10 Walkers' Lawyers Recognised in Asia Business Law Journal's Top 50 Offshore Lawyers 2022

10 lawyers across Walkers' Bermuda, Cayman, Hong Kong and Singapore offices have been recognised in the Asia Business Law Journal’s A-List of top offshore lawyers.

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Walkers Celebrates Record 72 Lawyer Rankings in Chambers Global Guide 2022

Walkers is celebrating a record year as 72 of its lawyers have been included in the guide, representing an 18% uplift from the 2021 guide.

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Walkers Launches Online AML Training Solution in Bermuda

Walkers Professional Services has announced that it has launched an innovative e-Learning Anti-Money Laundering Training platform in Bermuda.

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Walkers Maintains Tier 1 Ranking in The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) 2022 edition

Walkers Dubai has reinforced its preeminent position as the go-to offshore law firm in the region with a top tier status in Legal 500's EMEA 2022 edition.
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Walkers Professional Services Hires former Minister of Financial Services

Walkers Professional Services (WPS), the professional services arm of leading law firm Walkers, is delighted to announce that Tara Rivers, the former Minister of Financial Services and Attorney, will be joining WPS as a Director on 6 July. Ms Rivers brings to WPS an outstanding record of academic, legal, professional and governmental experience, having served two terms as a Cabinet Minister in the Cayman Islands Government.

From May 2013, Ms Rivers had responsibility for education, employment and gender affairs. Upon her re-election in May 2017, Ms Rivers was given ministerial responsibilities for financial services and home affairs. She was the first woman to hold the position of Minister responsible for Education, Employment, Financial Services and Home Affairs, respectively, in the Cayman Islands.

During her most recent ministerial appointment, Minister Rivers led efforts to engage with local industry, international policy makers in the US, UK, EU and Asia, and other local and international stakeholders on a number of key financial services matters. She regularly engaged with UK and EU parliamentarians; and with US Senators and members of the US House of Congress.

Prior to her ministerial career, Ms Rivers practiced Structured Finance and Corporate law at a magic circle firm in the UK as well as at a leading local law firm in the Cayman Islands. She has extensive experience structuring and executing domestic and cross-border structured bond/debt issuances, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, aircraft financing and securitisation transactions.

Ms Rivers will provide Directorship services to structured and asset finance vehicles, playing a key role in driving commercial initiatives for WPS, and further bolstering the relationships between WPS, business partners and intermediaries, both domestically and internationally.

Steven Manning, Chief Executive Officer of Walkers Professional Services said "The leadership qualities that Ms Rivers displayed during her political career are a natural complement to WPS, particularly during the firm's continued expansion in the regulatory compliance fields. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Rivers to the WPS team, and are incredibly excited to embark on several new commercial initiatives where Ms. Rivers will play a central part."

Walkers acts as Bermuda Counsel to Canopius ILS Ltd in US$75 million Multi-Peril Cat Bond

Walkers (Bermuda) Limited has acted as Bermuda counsel to Canopius ILS Ltd, a Bermuda based insurance agent in relation to Finca Re Ltd, a Bermuda special purpose insurer and issuer of an US$75 million multi-peril 144A catastrophe bond ("cat bond") listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange ("BSX").

Launched in June 2022, the Finca Re Ltd. Series 2022-1 cat bond benefits a number of Canopius underwriting entities, including Canopius Syndicates 4444 and 1861, and provides aggregate reinsurance protection for US named storms and earthquakes on an industry indexed trigger basis, for a three year term.

Walkers Bermuda's insurance team was led by partners Peter Dunlop and Sarah Demerling and included senior counsel Melanie Fullerton and senior associate Cathryn Minors, who worked on the formation and licensing of Finca Re Ltd. and advised on the Bermuda legal and regulatory aspects of the cat bond issuance. Partner Natalie Neto advised on the BSX listing.

Walkers Advises on Orange Capital RE DAC (Series 2021-1) - Insurance-Linked Securities Deal

Walkers Ireland office is delighted to have advised on Orange Capital Re DAC, a new catastrophe bond programme structured through an Irish Solvency II MA SPV. This deal was named Finance Dublin's Deal of the Year 2022 for Debt Capital Markets: Insurance-Linked Securities.

Orange Capital Re DAC is the first multi-arrangement catastrophe bond programme sponsored by NN Re (Netherlands) N.V. and the second multi-arrangement catastrophe bond programme to be approved by the Central Bank of Ireland. 

