Walkers London Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Walkers is pleased to announce that its London office is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

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Walkers Tops Market Leading Rankings in Chambers Global Again

Walkers leads the way with 10 "Band 1" practice area rankings (out of a market leading 23 practice areas) and an overall "Band 1" ranking in 'Global Offshore'.

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AML Training Portal Launch

Walkers Professional Services Launches New e-Learning AML Training Portal

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Walkers Celebrates 5 Years in Bermuda

Walkers (Bermuda) Limited is pleased to celebrate the five year anniversary of its Bermudian operations in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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Events & Webinars

See upcoming virtual events and webinars.

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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
Diversity

Diverse & Inclusive

At Walkers we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can feel comfortable, happy and confident in an inclusive environment.

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Trends in Sustainable Finance Disclosures

As the dust settles on the adoption of the SFDR and fund managers and their legal teams look ahead to the adoption of the more prescriptive Level 2 Regulations and Taxonomy Regulation, we have reviewed the prospectuses and website disclosures of a selection of the top 20 fund managers with Irish UCITS and identified some early trends in the new sustainability disclosures on the market. To read this advisory authored by Asset Management and Investment Funds partner Sarah Maguire:

 

Click here

Britannia Owners' Golf and Beach Club Rights Upheld

On 9 June 2021, the Grand Court handed down its judgment in Cayman Shores Development Ltd and Palm Sunshine Ltd v Registrar of Lands and others (FSD Cause No. 143 of 2019) protecting certain recreational and sporting rights of residential owners at the Britannia development.

In one of the most significant pieces of local litigation heard in the Cayman Islands in many years, the case involved the island's largest property developer on one side and around 200 residential owners at Britannia on the other. The judge had to consider core principles of the jurisdiction's land law in reaching his decision. This judgment provides substantial reassurance to residential owners as to the security of recreational and sporting property rights in the Cayman Islands, and gives valuable guidance on the construction and registration of restrictive agreements and easements.

The Plaintiffs, Cayman Shores Development Ltd and Palm Sunshine Ltd (members of the Dart group of companies, and together referred to for convenience as "Dart Realty"), are the registered owners of a golf course adjoining the Britannia development, together with a nearby hotel and beach resort on Seven Mile Beach (formerly the Hyatt Beach Suites, now Palm Heights). From the early 1990s, the Britannia owners enjoyed rights granted by the original Britannia developer and then owner of the golf course land and beach resort, including the rights to play golf on the golf course, to use the facilities at the beach resort and to use the tennis courts. These recreational rights were recorded in numerous written agreements lodged at the Land Registry, both in favour of the titles to the properties of the Britannia owners (or their Strata corporations) and against the titles to the golf and beach resort land.

Upon acquiring the golf course land and beach resort in 2016, Dart Realty told the Britannia owners that the rights enjoyed by the Britannia owners over the golf course and the beach resort were mere licences and that, as such, the rights did not bind Dart Realty. Dart Realty closed the golf course, taking quantities of turf from the golf course for use at another Dart Realty property, and in 2018 denied the Britannia owners access to the beach club facilities.

In 2019, Dart Realty brought proceedings against the Britannia owners asking the Court to order that the rights to use the golf course, the beach resort and the tennis courts were mere licences and such rights should be deleted from the Land Register. The Britannia owners defended the claim, and brought counterclaims seeking rectification of the Land Register (to the extent necessary) together with damages for the removal of the turf and pumps on the golf course, and damage to the irrigation system.

In his judgment, which followed a two week trial in late 2020, the Honourable Mr Justice Segal has upheld the rights of the Britannia owners to use the golf course and the beach resort, though not the right to use the tennis courts (one of which is now under the Esterley Tibbets Highway).

The key findings are that:

  1. The written agreements include a restrictive agreement within the meaning of Section 93 of the Registered Land Act. The owner of the golf course and the beach resort may not modify the “facilities as constitute the Rights” (namely the rights to play golf and to use the beach resort) or their location, and may not suspend the exercise of the rights for any purpose other than to carry out repairs and maintenance in respect of the facilities. The agreements were properly registered at the Land Registry and are binding on Dart Realty as owner of the golf course land and beach resort.

  2. The Britannia owners' right to use the golf course and beach resort granted by the written agreements were properly characterised as easements. Although these were not registered as easements, the Land Register should be rectified to include a reference to the rights as easements.

  3. Dart Realty substantially interfered with the Britannia owners' rights to play golf by removing large quantities of turf from the golf course causing serious damage, which rendered the course unplayable. The quantum of damages payable by Dart Realty fall to be determined in further proceedings, if not agreed.

The Britannia owners did not satisfy the Court that Dart Realty was responsible for the removal of pumps or damage to the irrigation system and these counterclaims were dismissed.

The judge noted that the numerous witnesses who gave evidence for both Dart Realty and the Britannia owners were truthful and honest, and in the case of the latter noted that their evidence revealed their understandable concerns and strength of feeling about the issues in question.

