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 is a leading international law firm. We advise on the laws of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey.
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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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Ireland Update: Central Bank of Ireland updates AML/CFT Guidelines for Financial Sector

On 23 June 2021, the Central Bank of Ireland published revised Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Guidelines for the Financial Sector. The publication of the Updated Guidelines follows the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing)(Amendment) Act 2021 as part of the transposition of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and expands the scope of the Updated Guidelines to also apply to virtual asset service providers. Please click here to view our advisory, which provides a summary of the new information and guidance included by the CBI in the Updated Guidelines.

 

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Cayman Grand Court Confirms Statutory Mechanism for Approval of Former Liquidators' Fees as Statutory Trustees

Grand Court confirms that Section 48 of the Trusts Act (2021 Revision) provides a statutory gateway for the approval of former liquidators' fees as statutory trustee pursuant to Order 23, rule 5 of the CWR

A recent judgment of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the "Grand Court") has confirmed that section 48 of the Trusts Act (2021 Revision) (the "Trusts Act") provides former liquidators, in their capacity as statutory trustees of the undistributed assets of a dissolved company, with a statutory gateway to seek directions from the Grand Court for the approval of their fees and expenses of administering the trust assets.

In his written ruling in the matters of Re F & C Warrior Fund Limited (Dissolved) and F & C Warrior II Fund Limited (Dissolved) (Cause Numbers FSD 105 of 2021 (ASCJ) and FSD 107 of 2021 (ASCJ)), the Honourable Chief Justice Smellie Q.C. provided welcome guidance on the appropriate procedure to be followed by a former liquidator when seeking the approval of fees and expenses incurred in their capacity as a statutory trustee pursuant to section 153 of the Companies Act (2021 Revision) (the "Companies Act") and Order 23 of the Companies Winding Up Rules, 2018 (as amended) (the "CWR").

  1. The Former JVLs' applications
Prior to the applications, F&C Warrior Fund Limited and F&C Warrior II Fund Limited (the "Companies") had been placed into voluntary liquidation, following which, the Companies' former joint voluntary liquidators (the "Former JVLs") sought to distribute redemption proceeds to the Companies' former investors. At the time of the Companies' dissolutions, a proportion of the Companies' remaining cash assets (the "Outstanding Redemptions") had yet to be distributed to the Companies' former investors, the practical effect of which was that the Outstanding Redemptions were held by the Former JVLs as statutory trustees on behalf of the Companies' former investors pursuant to section 153 of the Companies Act and in accordance with Order 23 of the CWR.

Following the expiry of the 12 month statutory trust period prescribed by Order 23 of the CWR, the Former JVLs issued ex parte originating applications under section 48 of the Trusts Act seeking directions that their fees incurred as statutory trustees of the Outstanding Redemptions be paid out of the Companies' residual cash assets, with the net remaining amounts to vest bona vacantia in the Financial Secretary of the Cayman Islands in accordance with section 153 of the Companies Act and Order 23, rule 6 of the CWR.

  1. Ruling of the Grand Court
In delivering his ruling, the Honourable Chief Justice accepted that Order 23, rule 5 of the CWR provides that a former liquidator is entitled to be paid a reasonable fee for advertising, administering claims and preparing their accounts pursuant to section 153 of the Companies Act and in accordance with Order 23 of the CWR and that the basis and amount of that fee must be fixed by the Grand Court.

In addition, the Honourable Chief Justice accepted the submission that section 48 of the Trusts Act provided the Former JVLs, in their capacity as statutory trustees of the Outstanding Redemptions, with a statutory gateway to seek an order for directions that their fees be capped in accordance with Order 23, rule 5 of the CWR.

Having regard to the above principles, the Honourable Chief Justice was satisfied that the Former JVLs' fees and expenses of administering the Outstanding Redemptions as statutory trustees had been reasonably and proportionately incurred and that the Former JVLs' times costs referable to the management and distribution of the Outstanding Redemptions were therefore recoverable as against the trust assets.

