Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Walkers continues to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its people, its clients and its business.

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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 Oct2019
RacialEquality

Statement on Racial Equality

We at Walkers strongly condemn racism, systemic bias and discrimination. We are horrified by the tragic killings of black men and women, and acknowledge that these events are painful for many. We stand with the black community and all others who are victims of racial injustice.

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Relying on Digital ID for AML/CFT Purposes in Jersey and Guernsey

The financial services regulators in both Guernsey and Jersey have for several years officially recognised that regulated firms may, subject to appropriate safeguards, use electronic or digital means to meet their AML/CFT obligations to identify and verify the identities of their customers. This is in line with the position taken by the FATF – the intergovernmental body whose Recommendations are the accepted international standard on AML/CFT – and followed by many other regulators around the world.

In our experience, regulated firms in the Channel Islands have in large part continued to rely on traditional, paper-based means of verifying identity – but in the last few months, lockdowns imposed around the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have made it highly impractical or impossible to verify customers’ identities by such means, which has brought digital systems for identification and verification of identity into focus, and may well accelerate the transition from paper based to digital systems as the default means of verifying identity.

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Guernsey Adopts New Statutory Regime For Migration of Limited Partnerships

Limited partnerships which are registered overseas may now migrate into Guernsey under the Limited Partnerships (Guernsey) (Migration) Regulations, 2020, which came into force on 30 July 2020.

The LP Migration Regulations mirror the migration procedures already in force for companies under the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008, which allow companies to migrate into and out of the jurisdiction. The LP Migration Regulations are a further step to simplify the procedure for moving existing overseas funds into Guernsey, following the introduction by the GFSC of a fast track application regime for the migration of fund managers in June 2020.

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Ireland | Reducing the Risks of Dismissal during Probation

The recent High Court decision in O’Donovan v Over-C Technology Ltd & Anor [2020] demonstrates that terminating an employee’s employment before the employee has accrued twelve months’ continuous service can still create significant risks for an employer.

Employers generally seek to conclude an employee’s probationary period (and any extension) before the employee has accrued twelve months’ continuous service. This is because, in most cases, an employee is prevented from bringing a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2015 unless they have accrued twelve months’ continuous service with their employer. However, there are a number of claims that an employee may take challenging their dismissal from commencement of employment, which are discussed below.

 

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Jersey Foundations - New Reporting Requirements

A significant change to the Foundations (Jersey) Law 2009 is expected to take effect on 1 December, requiring qualified members to file an abridged version of the foundation's regulations with the JFSC. Only certain details relating to the operation of the council and guardian are reportable and the new requirements expressly exclude any information that would allow any person to be identified. Details of a transitional period will be announced soon, but qualified members should consider taking advice on the new obligations in the meantime.

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Ireland | PD3 – Practical Insights

Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the “New Prospectus Regulation” or “PD3”) has been in effect since 21 July 2019 and the purpose of this advisory is to provide some practical insights on the application of PD3 to date to issuers of debt securities and to share our experience of some of the issues which have arisen and how such issues may be resolved.

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