Walkers > Hamilton, Bermuda > Firm Profile

Walkers
PARK PLACE
55 PAR LA VILLE ROAD, 3RD FLOOR
HAMILTON
HM12
Bermuda

Bermuda > Regulatory and compliance Tier 1

The regulatory and risk advisory team at Walkers attracts praise for its ‘ability to tackle complex regulatory considerations and structures by providing commercial and practical solutions’. Working in tandem with colleagues from other international offices on a cross-jurisdictional basis, the department primarily advises financial institutions including banks, investment funds, fintech companies, corporate service providers and insurance entities on day-to-day financial regulatory compliance issues, AML and counter-terrorist and proliferation financing work, the economic substance regime, international sanctions, private funds requirements, automatic exchange of information matters, FATCA reporting work and regulatory issues arising from the fintech and digital assets spheres. Globally, Cayman-based Lucy Frew  leads the practice, which also includes Natalie Neto, who has been instrumental in the development of Bermuda’s digital assets legislation. Senior associate Melanie Fullerton (top-notch knowledge of regulatory matters) adds a unique perspective on regulatory issues, having previously worked at the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Ability to tackle complex regulatory considerations and structures by providing commercial and practical solutions.’

‘Melanie Fullerton has top-notch knowledge of regulatory matters and is well connected in the industry, providing easy to digest advice on complex matters and overlays the practical.’

Key clients

Diamond Standard

Kettle Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Diamond Standard Ltd. on its application and subsequent approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority for a Class M License in accordance with the Digital Asset Business Act 2018 (as amended).
  • Advised Kettle Ltd. on the formation and licensing of a new innovative insurance agent with the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Bermuda > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

The team at Walkers maintains an excellent client base of banks and financial institutions on the lender side, and also increasingly active on the borrower front, acting for clients from the energy, hotel and leisure, commercial shipping, fund administration, aviation and cruise line sectors. The department, which is steered by Jonathan Betts, regularly assists clients with project finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, structured finance and securitisation, debt capital markets, shipping and aviation finance and regulatory matters. Elsewhere, Adam Bathgate and senior counsel Nathalie West are singled out as ‘extremely pleasant to work with, knowledgeable and solution-oriented’, while Natalie Neto and Sarah Demerling provide key support on large instructions.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Incredible service, rapid turnaround time, practical and solution-oriented.’

‘I worked with Adam Bathgate and Nathalie West. I would recommend both in a heartbeat. Extremely pleasant to work with, knowledgeable and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

JPMorgan

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

GAN Limited

McDermott Group

Carlyle Group

Alpha Innovations Ltd

Diamond Standard Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A in connection with Carnival Corporation’s Rule 144A offering of $4bn 11.5% first priority senior secured notes due 2023 and $2.0125bn 5.75% convertible senior notes due 2023, as well as the $1.86bn and €800m senior secured term loan agreement.
  • Acted as sole Bermuda counsel to Algoma Central Corporation on the refinancing of its senior secured debt that was due to mature during 2021.
  • Advised McDermott International group on all Bermudan (and Cayman) law aspects of its 2020 restructuring, including advising on finance and security issues related to the $2.81bn debtor-in-possession financing facility that closed in January 2020.

Bermuda > Corporate and commercial Tier 2

The corporate, finance and funds practice at Walkers encompasses the full spectrum of corporate and commercial work, with particular expertise in M&A, corporate structurings, joint ventures, SPAC transactions, continuances and discontinuances, as well as providing corporate advice to a wide range of entities with interests in Bermuda. Leading the team is Jonathan Betts, who has a strong reputation for local infrastructure transactions in the renewable energy, hotel and leisure, and insurance sectors. Working alongside Betts is Natalie Neto, who has substantial expertise in take privates, takeovers, tender offers and squeeze-outs, amalgamations, mergers, and schemes of arrangement, particularly in relation to insurance and other regulated entities. Insurance specialist Sarah Demerling and fintech expert and senior associate Rachel Nightingale are also highly regarded in this area.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team has an extreme focus on ferreting out not only potential legislative issues regarding our business plans, but also has an ear to the ground with changes that may be coming which can impact our current and future business lines.’

‘Sarah Demerling is our go-to, who we are thrilled with. We run in impressive circles within the Bermuda investment industry and Sarah and her team are the constant nexus.’

