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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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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Update on Guernsey's discrimination legislation proposals

The Committee for Employment & Social Security announced on Friday 8 November that it will be focusing its efforts on delivering a reduced set of discrimination proposals. It is clear from the announcement that the Committee's intention is to stagger the implementation of the 10 proposed protected grounds, rather than reduce their number.

Its immediate priority is to introduce protection on the grounds of disability including for carers of disabled people. Having received the most challenging and critical consultation feedback on its proposals for disability discrimination, the Committee has committed to revisiting the definition of disability. This will provide some comfort to employers, many of whom have been concerned with the breadth of the proposed definition and the fact that it would be so different from the approach taken in Jersey and the UK.

If sufficient progress is made with disability, the additional grounds of protection that the Committee will advance are race, religious belief and sexual orientation. This is because the consultation responses have indicated only minor modifications to the proposals will be needed for these to be put forward.

The Committee will be suspending work on the other grounds on which it consulted: age, carer status (in relation to parents), marital status, pregnancy or maternity status, sex, and trans status. However, we can expect to see an indicative timeline for when these grounds should be addressed and included in the legislation, in the Committee's Policy Letter.

Employers should continue to prepare for the introduction of the proposed legislation by reviewing their existing policies and procedures; ensuring that they are dealing with any bad practices within their organisations promptly; and continuing to raise awareness and encourage best practices via workplace training.

Walkers Grows Hong Kong Finance Practice with New Partner Hire

Walkers is pleased to announce that Nick Davies has joined the firm as a partner in the firm's global Finance & Corporate Group where he will be based in the firm's Hong Kong office.

Nick joins us from an international offshore law firm and comes with a wealth of experience in finance and corporate, with specialist focus on debt capital markets/structured finance and private equity. He will be a strong addition to our Finance team with the ability to advise on Cayman, BVI and Bermuda* law. Nick also has a wealth of onshore experience practising as an English capital markets and finance lawyer with several of the magic circle firms. Nick brings a broad range of international experience and network having worked in the UK, Moscow, Jersey, Cayman and Hong Kong/Greater China.

The hiring of Nick complements the recent addition of two Bermuda associates, Shannon Dyer and Ben Green to the Hong Kong office, allowing us to provide clients in Asia and the Middle East with time-zone friendly Bermuda advice and execution support, adding to the strength of our team of highly talented lawyers in Bermuda.

Andy Randall, Managing Partner of Walkers' Hong Kong office commented: "We are delighted that Nick has joined Walkers. We have earned a solid reputation over the past 15 years in the Asia market for delivering top-quality Cayman and BVI legal advice. We're excited to have been able to expand our offering to include Bermuda law recently from Hong Kong. This advanced offering and the arrival of Nick will further enhance our ability to provide a one-stop offshore solution for our clients."

Commenting on joining Walkers, Nick said: "I am delighted to be joining such a well-regarded international offshore firm, which has a top-tier reputation in Hong Kong and globally. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and being part of a dynamic team of trusted advisors to Walkers' high-calibre clients."

*subject to approval of registered associate status by the Bermuda Bar Association

Walkers ranked top tier by Legal 500 - London, Jersey & Guernsey

Walkers' London office continues to enjoy its standing as the pre-eminent offshore law firm based in London and has been awarded a top tier ranking for offshore firms in London by Legal 500. In all, nine lawyers from Walkers' London, Jersey and Guernsey teams have been ranked as "Leading Individuals" in their practice areas.

Walkers' Guernsey, Jersey and London offices have had a combined 15 practice areas ranked by Legal 500 in the recent United Kingdom guide, demonstrating the breadth of legal services offered to clients.

The updated rankings from the independent legal directory have seen Jack Boldarin and John O'Driscoll from London named as Leading Individuals, along with Nigel Weston, Nigel Sanders and Jonathan Heaney from Jersey, and Sam Shires, Alison Ozanne, Louise Hall and Kate Storey from Guernsey.

Jack Boldarin, managing partner of Walkers' London office, said: "We are pleased to be, once again, ranked in the very top echelon of offshore law firms. Our London based team of BVI and Cayman lawyers continues to grow and we appreciate the support of our clients and peers in retaining our tier 1 ranking. Our London office has further bolstered our partnership this year with the appointment of Risk & Regulatory partner Sara Hall and Banking & Finance partner Mark Galazzi. London remains a focal point for the time zone-critical offshore offering that we provide to clients in the EMEA region."

