Walkers Named Best BVI Law Firm 2021 by WWL

Walkers is pleased to announce that its BVI office was recently named the Best BVI Law Firm 2021 at the annual Who's Who Legal Awards.

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Walkers Scoops WWL Asset Recovery and Restructuring & Insolvency Awards

Walkers is pleased to announce that its Global Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group has won two awards at the recent 2021 Who's Who Legal Awards.

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Colette Wilkins QC to Head Walkers Asia Litigation Practice

Walkers is pleased to announce that Cayman Islands partner, Colette Wilkins QC, will be relocating to the firm's Hong Kong office to lead its Asia litigation practice from January 2022.

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Walkers Launches Online AML Training Solution in Bermuda

Walkers Professional Services has announced that it has launched an innovative e-Learning Anti-Money Laundering Training platform in Bermuda.

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See upcoming virtual events and webinars.

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Walkers is a leading international law firm. We advise on the laws of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey.
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Diverse & Inclusive

At Walkers we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can feel comfortable, happy and confident in an inclusive environment.

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Ireland Update: Central Bank of Ireland Proposes Amendments to Certain Pre-Approval Controlled Functions

On 22 September 2021, the Central Bank of Ireland published a Notice of Intention regarding proposed amendments to certain Pre-Approval Control Functions under its Fitness and Probity regime. These proposed amendments will impact a broad range of Irish regulated financial services providers.

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Bermuda | Three Day Registration for Special Purpose Insurers Issuing Bonds

Bermuda has always provided an efficient process for insurance submissions of all classes, with applications being approved in under two weeks. On 20 August 2021, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the "BMA" or the "Authority") issued a notice announcing that enhancements have been made to allow further streamlining of the registration process for Restricted Special Purpose Insurers ("R-SPI"). Now, the licensing and registration processes of R-SPI registrants whose business model is to issue bonds (e.g. catastrophe bonds and mortgage bonds) will be consolidated and registrants can be fully registered by the BMA within three business days.

Previously, the same process applied to R-SPI as any other class with in-principle approval available within five business days, provided an application is submitted by 5pm on a Monday in any working week. Now an R-SPI application can be initiated electronically on any business day before 5pm, reducing that five day process to three. This new streamlined three business-day initiative is focused on meeting the needs of the continually evolving and expanding Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market in Bermuda, further solidifying Bermuda as a global ILS market leader. As a result of the hardened market and the continued increase in the availability of capital this is a significant regulatory enhancement removing even more friction from the process and facilitating the swift introduction of ILS transactions to market, as demanded by investors. The change places Bermuda further ahead of other competing jurisdictions as a result of the speed at which the BMA can now register new catastrophe bond vehicles.

This amendment to the registration process is yet another example of the BMA adapting to market demands, to ensure Bermuda remains a market leader in the (re)insurance industry. The BMA is a well-respected financial markets regulator, a reputation which extends beyond Bermuda, and has been earned in part through the BMA's ability to innovate and collaborate with market participants.

Walkers (Bermuda) Limited, along with its corporate services provider, Walkers Corporate (Bermuda) Limited, is experienced and well-equipped to assist clients with the filing of R-SPI applications, and applications for any other SPI, collateralized insurer, intermediary or innovative license class.

Ireland Update: Examining Recent Changes Impacting Approved Housing Bodies

Section 8 of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 (the "Act") provided for the establishment of an Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (the "Regulatory Authority") tasked with monitoring and overseeing the corporate governance and financial management of all voluntary and co-operative housing bodies when performing their functions, under the Act. This Regulatory Authority was formally established on 1 February 2021 by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD. The establishment of a regulatory framework in this sector represents a significant change in terms of the oversight that will now come into play for the 500 or so registered approved housing bodies ("AHB") in Ireland.

To read our advisory, which gives background information on AHBs, an overview of functions performed by the Regulatory Authority, changing rules and next steps for AHBs, click here: 

 

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Ireland Update: Bulk House Purchases Stamp Duty Measure Enacted With Housing Authority Leaseback Refund Provision

The Finance (COVID 19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 was enacted on 19 July 2021 giving statutory effect to the 19 May 2021 Financial Resolution which imposed a new stamp duty rate of 10% on the acquisition of certain types of residential units by investors. Introduced as a new Section 31E of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999, the provision was one of a series of measures introduced by the Irish government to dis-incentivise the bulk buying of residential houses and duplexes in favour of improving the availability for purchase for owner occupiers and the social housing sector.

 

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Cayman Islands Private Funds: Reminder of the CIMA Requirement to file a Fund Annual Return Form

Further to our advisory dated May 2021, any Cayman Islands entity that is registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) as a private fund is required to file a Fund Annual Return (“FAR”) form each year with CIMA. The FAR form will usually be filed within six months of a private fund’s financial year end. However for private funds with a 31 December 2020 financial year end, there has been an extension to the filing deadline until 30 September 2021.

The filing deadline is now fast approaching, and it is imperative that all private funds are taking steps to prepare and submit the FAR form.

How can Walkers Professional Services (“WPS”) assist?

Preparing the FAR forms can be time consuming and administratively burdensome. WPS has a dedicated team who can assist with the preparation and submission of the FAR form, together with payment of the FAR filing fee.

If you are interested in our FAR form service for your private fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or speak with any of the below contacts.

Click to download advisory

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