Key clients

McDermott Group

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Apex Group

PPF a.s.

GAN Limited

Swiss Re

Alpha Innovations Ltd

Welton Investment Partners LLC

Diamond Standard Ltd.

Carlyle Group

Onex

Work highlights

  • Advised McDermott International group on all Bermudan (and Cayman) law aspects of its 2020 restructuring.
  • Advising Diamond Standard on its various incorporations and corporate structuring to aid the client’s vision of creating a fintech ecosystem based on its business plan and purpose.
  • Advised Alpha Innovations on the structure and launch of a new fund platform, Laureates ISAC Ltd platform, Bermuda’s first incorporated segregated accounts company (ISAC) to be launched as a fund platform.

Bermuda > Dispute resolution Tier 2

The insolvency and dispute resolution team at Walkers is commended not only for ‘its availability, its proactivity but also for its expertise, its common sense and the speed with which it was able to advise’. Appearing regularly before the Supreme Court of Bermuda and Bermuda Court of Appeal, practice head Kevin Taylor concentrates on commercial disputes, in particular contentious liquidation proceedings, receiverships, shareholder disputes and asset recovery issues. Peter Dunlop specialises in insurance and reinsurance disputes, while Nicole Tovey (‘an excellent practitioner who delivers insightful, highly commercial advice in a timely fashion‘) regularly represents international clients in insolvency and trust litigation. At the senior associate level, Benjamin McCosker is the key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘A good network of international connections to draw on and an outstanding commitment to client service and responsiveness.’

‘Kevin Taylor and Nicole Tovey work well as a team, and fight to protect their clients’ position. Always available and a good approach to solving difficult problems.’

‘Compared to other law firms in Bermuda, but also in other countries, we were impressed not only for its availability, its proactivity but also for its expertise, its common sense and the speed with which it was able to advise us on a particularly complex case.’ 

‘Peter Dunlop – highly knowledgeable, very good sense of the strategy and reasonable counsel. Always try to make himself available despite the workload. Efficient. Great ability to clearly explain complex files and procedures.’

Walkers has offices in Bermuda and Cayman Islands. They work together extremely well creating efficiencies when dealing with legal situations across the two jurisdictions.’

Nicole Tovey and Kevin Taylor are both very experienced in the Bermuda litigation process. Very organised. They stay on top of key dates and when and what information needs to be provided. Never missed a deadline. Always available to discuss and explain matters.’

Walkers is now one of Bermuda’s full service firms, competing effectively with other longer-established firms and driving changes within the legal market here. Walkers has an excellent restructuring and insolvency practice.’

Nicole Tovey is an excellent practitioner who delivers insightful, highly commercial advice in a timely fashion. She has great appreciation of cross-border issues and is also very well connected locally. Kevin Taylor is rapidly becoming one of the market leaders in Bermuda for restructuring and insolvency advice.’

Key clients

CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Credit Suisse ILS

Clarien Bank Limited

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Limited (Hong Kong)

Bermuda Monetary Authority

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Hong Kong)

The Commissioner of the Bermuda Police Service

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Princess Cruise Lines

Aon

Allianz

US Bancorp

National Australia Bank

Citi Group

Bermuda > Insurance/reinsurance Tier 2

The multidisciplinary insurance and reinsurance team at Walkers primarily handles matters relating to limited-purpose insurance and captive insurance entities, insurance-linked securities, insurtech, and general business commercial insurance. The group’s coverage spans the entire insurance risk cycle, from formation and licensing work to regulatory and compliance issues and claims and disputes. Practice co-head Sarah Demerling is singled out as ‘knowledgeable, connected and available, providing commercial solutions to complex matters’, displaying particular strength in the regulatory issues that affect insurers and reinsurers. Demerling leads the team alongside Peter Dunlop (who is ‘well connected in the industry’), whose practice focuses on complex insurance disputes. Regulatory expert and senior associate Melanie Fullerton is another standout name.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Legal and commercial knowledge, practical/easy to digest commercial advice.’

‘Sarah Demerling is knowledgeable, connected and available, providing commercial solutions to complex matters. Peter Dunlop is well connected in the industry and has his pulse on regulatory and commercials and displays an ability to provide commercial advice to complicated matters.’

