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Walkers Professional Services Celebrates 4th Anniversary

Walkers recently celebrated the 4th anniversary of Walkers Professional Services (WPS), which was launched in June 2015 in response to overwhelming client demand.

The Cayman Islands office opened with a staff of eight, while WPS Dubai and WPS Hong Kong each had a complement of one employee. After four years WPS has now grown to 100 staff members and counting, spread across five offices and focusing on four key service lines globally (Corporate, Company Secretarial, Fiduciary, Regulatory & Compliance) with multiple sub-sets of further services under each.

Anne Dolan, Director of Walkers Corporate states, "Clients wanted a full suite of corporate and fiduciary services that matched the market leading standards set by Walkers. Working together with the law firm, we launched WPS with some of the best professionals in the industry. We are so proud of our team and how far WPS has come in a relatively short period of time."

Just over a year after the launch of WPS in the Cayman Islands, WPS Ireland was opened following six years of growth and the establishment of Walkers as a pre-eminent financial services law firm in Ireland.

Steven Manning, Director of Walkers Fiduciary states, "We count some of the most impressive corporate and institutional businesses across global financial centres as our clients, which is testament to the dedication of our teams in every office and jurisdiction. It has been really rewarding to watch WPS and our people thrive since launching in 2015."

Continuing to achieve an accelerated rate of growth, WPS later launched in Bermuda, before adding a new line of business to their service offering with the addition of Walkers Compliance. With offices now located in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Hong Kong, Ireland and a branch office in Abu Dhabi, WPS is able to deliver a truly global and seamless integration of legal, corporate, fiduciary and compliance services in real-time.

Tim Buckley, Managing Partner of the Cayman Islands office, remarked, "In just four short years, WPS has grown exponentially to become a stand-out global operation which differentiates itself from the competition with a continuing commitment to re-setting standards within the corporate, fiduciary and compliance space."

The Cayman Court provides clarification regarding recognition for foreign receivers

A recently released decision of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands clarifies the circumstances in which receivers appointed by foreign courts or by foreign governmental bodies may seek the recognition in the Cayman Islands.

In the matter of the Silk Road Funds Ltd (Unreported, 8 February 2018, Smellie CJ) examined the matters that the Court would consider when deciding whether to grant orders allowing recognition and enforcement of the functions and powers of receivers appointed by a foreign court.

The Court looked at the ways in which an officeholder could seek recognition and assessed them in light of the circumstances of their appointment. The main routes were: (i) Part XVII of the Companies Law; (ii) "Modified universalism"; and (iii) common law.

In this particular case, the Cayman Court considered that the common law route was the most applicable - the Companies Law route applied only where the officeholder had been appointed over a debtor for the purposes of a foreign bankruptcy proceeding, and the Court also took the view that "modified universalism" was also most relevant in the context of ensuring universality of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings given their particular legal consequences, as opposed to a broader application to receiverships in general. In looking at the common law position, however, the Court considered that it was absolutely clear that it had inherent jurisdiction to recognise foreign receivers to act in keeping with the terms of their appointment, and set out the following tests to be applied when considering whether to exercise that jurisdiction:

  1. Has the company in respect of whose assets the receiver and manager has been appointed, been made a defendant in the action in the foreign court?
  2. Has the company in respect of whose assets the receiver and manager has been appointed, been incorporated in the country which appointed the receiver and manager?
  3. Would the courts of the country of incorporation recognise a foreign appointed receiver?
  4. Has the company carried on business in the jurisdiction of the appointment or is the seat of its central management and control located there?

These tests are a useful restatement of the factors that the Cayman Court will consider when deciding whether to recognise a foreign receivership, the central tenet being the need to demonstrate a sufficient connection between the defendant and the jurisdiction in which the receiver was appointed in order to justify recognition. If, however, recognition of a receiver could give effect to a penal, revenue or other public law of a foreign state, recognition of the Cayman Court would not be granted whether the above tests were satisfied or not.

Walkers IDR Among Top Global Law Firms in GRR 30

Walkers' Global Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group has moved up the rankings in the latest Global Restructuring Review ("GRR") 30 list and has been named the 12th strongest global law firm for restructuring and insolvency in 2019.

Walkers continues to be the highest ranked offshore law firm on the list. "Entering impressively at 13" last year, the firm has now been ranked in 12th position, scoring 554 points, up from 506. Walkers ranks just behind Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton and Norton Rose Fulbright (in 11th and 10th places, respectively). 

"The consistency in our GRR 30 performance demonstrates our commitment to excellence and is testament to the dedication that our teams in every office and jurisdiction show to our clients. We are delighted that the global team's hard work and skill continues to be recognised by GRR and reflected in their rankings" commented Cayman Islands Insolvency & Dispute Resolution partner, Colette Wilkins.

The GRR 30 is a distillation of the GRR 100, a culmination of months of extensive research and confirmation that the named firms are a safe pair of hands to tackle significant cross-border insolvency or restructuring matters around the world.

To arrive at the GRR 30, GRR assigns a value to each firm’s top 10 cases, adds the number of partners it has listed in their sister publication, Who’s Who Legal: Restructuring & Insolvency 2019, and includes a small weighting reflecting positions in the GRR 30 last year.

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.