Financial services regulators in the UK and around the world have become more intrusive and are better equipped to investigate and punish wrongdoing. Light touch regulation is now a thing of the past; fines and other penalties are now regularly imposed against firms and individuals for failings. Our regulatory defence team has the experience of dealing with regulators at all stages of the process, and is utterly familiar with the relevant products and markets. We also offer specialist skills in relation to investigations.

Our contentious regulatory lawyers work with other teams in the firm so as to maximise the amount of experience brought to bear on any particular problem. For example, when advising a regulated exchange, we worked with lawyers in our professional discipline team in handling a threatened judicial review. In another matter, we worked with members of the corporate department in dealing with enquiries by the Takeover Panel concerning an alleged leak of price-sensitive information.

Much of our work surrounds the regulatory issues faced by brokers and dealers, often dealing in complex markets and products such as derivatives.

Regulatory reform does not always keep pace with changes in products and markets, and often there is no clear regulatory guidance when a problem arises. Part of our skill set is to understanding the context in which the issues arise, in order to explain to the regulator what solutions are proposed.

There are often sensitive 'political' issues within a firm that have to be addressed. We have experience in advising individuals within firms, as well as firms, in a way that the regulatory as well as the employment issues can be resolved. It need not always be the case that an individual's regulatory breach leads to the termination of employment.

Our clients include broker dealers, asset managers, corporate finance providers, individuals and banks (frequently foreign banks with London offices).


Notable deals / highlights

  • Acted on Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2012] UKSC 6: Supreme Court litigation on the meaning of the FSA's Client Money rules.

  • Advised a Regulated Investment Exchange on various matters including a threatened judicial review of its disciplinary process; advising on disciplinary action against members and issuers.

  • Advised various individuals who are the subject of either FSA (now FCA) Enforcement action, or internal investigations by their employers, in relation to a variety of regulatory issues.

  • Advised directors of AIM-listed companies in relation to enquiries by the City Panel concerning suspicious price movements and possible disclosure of inside information.

  • Advised the publisher of an index quoting the performance of underlying assets, on questions concerning the disclosure of and protection of price sensitive information.

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