The most important part of any firm are the people with their knowledge and ability to understand the nuances for the Bermuda marketplace. Sarah was excellent to work with getting our ILS Fund ready to go and Melanie has been excellent to work with regarding Bermuda regulatory advice. Both also take the time to explain their advice and allay any stresses and uncertainties.’

Would highly recommend Peter Dunlop. He gets to the point, is commercial in approach and delivers.’

Walkers response time and the product is phenomenal. They’ve created a team of experts on various subject matters which is key for businesses starting and in operation on the island.’

Both Peter Dunlop and Melanie Fullerton are stand-out lawyers, and legal representatives in the industry on island. They have an unwavering commitment, and own the work/projects as if it was 100% their stake. They are always available for questions and they process our needs almost immediately.’

Key clients

Swiss Re

Fleming Reinsurance Ltd.

Our Kettle Inc.

Vantage Risk Limited

Aspen (Kendall Re Ltd)

Arcadian Risk Capital Limited

Lancashire Holdings Limited

Credit Suisse Insurance Linked Strategies

Onex

Work highlights

  • Advised Our Kettle Inc on an insurtech sandbox licence, representing a new source of reinsurance business for Bermuda reinsurers.
  • Advised Vantage Risk Ltd on its inaugural $225m cat bond, including acting as listing sponsor.

The firm: Walkers is a leading international law firm that provides legal, corporate, fiduciary and compliance services to global corporations, financial institutions, capital markets participants and investment fund managers. Clients include FORTUNE 100 and FTSE 100 companies, as well as the most innovative firms and institutions across the financial markets. Walkers’ lawyers are experienced, entrepreneurial, committed to client service and held in high regard by clients for their ability to deliver outstanding legal advice.

Walkers is experienced in all types of international and cross-border transactions, covering a broad range of sectors, with a particular focus on both contentious and non-contentious corporate and finance law, investment funds, private equity, structured products, capital markets, private capital and trusts. Walkers delivers excellent, clear, practical advice based on an in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial environment in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and Ireland. The firm is consistently ranked in the top tier of leading global legal directories. Clients describe Walkers as “a top-class firm,” and “stellar,” adding: “They are dedicated and responsive…”

Asset finance: Walkers acts for the world’s leading financial institutions and arrangers in relation to asset finance transactions. These transactions include the sale and purchase of aircraft, ships, telecommunications systems and other ‘big ticket’ items. The firm also regularly advises on the acquisition of all types of equipment through secured loan financing and finance leasing, as well as ship and yacht registration.
Contacts: Adam Bathgate, Jonathan Betts, Nathalie West

Banking: Walkers’ banking team is one of the most experienced transactional banking teams in the offshore market. It advises agents, arrangers, banks, international financial institutions and corporations on an extensive range of domestic and international cross-border banking and finance transactions. It advises on all aspects of loan and credit facilities ranging from short-term unsecured loans to multi-currency syndicated loans and revolving facilities, leveraged finance, acquisition finance, asset finance, debt restructuring, structured finance and capital markets.
Contacs: Adam Bathgate, Jonathan Betts, Nathalie West

Corporate: Walkers’ corporate group advises global corporations on a wide variety of company, commercial and corporate law matters. The team has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and clients include international companies of all sizes across all industry sectors, banks, private equity providers and a number of state and government entities. They are extensively experienced in advising on all corporate matters including mergers, acquisitions and disposals, corporate re-structuring, joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and commercial contracts and agreements of every nature.
Contacts: Jonathan Betts, Natalie Neto

FinTech: Walkers’ fintech group advises businesses specialising in digital assets, blockchain, alternative model finance and a wide range of related activities and services including funds, issuers, custodians and broker dealers. The team has specialist knowledge of licensing, marketing, data protection, tax transparency, outsourcing, international anti-money laundering regulation and other aspects relevant to FinTech businesses.
Contacts: Natalie Neto, Sarah Demerling

Insolvency and dispute resolution: Walkers’ IDR team advises on a full spectrum of insolvency and commercial litigation matters, including out of court restructuring, enforcement of security, and all types of contentious and non-contentious insolvency proceedings. The practice also includes corporate liquidation on various grounds, including ‘just and equitable’ liquidation, appointment and removal of liquidators and receivers; matters concerning the rights and duties of liquidators and receivers; cross-border and international insolvency; securing and tracing corporate assets and the full range of claims by and against liquidators, provisional liquidators and receivers. The team also has considerable experience assisting clients in relation to shareholder disputes, contentious trusts disputes, professional negligence and employment matters.
Contacts: Kevin Taylor, Nicole Tovey

