Duncan Black, Partner, Financial Litigation and Contentious Regulatory Lawyer
My experience is in contentious financial services work, including disputes, regulatory enforcement, disciplinary action and internal investigations. I have a particular focus on money laundering and market abuse.
Regulatory work covers 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, LME 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 restructuring of a UAE Sukuk, numerous cases on calculating ISDA early termination amounts, and the leading case on the meaning of the FCA's Client Money rules (which reached the Supreme Court). I frequently act for Trustees in securitisations.
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 a member of the City of London Law Society Litigation sub-committee.
What others say (independent guide reviews in recent years from Chambers Guide and Legal 500):
Financial Services Regulation: '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.' '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 FCA regulatory enforcement and other contentious financial services issues'. 'Duncan Black provides "wise and balanced advice" to a range of clients including hedge funds'. ''The "analytical and hardworking" Duncan Black handles litigation and enforcement action for hedge funds.' He is "possessed of considerable technical and tactical ability"'. He is also recommended for contentious matters in Commodities Derivatives.
Banking Litigation: Ranked as a 'Leading Individual' in Chambers' Guide. "He is insightful, responsive and client-friendly. He cuts through the mass of documentation to get straight to the answer, and gives pragmatic, commercial advice." Described as "extremely commercial"…'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." '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"': 'The "results driven" Duncan Black is recommended'; 'Duncan Black "quickly identifies the decisive issues" and is "very commercial in his advice"'…"always very responsive and commercial in his approach to matters and in the advice he gives"