Walkers Offshore Academy

Walkers will be hosting its first Walkers Offshore Academies on 25 October in Beijing and 27 October in Shanghai.

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Following the recent 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 practice.

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Walkers Asset Recovery

Fifteen Walkers lawyers were recognised in the 2017 Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery guide. This is more than any other global law firm worldwide.

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BVI Office Update

The financial services industry has successfully implemented business recovery plans

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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.

Ireland Trainee Solicitor Programme

Walkers is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2018/19 Ireland Trainee Solicitor Programme.


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CLO-sing time: the rise of Cayman CLO funds

Whilst fundraising activity is strong for Cayman funds with strategies focussed on sectors as varied as buyouts, distressed debt and real estate, this note looks in particular at funds seeking to offer investors exposure to CLOs. A CLO (collateralised loan obligation) is a tranched securitization backed by a diverse pool of corporate floating rate debt. The underlying assets are actively managed by portfolio managers who make decisions on behalf of the CLO entity, typically a bankruptcy remote Cayman Islands special purpose vehicle.

There have been historically low default rates in CLOs, even during the crisis which saw deals still perform credibly despite the turmoil and demonstrate the robustness of certain structural features seeking to protect investors by mitigating default risk, including limited recourse, bankruptcy remoteness and over-collateralisation. Recently, certain regulatory developments on both sides of the Atlantic have created opportunities for new market participants to create a credible investment narrative culminating in double digit performance targets. The main opportunity has come in the form of risk retention with the structures being established to satisfy the "skin in the game" requirements being placed upon asset managers, offering investment opportunities to investors with longer term investment profiles and a desire for diversification.

Objectively viewed, CLOs represent an attractive asset class and, consequently, have attracted some of the largest global managers, whose credit teams have brought to market funds offering exposure to a range of CLO investments. These funds are accompanied by private placement memoranda which work to demystify some of the more obscure terminology and allow investors to gain exposure to actively managed pools of CLOs through investment products and structures with which they are familiar. 2017 has been the year for debut managers in the CLO space. Despite the initial fears surrounding the impact of risk retention on the space, we are not only seeing previously inactive managers re-emerge but new players entering the market. These new entrants range from insurance companies to hedge funds who are bringing fresh strategies and impetus to the product.

The fund formation and structured finance teams at Walkers work closely together through the entire lifecycle of a CLO fund, from marketing and capital raising through to launch of the CLO itself. Walkers together with Walkers Fiduciary can offer the "one stop shop" service demanded by the market which includes formation of the CLO vehicles (including warehouse entities, LLC investment vehicles as well as the issuer itself), the provision of share trustee and directors services and ancillaries such as FATCA advisory work.

Double win for Walkers (Dubai) at Airline Economics Aviation Awards 2017

Walkers advised on two MEA deals recognised at the recent Airline Economics Growth Frontiers - Aviation 100 Awards (MEA) held in Dubai. The awards celebrate excellence in the Middle Eastern and African aviation industry.

Walkers acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel on the "Middle East & Africa Lease Deal of the Year" which was awarded to Veling in connection with the sale-leaseback of one A380 to Emirates. Walkers Fiduciary Limited provided directorship / share trustee services to the Cayman SPVs.

International Airfinance Corporation (IAFC) took home the award for "Middle East & Africa Islamic Structured Finance Deal of the Year" in connection with its lease of 50 Airbus aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines. Walkers acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to IAFC, again working alongside Walkers Fiduciary Limited which provided directorship / share trustee services to the Cayman SPVs.

Ciaran Bohnacker, partner in Walkers' Dubai office noted: "2017 has been, and continues to be, another busy year for Walkers' aircraft finance team in Dubai. We are delighted that we have been instructed on a number of high profile transactions. Many congratulations to our clients Veling Limited and IAFC for winning the awards."

Walkers provides fully-integrated Cayman Islands legal and fiduciary services to our international client base, effectively offering a “one stop shop” for our clients and a wide range of options for structuring financial services transactions.

2017 - A Good Year for Debut CLO Managers

2017 has been the year for debut managers in the CLO space. Despite the initial fears surrounding the impact of risk retention, we are not only seeing previously inactive managers re-emerge but new players entering the market. These new entrants range from insurance companies to hedge funds who are bringing fresh strategies and impetus to the product. We were delighted to bring King Street Capital Management's Rockford Tower platform to market earlier this year and then to have Rockford Tower 2017-2 price so well just four months after their debut deal.

There is one debutant in particular who has been turning heads this year with CBAM entering the market in June then pricing two US$1 billion+ deals within 53 days of each other. As if more evidence was needed as to how important a player CBAM was going to be, CBAM 2017-3 priced on Friday 8 September being worth over US$1.3 billion meaning CBAM has priced deals with a value of over US$4billion within a little more than three months - many congratulations to the CBAM team!

All signs continue to point to a bumper year for our CLO managers and we expect that 2017 will welcome a few more debutants before year end.

Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey Provide UK CLO Market with Opportunities

As CLO managers weigh up their retention options, Irish, Jersey and Guernsey domiciled 'originator' style retention vehicles have been gaining popularly with UK CLO managers considering their Brexit strategy where the 'sponsor' route is no longer available. Whilst Irish based CLO managers continue to have the option to proceed via the 'sponsor' route, there are other ways through which Walkers can aid your strategy.

The combination of a Jersey or Guernsey investment fund financing an Irish originator retention vehicle is proving popular for managers establishing risk retention financing platforms. This provides access to Ireland's extensive double tax treaty network for originator vehicles and gives managers scope in terms of capital raising with Jersey and Guernsey being tried and test jurisdictions for IPOs.

Walkers, being the only law firm with offices in Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey, is pleased to be in the unique position to offer Irish, Jersey and Guernsey advice to CLO market participants considering their Brexit strategy.

Partner Ariane West Features in Influential Women of Bermuda 2017

Profiling the leading senior female executives of Bermuda, Taylors partner Ariane West has been included in Bermuda:Re+ILS Influential Women of Bermuda 2017.

"Bermuda is known for its amazing ability to constantly push at the boundaries of innovation. As new risk transfer methods have emerged and evolved over the years, so Bermuda and its executives have always ensured it is at the centre of things..."

Oginally published by Newton Media

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