  1. Benefit of the ruling to former liquidators
From a practical perspective, the principal advantage of issuing an application under section 48 of the Trusts Act is that a filing fee of CI$200 will be payable by a former liquidator, as opposed to the CI$5,000 filing fee payable in respect of an originating application filed in the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court. Furthermore, the Honourable Chief Justice confirmed the suitability of applications of this nature to be disposed of "on the papers" on the basis that they fall squarely within the provisions of Order 85, rule 8(1) of the Grand Court Rules (1995 Revision) (as revised), thereby avoiding the cost of a formal hearing before the Grand Court.

The Chief Justice's ruling provides welcome clarification to insolvency practitioners tasked with administering undistributed assets following the dissolution of a Cayman Islands entity and confirms the availability of an efficient and economical mechanism by which a former liquidator may seek directions for the approval of their fees reasonably incurred in administering such trust assets.

Peter Kendall and Blake Egelton of Walkers acted on behalf of the Former JVLs, Simon Conway and Jess Shakespeare of PWC Corporate Finance & Recovery (Cayman) Limited.

Sea change in the Cayman Islands: A new restructuring officer regime

Legislative reforms to Part V of the Cayman Islands Companies Act will shortly be coming into force which will, amongst other things, introduce a new restructuring officer regime available to certain debtors in financial distress. This new tool in the Cayman Islands’ restructuring arsenal will provide debtors with a global moratorium which will automatically arise upon the filing of the application seeking the appointment of restructuring officers (without the need for any Court hearing) within which a restructuring may be proposed and implemented by way of a Cayman Islands scheme of arrangement, a restructuring process in a foreign jurisdiction or consensually with all stakeholders.

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Article first published in the International Insolvency & Restructuring Report 2022/23.

Bermuda - A jurisdiction of choice for EU investors in CLOs

Following the inclusion in February 2022 of the Cayman Islands on the European Union's AML list, managers and investors have been turning to Bermuda as an alternative jurisdiction in which to incorporate issuers of collateralised loan obligations where the investor base is anticipated to include those based in the EU.

A collateralised loan obligation ("CLO") is a type of securitisation whereby a portfolio of (usually leveraged) loans are pooled into a series of marketable debt securities. In the initial phase, known as warehousing, a special purpose issuer vehicle acquires the loans over a period typically lasting three to six months using a combination of bank debt and the proceeds of issuing redeemable preference shares. At closing of the CLO, the issuer issues a series of notes secured by the receivables representing the underlying loans, with the proceeds being used, among other purposes, to repay the bank debt and to redeem the preference shares. Over the life of the deal, the issuer uses the loan receivables to pay principal and interest on the notes. The key difference between a CLO and a typical securitisation structure is the active management of the collateral portfolio: the issuer engages the services of a collateral manager who selects the portfolio of loans and who can buy, sell and substitute loans in that portfolio.

 

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This article was originally publisehed in the Bermuda Business Review 2022 - 2023.

The Bermuda Business Review 2022-2023 examines how Bermuda is building on its position as the world’s risk capital, adapting to today’s challenges as it develops key sectors such as (re)insurance, asset management, funds and trusts, evolving as a modern international business centre and a digital hub for technological innovation in areas like fintech, insurtech, blockchain and virtual assets business, whilst also illustrating how it is extending its welcome to international visitors, to come and enjoy the Island’s unique attributes as one of the world's top year round tourist destinations.

Laying The Foundations - Cayman Islands Foundation Companies

Monique Bhullar and James Glover review the benefits of foundation companies in the Cayman Islands, five years on from their introduction.

Introduced by the Foundation Companies Law 2017 (the Law), a foundation company is a type of company governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands. The same body of law applies to a foundation company as to any other Cayman Islands company, unless modified or excluded by the Law. The constitution is set out in a memorandum and articles of association, which may be supplemented by a set of by-laws (similar to a letter of wishes for a trust). The foundation company is managed by a board of directors, although other persons, including the founder, may be granted various degrees of control over the affairs of the foundation company.

 

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This article was first published in the STEP Journal Volume 30; Issue 3, 2022,

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