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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Walkers Recommended in Latin Lawyer 250 2018

Walkers has once again been recommended in the Latin Lawyer 250 for Banking & Finance and Private Equity.

The guide states that: "Walkers is one of the main offshore firms operating in Latin America. The firm has been in the region for some time, building up relationships with prominent corporates and banks. The firm’s solid reputation ensures it is instructed by some of the more prominent international firms doing deals in Latin America."

Walkers also had six partners specifically recommended for their Latin American practices:

Tim Buckley, Partner, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands

James Burch, Partner, Finance & Corporate, Cayman Islands

Rob Jackson, Partner, Finance & Corporate, Cayman Islands

Andrew Miller, Partner, Wealth Structuring, Cayman Islands

Philip Paschalides, Partner, Finance & Corporate, Cayman Islands

Nicholas Pattman, Partner, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands

 

Click for LL250

CLO Update | Risk Retention & SFIG Vegas 2018

On 9 February 2018, shortly before CLO industry participants converged on Las Vegas for the industry's largest annual gathering, SFIG Vegas 2018, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in favour of the Loan Syndications & Trading Association ("LSTA") in its lawsuit against the SEC and the Federal Reserve Board. Years in the making, the LSTA's case hinged on whether a CLO manager could be said to be a 'securitizer' under the Dodd Frank risk retention rules. The court found that it was incorrect to say that the manager was a 'securitizer' because managers of open market CLOs were not transferring assets into the deal, but acquiring assets from 3rd party sellers on behalf of the CLO.

Whilst industry participants wait for definitive news on whether the government agencies intend to appeal the decision, conference attendees seemed to agree there was little appetite in the current administration, or among those key regulators appointed by the same, to appeal the decision. Whilst market participants do not expect a significant influx of new managers into the space, if the decision was to become effective, some predict a few managers with active 2.0 era CLOs, who have not yet issued a risk retention compliant deal, will likely re-enter the space (albeit with the likely handicap of wider spreads). It was also predicted that small and mid-size managers may increase activities once they are no longer capital constrained; those who have outperformed their peers in recent months may also experience an upgrade in tiering in such circumstances.

Investors cautioned they would continue to look for quality deals, and made the point that the securitisation market was doing well, despite risk retention. Some investors expressed concern that the LSTA ruling may mean managers are less incentivised to give investors a voice at the table in structuring discussions; managers who continue to implement a risk retention strategy will be favoured by investors.

It was said that, for many managers, risk retention compliance was a pain coming in, and will be a pain going out. With no legal tolerance for non-risk retention compliant deals during this period of uncertainty, managers will continue to issue compliant deals until there is more clarity around the court decision. As for the time and money spent implementing a retention strategy? Unwinding these strategies will require careful consideration - consensuses seemed to be that most managers will probably retain until the next refi/reset opportunity on existing deals. As such, market participants are expecting significant refi/reset activity in the months following any clarity on the ruling, with some predicting $140 million in such activity by year end, up from $90 million last year.

On the whole, regardless of where the appeal process goes, predictions for strong market fundamentals more generally appear set to drive continued growth in the CLO market in the coming months.

Walkers Acts on the Launch of Two Jersey Private Funds

Walkers acted as Jersey counsel to Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management UK Limited on the establishment and launch of two Jersey Private Funds.

With a presence in South Africa and the United Kingdom, Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management aims to create and preserve wealth on behalf of its clients, partners, managers and shareholders through investment in private equity, listed equity, property and credit.

Westbrooke Yield Plus Limited invests in a diversified portfolio of private debt instruments with a core focus on the United Kingdom, Europe, United States and will also invest in other developed economies.

Westbrooke Rhythm Limited invests into a diversified global portfolio of early-stage companies which demonstrate innovative and disruptive business models. The fund will primarily target equity investments in businesses which have the potential for exponential organic growth through digitization of incumbent models.

Speed of establishment together with appropriate and proportionate regulation for the level of sophistication of the investor base, was instrumental in choosing Jersey and in particular the Jersey Private Fund regime as the domicile of the fund vehicles.

The Walkers team was led by partner Jonathan Heaney who was assisted by senior counsel Christopher Reed.

Jonathan Heaney commented:

"Our appointment is another example of the growing international interest in Jersey domiciled fund vehicles and highlights the rising global demand for the Jersey Private Fund product in general - which greatly reduces time to market and facilitates the deployment of capital. The team at Walkers has had great pleasure in working with Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management in establishing and launching these new ventures and wish the funds every success."

Walkers Has Most Band 1 Practices in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide 2018 of any Offshore Law Firm

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

"We are delighted with these results which speak volumes to the quality of the mandates we work on globally and the long-term relationships we have built with our clients," commented Global Managing Partner Ingrid Pierce.

Walkers' Band 1 practices are:

Asia - Offshore
BVI - Insolvency & Dispute Resolution
Cayman - Corporate & Finance
Cayman - Insolvency & Dispute Resolution
Cayman - Investment Funds
Global - Offshore
Ireland - Banking & Finance: Asset Finance
Ireland - Capital Markets: Debt
London - Offshore (Cayman Islands)
United Arab Emirates - Offshore

Furthermore, Walkers had 60 individual lawyers ranked in the guide, the highest number in Walkers' history. These rankings span Walkers' leading position in markets including Cayman, Ireland, BVI, Bermuda*, London, Asia and the Middle East.

