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Walkers London launches EMEA-based Bermuda law practice

Walkers is delighted to announce that its London office has launched a new, fully integrated Bermuda law practice for clients in the EMEA zone.

Working closely with Walkers' Bermuda office, the London-based Bermuda law team is spearheaded by Neil McDonald (Partner, Finance & Corporate), Patrick Ormond (Partner, Finance & Corporate), Rajah Abusrewil (Group Partner, Private Client & Trusts) and Andrew Chissick (Senior Counsel, Insolvency & Restructuring) and is the largest Bermuda law offering in the London market.

This move from Walkers follows the successful large-scale roll out of Bermuda law services in Walkers' Hong Kong and Singapore offices; with Walkers' Bermuda, Hong Kong, London and Singapore offices forming an international powerhouse offering seamless, cross-time zone service to clients requiring legal expertise on their Bermuda law transactions.

Bermuda office Managing Partner, Kevin Taylor, said: "We are delighted to announce Walkers' additional Bermuda capabilities in the London market. London has long been a key partner for the Bermuda jurisdiction and our market-leading offshore law offering in London will add real value to clients looking to explore those synergies."

Walkers' London office provides time-zone sensitive Bermuda law support to clients in the EMEA region across the full range of legal services, including Corporate and M&A, Banking & Finance, Insolvency & Restructuring, Dispute Resolution, and Private Capital & Trusts.

Walkers' London office recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and is both the largest and the leading offshore law firm in London. 

London office Managing Partner, Jack Boldarin, commented: "We are excited to offer our EMEA-based clients time-zone sensitive Bermuda law services from our hub in London.  Our Bermuda law offering in London compliments our market-leading BVI and Cayman law offering and represents a further step in the continued strategic growth of Walkers' London office and further demonstrates our enduring commitment to meeting our clients' requirements and facilitating their business."


Walkers' Global Private Client & Trusts Group Highly Ranked in 2021 Chambers HNW Guide

Walkers' Global Private Capital & Trusts ("PC&T") Group has seen promotions in the influential Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide for 2021 across its British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey practices, with clients describing them as "visionaries" in the market and being "miles ahead" of its competitors.

Walkers' Cayman Islands team maintained its Band 1 ranking and, for the first time, its BVI team was also recognised as having a Band 1 practice; it is the only offshore law firm to be ranked Band 1 in both the BVI and the Cayman Islands. One referee described the BVI team as being "very capable" while another lauded the Cayman team for its "high quality work" and ability to deal with "huge amounts of complexities across fintech, capital markets, funds and classic private client work."

Meanwhile in the Channel Islands, Walkers' PC&T team in Guernsey were promoted to Band 2 and were described as offering "excellent service to clients" and having a "great knowledge of trust law." Jersey's team, who maintained their Band 2 ranking, were highlighted for their "effort to build relationships" with clients and "very collaborative group."

The following members of the PC&T practice were highlighted by Chambers & Partners:

David Pytches, BVI & Cayman Islands: "I found him to be a phenomenal lawyer. He is very practical and can relate well with clients." Another local interviewee says Pytches is "very diplomatic," adding that "he can softly get something to where it needs to be with everyone remaining happy and involved." An offshore trusts expert mentions Pytches' Cayman and BVI expertise, noting that he "knows both jurisdictions really well."

Lucy Diggle, Cayman Islands: she "very usefully can cover aspects of both the contentious and non-contentious sides of offshore trusts," reports a source. A local adviser says Diggle is "brilliant" and has a "great personality," adding that she is "someone who will embrace something, take it away and figure it out," and a barrister reports that she has a "wide experience of trust litigation," adding that "she is an extremely valuable person to have on any litigation team."

Monique Bhullar, Cayman Islands: "is "incredibly creative and just really, really clever," adding: "Monique is fiercely bright." Another source says: "She is personable, technically strong and very responsive."

Nigel Sanders, Jersey: "is absolutely phenomenal," and another source adds: "He is quite clearly a real trust expert."

Rajah Abusrewil, Guernsey: "is extremely knowledgeable and commercial," adding: "her advice is client-focused and practical, with a clear emphasis on solving the problems before the client realises that they exist. She's a delight to work with." An interviewee adds: "She is straightforward, concise, friendly and always approaches everything with gusto and her unique sense of humour. She gets straight to the heart of the issue and does so in a practical and commercial manner."

Robert Dobbyn, Jersey: "is technically excellent, he is commercial and he always comes up with creative and imaginative solutions to problems." Another source reports that "you can go to him with practically anything, from the small to the very complex," and a third source says he "goes the extra mile for clients; he is really focused on getting the best resolution."

Shelley White, Cayman Islands: "is a star in the litigation firmament. She was a barrister in London and continues to have a very successful litigation practice in Cayman." Another source says White is "incredibly sharp" and adds: "She is quite good at sensing what the client needs at various points, whether it is the big picture or a deep dive into the detail."

