Walkers named Top Offshore Law Firm

| 29/10/2008

(CNS): Walkers has been named as ‘Top Offshore Law Firm’ in the 2008 Alpha Awards for hedge fund service providers, with particular praise in the areas of hedge fund expertise and in the regulatory and compliance field, based on the votes of more than 1,000 hedge fund firms which manage more than US$1.5 trillion. (Left: Jonathan Tonge)

Alpha Magazine compiled its rankings based on the quality of service the firms received for the 12 months to March 31 2008. Views on service quality were broken down into a number of broad attributes and respondents were also asked to rate the importance of each attribute, which was used to help calculate the overall winner.

"Receiving any award is always welcome but it is particularly gratifying when the results are based upon the views of our clients in the investment management community," said Jonathan Tonge, managing partner of Walkers’ hedge fund practice, who is based in the Cayman Islands. "Our success can be attributed to the expertise and hard work of all the members of our hedge funds group and clients can be sure of our continued devoted attention and responsiveness at what is such a crucial time for the industry."

In addition to offshore law, the Alpha Magazine awards also recognised excellence in service to hedge funds among accountants, fund administrators, prime brokers and onshore law firms. Other winners included Morgan Stanley, Shartsis Friese, Rothstein Kass & Co., and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

The recent establishment by Walkers of a specialist Distressed Funds Group was also noted by Alpha Magazine. Formed earlier this year to assist hedge funds affected by the credit crisis and market downturn, the Distressed Funds Group draws on expertise from Walkers corporate, insolvency and litigation departments in its Cayman, British Virgin Islands and Jersey offices. Amid current market uncertainty, clients have welcomed additional specialist services targeted towards a specific market need.

In its overview of this year’s Alpha Awards, the publication noted the brisk growth that the hedge fund industry has experienced in the Cayman Islands, where the number of hedge funds registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority reached 10,291 as of September 30. Demonstrating resilience in the face of the global financial crisis, there were a net 254 new hedge funds registered in the Cayman Islands in the third quarter of 2008, taking cancellations into account.

"As has been demonstrated by the recent moves to Cayman by offshore law firms from elsewhere in the region, the Cayman Islands remain the clear jurisdiction of choice for offshore hedge funds. If you want to work in the hedge fund space then you need to be here," said Mark Lewis, senior investment funds partner at Walkers.

Walkers will host a seminar in New York on November 6 specifically designed to examine issues relating to distressed hedge funds. ‘Fighting the Tape’ will be a unique discussion on protecting and growing a hedge fund business in volatile markets. Speakers at the event include a number of Walkers hedge fund partners and invited guests, particularly renowned hedge fund manager George Hall, the Founder and President of the Clinton Group Inc.; Yolanda McCoy, Head of the Investments and Securities Division of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA); and Jeffrey Rosensweig, Associate Professor of Finance at Emory University.

A limited number of spaces remain and for more information about the event or to reserve a seat, please contact Walkers’ Marketing Team at communications@walkersglobal.com. The ‘Walkers Fundamentals’ series of ‘Thought Leadership’ events will be developed further over the coming months.

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