Colette Wilkins, Nick Dunne and Daisy Boulter of Walkers, together with John Randall QC and Marc Brown of St Philip's Chambers, acted for the participating Britannia owners, working closely alongside Paul Simon of Bodden & Bodden. 

Walkers Ireland LLP Wins Four Finance Dublin Deals of the Year Awards 2021

Walkers Ireland LLP is delighted to announce that together with a number of clients, it has won four Finance Dublin Deals of the Year Awards, in addition to having acted on eight other nominated deals. The annual Awards acknowledge excellence under five broad categories within the financial services sector in Ireland and these categories include: M&A; Debt Capital Markets; Equity Capital Markets; Loans & Financing; Financial Services and FS Aviation Finance. The 2021 Awards have recognised the most innovative and complex deals across the capital markets. We set out below details of some of our winning awards, in addition to commentary from each of the lead partners.

Winning Deals:

1. Debt Capital Markets – ILS: Azzurro Re II DAC Catastrophe Bond Programme

"With this deal, Walkers has again demonstrated its unrivalled position as a market leader in ILS. We were delighted to partner with UnipolSai and lead structurer, Willis Re Securities in getting this project over the line, on time and on budget. This and other recent cat bond transactions also reaffirms Ireland as the leading ILS jurisdiction within Europe and the natural home for European sponsors seeking to diversify their catastrophe reinsurance coverage."

Garry Ferguson, Managing Partner of Ireland, Finance & Capital Markets. Co-leading on this deal was Noeleen Ruddy, Finance & Capital Markets Partner.

The deal team included: Garry Ferguson, Noeleen Ruddy, Muireann Nic Dhonncha and Clare Mannion in the Finance & Capital Markets group.

  1. Aviation Finance - Aviation Leasing Platform: Project Gilead - GECAS and PIMCO
"The deal was unique in that it signalled an intent to invest significant finance into the aviation market at a time of crisis. It also demonstrated the desire for investment funds to collaborate with, and utilise the skill and expertise of, a stand-alone leasing company on the day-to-day management of the assets. This strategic investment platform will enable GECAS and PIMCO-advised accounts to acquire new and young fuel-efficient aircraft to meet the needs of a diverse set of global airlines over many years. The platform looks to provide much-needed financing for airlines which are looking to upgrade their fleets with young and new aircraft."

David McGovern, Partner and Head of Asset Finance. Co-leading on this deal was Brendan O'Brien, Partner and Head of Corporate.

The deal team included: David McGovern and Killian McSharry in the Asset Finance group, and Brendan O'Brien and Eoin Ryan in the Corporate group.

  1. International Financial Services – Aviation Finance: Irish Scheme of Arrangement: Nordic Aviation Capital DAC
"This deal demonstrates how useful an Irish Part 9 Scheme of Arrangement is as a restructuring tool for both Irish and foreign entities with a connection to Ireland to implement financial, covenant and enforcement waivers under non-Irish law governed finance documents, as well as deferrals of principal and interest payments and showcases the effectiveness of Ireland as a jurisdiction for complex cross-border financial restructurings."

Gavin Smith, Partner and Head of Insolvency and Dispute Resolution.

"The deal was important for Walkers in that it allowed our Asset Finance and Insolvency and Restructuring teams to work together to provide seamless advice to our client on all aspects of the mandate."

David McGovern, Partner and Head of Asset Finance.

The deal team included: David McGovern in the Asset Finance group, and Gavin Smith and William Greensmyth in the Insolvency and Dispute Resolution group.

  1. Debt Capital Markets - Innovative Debt Capital Markets Deal: Xtrackers ETC PLC
Andrew Traynor, acting as legal counsel to Wilmington Trust as trustee, commented that "the XTrackers deal was a notable Irish law governed programme for a highly sophisticated and active commodities product. As a market leading domicile for SPVs, there has always been a steady volume of Irish law governed trades across most asset classes but we have seen a noticeable uptick in recent years due to the UK's departure from the EU. Market participants are attracted to Ireland for our robust legal framework, transparency, reliability and access to top-class advisors and service providers. Brexit has further enhanced the benefits of using Ireland for a number of other reasons so we will continue to see lots of complex, big ticket deals like this being papered under Irish law."

Andrew Traynor, Partner, Finance & Capital Markets

The deal team included: Andrew Traynor, Ian McNamee, Laura Blaney and Charlotte Chestnutt from the Finance & Capital Markets group.

The additional nominated deals included:

  • Joint venture between Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited ("SMFL") and Lease Corporation International ("LCI") including the acquisition of 19 next-generation helicopters by the new joint-venture company ("SMFL-LCI") from the LCI group of companies. (Asset Finance and Corporate)
The deal team included: David McGovern, Brendan O'Brien and Killian McSharry.

  • Tramontana Asset Management ("Tramontana") Carbon ABS Programme (Finance & Capital Markets and Tax)
The deal team included: Matt Hedigan, Jonathan Sheehan, Eimear Burbridge and Aisling Ni Bhriain.

