Walkers Launches Compliance Services Offering

Walkers Compliance complements Walkers' legal, corporate and fiduciary services to deliver a one-stop-shop for clients looking to use the Cayman Islands jurisdiction for their business needs.

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Brexit

Following the result in the United Kingdom's EU referendum, Walkers has created a Brexit page dedicated to providing our clients relevant information about the jurisdictions in which we practise.

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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.
GlobalMap Oct2018
Admissions April2019

Walkers Announces Admissions of 50th and 51st Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Articled Clerks Gemma Cowan and Sophie Dibb have completed their legal training, both being called to the Cayman Islands Bar. 

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Employee information and data protection - deadline approaching (Guernsey)

While most of Guernsey's new data protection law took effect last year, there were a few parts that that had a grace period until 25 May 2019. Vicky Pratt, of Walkers Employment team, sets out below the last headline points that HR professionals should keep in mind to make sure that the business stays on the right side of the data protection law.

  1. By 25 May 2019 make sure privacy notices have gone to all staff, not just new joiners.
  2. From 25 May 2019 nearly all consents given by employees under the old law will fall away and cannot be relied on. Instead the business must be able to point another ground that allows it to process employees' data (this should not be hard).
  3. By 25 May 2019 the employer must have completed data protection impact assessments for its use of employees' special category data and any other data protection impact assessments that are required because of the way the employer collects and/or uses staff data.
  4. If the employer is a joint-controller with another entity (possibly a group company) then by 25 May 2019 the joint controllers' respective obligations must be decided and recorded and the necessary notifications must have been sent to all staff.
  5. By 25 May 2019, make sure contracts with all processors are in place and those agreements include the statutory requirements.


For fuller information about staff data and the end of the data protection transitional period in Guernsey please click here.

Ireland Update - Government Publishes Strategy for International Financial Services

On 26 April 2019, the Irish Government published a report on its strategy for the development and advancement of the international financial services (“IFS”) industry in Ireland up to 2025 (the “Report”).

The Report, entitled “Ireland for Finance”, highlights the benefits of doing business in Ireland and Ireland’s achievement in building a successful IFS industry to date. The Report also sets out the ways in which the Irish Government plans to position the financial services industry to take advantage of the potential for the industry to develop the Irish economy and to provide sustainableemployment into the future. Enhancing the global reputation of the IFS industry in Ireland also features as a principal objective.

 

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Beneficial Ownership of Corporates - Establishment of Central Register

Executive Summary
The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 110 of 2019) (the “2019 Regulations”) have substantially come into force as of 22 March 2019. Part 3 of the 2019 Regulations (“Part 3”), which relates to the establishment and operation of a central register of beneficial ownership of corporate entities (the “Central Register”), will enter into force on 22 June 2019.

An Irish incorporated company or other legal entity (a “Relevant Entity”), incorporated prior to the entry into force of Part 3, will be required to submit relevant information to the Central Register within five months of the introduction of the 2019 Regulations (i.e. by 22 November 2019). A Relevant Entity incorporated after 22 June 2019 shall commence providing information to the Central Register within five months of its incorporation.

The 2019 Regulations transpose the provisions of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (the “4MLD”) (as amended by the Fifth Anti- Money Laundering Directive (the “5MLD”)) and repeal the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016 (the “2016 Regulations”).

The introduction of the 2019 Regulations, which expand on the legal framework introduced by the 2016 Regulations (see our previous briefings relating to the 2016 Regulations here and here), are part of a suite of EU and global initiatives that have been introduced in order to improve corporate transparency.

In addition to the 2019 Regulations, regulations imposing a requirement on trusts to maintain a register of beneficial ownership have recently come into force in Ireland, as part of the transposition of 4MLD. A central register of beneficial ownership of trusts, once introduced, will be maintained by the Revenue Commissioners (for further detail please see our separate briefing). Our understanding is that separate regulations will be published providing for the establishment of a register of beneficial ownership of ICAVs, which will be maintained by the Central Bank of Ireland.

 

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Mistake in Jersey trust law - sometimes ignorance is bliss

In giving its reasons for setting aside transfers into a Jersey trust on grounds of mistake, the Royal Court of Jersey has provided a helpful distinction between the law of mistake as it is applies in Jersey as against its English law counterpart such that it is now expressly clear that in Jersey, relief can be granted for a mistake made out of mere “causative ignorance”. The Court also confirmed that it has a real discretion when deciding whether or not it is just to make a declaration that a transaction be set aside on grounds of mistake.

Background to the Application
In the Matter of the G Trust [2019] JRC 056 concerned a Jersey law discretionary trust which had been established by the Representors for the benefit of themselves, their three adult children and their four grandchildren with provision for future issue. Over the years, various transfers were made into trust; however, between November 2008 and January 2014 the Representors made four transfers to two BVI companies solely owned by the trustee, from two different UK bank accounts (maintained by a banking arm of the trustee entity) which was held in the Representors’ joint names (the Transfers). The evidence before the Court was that the Representors did not contemplate that the Transfers would expose them to a UK tax liability; neither of the Representors were British citizens, nor were they resident, ordinarily resident or domiciled in the UK. Further, neither the Trustee nor the bank had given them any warning as to the potential tax consequences of the Transfers. Indeed, the evidence was clear that had the Representors been aware of the tax exposure, expert advice would have been sought and the Transfers structured so that monies came from non-UK accounts. Accordingly, the Representors applied to the Royal Court, seeking orders that the Transfers were made by mistake and should be set aside. HMRC was notified of the application and the Attorney General was convened; however, neither participated.

 

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Saunders v Vautier in the Channel Islands - Guidance from Guernsey

Can the beneficiaries of a discretionary trust require the trustees to terminate the trust and distribute the trust property, in circumstances where a power to add further beneficiaries exists? In Rusnano Capital AG (in liquidation) v Molard International (PTC) Limited and Pullborough International Corp [2019] GRC 011 (the “Judgment”) the Guernsey Royal Court has held that in Guernsey they can. In doing so, the court also provided a welcome clarification of the relationship between section 53 of the Trusts (Guernsey) Law, 2007 (the “Trusts Law”) and the so-called ‘rule’ in Saunders v Vautier.

 

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