10 Walkers' Lawyers Recognised in Asia Business Law Journal's Top 50 Offshore Lawyers 2022

10 lawyers across Walkers' Bermuda, Cayman, Hong Kong and Singapore offices have been recognised in the Asia Business Law Journal’s A-List of top offshore lawyers.

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Walkers Celebrates Record 72 Lawyer Rankings in Chambers Global Guide 2022

Walkers is celebrating a record year as 72 of its lawyers have been included in the guide, representing an 18% uplift from the 2021 guide.

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Walkers Launches Online AML Training Solution in Bermuda

Walkers Professional Services has announced that it has launched an innovative e-Learning Anti-Money Laundering Training platform in Bermuda.

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Walkers Maintains Tier 1 Ranking in The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) 2022 edition

Walkers Dubai has reinforced its preeminent position as the go-to offshore law firm in the region with a top tier status in Legal 500's EMEA 2022 edition.
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Cayman Update: Return of Mistaken Payments held on Constructive Trust

On 26 April 2022, Chief Justice Smellie QC in Re Premier Assurance Group SPC Ltd. (in Official Liquidation) sanctioned a decision by the joint official liquidators ("JOLs") of Premier Assurance Group SPC Ltd (in Official Liquidation) (the "Company") to return (or procure the return of) certain payments held by or on behalf of the Company referable to one of its segregated portfolios, Premier Assurance Segregated Portfolio ("PASP"), to the respective payors on the basis that such sums were paid by mistake. The Court held that such payments received after the presentation of the winding up petition against the Company on 26 October 2020 (the "Winding Up Petition") are held by the Company (referable to PASP) as constructive trustee from the moment that such funds were received.

In summary, the JOLs sought Court sanction to return (or procure the return of) over 6,000 premium payments held by or on behalf of the Company referable to PASP, which had been received from participants who hold or have held insurance policies referable to PASP (the "Participants"). Such payments (which were referred to collectively as the "Mistaken Payments") were made after the deemed commencement date of the winding up of the Company on 26 October 2020 and generally represented direct debits which had not been cancelled by the Participants.

 

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Jersey Funds Law Series – ESG Funds and Sustainable Investments

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (the “JFSC”) has recently introduced new disclosure requirements in respect of funds which are marketed on the basis of making investments which contribute to either an environmental or social objective (“Sustainable Investments”) (“ESG Funds”), to address the risk of Sustainable Investments being mislabelled. This was in response to growing international concern about firms marketing investments that appear more environmentally and socially focussed than they really are, and changes to international regulation.

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Jersey Funds

When a Jersey ESG Fund (i.e. a Jersey Private Fund or a Collective Investment Fund) is marketed on the basis of investing in a Sustainable

Investment as part of its investment objective, it must disclose (via website, or pre-contractual document, private placement memorandum, offer document, or documents in which the terms of investing in the fund are contained such as a subscription agreement) all material information in relation to the sustainable investment strategy and objectives; including but not limited to:

  • alignment with any specific taxonomy, or where there is no alignment to a specific taxonomy a statement to that effect;
  • the proportion of investments that are sustainable;
  • the basis on which due diligence, benchmarking, and performance measurement and reporting, are likely to be conducted; and
  • any limitations to methodologies and data.
Funds Services Businesses

Similarly, when a funds services business (i.e. a Jersey fund service provider regulated for the conduct of fund services business under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998, the “FS Law”) (a “Registered Person”) provides services in relation to an ESG Fund, the Registered Person is under an obligation to disclose the same material information in respect of such an ESG Fund, but only if:

  • the Registered person cannot evidence that the ESG Fund has complied with the equivalent requirement in the Code of Practice for Certified Funds; and
  • the Registered person is the governing body of the ESG Fund (e.g. self-managed fund, general partner or trustee) or otherwise accepts responsibility for the website, pre-contractual document, prospectus, or documents in which the terms of investing in the ESG Fund are contained such as a subscription agreement.
Where a Registered person is not subject to the disclosure requirements set out above, the Registered Person must still notify the JFSC, in writing, within five business days of the Registered person becoming aware of the ESG Fund not disclosing such material information in relation to the sustainable investment strategy and objectives of the ESG Fund.

Investment Business

Persons registered to carry on Investment Business under the FS Law that provide investment advice on ESG Funds must either inform and make available to the client, the appropriate disclosure information in relation to the sustainable investment strategy and objectives of the ESG Fund, or inform the client if no such disclosure information is available.

Updates to JFSC’s JPF Guide and Codes of Practice

Following feedback to the JFSC’s sustainable investments consultation, each of the below have been amended to set out the relevant disclosure requirements in respect of ESG Funds:

  • Certified Funds Code of Practice;
  • Fund Services Business Code of Practice;
  • Investment Business Code of Practice; and
  • Jersey Private Fund Guide.
Effective Dates

For Jersey Private Funds, Collective Investment Funds and Funds Services Business, the effective date for new funds created on or after 15 July 2021 is 15 July 2021, and for funds which existed prior to 15 July 2021 the effective date of 17 January 2022 applies. For Investment Business, the effective date for new funds is January 2022.

Walkers’ Jersey funds team has advised on the launch of a number of ESG Funds and was actively involved in the consultation and drafting stages of the new ESG rules summarised in this briefing. Please contact your usual Walkers contact if you wish to find out more.

Offshore Perspectives - Year of the Tiger Trends 2022

The continuing impact of Covid-19 is clearly among the big talking points for 2022, with several questions arising: will new variants emerge, what steps will governments take to prevent subsequent outbreaks, and what impact will it have on industries? Also, there are other macro-economic issues to consider, including the elections in Brazil and France, and economic rumblings in China.

Looking towards the year ahead, from our position as primarily offshore lawyers, we have identified some specific trends on the horizon for the benefit of all our clients – onshore counsel, banks, asset managers, trustees, corporates, insolvency practitioners and individuals.

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Bermuda – An Ideal Location for International Business

This briefing explains Bermuda’s adoption of rigorous international tax and regulatory standards, which, in conjunction with local laws, make Bermuda an ideal location for investment funds and other investment and finance vehicles. Bermuda is a leading global finance centre with top-tier financial services professionals. International companies select Bermuda as their jurisdiction of choice for its political and financial stability that facilitates investment in a tax-neutral environment whilst maintaining best-in-class regulatory standards.

 

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Ireland Update: Time to Act – Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill 2022 Published

In Ireland, the much-anticipated Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill 2022 has finally been published which has important implications for relevant employers. The Bill brings changes including the enhancement of obligations to reporting persons and increased protection from penalisation.

Read our advisory, which covers an overview of the Bill and the key takeaways for employers including which employers will be in scope, the timing and next steps.

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