Rupert Morris, Guernsey: "is technically excellent and able to analyse the most complex of situations and distil it into intelligible chunks," says one interviewee; another says that "the advice that Rupert gives is well thought out and concise."

Sevyn Kalsi, Jersey: "is very easy to deal with. He is a good commercial thinker and he is very responsive. He is also very personable and quick to build a rapport with clients." Another source adds that Kalsi "is very attuned to the client's needs - he is very focused on getting the right solution for the client," and is "very practical."

Rupert Morris, who leads the Guernsey Private Capital & Trusts team, said: "We are delighted to see this recognition for our team after a year that has had its challenges, and particularly pleased to see a consistent pattern in the client quotes about our very high standards of client service, which we have worked very hard to maintain and improve during the pandemic."

In the BVI, lead partner David Pytches added: "To enter the BVI market with a strong Band 1 ranking is a reflection of our collective experience and capabilities. We know our clients and their needs."

Walkers' PC&T team spans the globe with lawyers on the ground in the BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, who collaborate closely with colleagues in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Because of its strategic locations, Walkers is able to consider factors such as language barriers and time zones, and address them by choosing what's most appropriate and convenient for the client. All 10 of Walkers' offices are accredited as a STEP Employer Partner, a partnership that supports the professional development of its team members in the trusts and estates industry.

Walkers celebrating success of its first Business Summer School for Guernsey students

Walkers' inaugural Business Summer School has been hailed as a great success by the 35 sixth form students who attended – both in-person and online – and the firm is already planning to repeat the scheme next year and in Jersey.

In the week-long Business School which ran last week the law firm, currently celebrating its fifth anniversary in the Island, offered the students in Guernsey the chance to gain a real insight into the world of work in the law, wider financial services and corporate business or even as an entrepreneur. In addition there were lively interactive sessions including a mock Board meeting and a Moot before local judge Lieutenant Bailiff Hazel Marshall QC.

The programme had interesting and informative contributions from representatives of Investec, KPMG and Saffery Champness, as well as from London lawyers - partner Jeremy Kosky from Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance and Barrister James Fennemore from XXIV Old Buildings.

Jonathan Creasey gave insight into running one of Guernsey's biggest and most well-known retail businesses, and entrepreneur Mark Whitman from Bluedot Ventures described his life as a successful entrepreneur, all ably supported by members at all levels of Walkers' legal practice groups.

"Every day of the week was a new adventure. The Walkers Business Summer School gave us positive insights into the Guernsey business world," said attendees Katrina Guilbert and Daisy Livesey.

"It was eye-opening and informative – great in exploring the different paths from the experts themselves," said Charlie Edwards.

The head of Walkers' Guernsey Insolvency & Dispute Resolution team, Alison Ozanne, who led the programme had the support of Sarah Ash, Jamie Bookless, Helena Lavin, Jessica Robinson, Laurent Thibeault, Katherine Jensen, Kathryn Macken, Angela Proctor, Hannah Green, Scott Guilbert, Ben Queree and Valerie Weeks.

Alison said: "The feedback that we have had from the students who joined us for the week has been exceptional – we are delighted with how the event went, and more importantly, that the attendees felt that they got some real insight from the events and from the guest speakers.

"The feedback from the guest speakers has also been excellent, and reflects that the students were engaged, switched-on and had plenty of questions to ask.

"We are really pleased that the event has been successful, and we are looking forward to repeating it next year."

Walkers has ten partners in its Guernsey office leading teams specialising in Insolvency & Dispute Resolution, Investment Funds & Corporate, Insurance, Banking & Finance, Private Capital & Trusts and Employment.

Walkers expands Regulatory practice in Asia

Walkers is pleased to announce the addition of Counsel, Colm Dawson to its Regulatory and Risk Advisory practice in Asia. Colm will be based in Walkers' Hong Kong office, forming part of a three-person specialist team.

The expansion of the Asia-based Regulatory team is in response to growing regional client demand for specialist offshore regulatory expertise. Walkers is the only offshore law firm in Asia with a dedicated Regulatory practice, led by Partner Alice Molan, which forms part of a global network of regulatory and risk specialists. This unique offering provides Asia-based clients with time-zone friendly access to a team of specialist regulatory lawyers, who are able to advise on the navigation of, and compliance with, Cayman, BVI and Bermuda licensing, conduct and other regulatory requirements.

Colm has relocated from our Cayman Islands office where he was part of the Regulatory and Risk Advisory Group. He regularly acts for investment managers, international banks, fund service providers, virtual asset issuers and service providers and insurers, advising on a range of Cayman Islands regulatory matters and the interaction with global regulatory frameworks. Colm advises clients on all aspects of financial crime prevention (anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, counter-proliferation financing and financial sanctions) economic substance, data protection, corporate and regulatory governance and engaging with competent authorities.

