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 Oct2018
Admissions April2019

Walkers Announces Admissions of 50th and 51st Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Articled Clerks Gemma Cowan and Sophie Dibb have completed their legal training, both being called to the Cayman Islands Bar. 

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Central Bank publishes Cross-Sectoral Outsourcing Discussion Paper

On 19 November 2018, the Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) published a discussion paper entitled “Outsourcing – Findings and Issues for Discussion” (the “Discussion Paper”) containing a summary of key issues and risks identified by the Central Bank requiring prompt attention by industry. The closing date for submission of responses to questions posed in the Discussion Paper is 18 January 2019.

The findings in the Discussion Paper are underpinned by both the Central Bank’s supervisory engagements with industry along with responses received from a recent cross-sectoral outsourcing survey (completed by 18 banks, 82 asset management sector firms, 83 insurers and 2 payment institutions).

In its announcement of the publication of the Discussion Paper, the Central Bank noted it has observed:

  • a significant increase in reliance on outsourcing of activities (both on an intragroup and third party basis) by regulated financial service providers;
  • serious deficiencies in board awareness and understanding of the extent of reliance on outsourcing; and
  • major weaknesses in relation to risk management controls and processes, and business continuity planning around outsourcing.
The Central Bank expects all regulated financial service providers to review their current practices against the Discussion Paper.


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Central Bank of Ireland Investment Firm Corporate Governance

The Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) has published its Corporate Governance Requirements for Investment Firms and Market Operators 2018 (the “Requirements”) (click here). The publication of the final Requirements follows the Central Bank’s publication of CP120: Second Consultation Paper on the Corporate Governance Requirements for Investment Firms and Market Operators (“CP120”) in May of this year (see Walkers advisory on CP120). The Requirements largely track the CP120 proposals, with one material change in relation to the composition of the audit committee.


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European Securities Law Update: PD3 & Irish Prospectus Regulations

In our latest European Securities Law Update we provide a high-level insight into the Prospectus (Directive 2003/71/EC)(Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 317 of 2018) (the “Amending Regulations”) which were signed into law in August 2018, ushering the second phase of changes under the Prospectus Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129) (“PD3”) into Irish law (see our previous update here).

PD3 itself replaced and repealed EU Directive 2003/71/EC (the “Prospectus Directive”) and forms part of the EU’s Capital Markets Union initiative, which aims to ensure investor protection and market efficiency, while enhancing the internal market for capital.

The Amending Regulations update the existing Irish legal framework set out in the Prospectus (Directive 2003/71/EC) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 324 of 2005) (the “Irish Prospectus Regulations”) to reflect the directly effective provisions of PD3 that came into force on 21 July 2018, following the first phase provisions that became directly effective on 20 July 2017. The remaining provisions will come into effect on 21 July 2019.


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New TISE Listing Rules

TISE (The International Stock Exchange in the Channel Islands) published their new Listing Rules earlier this month, which will be effective from 1 January 2019.

Please find the link to the new Listing Rules here: https://www.tisegroup.com/media/1422/listing-rules-january-2019.pdf

The new Listing Rules have been published now so as to ensure that stakeholders have sufficient opportunity to transition ahead of their introduction from 1 January 2019.

TISE believes that the new Listing Rules reflect current market practices and enhance the product offering of the Exchange, whilst also improving the format in terms of brevity, clarity and consistency and therefore, creating a more user-friendly product.

The main changes can be summarised as follows:

  1. The introduction of rules in relation to debt being offered directly to retail investors;
  2. Revisions to the rules in relation to trading companies issuing equity, including enhancing the attractiveness of the Exchange for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs);
  3. Amendments to the rules in relation to Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) to reflect evolving market practices;
  4. Enhanced flexibility to enable TISE’s market authority to respond to developments in what is a rapidly changing marketplace; and
  5. An alteration to the format of the Listing Rules to ensure ease of use for TISE Members, other advisers and issuers.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Nigel Weston, Christophe Kalinauckas or Kate Storey if you have any queries on the new TISE Listing Rules.

BVI Updates in Respect of the Common Reporting Standard

An amendment to the existing BVI CRS legislation has been published which introduces new requirements to the existing CRS regime. The amendment is in the form of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2018 (“Amendment”), which was published on 4 October 2018.

The CRS regime has been in force in the BVI since 1 January 2016. The Amendment requires all British Virgin Islands Financial Institutions to take additional steps to remain compliant with the CRS regime. This Advisory provides a high-level summary of the key new requirements.

Extended Registration Requirements
The one-off registration requirement which previously only applied to Virgin Islands Reporting Financial Institutions has now been expanded to include all Virgin Islands Financial Institutions, regardless of whether Reporting or Non-Reporting. The annual registration deadline is 30 April. Therefore, all Virgin Islands Financial Institutions must register via the BVI Financial Account Reporting System (“BVIFARS”) by 30 April 2019 if they have not already done so.


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