Insurance and ILS: Walkers’ insurance team provides clients with market leading legal, regulatory and licensing advice for the establishment, structuring and on-going operation of all forms of insurance vehicles, including for the issue of insurance linked securities, as well as insurance managers, agents and brokers. It also routinely advises clients on corporate and transactional matters in the insurance space. The team routinely advises re/insurers and ILS funds on contract and policy wordings, and are uniquely placed to advise on the structuring of novel re/insurance products. It also has experience in portfolio transfers and commutations.
Contacts: Sarah Demerling, Peter Dunlop

Insurance dispute resolution: Walkers’ insurance dispute resolution team has decades of experience advising policyholders and re/insurers in Bermuda litigation and international arbitrations (Bermuda Form, ad hoc and institutional arbitrations) on a wide variety of disputed coverage and rescission claims and subrogated recovery claims across all re/insurance business lines in a broad array of industries, including captive insurance, pharmaceuticals, life, health and medical malpractice, oil and gas and financial reinsurance. The firm is routinely instructed to advise on enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards and injunctive relief. It also has considerable expertise in multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations for major reinsurers.
Contact: Peter Dunlop

Investment funds: Walkers’ investment funds group advises many of the world’s most prominent asset managers, fund promoters and institutional banks and investors. It advise on all aspects of offshore investment funds including fund formation, structuring, regulation, fund restructuring, fund re-domiciliation, termination and on-going general advice to investment funds and managers.
Contacts: Sarah Demerling, Jonathan Betts

Private equity: Walkers’ private equity group acts for most of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. It advises on all aspects of fund formation and capitalisation of investment vehicles, public and private mergers and acquisitions and down-stream transactions, capital call and subscription line financing, leveraged buy out, group restructuring, secured lending, take-private and IPO formation and due diligence.
Contacts: Jonathan Betts, Natalie Neto, Sarah Demerling

Regulatory and risk advisory: Walkers’ regulatory and risk advisory team offers advice on compliance and regulatory matters on a global basis. The team has an active advisory practice and regularly advises regulated and non-regulated financial services institutions on the interpretation and application of regulatory rules, policies and procedures.
Contacts: Natalie Neto, Melanie Fullerton

Restructuring: Walkers advises on all aspects of restructurings and reorganisations including complex cross-border financial and corporate restructurings, debt to equity swaps, distressed debt, asset finance and capital market products.
Contacts: Natalie Neto, Adam Bathgate, Nicole Tovey

Walkers Professional Services: Walkers Professional Services (“WPS”) is a leading provider of corporate, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and fiduciary services to corporate and institutional clients across global financial centres. WPS offers market leading expertise and value for spend, and its unique integrated legal and professional services team, combined with state of the art technology, positions WPS to deliver on this.
Contacts: Otelia Scott, Michael Wynne

Global managing partner: Ingrid Pierce
Bermuda managing partner: Kevin Taylor
Number of Bermuda partners: 7
Number of partners worldwide: 124
Number of Bermuda lawyers: 17
Number of lawyers worldwide: 420

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Kevin Taylorkevin.taylor@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1510
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Adam Bathgateadam.bathgate@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1515
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Jonathan Bettsjonathan.betts@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1511
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Sarah Demerlingsarah.demerling@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1525
Insurance, Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Peter Dunloppeter.dunlop@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1524
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Natalie Netonatalie.neto@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1533
Insolvency & Dispute Resolution Nicole Toveynicole.tovey@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1512
Regulatory & Risk Advisory Melanie Fullertonmelanie.fullerton@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1537
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Rachel Nightingalerachel.nightingale@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1520
Corporate, Finance, Funds & Insurance Nathalie Westnathalie.west@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1523
Corporate Services Otelia Scottotelia.scott@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1553
Regulatory Compliance Services Michael Wynnemichael.wynne@walkersglobal.com+1 441 242 1542
Bermuda partners : 7
Partners worldwide : 124
Bermuda lawyers : 17
Lawyers worldwide : 420
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