Walkers Leads Offshore

This year Walkers received 10 Band 1 practice rankings in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide, more than any other offshore law firm.

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Walkers Acts on $1B Asia Deal

Walkers BVI and Cayman advised Didi Chuxing on its highly-publicised US$1 billion acquisition of 99 Taxis.

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GAIM Ops Cayman 2018

Walkers will once again be a headline sponsor of the 2018 GAIM Ops Cayman conference.

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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 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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Walkers Wins HFM Week Award

Walkers has been awarded the Best Offshore Law Firm Award for Client Service at the HFM Week US Hedge Fund Services Awards 2017.

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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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Powerwomen 200

Walkers in IFC Powerwomen Top 200

Six Walkers lawyers have been ranked in the 2017 edition of CityWealth's IFC Powerwomen Top 200.

 

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Cayman Islands Transport Law Review 2018

Partners Richard Munden and Nick Dunne and associate Edward Rhind, in collaboration with Law Business Research, have provided their insight for the Cayman Islands chapter of the Transport Finance Law Review 2018.

Despite having a small domestic transport market, the Cayman Islands has a high profile in international transport finance transactions, particularly for commercial aircraft and ships. The authors would conservatively estimate that each year in excess of US$4 billion dollars of new aircraft and ship deliveries are financed using Cayman Islands structures.

The Cayman Islands is a popular jurisdiction for structuring such deals for a number of reasons including: (1) offering the political and economic stability of a British overseas territory that has been a leading financial services jurisdiction for several decades; (2) a combined common law and statute-based legal system that reflects many principles of the laws of England and Wales with case law from the English courts being persuasive (although not binding) in the courts of the Cayman Islands; (3) the Cayman Islands currently has no income tax, corporate tax or capital gains tax and no withholding tax is imposed in the Cayman Islands on any cash flows; (4) the Cayman Islands boasts a substantial and sophisticated financial and legal services sector and many professionals in the sector have extensive experience from other leading financial centres; and (5) the Cayman Islands government works closely with the private sector to implement changes to practice and legislation to promote the competitiveness of the jurisdiction in respect of both established and new products. Most financing structures involve a Cayman Islands special purpose vehicle (SPV), typically a Cayman Islands exempted limited company, and this is discussed further below.

In addition to the use of Cayman Islands financing structures for transport assets situated or registered outside the islands, the Cayman Islands is often the preferred state of registry for ships (commercial and yachts) and private aircraft; the respective registers are maintained by government agencies (the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands) rather than private entities or private-public enterprises. Each registry has the reputation for being professional, responsive and flexible and providing effective oversight of compliance by registered assets and users with applicable rules and conventions. Major financial institutions and other lenders that participate in aircraft and ship finance for assets registered with these authorities benefit from regulatory oversight to support residual value and a registration system to determine priority of security interests. Other alternative sources of finance are also having an increasing role in the market.

 

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The bear, the bull and return on investment: PE’s climb to the top

What a difference a decade makes. It’s 10 years since the global financial crisis developed into a fully-fledged crash in 2008 with the collapse of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, liquidity freezes and bail-outs on a seismic scale, notably for AIG, Bank of America and Citigroup.

Ten years on and the global economy seems back on track with positive noises emanating from Wall Street, the City of London and other major financial hubs. While it is true that market volatility is slowly creeping back and that geo-political uncertainties have become the new zeitgeist, so far the markets have retained confidence in business. None more so than private equity.

Which raises two intriguing questions. How has private equity climbed back from the doldrums of 2008 to the high valuations and oversubscribed funds of 2018? And how has the industry managed to do this amid the introduction of a punishing post-crisis regulatory regime?

Many of the answers can be found in a small island in the Caribbean. The way the Cayman Islands has evolved in the postcrisis environment typifies how innovation and adaptability have become the bedrocks of private equity’s revival since the crash.

This article was originally published in Private Equity International.

 

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Walkers Receives 2 Deal of the Year Awards from Asia Business Law Journal

Walkers has received two Deal of the Year awards from Asia Business Law Journal, commending our work in connection with Aboitiz Power Corporation’s acquisition of coal-fired power plants in the Philippines, as well as China Hongqiao's Indonesia refinery development and financing.

