Regulatory and compliance in Cayman Islands

Walkers

Walkers fields an increasingly large team of dedicated financial, regulatory and compliance specialists, all of whom bring experience as either financial regulatory lawyers, in-house regulatory counsel, or offshore and onshore regulators to bear on complex regulatory projects. Leveraging an operational compliance service that complements its legal offering, the group is renowned for acting as regulatory counsel for a significant number of large investment funds and insurance and reinsurance entities with operations in Cayman, advising on anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist and proliferation financing matters, international sanctions, regulatory capital requirements, investigations and regulatory disputes. The key names to note are global regulatory head Lucy Frew , who handles the full spectrum of mandates from strategic advice to financial regulatory compliance issues, and senior counsel Tony De Quintal, who excels in applications and notifications to the CIMA. Senior counsel Andrew Howarth and associate Colm Dawson provide key support in this area.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Frew

Testimonials

We have found Walkers support on Cayman regulatory matters to be exceptionally helpful – they are very responsive and able to provide contextual as well as pragmatic advice.’

We work primarily with Colm Dawson and indirectly with Lucy Frew who we find to be exceptional business partners in assisting us with resolving and crafting solutions to Cayman matters. Their timeliness and responsiveness is particularly notable.’

Key clients

Anchorage

Apollo Management

Bank of America

Blackstone

Cerberus

CVC Capital Partners

First Reserve Corporation

GSO Capital Partners

HarbourVest Partners

Oak Hill Capital Management

Oaktree Capital Management

PineBridge

Pine Brook

Prudential

Stone Point Capital

The Carlyle Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Carlyle Aviation and its Cayman Islands entities on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis, including the application of the developing Cayman Islands beneficial ownership regime to Carlyle Aviation entities and any applicable reporting requirements.
  • Advised Apollo and its Cayman investment funds on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis, including with the regulatory aspects of launches and closings.
  • Advised PineBridge and its Cayman investment funds and on a range of regulatory matters on an ongoing basis.

Maples Group

Under the leadership of Christopher Capewell , the regulatory and financial services practice at Maples Group is ‘heavily involved at all levels with AIMA, the local regulator and local government‘ displaying capabilities in both non-contentious and contentious regulatory matters. In particular, it has considerable expertise in anti-money laundering regulations, mandatory reporting and information exchange matters, data protection work, the Securities Investment Business Act and economic substance matters, among others. Retained by a plethora of regulated entities including banks, investment managers, trust companies and fund administrators, the department also features Tim Dawson, who sits as a member of various government regulatory working groups, and of counsel Adam Huckle , who is a ‘sanctions specialist‘ who ‘stands out as an up-and-coming litigator‘.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Capewell

Testimonials

‘Deep (and senior) bench. Heavily involved at all levels with AIMA, the local regulator and local government. #1 in terms of engagement with standard setters locally. Leaders in the industry.’

‘Tim Dawson, Martin Livingston and Pat Head are the go to guys on regulatory matters. In every instance, from Data Protection to new Economic Substance requirements, the team has practical experience and you feel it has seen your problem before and have the solution. Adam Huckle is the best sanctions specialist.’

The team combines considerable practical and strategic experience real-world litigation experience. They are also very pleasant to work with, responsive and unfailingly polite.’

Adam Huckle stands out as an up-and-coming litigator. Having been involved in more than one piece of litigation in Cayman he is notable for his calm, thoughtful and strategically savvy approach.’

They ensure that we are kept appraised of developments in Cayman Islands law and regulatory trends, are very responsive to our and independent director questions, and their teams have engaged well with our teams to ensure compliance with the evolving regulatory framework in Cayman.’

Mourant

The regulatory team at Mourant, which focuses on regulatory developments impacting financial services, insurance and banking entities, is particularly active in regulatory inspections, licence applications and amendments, and provides advice on and analysis of existing regulatory regimes. In particular, it displays a deep well of expertise of the economic substance, private fund, beneficial ownership and AML/CFT frameworks. Supported by the firm’s corporate, funds and dispute resolution specialists, the group, which is noted for its ‘proactive and collaborative style’, is headed up by dedicated regulatory lawyer Sara Galletly, who is ‘extremely well-versed in the intricacies of the myriad of regulatory legislation introduced in Cayman in the past few years and has been a bright light’.

Practice head(s):

Sara Galletly

Testimonials

‘I’ve always had exceptional service from Mourant. The team is very helpful and responsive and I have great confidence in the advice I’ve received.’

