Monday, November 06, 2006

Growth in BVI high-end law services sector makes Walkers to expand

Walkers, one of the leading international offshore law firms, has announced its point of view on the significant growth in the number of sophisticated, high-value corporate transactions and complex international litigation cases in the British Virgin Islands. In response, the company took new office space and hired additional staff to service the needs of the growing number of clients. The new lawyers were hired in June, just before Walker's expansion into Jersey by joining Crills Advocates. Now they are presented to the community.

Heidi de Vries, the Managing Partner of Walkers' BVI office, has noted that adding resources to the BVI office of the company is necessary to ensure firm's clients to receive outstanding service, as the level and complexity of their work in BVI continues to increase.

One of the experienced professionals who has been recently added to Walkers' BVI office as an associate lawyer is Lisa Penn-Lettsome, who has worked for long period in the BVI government and financial sectors. Earlier in 2006 she was elected as President of the BVI Bar Association. Before this, she served over five years as Deputy Managing Director of the Territory's Financial Services Commission; she demitted this post in 2003, having decided to retire from BVI Public Service.

Mrs. Penn-Lettsome has also held other executive management positions in the Public Service including as acting Registrar of Companies, Supervisor of Elections, Magistrate and Permanent Secretary. She was the first Chairman of the BVI's Financial Investigations Agency. Ms. Penn-Lettsome is a member of the STEP’s Trust and Succession Law Review Committee and International Compliance Association.

Having joined Walkers, Lisa is presently seated in the Private Client Department. The new professionals added to the corporate department of Walkers' BVI Office are Richard May and Simon Hudd.

Mr. May trained and qualified at the London department of Ashurst – the leading international law firm for financial institutions and corporate clients. He is an experienced professional in the spheres of general corporate finance, private equities, public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and investment funds. In Walkers he advises on a wide range of matters including general corporate transactions, investment funds, acquisition finance and insolvency related work.

Simon Hudd joined the Walkers' BVI office in June 2006 and now advises on general corporate and commercial issues. His previous place of work was CMS Cameron McKenna LLP in London, where he advised on general corporate issues, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance matters with a particular focus on cross-border transactions. Mr. Hudd has completed a Maitrise en Droit in French and European Law from the Universite de Rennes I in France in 2000, and has working knowledge of French.

As a result of a greater demand for the firm's investment funds, structured finance and insolvency litigation skills in BVI, Walkers is expecting to add five more attorneys before the end of the year 2006. Mr. Lloyd, the senior partner of Walkers' BVI office, considers that expanding the Walkers' BVI office reflects the popularity of BVI as a jurisdiction for international deals.

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