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Walkers' Guernsey Team Now Ranked by Legal 500 as Tier 1 in Five Core Practice Areas

Walkers' Guernsey team is now ranked by Legal 500 as Tier 1 for legal advisers in Guernsey for five of its core practice areas after its Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Team and Insurance team maintained their Tier 1 ranking, and its Corporate and M&A, Trusts and Employment practice groups were elevated to Tier 1.

Walkers' Managing Partner in Guernsey, Matt Sanders, said that the new rankings that saw 21 Walkers lawyers recognised by the leading independent legal directory were the result of sustained and strategic growth within the business.

"These new rankings are the product of a lot of hard work and dedication by some phenomenally talented lawyers, and I am delighted to see their work recognised in this way," he said.

"To see our teams ranked in the highest tier by Legal 500 reflects not just on the work of our leadership team and partnership bench, but also those in counsel and associate positions and our excellent business support teams.

"Having just moved to larger offices to accommodate further planned growth here in Guernsey, we have no intention of taking our foot off the gas, and we look forward to continuing to grow and build on the Walkers brand here in Guernsey."

Client feedback given to the Legal 500 researchers reflected Walkers' focus on client care, responsiveness and technical expertise, with examples including:

  •  "This practice is unique in its excellent client care which coupled with their pro-active and commercial approach to all issues and documentation make the team a definitive stand-out."
  •  "Walkers has a global presence in offshore jurisdictions and an excellent reputation. This was why we went to them and selected them among others."
  • "Exceptional sector knowledge, supported by a diverse team to ensure full cover and perspective is available."
  • "Outstanding partner engagement when difficult issues crop up; willing to provide advice in addition to a good standard of commoditised flow work."
  •  "The level of consistency and interconnectedness between offices is noticeable and makes the experience of instructing the firm across multiple jurisdictions very efficient."
Fraser Hern, the head of Walkers' Channel Islands business, added: "Our business in Guernsey has transformed in the past four years, with promotions of key team members and targeted hires of market-leading lawyers from competitor firms in Guernsey, as well as internationally.

"As a global business, we believe that there is a bright future ahead for Guernsey's financial services industry, and we are confident that Walkers will sustain our growth both in headcount and market share in Guernsey. We have a very clear ambition to be the market leader in all of our core practice groups, and we are pleased to be continuing along a very positive trajectory towards achieving this ambition."

CLO and SPV specialist joins Walkers Professional Services Ireland as Senior Vice President

A CLO and SPV specialist with more than 20 years' experience in financial services in Ireland has joined Walkers Professional Services Ireland as a Senior Vice President. Sean O'Sullivan has joined the WPS Ireland senior management team, led by Managing Director Fiona de Lacy, and Sean will be heavily involved in servicing our large portfolio of CLO, structured finance and aircraft leasing clients. He previously held a senior role in Maples Group, acting as an SPV director and transaction manager. Sean is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in UBS Fund Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers New York and KPMG Dublin.

WPS is a market-leading provider of Corporate, Company Secretarial, Fiduciary, and Compliance and Regulatory services, co-ordinating seamlessly with Walkers' legal team across the European, Asian and American time zones.

Fiona said: "We are delighted to have brought Sean on board and to be able to add his many years of experience and technical expertise to our outstanding client offering. Our busy team continues to grow in line with our expanding market share, and the ability to attract professionals with a proven track record such as Sean demonstrates clearly where we sit in the market, and our confidence in our continued success. As a global business, WPS continues to invest heavily in its people, technology and focus on client service, to accommodate the increasing demands of modern business."

Walkers' Jersey Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Team Strengthened by New Partner Hire

A Jersey Advocate with more than 25 years' experience in private practice across four jurisdictions has joined Walkers' Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Practice Group as a partner.

Advocate Richard Holden, who advises on complex trusts disputes and commercial litigation, has joined the Walkers Insolvency & Dispute Resolution team in Jersey led by Advocate Nigel Sanders.

His practice encompasses advising clients largely in London and the Channel Islands in respect of complex contentious trusts matters, disputes relating to other asset holding structures, fraud, asset-tracing, enforcement, and the application of traditional Jersey customary law to modern commercial disputes.

Richard has been practising in Jersey for ten years - before that he practised in London as a Barrister, and in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor at a leading commercial firm.