  • €150m Corporate FinTech Financing Round for auxmoney (Corporate, Regulatory and Tax)
The deal team included: Jonathan Sheehan, Brendan O'Brien, Eoin O Connor, Aisling Burke, Cal Kane and Niamh Pender.

  • Project Solar (Asset Finance)
The deal team included David McGovern and Andrea Gleasure.

  • Acquisition of Carr & Sons Seafood Limited and completion of takeover of Oceanpath Limited (Corporate, Finance & Capital Markets, Employment and Real Estate)
The deal team included: Brendan O'Brien, Susan Battye, Rachel Rodgers, Jonathan Sheehan, Andrew Traynor, Eoin Ryan, Robert Upton, Jennifer Bassett and Cal Kane.

  • River Green Finance 2020 (Finance & Capital Markets, Listings, Regulatory and Tax)
The deal team included: Aisling Burke, Noeleen Ruddy, Eoin O Connor, Therese Redmond, Ken Foley, Conor Daly, Timothy Fetherston and Niamh Pender.

  • Citizen Irish Auto Receivables Trust 2020 DAC – as trustee counsel (Finance & Capital Markets)
The deal team included Andrew Traynor and Paddy Rath.

  • Ireland Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme – acting for Metamo / 7 Credit Unions admitted as first community lenders to offer SME loans under the CCGS (Finance & Capital Markets)
The deal team included Andrew Traynor, Matt Hedigan, Eoin O Connor and Shane Martin.

 

To read more about these winning and nominated deals, you can view the Finance Dublin 2021 deal commentary and booklet here - https://www.financedublin.com/

Six Cayman Partners Named as WWL Thought Leaders in Restructuring & Insolvency Guide 2021

Walkers is pleased to announce that six of its Cayman-based Insolvency & Dispute Resolution ("IDR") partners have been included in Who's Who Legal and Global Restructuring Review's annual Restructuring and Insolvency Thought Leaders Guide.

Partners Rupert Bell, Neil Lupton, Matthew Goucke, Barnaby Gowrie, Shelley White and Colette Wilkins have all made the list of 16 Cayman Islands practitioners, which represents the highest number of Restructuring & Insolvency thought leaders from any Cayman Islands law firm.

The guide features the most highly regarded lawyers and experts according to the latest research – those who truly stand out as the apogees of the restructuring and insolvency world and who are held in the highest esteem by clients and fellow practitioners. Over nearly two decades WWL has used the recommendations of clients and private practitioners to pick out the leading experts in a wide range of practice areas around the world.

Walkers' IDR team is the largest in the Cayman Islands and part of the world's largest offshore IDR group. We are the only offshore law firm with Insolvency and Dispute Resolution teams on the ground in not only the traditional jurisdictions (Cayman, BVI and Jersey) but uniquely also in Ireland, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bermuda and Guernsey.

Walkers London Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Walkers is pleased to announce that its London office is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Walkers was first established in the Cayman Islands in 1964. In 2001 Walkers London was established as Walkers' first international office. The success of the London office launch heralded a succession of further offices: BVI (2002), Hong Kong (2003), Dubai (2005), Jersey (2006), Singapore (2009), Ireland (2010), Bermuda (2016) and Guernsey (2016). Through its 10 strategically located offices, Walkers provides a unique global jurisdictional offering to service the needs of its international client base.

In recognition of London's key role in the global financial services economy, Walkers has placed its London offering at the heart of its strategic offering. As well as being widely acclaimed as the pre-eminent offshore law firm in London, Walkers is the largest offshore legal offering in London (with 100 colleagues) enabling us to bring unparalleled insight into global trends and market practice.

Walkers London based team delivers time zone sensitive Cayman, BVI and Bermuda law support to clients in the EMEA region. The London office is a key conduit for clients as it is the focal point of Walkers' European services, which includes market-leading practices in Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey. Walkers is a panel firm for the great majority of leading global financial institutions and clients include private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds, leading global corporations, capital markets participants, investment funds managers, family offices and (ultra) high net worth individuals.

The London office enjoys a position of pre-eminence within the market and has been lauded by the legal directories - with each of Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 consistently awarding Walkers London office with top Tier 1 rankings for its Cayman law and BVI law practices.

"Walkers' global reach is a significant advantage". "The super-responsive, professional and hard-working team at Walkers continues to enjoy its position at the very top of the market" - Chambers and Partners

Commenting on the 20th anniversary, Managing Partner Jack Boldarin said: "It is a great privilege to work with my talented colleagues and to be at the helm for this 20th anniversary year. Walkers London office has enjoyed enormous success over its life span and we continue to be tremendously supported by our EMEA client base. In response to that client demand we have increased our headcount by 100% in the last 36 months and expanded our service lines to better meet the needs of our client base. It is no surprise that we have been recognised by the leading directories as the premier offshore law firm operating in the City of London. We look forward to the challenges and successes of the next 20 years."

"Walkers has a privileged position among pre-eminent offshore practices by way of its long history of cross-border undertakings and the high calibre of its lawyers" - Chambers and Partners

Note: Walkers does not practise English law and instead works alongside leading international law firms to provide integrated offshore and onshore support.

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