June 5, 2023

Walkers launch specialist group

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Derek Stenson

Leading international financial law firm Walkers has announced the launch of its Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) Group.

It will bring together the deep expertise within the firm regarding alternative risk transfer arrangements such as catastrophe bonds, reinsurance sidecars and securitisation vehicles.

Walkers’ ILS Group features a group of dedicated, multi-jurisdictional lawyers based in the firm’s Cayman Islands and Dublin offices. The group advises clients on the legal and practical aspects of trading, financing and securitising risk involving Cayman Islands and Irish entities, including cash and synthetic catastrophe bonds, captive insurers, sidecars and life settlement transactions.

The ILS Group leverages on Walkers’ market leading reputation in structured finance and capital markets, alongside the firm’s unmatched industry experience from acting for many of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance companies.

“As the highly specialised market for Cat bonds has grown dramatically over the past decade — and is further expected to double over the next two or three years – the Cayman Islands and Ireland have emerged as the jurisdictions of choice for Cat bond issuing vehicles,” said Garry Ferguson, partner in Walkers’ Dublin office. “At Walkers we understand the volatile nature of the insurance industry and our team is dedicated to helping our clients receive the best return on their risk through the provision of quality, commercially rooted advice.”

Philip Paschalides

“With limited capacity in the insurance and reinsurance industry to underwrite new risks and with important regulatory changes regarding capital requirements underway in the form of Solvency II, insurers are increasingly looking to alternative channels to raise capital in order to cover catastrophic risks,” commented Philip Paschalides, partner with Walkers, based in the firm’s Cayman Islands office. “With strong investor appetite we anticipate continued growth in this sector, particularly with the recent enhancements to the Insurance Law in the Cayman Islands, which introduced a new licensing category for Cat bond issuers.”

Walkers’ ILS Group also includes Dublin-based partner Anthony Smyth who specialises in tax, as well as a number of other specialist attorneys from Dublin and the Cayman Islands. “Walkers’ attorneys have experience of working on the vast majority of the Cat bond transactions effected in Ireland to-date and our specialist Dublin-based taxation team builds efficient Irish tax structures based on a wealth of cross-border experience in the capital markets and structured products space,” said Mr. Smyth.

Additionally, Walkers is pleased to announce the appointment of Derek Stenson, who joins the firm’s Cayman Islands office as an associate in the ILS Group. Mr. Stenson specialises in capital markets transactions with a focus on insurance linked securitisations.


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