He is a Visiting Professor of Trusts Law at the Institute of Law in Jersey, and the author of Offshore Civil Procedure, the definitive guide to court and litigation procedure in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man published by Sweet & Maxwell as a companion to its widely-used White Book.

Advocate Nigel Sanders said: "We are delighted to welcome Richard to our growing Insolvency & Dispute Resolution team. His arrival boosts our strong contentious trusts and commercial litigation practice at a time when we are seeing continued growth in instructions."

Advocate Jonathan Heaney, Walkers' Managing Partner in Jersey, added: "Richard's arrival means our team in Jersey has almost doubled in headcount over the last three years, with growth right across our practice areas.

"While we have continued to build out our team by promoting some of the exceptional talent within the firm, Richard is an excellent example of the kind of senior hire that adds experience, expertise and bandwidth to our partnership bench."

Growth Drives Walkers' Move to Larger Premises in Guernsey

Leading offshore law firm Walkers has moved to new, larger premises in St Peter Port after strategic recruitment and growth in its Guernsey team saw headcount almost treble over the past four years.

The move to new premises in Helvetia Court accommodates the significant number of new joiners in the firm's legal practice and business support teams, and provides flexibility for further anticipated expansion.

Walkers' Guernsey Managing Partner Matt Sanders said that the investment in new premises underlined Walkers' commitment to developing its Guernsey-law offering, which is already ranked in the top-tier by independent legal directories in key practice areas.

"We are delighted to be moving into larger offices at a time when our targeted recruitment activity is continuing at pace," said Matt.

"We have transformed our business in the past four years. In every practice group of the firm we have both promoted high performing lawyers from within the business, and made significant hires of market-leading lawyers from competitor firms in Guernsey, as well as internationally.

"In the past 24 months alone we have promoted two partners, three senior counsel, and a senior associate. We have also hired 11 new lawyers in the same period, including partners David Cooney and Craig Cordle, both of whom have a market-leading position in their respective practice groups and both of whom were with competitor firms in Guernsey.

"All of these promotions and hires have had a tremendously positive impact on our business. At the same time we have worked extremely hard to retain and reinforce our collaborative culture and approach."

Walkers also has offices in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Jersey, London and Singapore – the team in Guernsey includes lawyers who have worked in the firm's BVI, Cayman and Jersey offices.

The 13-strong partnership bench in Walkers' Guernsey office also has wide international experience, with partners having practised in London, Cayman, New York, Switzerland, Bermuda, South Africa and New Zealand.

Fraser Hern, the head of Walkers' Channel Islands business, said: "There is a bright future ahead for Guernsey's financial services industry, and we are confident that Walkers will sustain our growth both in headcount and market share here in the Bailiwick.

"Our team in Guernsey – from the partnership right through to the associates' bench – has many years of experience both in the jurisdiction and internationally, and are rightly praised in the legal directories for their technical skill, responsiveness and client care standards. We have a very clear ambition to be the market leader in all of our core practice groups, and we feel we are continuing along a very positive trajectory towards achieving this."

Bermuda Regulatory and Risk Advisory

Walkers Bermuda offers a highly unique regulatory and compliance service offering that is one of a kind in the Bermuda market. Walkers Bermuda not only offers clients dedicated regulatory and risk advisory legal services, but also can provide clients with ongoing regulatory compliance services to ensure that their business is operating in a compliant manner throughout its lifecycle.


Walkers Bermuda Regulatory and Risk Advisory Practice is comprised of dedicated specialist financial regulatory and risk management advisory lawyers who bring insight from having worked inside the regulator and who have acted as in-house legal and compliance counsel for regulated financial institutions.

The Regulatory and Risk Advisory Practice is a global Walkers offering and Walkers offer Bermuda, British Virgin Island, Cayman Island, Guernsey, Irish and Jersey legal and regulatory advice. We regularly advise non-regulated and regulated financial institutions including a wide range of businesses in the banking, insurance and reinsurance, investment fund, fund administrator, corporate services, fiduciary and investment management, advice, broker-dealer and arranger sectors.

