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 Oct2019
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Walkers Announces 2019 Promotions

Walkers is pleased to announce that 18 attorneys across its global offices have been invited to join the partnership. In addition, 13 associates have been promoted to senior counsel.

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Walkers Contributes 4 Chapters to ICLG's Private Client Guide 2020

Walkers has provided four chapters to ICLG's Private Client Guide 2020. The guides provide expert legal commentary on key issues and covers the important developments in the most significant jurisdictions. The guide covers common issues in private client laws – including pre-entry tax planning, connection factors, taxation issues on inward investment, succession planning, trusts and foundations, immigration issues and tax treaties.

 

BVI

Cayman Islands

Guernsey

Jersey

Ireland - EBA Guidelines on Outsourcing

Ireland Update: Outsourcing – in-scope firms have been busy identifying any changes required to their outsourcing frameworks and services agreements following the entry into force of the European Banking Authority Guidelines on outsourcing arrangements in September 2019. As part of the review, considering domestic rules and key areas of priority for the Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) is also important. This advisory from our Regulatory team sets out some key focus areas for firms as part of their review, as well as recent messages from the Central Bank in this area.

 

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Burning Questions – Grand Court considers the effectiveness of "Firewall Legislation"

In an unreported judgment of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the "Grand Court") In the Matter of HSBC International Trustee Limited v Tan Poh Lee (7 November 2019), Justice Kawaley provides helpful clarification of the manner in which the Cayman Islands "firewall" legislation will operate. This decision affirms the exclusive application of Cayman Islands law to questions concerning the administration of Cayman Islands trusts.

The purpose of the Cayman Islands "firewall" legislation is, in essence, to insulate trusts governed by Cayman Islands law from challenges under foreign laws or judgments on the basis of forced heirship or a personal relationship with the settlor or any beneficiaries of the trust. Firewall provisions are a common and important feature of the trusts laws of many offshore jurisdictions.

This Cayman application arose because of proceedings issued in Singapore by one of the adult beneficiaries of the Tan Kim Choo Family Scholarship Trust (the "Trust") seeking an order that the Trust be terminated. The Trust deed contained provisions naming the law of the Cayman Islands as the proper law of the Trust and the initial forum for the administration of the Trust. HSBC International Trustee Limited (the "Trustee") made an application to the Grand Court seeking, among other declarations, urgent Beddoe relief.

Kawaley J granted the Beddoe relief and approved the majority of the declarations sought. In summary:

  1. The Grand Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine all questions raised by the Trustee as the Trust is governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands in light of the operation of section 90 of the Trusts Law (2018 Revision) (the "Trusts Law") and the terms of the Trust Deed. Section 90 determines that all questions in relation to a Cayman Islands trust are to be governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands without reference to those of any other jurisdiction.
  2. In accordance with the Trusts Law and Cayman Islands public policy relating to Cayman Islands trusts, an order of a foreign court in respect of the administration of the Trust which does not result from the application of Cayman Islands law will not be enforced or recognised in the Cayman Islands.
  3. Kawaley J was reluctant to declare that an order of the Singapore Court applying Cayman Islands law"…will not be enforced, recognised or give rise to any estoppel in the Cayman Islands." Instead he elected to substitute the word 'will' with 'may', as he found that it was not clear that the legal position operated so as to prevent the Singapore Court under any circumstances, even when applying Cayman Islands law, from determining those questions.
  4. The Grand Court is able to act as an auxiliary court in circumstances where a foreign court will not give up jurisdiction in a matter involving a Cayman Islands trust.

This judgment confirms the effectiveness of the Cayman Islands firewall provisions in circumstances where a foreign court has made an order in respect of a Cayman Islands law governed trust without any application of Cayman Islands law.

Getting the Deal Through | Asset Recovery | Ireland 2020

Walkers (Ireland) partner Gavin Smith and of counsel William Greensmyth have provided their jurisdictional knowledge on asset recovery to Getting the Deal Through: Ireland.

Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. Getting the Deal Through: Asset Recovery 2020, (published in October 2019; contributing editors: William Christopher, Fiona Simpson, Mary Young, Alun Milford and Melinka Berridge, Kingsley Napley LLP)

 

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Lucy Frew's Fintech Column: December 2019

In this edition of her column, Lucy considers the legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts published by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce.

UK Jurisdiction Taskforce legal statement on status of cryptoassets and smart contracts

The key findings of the legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts published by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce ("UKJT") earlier this month are that cryptoassets are in principle to be treated as property and that smart contracts can be interpreted using ordinary established legal principles. The legal statement carries no legal weight but is likely to inform legal arguments and judgments.

The conclusion that a cryptoasset is capable of being property matters because proprietary rights are recognised against the whole world and are of particular importance in scenarios involving insolvency, loss, fraud and theft. Proprietary rights are also relevant to the questions of whether there can be a security interest in a cryptoasset and whether a cryptoasset can be held on trust. From a financial services practitioner's perspective, however, the key findings from a day-to-day cryptoasset context relate to the legal statement's analysis around blockchain transactions and the status of private keys.

 

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