Walkers' received top rankings (Eminent Practitioner or Band 1) for 11 partners this year. Walkers' top ranked lawyers are listed below:

Ingrid Pierce, Eminent Practitioner, Investment Funds Cayman Islands

Global managing partner Ingrid Pierce is lauded as "a pre-eminent name in this area" with "a very strong reputation." She provides ongoing advice to many of the world's leading asset managers, banks and trust companies. She is further praised for her "commercial understanding and market knowledge" and acknowledged for her particular expertise regarding distressed funds.

Arwel Lewis, Band 1, Investment Funds, Hong Kong

Arwel Lewis is a highly prized corporate and investment funds practitioner who specialises in fund formation, frequently acting for private equity funds. He is lauded by numerous interviewees, who describe him as a "great lawyer" who "knows all the ins and outs of the market."

Colette Wilkins, Band 1, Insolvency & Dispute Resolution, Cayman Islands

Colette Wilkins has extensive experience and is described as being "up there with the best lawyers in Cayman." She specialises in contentious insolvency matters, as well as hedge fund disputes. A source declared: "Her reputation is phenomenal and she is a wonderful advocate who will always represent the client in the most diligent manner."

Daniel Wood, Band 1, Corporate, Finance & Investment Funds, Dubai

Clients value Daniel Wood's commerciality and responsiveness, and regard him as a very strong leader of the team. Sources observe: "He understands what clients want and is focused on delivering it, both in his own work and by inspiring his team to do the same." He is especially noted for his investment funds expertise.

Fraser Hern, Band 1, Insolvency & Dispute Resolution, Singapore

Fraser Hern heads the firm's insolvency and dispute resolution practice in Asia and comes highly recommended by clients, with one noting: "What stands out is his ability to translate the law into practical advice and his in-depth knowledge of some fairly challenging technical issues."

Jack Boldarin, Band 1, Finance & Corporate, London

London head of corporate and finance Jack Boldarin specialises in BVI law. He works on M&A, divestitures and finance, including restructurings. Sources say: "He is incredibly hard-working, bright and very client-focused."

John Rogers, Band 1, Finance & Corporate, Singapore

John Rogers is appreciated by interviewees for being "responsive, commercial and pragmatic" and has a broad practice which encompasses banking and finance, capital markets and corporate transactions.

Ken Rush, Band 1, Finance & Corporate, Ireland

Ken Rush has a well-established aviation finance practice. Clients view him as "one of the best Irish counsel for aviation" and "very user-friendly and technically good."

Neil Lupton, Band 1, Insolvency & Dispute Resolution, Cayman Islands

Neil Lupton regularly advises on major restructuring and insolvency matters. Sources praise him as "a top-level lawyer." A peer noted: "His forte is restructuring and he is very good at it. I have always rated him highly over the years." Another source added: "Commercially, he is incredibly switched-on."

Philip Paschalides, Band 1, Finance & Corporate, Cayman Islands

Philip Paschalides is described as "a lawyer who can handle the most complex and sizeable matters." He advises on the full range of structured products work, in addition to securitisations and debt securities issuances. One peer said: "He has wonderful judgement and knows everything there is to know about Cayman matters. He is very intelligent and very astute." Another insider remarked that "technically, he is one of the best ever."

Rolf Lindsay, Band 1, Investment Funds, Cayman Islands

Rolf Lindsay is described as "a luminary in the field and a go-to person if you need serious strategic advice on Cayman issues." He is recognised for his specialist expertise in relation to private equity funds, and also advises on the structuring of fund sponsor vehicles. A market insider explained: "He is a very, very bright man and has some very well-established relationships with big private equity firms."


*Walkers works in exclusive association with Taylors in Bermuda, a full service commercial law firm providing advice on all aspects of Bermuda law.

Walkers (Hong Kong) Acts on iQiyi's and Bilibili's Nasdaq IPO

Leading offshore law firm Walkers is pleased to announce that we acted as Cayman Islands counsel on two recent US IPOs.


Bilibili
Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Bilibili Inc. on its $483 million listing on Nasdaq.

Bilibili Inc. is the largest Chinese online anime streaming platform in China.

The deal was led by Hong Kong Partner Yin Xu, who was supported by Jo Lit and Winnie Xu.

Other legal advisers on the transaction included Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Latham & Watkins and White & Case.


iQiyi
Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to iQiyi on its US$2.25 billion listing on Nasdaq. The deal is the largest U.S. IPO from Asia so far in 2018 and one of the biggest in the U.S. overall for the same period.

iQiyi is the largest internet video streaming service provider in China, with 60.1 million subscribers at the end of February 2018.

The deal was led by Hong Kong Partner Amelia Hall and Senior Associate William Lee.

Other legal advisers on the transaction included Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Davis Polk & Wardwell.

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