Walkers Ireland LLP is delighted to be the featured premium sponsor of Irish Funds during the month of July. As a leading law firm in the asset management and investment funds industry, we offer expert advice and commercial solutions to many of the world's most prominent asset managers, fund promoters and institutional investors. To create awareness of the latest legal and regulatory developments and how these affect our clients we frequently publish updates and thought leadership including our quarterly legal and regulatory developments report covering a wide range of topics. Our latest publications are as follows:

Quarterly Legal and Regulatory Developments

On a quarterly basis we publish our eagerly awaited report detailing the most important and topical asset management and investment funds legal and regulatory developments ("QLRD") during the period. In addition to the QLRD which we make available publicly, we provide our clients with a more detailed report on a quarterly basis as well as monthly and ad hoc updates on relevant developments.

Fund Costs and Fees

In January 2021, ESMA launched a common supervisory action on the supervision of costs and fees of UCITS (the "CSA"). As part of the CSA, the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") issued a questionnaire to a number of UCITS management companies and self-managed funds seeking quantitative and qualitative information relating to fees and costs. While the CSA focuses on UCITS, the supervisory briefing published by ESMA last June on the supervision of costs in UCITS and AIFs. Consideration should be given by funds and their managers to: (i) the existing requirements and regulatory expectations in respect of costs and fees; and (ii) next steps. In this context, we have been assisting clients with updates to their governance frameworks to take into account the Central Bank's expectations on costs and fees.

Sustainable Finance

Sustainable finance continues to be a key focus for funds and their managers. There are a number of proposals at various stages in the European legislative process, our latest advisories and video on this topic consider the proposals included in the European Commission's sustainable finance package published in April 2021 and looks at the trends we identified in our recent analysis of a selection of sustainability disclosures published by leading asset managers.

UCITS Liquidity Risk Management

In May 2021, the Central Bank published a letter relating to the common supervisory action on UCITS liquidity risk management. The letter states that all Irish authorised UCITS managers (including SMICs) are required to conduct a specific review of their practices, documentation, systems and controls, that this review must be documented and should include details of actions taken to address any issues identified. The review must be completed and an action plan discussed and approved by the board of each UCITS manager by end of the fourth quarter of 2021. We are currently assisting a number of clients with these action plans in preparation for the year end deadline.

AIFMD Update

In October 2020, the European Commission sought feedback from relevant stakeholders as part of its review of AIFMD. We have considered a selection of the responses provided during the consultation process and highlight the key themes that have emerged in our recent video and advisories on this topic.

Investment Limited Partnership Advisory Series 

While the investment limited partnership is not a new fund product, the enhancements to the existing regime, which became effective in February and March 2021, have led to increased interest in this structure as an option when considering the establishment of a new investment fund. Our advisory series considers the key features, typical asset classes and service providers for this structure as well as providing an overview of the authorisation process and the issue of investor liability. Please also see our recent video outlining the key features of the ILP.