This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the year – Cayman Islands
Walkers is a leading offshore law firm with nine offices spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The firm focuses on corporate and international finance law with an emphasis on investment funds, private equity and capital markets, and structured finance. Its comprehensive knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial environment in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Ireland and Jersey grant it a unique position in the global legal market. Walkers has been active in capitalising on its advantage in this respect – in September 2011 it launched its insurance linked securities group, which advises on the legal and practical aspects of trading, financing and securitising risk involving Cayman Islands and Irish entities, and in January 2011 it expanded its tax group in Dublin, with the addition of two partners. Twenty lawyers from seven offices represent the firm in six of the following chapters.
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 20|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Capital Markets||1||Private Funds||13|
Private funds is undoubtedly the firm’s forte, with 13 names appearing in the corresponding chapter. The Cayman Islands office fields five nominees. Heidi de Vries is a “hedge fund expert” and is considered by our sources to be “communicative, helpful and a delight to work with”. Mark Lewis is “extremely experienced and knowledgeable” having worked in this sector for more than 28 years. The “superb” Rolf Lindsay’s practice focuses primarily on private equity funds and their activities, and encompasses the structuring of fund sponsor vehicles, the formation of alternative investment funds and the consummation of transactions undertaken by them. Ingrid Pierce and Gwyneth Rees have “outstanding reputations, and deservedly so” according to one interviewee. In Hong Kong, Rod Palmer is considered “an excellent lawyer and a trusted adviser” while Denise Wong impresses peers with her “sound judgement and invaluable regional knowledge”. Two lawyers from the Jersey office are listed. Jonathan Heaney is “first-rate” for investment funds work and is also noted for his “fantastic client service”. Jonathan Tonge specialises in hedge funds, banking and general corporate transactions with global responsibility for all practice areas. He is praised for “understanding what is important to clients” and is “always willing to go the extra mile”. Anne Forbes-Harper practises from the London office and her “stellar” work has a particular emphasis on fund formation for hedge funds and private equity, largely in the emerging markets sector. In Dublin, Ian Ashman earned votes for his “fierce intelligence and brilliant strategy” while in Singapore Laura Rogers’ advice is “consistently excellent”. Ashley Gunning, also based in Singapore, is “second to none for fund formation” and “very attentive to clients” according to one commentator.
Three Walkers lawyers feature in the insolvency chapter. In the Cayman Islands, Guy Locke is considered “the go-to guy” for contentious insolvency matters while sources commend Colette Wilkins as “a fantastic litigator – very bright and always on the ball”. Sandie Corbett practises from the firm’s British Virgin Islands office and is “a tough opponent” whose “style and strategy in the courtroom set her apart from her peers”.
The firm earns four more listings in four different practice areas. Dublin-based partner Ken Rush features in the aviation chapter. He is “impressively knowledgeable” on the financing and leasing of aircraft” and “first choice” for many of those we spoke to. Garry Ferguson, also of the Dublin office, is listed for his capital markets expertise. He has acted as lead counsel, issuer counsel and trustee counsel on a wide variety of transactions including all types of CLOs, CDOs, ABS and MBS deals, CAT bonds and Commercial Paper Programmes, earning him a reputation as an “outstanding practitioner”. Diarmad Murray, who practises from the Cayman Islands office, is included in the business crime defence chapter and is described by sources as “sharp-minded and brilliant in the courtroom”. Jack Husbands appears in the commercial litigation chapter and is lauded as “phenomenally talented and vastly experienced”.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.