REGULATORY INSPECTIONS

The Financial Services Authority has been increasingly active in policing regulatory compliance in recent years. The Gambling Supervision Commission has also been developing its supervision and oversight capabilities. Our regulatory experts can prepare your business for regulatory inspections, advise you on the procedures that the regulatory inspections should follow and help you to respond appropriately to draft inspection reports, ensuring that the regulator’s draft findings are factually accurate and properly apply the law to the facts.

REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT & CONTENTIOUS MATTERS

The Financial Services Authority, the Gambling Supervision Commission, the Isle of Man Information Commissioner and other competent authorities are empowered to undertake audits of regulated businesses, order remediation actions and impose fines for regulatory breaches. Our legal experts frequently advise on negotiations with these authorities and have been involved in many of the most significant recent regulatory enforcement proceedings, so they are well-placed to ensure that the process is procedurally fair and to advise on your best defence.

Pre-enforcement stage, we also routinely advise clients in relation to regulatory obligations and notifications that need to be made in the event of any breaches identified and in relation to pending disciplinary issues which may affect the regulator’s assessment of the fit and proper status of the entity and any of its controlled function holders. Clients often seek our counsel in relation to our experience in communicating such matters with the regulator as well as presenting any mitigation at an early stage, which can be key when it comes to any later investigation or enforcement stage.

INSURANCE REGULATORY

As a global centre of excellence for insurance, especially in the areas of life and captive insurance, the Isle of Man’s dynamic regulatory framework plays a key role, balancing regulatory oversight with industry innovation. Appleby is recognised as the pre-eminent law firm in the insurance space on the Isle of Man, guiding clients through the ever-evolving landscape with unparalleled expertise. Our comprehensive services span authorisations, governance, solvency, risk management, M&A (including portfolio transfers), redomiciliations and proactive engagement with the local regulator. We specialise in addressing and understanding the intricacies around recent insurance regulations, including updates to the corporate governance codes and solvency rules, development of the insurance SPV and captive insurance legislation and the introduction of innovative structures like parametric insurance and insurtech.

Our contentious and employment experts have significant experience of advising insurance clients in relation to obligations to notify the regulators in the event of a breach of the insurance legislation and corporate governance codes, together with advising on related disciplinary and fit and proper issues.  We help our clients to navigate these complexities seamlessly, seeking to optimise, protect and defend their businesses within the regulatory framework.

Appleby actively engages with clients, industry groups and regulators to influence the Isle of Man’s future insurance regulatory landscape.

TRUST & CORPORATE SERVICE PROVIDERS

As the Isle of Man’s pre-eminent corporate law firm, Appleby is ideally placed to assist Isle of Man companies with their filing requirements, deadlines and time-sensitive demands.  Our regulatory experts can assist TCSPs with aligning their internal policies and procedures with regulatory filing obligations.  TCSPs must ensure that their client entities comply with local statutory and regulatory requirements, so we frequently advise TSCPs on the regulatory classification of their client entities, including under financial services, collective investment schemes and designated businesses legislation, as well as the application of beneficial ownership legislation to their client entities.  The Financial Services Authority has conducted various thematic reviews that affect the TCSP sector in recent years, including on the subjects of business risk assessments, politically exposed persons and exempt/exempt-type schemes.  Appleby’s regulatory experts are intimately familiar with the key findings from these reviews and can help your business to comply with all of the best practice recommendations emerging from those reviews.

We also frequently advise clients operating in the TCSP sector in relation to regulatory obligations and notifications that need to be made in relation to Rule Book breaches and other contentious matters, including employment issues concerning their key staff.

BANKING

Appleby has advised many banking and financial institutions on strategically important and ground-breaking offshore reorganisation projects driven by a number of regulatory and economic factors, including UK ring-fencing requirements, capital efficacy and repatriation, group consolidation and de-risking, Brexit contingency planning and third-party sales. We have unrivalled experience of Part VII FSMA equivalent transfers of deposit-taking business and related financial services businesses as well as ancillary matters including regulatory advice, capital reorganisations, business sales and the winding down of local banks. We estimate that we have transferred nearly GBP 50 billion of deposits in recent years. We also provide related legal advice including Bank Recovery and Resolution, depositor protection, data protection, confidentiality, regulation and compliance. We have acted as lead counsel on the vast majority of banking business transfer schemes in the Isle of Man.

On the contentious side, we are often requested to advise banking clients in relation to compliance with production orders, freezing orders, restraint orders and other court orders. We are also local market-leaders in defending litigation taken against banks, including the recent attempts to widen the ambit of the Quincecare duty. We also routinely advise our banking clients in connection with complaints received from customers and matters that have been referred to the Isle of Man Financial Ombudsman Service, which they are required to defend or consider conciliating.

FUNDS & INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Appleby’s funds and investment services team advises clients on a wide range of services in relation to funds, closed-ended investment companies and investment platforms. We prepare fund constitutional documents, offering documents and application forms, as well as material agreements. We are vastly experienced in acting at all stages of a fund’s life; from establishment, growth, problem situations, re-organisations, to eventual wind-down.