Orange Capital Re DAC reflects NN Group's commitment towards the transition to a sustainable economy and the growing appetite amongst investors in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market for the integration of environmental, societal and governance (ESG) factors in such transactions. NN Group is a proud member of the NZIA and is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (ranking amongst the top 10% of the sector).

As a large international financial services company, responsible investment is an important element of NN Group’s strategy. NN Group integrates environmental, societal and governance factors in many of its processes. In its underwriting process, NN Group applies specific policies for sensitive sectors following its risk assessment which indicates increased or unacceptable risks on the basis of sanctions regulations and compliance risks.  For example, there is no exposure in the cat bond to industrial properties such as large chemicals, mining, coal, oil refineries. In addition, there is no commercial greenhouse exposure in the initial portfolios of Orange Capital Re DAC.

With the modelling of the exposure, NN Re deliberately included not only the more traditional winter storms as perils but also the recently launched severe convective storms as modelled by RMS, making the portfolio more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Ireland is the long-standing European jurisdiction of choice for locating special purpose vehicles for catastrophe bond transactions and Walkers Ireland is delighted to have advised on this significant transaction the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market. Congratulations to the deal team which also included Cadwalader, Wickersham & Partners, Swiss Re Capital Markets, Aon Securities and BNYM. 

"Walkers was delighted to advise on this award-winning deal, the second multi-arrangement catastrophe bond programme to be approved by the Central Bank of Ireland. With Ireland firmly recognised as the European jurisdiction of choice for alternative risk transfer, our team is proud to have been involved in this significant deal for the ILS market and to have advised on all Solvency II cat bonds structured through Ireland to date," commented Noeleen Ruddy, Partner, ILS Group.

Walkers advises on one of the first foreign limited partnership continuance under new regime in Jersey

Walkers has advised on one of the first continuances of a foreign limited partnership into the Island of Jersey.

A Walkers team, led by Group Partner Christopher Reed, advised on the migration of the limited partnership working alongside lead counsel in the Netherlands, and corporate services provider Hawksford in Jersey.

Christopher was assisted by a team including Senior Associate Ruth Donnellan.

The transaction involved the migration of a foreign limited partnership into Jersey using the newly introduced statutory migration scheme for the continuance of non-Jersey limited partnerships pursuant to the Limited Partnerships (Continuance) (Jersey) Regulations 2020 (Walkers' briefing on the subject can be found by clicking here).

A Hawksford team, led by Director Darren Toudic and Associate Director James Quinn, assisted with the corporate administration aspects of the continuance.

Walkers' Investment Funds & Corporate Practice Group has specialist experience in M&A, restructuring and general corporate matters involving regulated and unregulated businesses, often working with teams across multiple jurisdictions.

Christopher Reed, Group Partner, Walkers said: "We are very pleased to have advised our clients on this novel transaction – we expect this new migration regime to provide a useful route into Jersey for many clients looking to redomicile their partnership vehicles, thereby enabling them to take advantage of the fantastic financial services environment that Jersey has to offer."

James Quinn, Associate Director, Hawksford, added: “We are delighted to have worked closely with Walkers as a trusted partner, supporting our client with their corporate structuring requirements.  This is an important development for Jersey, and one which makes it easier for existing structures to access Jersey’s political and economic stability, robust regulatory environment, and deep pool of industry expertise.”

Walkers acts on Aquarian Acquisition of Somerset Re

Walkers (Bermuda) Limited ("Walkers") is pleased to have acted as Bermuda legal counsel to Aquarian Holdings ("Aquarian") on the signing of a definitive agreement for Aquarian to acquire a controlling interest in Somerset Re, the Bermuda based reinsurer founded in 2014 that is a leading provider of reinsurance solutions for asset intensive life insurance and annuity business. In addition, the transaction will provide Somerset Re with a substantial amount of immediate and committed new capital to further drive growth and fortify Somerset Re’s leading market position.

Aquarian is a diversified holding company with interests in businesses including insurance, asset management, real estate, and technology.

Somerset Re, which has grown 93% per annum to US$5 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2021, intends to continue its liability-focused approach to providing a strong professional reinsurance option to the market.

The transaction partners Aquarian with existing strategic investors Hannover Re, the third-largest reinsurer in the world, and Weiss Family Interests, which includes George Weiss, CEO of Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisors LLC and Somerset Re founder, each of which will retain ownership interest and involvement in Somerset Re. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022 and is subject to customary regulatory closing conditions.

Walkers worked in concert with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Arthur Cox LLP, and was led by Bermuda partner Sarah Demerling.

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