Walkers' Singapore office represented Aboitiz Power Corporation in its US$1.2 billion acquisition of Blackstone/Sithe Global’s interests in GNPower Mariveles and GNPower Dinginin in the Philippines. Our Singapore team was led by James Twigg. Also, Walkers' Cayman office advised Blackstone in this transaction.

Further, Walkers represented the lenders in relation to China Hongqiao Group's development, construction and financing of an alumina refinery with a capacity of 1 million metric tonnes per year, including a captive thermal power plant and associated facilities in Indonesia.

The annual “Deals of the Year” awards select winning deals based upon the size, novelty and complexity of the transaction, as well as for any precedents that may have been established.

The Offshore Angle: An Expert's Perspective

In this edition of Vannin Capital’s In Conversation Series, London Managing Director, Rosemary Ioannou discusses the development of third party funding in offshore financial centres with John O’Driscoll, partner at Walkers in London.

Rosemary Ioannou (RI): Walkers London office performs a unique function as a firm in the UK. What is the focus of your practice in the UK?

John O’Driscoll (JO): A little bit about Walkers, we are a leading offshore firm with offices in ten jurisdictions including London. We practice the laws of BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey, Ireland and Bermuda (where we operate as Taylors in association with Walkers).

The London market is a very important market for the firm. Our office in London was established in 2001 to provide time zone sensitive advice to our European based clients requiring BVI and Cayman law advice. Since 2001 we have had corporate, finance and funds capability in London. About six years ago, we saw an opportunity to set up an insolvency and dispute resolution (“IDR”) team in London when I came on board. The team now stands at five and works closely with our home offices, particularly in BVI and Cayman, on litigation and insolvency-based matters. As you know, litigation matters can be long running and our clients welcome having their lawyers present in London. Being in London also makes it easy to work alongside leading counsel from chambers in the City and City law firms. When proceedings take place in BVI and Cayman we work with our teams there to ensure a seamless service for our clients. Our other European offices in Dublin, Jersey and Guernsey provide advices to our clients requiring local law expertise involving those jurisdictions.

RI: What types of cases are most frequently crossing your desk at the moment and from which jurisdictions?

JO: We are seeing enforcement actions and shareholder disputes in the oil & gas, mining and shipping space. For example, right now we are working on the insolvency of a global shipping group which has become contentious in Africa and many other jurisdictions where assets are being recovered. We are working with liquidators who have been appointed over mines in South America and Africa. Very often you will find that BVI or Cayman companies sit as holding companies in large international group structures. Appointing a liquidator at the top of the structure can become important to a stakeholder’s enforcement strategy. We often work with clients who require funding to help recover assets or to pursue misfeasance actions against directors or managers.

 

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Iain Tucker Joins Walkers (BVI) as Partner in the Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Group

Tortola – (March 2018)

International law firm Walkers is pleased to announce that Iain Tucker has joined the firm's British Virgin Islands office as a Partner in the global Insolvency & Dispute Resolution group.

Mr. Tucker brings 17 years' significant contentious commercial experience having previously worked on some of the highest profile disputes to come before the English courts whilst in the Dispute Resolution group at Hogan Lovells in London.

Mr. Tucker advises on contentious commercial work with a particular focus on international insolvency and fraud-related litigation. He brings extensive experience in complex, high value, cross-border disputes and proceedings. He regularly acts for clients based in the CIS, in particular Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Mr. Tucker is a solicitor-advocate and has represented clients as an advocate on a number of applications in the English Commercial Court and High Court, Chancery Division.

While at Hogan Lovells, Iain acted alongside Walkers for many years on the long-running Alfa Telecom v Cukurova litigation in the British Virgin Islands Commercial Court. He also acted on some of the most high profile disputes to come before the English courts, including acting for the Kazakh bank BTA on the ground-breaking multi-billion dollar dispute in multiple jurisdictions (including the BVI) against its former Chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, in proceedings thought to be the largest fraud claim ever to come before the English Commercial Court.

David Collins, Walkers' BVI Office Managing Partner stated "We are very pleased that Iain is joining our team. His expertise and experience will enhance our already strong, top tier Insolvency & Dispute Resolution practice and we are delighted to welcome Iain to Walkers."

Mr. Tucker stated "I’m delighted to be joining Walkers and look forward to working with expert colleagues across the global network. Walkers' excellent reputation, consistent top tier rankings and unparalleled client base provide an exceptional platform from which to provide best-in-class contentious commercial services."

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