Appleby also acts for fund administrators and investment managers, advising on compliance with financial services, collective investment scheme and AML/CFT legislation.

We actively engage with clients, government and regulators to influence the Isle of Man’s future funds regulatory landscape, and we are active participants in the Isle of Man Wealth & Funds Services Association.

GAMBLING & E-GAMING

Our specialist eGaming and gambling lawyers work with a range of national and international clients, providing advice on all aspects of eGaming legislation and gambling law, including intellectual property, IT law, software development contracts, data protection, economic substance, licensing, employment matters and contentious issues that may arise in this sector. The lawyers in our team have assisted the Isle of Man Government in its online gambling strategy for many years and have assisted not just the government but also the Gambling Supervision Commission at the start of the Island’s growth in this sector (one of our partners was Chair of the Gambling Supervision Commission from 2007-2012).

FINTECH

Technological innovation is transforming businesses, markets and our everyday life. Appleby has a multi-disciplinary global technology and innovation team comprising experts and technology lawyers from each of our ten offices to help businesses meet new challenges and to support clients across a broad range of emerging technologies. Appleby is recognised among tech law firms as the leader in the offshore legal sector, ranking in the top tier across more jurisdictions than any other offshore law firm in the latest edition of the Chambers and Partners FinTech Guide. In the Isle of Man, we frequently advise payment service providers and virtual asset businesses, and we have also assisted traditional banks in their implementation of innovative banking and investment solutions.

PENSIONS

Appleby acts for large corporate clients or the trustees of their pension schemes on the establishment of new schemes, the establishment of pensions administration businesses, transactional and advisory work and all aspects of regulatory and employment law compliance. We have the only pensions practice in the Isle of Man that is able to offer cross Crown Dependency advice in conjunction with our Jersey and Guernsey teams. This is of great value to our clients, many of whom operate, or provide services to, schemes across all three jurisdictions.

ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE ANALYSIS & COMPLIANCE

The Isle of Man’s economic substance legislation requires entities deriving income from certain activities to have a certain level of presence in the Isle of Man. All Isle of Man entities need to think about whether they are in scope of the economic substance regime. As a trusted advisor to our clients, our regulatory experts have the specialised knowledge and in-depth understanding of the regime needed to navigate economic substance. Appleby has developed cost-effective tools to assist you with determining whether or not you are in scope of the legislation, and our legal and regulatory experts can help you with all aspects of compliance, as well as negotiating the size of any penalties for non-compliance with the regulators.

PRIVACY, DATA PROTECTION & CYBER SECURITY

Data is commonly viewed as one of the most valuable commodities in today’s global digital economy. The increasing complexity of regulation and the meteoric rise of technology, together with cyber security concerns and international data sharing regimes make the protection and use of data more complex than ever before. As a highly regarded data protection law firm in the offshore space, advising on both contentious and non-contentious data protection issues, Appleby can assist with data protection policies, audits, training, international transfers of data and post cyber incident advice. Similarly, we routinely advise clients in relation to their obligations in connection with contentious data protection matters that are referred to the Information Commissioner for investigation. Advice includes compliance with subject access requests, information requests, enforcement notices and dealing with any consequences of identified breaches, including matters before the Data Protection Tribunal and/or the High Court. Our data protection team is part of Appleby’s cross-jurisdictional technology and innovation team, and we are the only Band 1 firm in the Chambers and Partners Isle of Man FinTech Legal rankings.

AML/CFT & SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE

Appleby advises financial institutions on the requirements of the Isle of Man’s AML/CFT and sanctions legislation, as well as other rules issued by the Financial Services Authority, including the Rule Book and conduct of business/corporate governance rules. We advise our clients to understand their obligations where potential breaches of regulatory obligations are identified and can help to implement remediation exercises. Appleby is also represented on the AML/CFT Advisory Group chaired by the Isle of Man Cabinet Office.

EMPLOYMENT

Appleby’s marketing-leading employment and immigration team covers the entire spectrum of employment matters in both a contentious and non-contentious setting.  In a regulatory context, this can include advising regulated clients on the drafting of employment contracts, people-related policies, job descriptions/duties documents, contracts for services, advising on notifications to regulators concerning potential disciplinary matters and other breaches connected to personnel issues.  We are often also asked to provide support to employees and officers who may be facing an interview with the regulator in connection with an investigation into fit and proper status.

Key contacts

Mark Holligon

Managing Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 691
E Email Mark

Garry Manley

Partner, Head of Corporate: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 638
E Email Garry

Caren Pegg

Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 636
E Email Caren

Juan Thornley

Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 623
E Email Juan

Claire Milne WS

Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 698
E Email Claire

Claire Corkish

Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 951
E Email Claire

Keira Gore

Partner: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 621
E Email Keira

Erin Trimble-Cregeen

Counsel: Isle of Man, Jersey

T +44 (0)1624 647 914
E Email Erin

Sophia Howell Evans

Senior Associate: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 663
E Email Sophia

Melissa Wong

Senior Associate: Isle of Man

T +44 (0)1624 647 602
E Email Melissa

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