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 Aug 2019

Walkers Admits Two New Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Dajsha Samuels and Abigail Drummond have completed their legal training and have both been called to the Cayman Islands Bar.

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Crypto and Blockchain Fundraising – 2019 Market Update

Ever since the introduction of bitcoin more than a decade ago, we have seen the expansion of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, with over 2,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today and growing daily. In the race towards cryptocurrency and blockchain dominance, came the emergence of a fundraising method for crypto-founders to finance their companies, known as the initial coin offering (ICO). An ICO is a method whereby new projects sell their underlying crypto tokens/coins in exchange for fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies of immediate and liquid value such as bitcoin and/or ether.

 

Originally published by In-House Community.

 

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Lucy Frew's Fintech Column: July 2019

In this column, Lucy shares with our subscribers her views on the FCA’s proposals to ban the sale to retail clients of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of cryptoassets.

FCA ADOPTS PATERNALISTIC STANCE

The FCA has proposed a ban on the sale to retail clients of all derivatives (meaning contract for differences (CFDs), options and futures) and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing unregulated transferable cryptoassets in a recent consultation paper (CP19/22). The ban would include crypto derivatives that reference an index or benchmark price, as well as those using a single price.

 

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Guidance from the Grand Court: Payments on account of costs, damages and costs in anti-suit cases

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, per Kawaley J, has handed down an important decision in respect of the recovery of costs and damages pertaining to an anti-suit injunction, in the case of Riad Tawfiq Al Sadik v Investcorp Bank B.S.C & Ors. The judgment follows a protracted dispute in which Mr Al Sadik's claims were dismissed at every level up to and including the Privy Council. Whilst the final appeal was being determined by the Privy Council, proceedings based on the same subject matter were issued in Dubai, leading to a successful anti-suit application in the Grand Court.

Thereafter, Walkers successfully obtained an order for the costs of the anti-suit injunction on an indemnity basis, a payment on account of costs and an order for the assessment of damages resulting from the Dubai proceedings on an indemnity basis.

Kawaley J has provided welcome to guidance to practitioners of Cayman Islands law on these issues, as follows:

  1. Where a party has obtained an order restraining foreign proceedings on the basis that they are in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause, or are an abuse of process, the correct approach will normally be to award the successful party its costs on the indemnity basis.

  2. Damages measured by the costs of the improperly commenced foreign proceedings are appropriate as additional relief in respect of the breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause. Such damages may include the costs of instructing counsel in the foreign proceedings, as well as counsel in other jurisdictions who are involved in preparing for such foreign proceedings.

  3. In considering whether to order a payment on account of costs to be taxed in due course, the starting point under GCR Order 62 rule 4 (7) is an "implicit starting assumption" that a payment on account of costs should be made. The Court is empowered summarily to assess an appropriate partial costs payment by reference to a draft bill of costs or a breakdown of the costs incurred. In doing so, the Court will adopt a conservative approach in awarding the successful party an amount to be immediately paid which will allow for the balance of costs to be the subject of taxation.

The judgment in respect of points one and two above reinforces the decision of Parker J in Re BDO [2018 (1) CILR 187], and in respect of point three is the first detailed judicial guidance on the payment on account of costs rule since its introduction into the GCR in 2016.

Following Kawaley J's decision, there is much less scope for debate on these points. Litigants who expose themselves to an anti-suit injunction is respect of improperly commenced foreign proceedings, do so at their peril.

Guernsey: The Natural Home for Private Capital

The term ‘private capital’ can be used to refer to the nature of the investor, namely family offices, high-net-worth individuals, private banking clients and other non-institutional investors, and it can also refer to the nature of the investment, i.e. investment in private companies as opposed to publicly traded companies, although the term encompasses much more than just private equity these days.

 

This article, written by Guernsey partner Kate Storey, looks at trends in the global private capital industry, principally the coming together of private investors with private equity and other private asset investments that have traditionally been the mainstay of institutional investors, and how Guernsey is the natural home for the bespoke structuring required for private capital investments.

 

Originally published by HFM Global in the Guernsey 2019 Special Report.

 

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BVI Court provides welcome clarification on appointing receivers

Walkers successfully represented the appellant in a recent BVI appeal, in which the Court of Appeal overturned the decision to appoint a receiver over a BVI company.

The appeal arose out of a dispute between beneficiaries of the estate of a deceased Russian businessman and subsequent wide ranging litigation in Russia and Switzerland. The respondents had sought to have a receiver appointed over the assets of the appellant's BVI company, Grantway, in support of the Swiss proceedings and to prevent the appellant from enforcing a judgment against them in Russia.

In their written reasons, the Court of Appeal held that there was “no solid evidence showing a real risk of dissipation” and said the evidence did not reach the required threshold for the appointment of a receiver. Even if there were such a risk, the Court held that the respondents should have sought relief in Russia, where the parties and assets were located, or applied for a freezing injunction in the BVI.

The court noted Justice Bannister's 2010 refusal to appoint receivers in the Yukos case, on the basis that if claimants did not wish to approach the foreign court for relief, it seemed “illegitimate for them to obtain it by the back door by coming here and asking this court to enjoin the BVI subsidiaries”. The Court of Appeal voiced concern over the increase in applications in the BVI to appoint receivers, when the grant of less intrusive relief such as a freezing injunction would provide the defendant with sufficient protection.

The case is an important reminder that the appointment of a receiver is a draconian remedy which can only be made when it is truly just and convenient to do so, not simply as an attractive alternative to seeking a freezing injunction or interim relief in the foreign court where the substantive litigation is being fought.

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