‘Sara Galletly stands out because she delivers such clear and concise advice. In a sea of confusing regulations, she has the ability to disseminate advice clearly leaving me confident in my course of action.’

‘This team has a pragmatic approach to regulatory and compliance, and a proactive and collaborative style.’

‘Sara Galletly is the real gem in this team. She’s extremely well versed in the intricacies of the myriad of regulatory legislation introduced in Cayman in the past few years and has been a bright light in a number of different forums bringing clarity and relevance to this area. She is approachable and engaging and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Sara Galletly provides commercial, practical and applicable advice. She is my ‘go-to’ regulatory and compliance lawyer.’

‘Very competent, responsive and personable service.’

‘Personable service, a lot of care put into building a relationship, understanding needs, and responding in an appropriate and timely manner.’

‘I found the team to have sufficient depth to address regulatory/compliance questions that we had. I worked with a primary point of contact who brought in specialized team members as situation warranted. Given the size of the firm, they appear to have in-depth experience covering a wide variety of situations and circumstances. I also found them to be very responsive, even during the times that appeared to be very busy (around filing deadlines). It also helped that the various team members had a good understanding of our business going into discussions which allowed for a more to the point conversations to take place.’

Ogier

Ogier’s regulatory and compliance coverage is divided among core service line offerings, with practitioners who are praised as ‘exemplary, professional and down to earth‘ advising clients on the practical application of various regulatory and compliance requirements. Joanne Huckle  leads the investment fund regulatory group, guiding clients through the private funds law, engaging with legislators and the regulator, as well as industry bodies, through participation in technical committees. The corporate and private client regulatory sub-team is fronted by Dave Sherwin, who joined from Maples Group in late 2020 and advises clients on compliance with the anti-money laundering, tax information exchange, economic substance and country-by-country reporting for international tax disclosure regimes. The contentious regulatory team is led by Jennifer Fox , who acts for clients in financial crime and sanction issues as well as cross-border investigations. Banking regulatory lead James Heinicke  and local client regulatory head William Jones  are other names to note.

Other key lawyers:

Martin Byers

Testimonials

‘My go-to firm for Cayman funds regulation.’

‘Dave Sherwin is stellar on regulatory advice both advisory and contentious. Real intellectual firepower and tactically astute, has both the regulatory detail and funds experience. Our go-to person for investment funds regulatory issues. And is a pleasure to deal with. Big thanks.’

From associates to the partners, the team are clued in, always contactable and go above and beyond to meet deadlines.’

I have worked on a number of complex regulatory matters and they have been solution-focused.’

‘Dave Sherwin is a technical genius. The guidance, and attention to detail with so many moving parts was brilliant. I would highly recommend him.’

‘The team is dynamic and smart. They are problem solver extraordinaires.’

‘Dave Sherwin is a master in his field. He comes with a huge amount of regulatory experience and manages to inform his clients in a comprehensive yet humorous manner.’

‘Ogier are equal parts exemplary, professional and down to earth. They are extremely efficient and thorough and really take a tailored approach to each client and matter presented.’

Key clients

Digital Swiss Gold (Jersey) Limited

VersoView Foundation

Pocket Network Foundation

Work highlights

  • Provided AML and fintech advisory services to Digital Swiss Gold (Jersey) Limited in connection with the use of a company as the primary operating company and general commercial/regulatory support in negotiations with paying agents, custodians and precious metals banks.
  • Advised VersoView Foundation on the structuring of the VersoView Foundation, a foundation that promotes the VersoView Platform.
  • Advised Pocket Network Foundation on the regulatory analysis for the establishment, ongoing operation and structuring of the Pocket Network Foundation, a non-profit entity that represents and acts on behalf of a decentralised autonomous organisation.

Appleby

Particularly well versed in data protection and cybersecurity issues, Appleby’s regulatory and compliance group is, since early 2021, complemented by ARC (Appleby Regulatory Compliance), plugging the gap between regulatory advice and corporate services. The group has seen an uptick in regulatory disputes, which are handled by Peter McMaster . It also assists regulated entities with regulatory approval applications, ongoing regulatory advice, and acts for clients on the regulatory aspects of corporate deals, a notable strong suit of Jacob MacAdam . Elsewhere, Peter Colegate, who was made partner in April 2021, specialises in privacy and data protection regulatory work, especially in the technology sector. The practice sits as part of the overall corporate group, headed up by Simon Raftopoulos.

