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 to ensure 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."


 


BERMUDA
Nicholas HowardSenior CounselT +1 441 242 1550nicholas.howard@walkersglobal.com
Lauren Thorburn AssociateT +1 441 242 1561 lauren.thorburn@walkersglobal.com

CAYMAN ISLANDS
Otelia ScottDirectorT +1 345 814 7685otelia.scott@walkersglobal.com

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