Our team regularly assists with the following matters:

  • all regulatory applications and notifications, including new licences, variations or cancellations of existing licences for insurance, investment business, digital asset business and others;

  • regulatory implications of mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations, including obtaining regulatory approval for changes of ownership or control;

  • all required policies, procedures and compliance monitoring programmes;

  • regulatory gap analysis for policies and procedures, as well as operational codes of conduct;

  • corporate governance and directors’ duties, fitness and propriety;

  • review and development of policies and procedures relating to outsourcing, business continuity and disaster recovery, third party risk management, data privacy and protection and cyber risk management;

  • advising on economic substance classification, completing reporting and assisting clients meet requests for further information and responding to enforcement action;

  • advising on FACTA and CRS reporting obligations, completing the classification of entities, registering on the Bermuda portal, preparing policies and procedures and completing the required filings;

  • registration of intellectual property; and

  • advising on a wide range of fintech matters, including fintech closed ended and open ended investment strategies, coin and token offerings, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and, payments, outsourcing to fintech providers (including cloud data storage) and assisting numerous types of fintech businesses.


Our team of compliance professionals and lawyers are able to provide clients with assurance that their regulatory frameworks are legally sound and operationally effective.

Our core services focus on the areas of regulatory compliance, financial crime and sanctions, particularly:

  • construction of the business risk assessment, policies and procedures, and internal controls;

  • compliance framework assessment, including the AML/ATF independent audit;

  • remediation of BMA onsite inspection findings;

  • regulatory gap analysis of policies and procedures;

  • testing of internal compliance controls;

  • regulatory review of outsourcing and reliance framework;

  • the provision of outsourced MLRO/CO services to regulated financial institutions;

  • training programmes for AML/ATF, sanctions and such other regulatory subjects as may be required.
When assisting new licensees and registrants in Bermuda or where there is a restructuring that triggers a change of directors and officers of a Bermuda company Walkers Bermuda employment specialists will assist the Regulatory & Risk Advisory team with employment advice and contracting, Bermuda immigration matters, work permits, inter-company employee services agreements and directors' services agreements.

The Walkers Bermuda Employment services offering includes advice and representation on contentious matters, including:

  • breaches of regulatory licensing, reporting and conduct requirements, including engaging with the regulator/regulated entity, appearing before tribunals, arbitrators and courts;

  • internal investigations of misconduct and regulatory breaches;

  • breaches of fiduciary and other employment-related duties;

  • regulatory insolvencies and winding-up;

  • challenges to decisions by regulators, via tribunals or judicial review;

  • cross-border information sharing and regulator-to-regulator engagement; and

  • negotiating and drafting employee exit and settlement/separation agreements.

In addition Walkers Bermuda Employment specialists provide the following non-contentious Employment services:

  • preparing full suite of Bermuda-compliant employment documents, including employment and services contracts, handbooks, policies and template documents for ongoing use;

  • advising on immigration regulations and requirements for non-Bermudian employees and service providers; and

  • advising on director on-boarding and preparing directors' services agreements.

Walkers Employment Specialists form part of the Walkers Bermuda Insolvency and Dispute Resolution Practice (“IDR”). For more information on the full service offering of our IDR practice, please click here.

Walkers' Regulatory Compliance (Bermuda) Limited's AML e-training course provides your team a compliance training option that is comprehensive, convenient and cost-effective, whether working from home, the office, or abroad. Designed in Bermuda for the particular needs of the local market, our AML training provides your company with a broad overview of Bermuda's evolving AML/ATF and sanctions regulatory landscape.

The e-training course provides a summary of the Bermuda laws relating to money laundering, terrorist financing, and financial sanctions. The course also discusses Bermuda specific obligations relating to the compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer, business risk assessment, customer due diligence, ongoing monitoring, record keeping, outsourcing and third party reliance.

The course is worth 1 hour of CPD credit. Group pricing may be available upon request.

Download AML Syllabus


As a complement to our legal, regulatory and compliance services, the respective practice groups at Walkers have developed a quarterly legal and regulatory subscription that we anticipate will greatly assist legal counsel, compliance and risk professionals will ensuring that their boards and board committees are kept up to date of the changes to the regulatory landscape in Bermuda.

Please find below a sample of this product, for your review. Should you wish to subscribe, please contact Melanie Fullerton or April Thomas for more information.