Practice head(s):

Simon Raftopoulos

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management

Willis North America

AON plc

DataLink

The Proprietors, Strata Plan No.22 (Beachcomber)

Brickell Insurance Holdings LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising a group of property developers and other interested parties on contesting a decision of the Minister of Finance to retrospectively apply a new interpretation of the Stamp Duty Act (2019 Revision), imposing Stamp Duty on transactions where it had not previously been imposed.
  • Representing the Defendant in RB440 Properties Ltd v The Proprietors, Strata Plan Number 22, in which the plaintiff is demanding access to all and any data collected by the strata corporation; the request raises issues about the application of the Cayman Islands Data Protection Act.
  • Acted for Brickell Insurance Holdings LLC in connection with Brickell’s share exchange investment in Randall & Quilter, including assistance with obtaining required regulatory approvals for the exchange transaction and coordinating regulatory filings across jurisdictions.

Campbells

Campbells‘ regulatory and compliance department, jointly fronted by Guy Manning and Alan Craig, covers both contentious and non-contentious work for banks, investment funds and insurance companies. Simon Thomas guides clients through the investment fund registration and securities investment business regimes, reporting requirements under FATCA and the OECD’s Common Reporting Standards, as well as the anti-money laundering, economic substance and ultimate beneficial ownership frameworks. James Austin-Smith has extensive experience of CIMA enforcement cases, dealing with the full range of mandates from administrative fines to judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Guy Manning; Alan Craig

Testimonials

‘The team are always available and make time to deal with matters as they arise. They set clear expectations from the outset with regards to when responses will be delivered and what form they will take. They ask incisive and relevant questions. They deliver on time.’

‘I deal primarily with James Austin-Smith from a regulatory advice perspective. He is pragmatic and incredibly knowledgeable. He makes himself available and always provides a timely response on urgent matters irrespective of how busy he already is. He very clearly enjoys his field and getting to grips with the matters on which we require assistance.’

‘Campbells has developed the reputation for not being intimidated by regulatory bodies — no matter how powerful or well-resourced. This invariably stems from the presence of James Austin-Smith as the backbone of this department. They are easily among the top firms in the regulatory and compliance space simply based upon the results they achieve for their clients.’

‘I had the pleasure of working with James Austin-Smith, who is simply an amazing litigator. James has the unique ability to truly take your problems and care about them as passionately as if they were his own. James is an incredibly talented and strategically-minded attorney whose advice is on-point and result-oriented.’

Key clients

Willis Towers Watson

Marsh McLennan

Deloitte

Premier Assurance Group SPC

Carey Olsen

Led by Nick Bullmore  and Jarrod Farley , Carey Olsen’s team advises a mix of banks, corporates, investment managers, family offices, fund administrators and trust companies on various regulatory and compliance regimes that affect Cayman entities. Recently, it has assisted clients with new obligations relating to FATCA/CRS, country by country reporting, beneficial ownership registers, economic substance, and anti-money laundering and sanctions issues. It also has expertise in the Securities Investment Business Law, Mutual Funds Law and Private Funds Act regimes, along with the regulatory aspects of M&A.

Practice head(s):

Nick Bullmore; Jarrod Farley

Key clients

Harmonic Fund Services

Tzur Capital Management

Conyers

The cross-departmental regulatory and compliance group at Conyers fields practice area specialists who demonstrate expertise in the AML, FATCA/CRS and economic substance regimes, among others. Robert Lindley specialises in regulatory issues affecting pensions, private trust companies, foundation companies and other trust structures. Insurance specialist Derek Stenson  advises insurance-related entities on privacy and data protection requirements, and also prepares regulatory applications for new insurance companies.

Other key lawyers:

Derek Stenson ; Robert Lindley

Testimonials

They are exceptional regulatory lawyers. They are experts in Cayman legislation and were able to provide sound and practical advice to us.’

Conyers team, especially Derek Stenson, were always available and helped us accomplish our ambitious goals.’

We deal with Robert Lindley and his team at Conyers. He has been extremely helpful in dealing with the legalities of Economic Substance.’

They understand our perspective on issues and answer our questions clearly and concisely.’

Key clients

The Jamaica National Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Jamaica National Group’s JN Cayman on its conversion from a building society to a regulated Class A Bank in the Cayman Islands, pursuant to the Cayman Islands Building Societies Act and the Banks and Trust Companies Act (2021 Revision).