Andy Randall, Managing Partner of Walkers Hong Kong states: "The key offshore financial centres of Cayman Islands, BVI and Bermuda continue to be an integral part of the Asian financial landscape. As regulations in these jurisdictions meet, and often set, the highest global standards, our clients can rely on our regulatory experts to bring insight and offer practical guidance in meeting their business goals."

Two New Group Partners in Walkers Channel Islands Offices

Real estate finance specialist Tristan Maultby and employment law specialist Sarah Ash have been promoted to Group Partner in Walkers' growing Channel Islands offices.

Tristan, who works in Walkers' market-leading Jersey Banking & Finance team and who advises borrowers and lenders on all aspects of real estate financing, including Islamic financing and enforcement matters, has practised in Jersey since 2013, having previously worked in the Banking team at Norton Rose Fulbright in London. Sarah, who leads the firm's top-tier Guernsey Employment Law Team, advises on all aspects of employment law, with a particular focus on discrimination law matters and employment law issues in regulated financial services businesses. Sarah has been in private practice since 2003.

Tristan and Sarah’s promotions mean that Walkers now has 22 partners across its Jersey and Guernsey offices, an increase which coincides with total lawyer headcount across the Channel Islands increasing by more than 70% in the last two years. The annual round of promotions have also seen Ruth Donnellan in the Jersey Investment Funds & Corporate Practice Group promoted to Senior Associate, Grace Pickering promoted to Head of Channel Islands Listings, and Victoria Tailby promoted to Senior Business Development Manager.

Fraser Hern, the Head of Walkers' Channel Islands business, said: "As our Channel Islands business grows in terms of size, reputation and market share we create more opportunities for talented and motivated people in our teams to step up and develop their careers. Since joining the firm, Tristan and Sarah have made a very significant impact on their respective practice areas, and on our business as a whole. I am delighted to see their ambition, skill and dedication deservedly recognised with Partnership promotions, and am excited about working with them as Partners in the future. I am also very pleased to see the talents of Ruth Donnellan, Grace Pickering and Vicky Tailby rightly recognised with their own promotions. They have each been instrumental in helping our business go from strength to strength, and have tremendous potential.”

Jonathan Heaney, the Managing Partner of Walkers' Jersey office, added: "Tristan, Ruth and Grace’s promotions reflect their dedication and skill, and the impact they have made in our growing finance, funds and corporate practice groups. Their promotions are well-earned, and I am very pleased to see each of them take on more of a leadership role within the group."

Matt Sanders, the managing partner of Walkers' Guernsey office, said: "I am delighted to welcome Sarah to the Partnership and to see her taking on a leadership role on our top-tier employment law practice group. The last 18 months have not been easy for anyone, and it has been a particularly busy time for employment law specialists – Sarah and the team have reacted brilliantly, and have been supporting our clients with excellent, timely advice across a very diverse range of issues. I am equally pleased to see Vicky Tailby’s talents, and the very significant contribution that she makes to our business, continue to be recognised."

Walkers The Only Offshore Finalist For STEP International Award in Large Firm Class

Walkers is the only offshore law firm to be listed as a finalist for the prestigious STEP International Legal Team of the Year award in the Large Firm Category.

The Walkers Private Capital & Trusts team – spread across the firm's BVI, Bermuda, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey and Hong Kong offices – is a finalist along with major international firms Baker & McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, McDermott Will & Emery and Stephenson Harwood.

The STEP Private Client Awards are the most prestigious awards for the private wealth industry, covering lawyers, accountants, bankers, family offices, trustees and financial advisers.

Entries to the awards are judged by an independent panel of experts from the wealth management sphere.

Partner Philip Paschalides, from Walkers' Cayman Private Capital and Trusts team, said: "Walkers is very honoured to have been shortlisted for this award alongside a number of distinguished onshore private client firms, which we see as a reflection of the changing character of practice offshore and the increasing importance of our jurisdictions for globally mobile clients seeking multi-generational solutions."

Partner Rupert Morris, from Walkers' Guernsey Private Capital & Trusts team, added: "We are delighted to have been named as finalists in our category, and even more pleased to be the only offshore law firm included in the shortlist of five international firms.

"The last 18 months have posed challenges for our industry, but it is pleasing to see that our collaborative, jurisdiction-agnostic approach across our international offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia has been recognised by the expert judging panel."

Partner Robert Dobbyn, from the firm's Jersey Private Capital & Trusts team, said: "The judging process for these awards is rigorous and we are delighted to be in such excellent company with the onshore firms on the shortlist, with whom we have a great working relationship and clients in common.

"To be one of the finalists from 297 submissions is an achievement in itself, and reflects well on the way that we work and the growth in our global practice over the last few years."