Download Sample

Melanie Fullerton

Melanie Fullerton, Senior Counsel

T +1 441 242 1537
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Melanie is a Senior Counsel and leads the Walkers Bermuda Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice at Walkers Bermuda. Melanie advises regulated and non-regulated financial institutions on their legal and regulatory requirements pursuant to Bermuda law. Melanie routinely advises financial institutions on a wide range of regulatory matters such as conducting the review and analysis of AML/ATF policies and procedures, advising and completing change of control applications and other statutory notifications with the BMA, advising and preparing licensing applications for regulated financial institutions; advising clients on general regulatory matters such as economic substance, data privacy and protection; regulatory governance; and local pension providers and medical practitioners on the specific regulatory changes affecting their industry.

Melanie is also a Certified Cyber Risk Officer of the International Cyber Threat Task Force.

Nicholas Howard

Nicholas Howard, Senior Associate

T +1 441 242 1550
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      Nicholas advises clients and appears before Bermuda Courts and tribunals on contentious, cross-border matters dealing with regulatory, employment and corporate/commercial disputes. Since joining Walkers, he has represented clients in private and public disputes including judicial reviews, regulatory petitions and applications, employment and corporate governance actions and applications. He regularly appears in employment arbitrations and mediations. Nicholas works closely with Walkers' market-leading dedicated regulatory and risk advisory team to provide clients with employment services and seamless advice and representation if matters turn contentious.

Lauren Thornburn

Lauren Thorburn, Associate

T +1 441 242 1561
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Lauren is an Associate in the Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice at Walkers Bermuda. Lauren advises on Bermuda regulatory matters including economic substance, data privacy, analysis of policies and procedures, licensing applications for regulated financial institutions, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, compliance assessment and international financial sanctions. Lauren advises both local and exempted companies registered in Bermuda as well as entities that are registered/licensed and supervised by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the "BMA"). Lauren advises on the regulatory aspects of licensing and registration applications to the BMA, particularly in the insurance, digital assets and investment business sectors.


April Thomas

April Thomas, Director

T +1 441 242 1539
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April Thomas joined Walkers Professional Services in 2022 as Director, Walkers Professional Services and oversees Walkers's compliance consulting business, Walkers Regulatory Compliance (Bermuda) Limited. April is also responsible for fiduciary services and sits as non-executive director on boards of Bermuda local and exempted companies.  April is a qualified attorney with over a decade of experience in the provision of compliance and fiduciary services to a wide variety of entities, including regulated financial institutions in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.  She has extensive experience navigating the Bermuda regulatory environment and coordinates a range of compliance services for clients such as AML/ATF framework construction, independent audit, training, regulatory onsite preparation and remediation, and outsourced compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer functions. 

April is a certified anti-money laundering specialist and a professional member of the International Compliance Association (ICA) and sits on the Bermuda Branch Committee of the ICA.


Otelia Scott

Otelia Scott, Director

T +1 441 242 1553
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Otelia Scott is the Director of Corporate Services at Walkers Professional Services in Bermuda where she heads up the Corporate Services team. Otelia is responsible for the operational functions and manages the day to day services provided by the team. Otelia has over 18 years' experience in the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands, including fund administration and fiduciary services. Otelia joined Walkers Professional Services in 2016 and was a Senior Vice President in the Cayman Islands office prior to moving to Bermuda in 2021.


"Ability to tackle complex regulatory considerations and structures by providing commercial and practical solutions."

"The team has an extreme focus on ferreting out not only potential legislative issues regarding our business plans, but also has an ear to the ground with changes that may be coming which can impact our current and future business lines."

"Incredible service, rapid turnaround time, practical and solution-oriented.’"

"A good network of international connections to draw on and an outstanding commitment to client service and responsiveness."

"Walkers has offices in Bermuda and Cayman Islands. They work together extremely well creating efficiencies when dealing with legal situations across the two jurisdictions."

"Walkers is now one of Bermuda’s full-service firms, competing effectively with other longer-established firms and driving changes within the legal market here. Walkers has an excellent restructuring and insolvency practice."

"Walkers response time and the product is phenomenal. They’ve created a team of experts on various subject matters which is key for businesses starting and in operation on the island."

"The [WPS] team is very professional and organized. Seamless coordination with Walkers legal team."

"[The Bermuda team has the] ability to tackle complex regulatory considerations and structures by providing commercial and practical solutions."


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We’re saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen. She was deeply respected throughout the world and will be remembered as a remarkable monarch. We offer our thoughts and condolences to the Royal Family.