Duncan Black, Partner, Contentious Financial Services
My experience is in contentious financial services work, including disputes, regulatory enforcement and internal investigations. I have a particular focus on money laundering and market abuse.
Regulatory work has included advising a wide range of clients including broker/dealers, banks, corporate finance providers, financial advisers, individuals and a regulated investment exchange on matters including: Conduct of Business, Market Abuse/disclosure of price sensitive information; systems and controls breaches; judicial review of disciplinary action; personal account dealing and conflicts of interest. I defend clients under investigation by the FCA and SFO. Coming from a litigation background enables me to consider the wider picture and consequences of any regulatory breach and to deploy evidence gathering skills when investigating regulatory breaches.
Litigation work has included the leading case on the meaning of the Client Money rules (which reached the Supreme Court), and cases in London and the Cayman Islands covering topics such as the correct way of calculating ISDA early termination amounts, the duties of an Agent bank in a securitised structured finance transaction, and the consequences of partial non-disclosure of conflicts of interest in a hedge fund prospectus.
I qualified as a solicitor in 1987 and studied Law at Lincoln College, Oxford. Prior to joining Fieldfisher in 2008 I was a partner in a large US firm where I specialised in hedge funds.
I am co-author of Enforcement of a Judgment (Sweet & Maxwell 1997) and the Law and Regulation of Investment Management (Sweet & Maxwell 2004). I also am a member of the City of London Law Society Litigation sub-committee.
What others say:
Financial Services Regulation: Ranked as a 'Leading Individual' in Chambers' Guide which reports: 'Duncan Black of Fieldfisher is praised by clients for his "very strong practical understanding of the regulatory environment" when it comes to contending enforcement activity by the FCA on behalf of clients including banks, investment exchanges and individuals in the financial services sector.' In previous years, Chambers reported: 'Duncan Black's clients have been "absolutely delighted with the service he provided"…He has a strong background in advising hedge fund and asset manager clients and is well-versed in multi-jurisdictional matters'.. 'Duncan Black of Fieldfisher is an expert in regulatory enforcement, which he capably straddles with his banking litigation practice'. Peers say he is "intelligent, perceptive and his opinions carry weight". "Extremely thorough, clever and extremely tenacious, but with a very good ability to stand back and be objective. He is an expert in FSA regulatory enforcement and other contentious financial services issues'. Legal 500 notes: 'Duncan Black provides "wise and balanced advice" to a range of clients including hedge funds'. In previous years, Legal 500 noted: 'The "analytical and hardworking" Duncan Black handles litigation and enforcement action for hedge funds.' He is "possessed of considerable technical and tactical ability"'.
Banking Litigation: Ranked as a 'Leading Individual' in Chambers' Guide which reports 'Well-regarded litigation partner Duncan Black receives plaudits from a range of sources, who say that "he is an able and persistent litigator; unfailingly courteous yet results driven." In previous years, Chambers noted: 'Duncan Black incorporates a strong understanding of contentious regulation into his banking regulation practice'; 'is well regarded by clients as "always impressive". They assert: "He's extremely knowledgeable and experienced and always able to respond to tricky questions on the spot" and "Very focused and very clear", 'Duncan Black is praised for his technical skills and ability to "make very complicated issues seem simple". One source notes: "He is technically excellent and he really gets to understand the intricacies of the case"': Legal 500 notes: 'The "results driven" Duncan Black is recommended'. In previous years, Legal 500 reported: 'Duncan Black "quickly identifies the decisive issues" and is "very commercial in his advice"'.