicholas Blake-Knox and guest speaker Hugo MacNeill in a discussion on the topic of 'Creating a culture of inclusion for successful growth.' The speakers reflected on the past, the present and also looked to the future while highlighting how much has changed across society and in the workplace since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, 1919 was enacted in which the first piece of equal opportunities legislation was introduced into the statute book allowing women to join many professions for the first time in Ireland.

In sport as in business, these changes have also been apparent and former Ireland and Lions international, Hugo MacNeill, spoke about how far Irish society has come during his lifetime in the area of sport and, while there is still more to be done, he commented in particular on the success of women's rugby both in Ireland and on a world stage. Hugo recalled an event at which the Irish Women's National Rugby Union team were being honoured and the then captain, Niamh Briggs, was speaking about being in France and how Ireland beat the All Blacks and reached the semi-finals of the World Cup. Recognising the significance of this statement, Hugo interrupted Niamh's speech and voiced, "Never before have the audience heard an Irish captain say that we beat the All Blacks and got to the semi-final" of a World Rugby Cup tournament. Hugo also reflected on inclusion and the progressive changes in education and although courses such as the TCPID Level 5 Certificate in Trinity as well as their graduate internship programme have helped several women and men with intellectual disabilities to find meaningful employment, he said, "it isn't good enough that out of 57,000 students graduating across Ireland, only 84 with intellectual disabilities have come through third level to date."

Following the fireside chat, Employment Partner Susan Battye hosted a panel discussion with guest speaker Alannah Mc Mahon, Frank McCracken, Walkers' Head of HR, and Hugo MacNeill. The panel spoke about gender diversity, inclusion and belonging in society, across the professions, and at Walkers. The speakers remarked on the very positive gender diversity statistics at Walkers with 64% of the firm and 45% of senior management across the 10 office network being female and with 55% of our people and 49% of our senior management in the Ireland office also being female.

The panel looked at how the lessons learned from the past can be applied both to the present and to the future and emphasised the importance of 'belonging' in the workplace. During the panel discussion, Alannah McMahon remarked that '…we are stronger when we belong.' The panel examined the positive impact that diversity of thought can have on a business, and Frank McCracken pointed out how "Walkers' success as a law firm and corporate services business isn't only because of the positive gender-diversity, intergenerational and multi-cultural balance at Walkers but because the firm supports, develops, promotes and hires the best talent". Alannah talked about how diversity of thought is driving culture at EY Ireland and noted that their focus is on the 'ability' of each individual. She also highlighted EY's successful TCPID internships and mentioned that EY has recently hired 3 TCPID graduates on a permanent basis with 2 further individuals participating in TCPID internships through EY. The panel agreed that programmes like this are helping to enrich the workplace and helping society and organisations to view intellectual disability through a different lens.

The panel discussion was followed by an interactive audience roundtable discussion and many contributions were made on the topics of gender diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Nicholas Blake-Knox when closing the event said, "In order to overcome unconscious bias, it is absolutely critical that we embrace diversity of thought within our business so that we can really challenge the assumptions we make in our day to day decision making. Without diversity of thought, firms can become echo chambers which validate and perpetuate repetitive behaviours. At Walkers' Ireland, we are continuously challenging ourselves to create a more diverse workplace. Not only is this the right thing to do but it is critical to the future success of our business."

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05-Mar-2020
Walkers Growing Jersey Investment Funds Team Climbs Industry Rankings

Walkers' strategic growth has resulted in the firm's Jersey Investment Funds team climbing the industry rankings as advisers to Jersey serviced funds and emerging as one of the top Jersey legal advisers measured by total fund assets.

The firm's performance in the annual Monterey Insight Jersey Report reflects a strong year of growth that has seen group partner Leanne Wallser join from the team from another firm, as well as Christopher Reed's promotion to the partnership, strengthening the team led by partner Jonathan Heaney.

The report saw:

  • Walkers ranked second of legal advisers in respect of market share of non-domiciled funds, measured by assets.
  • Walkers ranked third of legal advisers by total fund assets serviced in Jersey.

Jonathan, who leads the firm's Investment Funds and Corporate Group in the Channel Islands, said that the team had enjoyed an excellent 12 months aided by the global reach of our business and client base, and by a buoyant Jersey funds sector that has seen an 8% growth in assets over 12 months, driven by a 19% rise in the private equity and venture capital classes.

He said: "Monterey are known for the rigour of their research, so it is particularly pleasing to see results that reflect our growing market share and standing in the Jersey investment funds community.

"The targeted recruitment and growth that is continuing in 2020 has strengthened our ability to offer specialist advice to clients, built on the experience of the team both in private practice here in the island, and in the years that our team has spent working in places including London, BVI, Moscow and Hong Kong.

"Being part of the largest offshore law firm means that we can add real depth of experience and an international perspective to our work and we look forward to continuing our growth story in 2020."



04-Mar-2020
Walkers Marks International Women's Day with Packed Event in Jersey

More than 130 people attended Walkers' International Women's Day event at the Royal Yacht Hotel in Jersey on Thursday for "a celebration of liberation through the generations".

Speakers from organisations including EY, the Jersey Scouts Association and RBC joined Walkers Global Managing Partner Ingrid Pierce (who spoke via videolink from the firm's Cayman office) and the firm's Guernsey managing partner Louise Hall, in front of an audience of Walkers team members and clients.

The audience also heard from student Filipa Dos Santos, who won the £200 "Listen Up!" public speaking competition organised by the firm. The Year 12 Hautlieu student had submitted a four-minute vlog on the theme of "Liberation" which impressed judges for her interpretation of the brief, creativity, presentation and enthusiasm.

The event is part of the firm's global activities supporting International Women's Day, building up to the main day – which this year is celebrating on the theme of "Each for Equal" – on Sunday 8 March.

Partner Alexandra Corner, who was part of the organising committee for the event, said: "We are so glad to have had not just a packed schedule and a completely full venue, but also to have had such an engaged audience who really connected with the speakers and the panel events.

"We would like to thank all of the speakers who gave up their time to take part in our day, and to all of our guests, and to particularly thank Filipa for sharing her story with us.

"With 2020 seeing the 75th anniversary of the Island's liberation from Nazi occupation, it was very important to us to ensure that our event included the voices and perspectives on liberation and equality from right across a range of ages and experiences."

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