All three offices have seen significant recruitment and expansion over the last 18 months, as part of the firm's strategic growth in Europe - in each of the offices, the number of lawyers has risen by more than 50% in the last 12 months. That strategic growth has seen partners Rajah Abusrewil, Sara Hall, Fraser Hern, Rupert Morris, Chris Reed, Nigel Sanders, Kate Storey and Leanne Wallser all join the firm's London, Jersey and Guernsey offices during this period.

Fraser Hern, Head of Walkers in the Channel Islands, said: "Our recruitment and growth in Jersey and Guernsey is the result of the support our local clients are showing us, as well as the support we are seeing from clients in London and internationally. The interplay between the Channel Islands business and our London business is particularly key, with our client base in London often working on multi-jurisdictional deals involving two or more of the six laws that we practice. The message to our clients is that we are unique across all offshore law firms in our ability to present market leading expertise across all of our laws in a coordinated and real time manner. The Legal 500 recognition of some of our key leaders reflects their market leading ability and experience. Most importantly, though, it reflects the skill and hard work of the teams that they lead."

Walkers Grows Largest Offshore Regulatory Practice Group

Walkers' group of Regulatory & Risk Advisory experts, the largest dedicated offshore practice of its kind, focussed exclusively on regulation and staffed with experienced career regulatory lawyers, continues to grow to meet market and client demand. The group is strategically positioned across the Americas, Europe and Asia to ensure the most comprehensive and global coverage for clients.

With lawyers who have worked for key regulators, including the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Bermuda Monetary Authority, UK Financial Conduct Authority, and Central Bank of Ireland – and who bring significant expertise from global financial institutions and private practice – Walkers' Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice group is positioned to offer exceptional commercial insight on complex regulatory matters.

The group recently welcomed new joiners Melanie Fullerton, a senior associate in Bermuda; Benjamin Twidle, an associate in the Cayman Islands; and Jason Hung, an associate in Hong Kong, earlier this year. Associate Shikha Kasal and senior associate Ekaterina Harrison joined the Cayman Islands and London practices in October, bringing the total number of full-time dedicated regulatory lawyers in Walkers' Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice group to 21, with hiring ongoing.

Regulatory & Risk Advisory partner, Lucy Frew, who is based in Grand Cayman, states, "We are very proud of our group, which is the largest dedicated offshore regulatory group in the market. Our approach has always been to keep clients front of mind and one step ahead of any relevant regulatory developments through a combination of seamless client service and thought leadership."

Walkers' Regulatory & Risk Advisory practice group offers Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Irish and Jersey law advice on regulatory matters on a global basis and regularly advises non-regulated and regulated financial institutions and sectors. Lawyers have significant non-contentious and contentious regulatory experience and well-established track records of advising in an international regulatory context.

Global Managing Partner, Ingrid Pierce, comments, "As part of our business strategy, we continuously evaluate our structure and service offering to ensure we are best aligned to focus on our clients and their needs. We have seen massive growth in regulatory matters and our Regulatory & Risk Advisory group, which continues to lead the market in global positioning and depth of expertise. Our expansion continues."

Walkers #1 in Offshore and Gains in Ireland in IFLR 1000 2020

Walkers has once again displayed its strength with a market-leading 58 lawyers and 20 practice areas ranked in the recent IFLR 1000 legal directory.

Eight of Walkers' offices have been included in the guide, five practice areas were awarded the top tier 'Tier 1' status and 10 practices were awarded 'Tier 2' status. Furthermore, five of the firm's 58 lawyers received the top "Market Leader" rating from IFLR 1000, the most of any offshore firm.

Walkers' five 'Tier 1' practices for 2020 are:

  • Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation (Ireland)
  • Finance & Corporate (British Virgin Islands)
  • Finance & Corporate (Cayman Islands)
  • Investment Funds (Cayman Islands)
  • Offshore Finance & Corporate (Hong Kong)

This year marks the most ever Walkers rankings in the annual ILFR, with 20 ranked practice areas, indicative of the firm's growth and dominant position in the offshore legal market.

In Ireland, of the eight ranked practice groups for Walkers, two market leading practice areas ranked under new tables for the jurisdiction this year – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation (Tier 1) and Asset Finance (Tier 2). Walkers' Bermuda, BVI, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey), Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) offices were each recognised.

Walkers' market leading lawyers recognized by IFLR 1000:

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