Our combination of regulatory and financial services litigation experience means that our team is well placed to provide clients with expert legal, commercial and strategic advice in relation to financial services and banking disputes.
Our experience includes cases involving mis-selling, interest rate hedging products, LIBOR, ISDAfix, prepaid cards and e-money services, investment fund management, insolvency, loan and other financial instruments.
We work very closely with colleagues in our regulatory and business crime teams to provide a full service and can respond quickly when dealing with FCA, NCA, SFO or HMRC investigations, which can often run parallel to, or result in, civil proceedings. We have extensive experience in dealing with the large UK banks in circumstances where bank accounts are frozen and / or monies are seized.
We have an independent position in the market and rarely face conflict issues which prevent us from acting against large institutions.
Euro Pacific Card Services Ltd v Prepaid Financial Services Ltd. Acted for the claimant in relation to the termination of agreements for the provision of prepaid card services.
Acted for real estate businesses in bringing mis-selling claims against a major retail bank in respect of interest rate hedging products, including LIBOR fraud claims. We obtained a positive outcome in the redress scheme required by the FCA and in a subsequent High Court action.
Do you handle both regulatory and criminal investigations?
We have built a specialist practice that is able to deal with the full spectrum of regulatory and criminal investigations in the financial sector. Our team includes solicitors and barristers who have substantial law enforcement experience and who have been enforcement lawyers, investigators and prosecutors prior to joining our team.
We are regularly engaged in relation to investigations and enquiries brought by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (both regulatory and criminal), the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Serious Fraud Office, various national police forces, HM Revenue and Customs and other specialist law enforcement agencies. We represent our clients at all stages of investigations including scoping, initial interview (whether voluntary, compulsory or under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act) and in subsequent action. Our team has deep experience of attending before regulators, at police stations and before all relevant courts and tribunals involved in the conduct of financial market investigations.
Do you act for both regulated firms and individuals subject to financial markets investigations?
We have expertise in acting for any party subject to an investigation in the financial markets. Our clients range from the largest global financial institutions through to national and regional financial services firms. We also act for individuals who may work at or control such firms and who may also be subject to regulatory investigations.
We are one of the few firms recognised in all the major legal directories for our expertise in acting both for corporate and individual clients. We recognise that our specialist service needs to be tailored to our clients’ needs and the resources they have available. We offer a tailored approach to the circumstances facing our clients and ensure the legal and reputational risks they face are mitigated.
We need day to day compliance support. Can you help us with that?
If you need to know what a particular PRA or FCA rule means; or whether particular arrangements are rule compliant, we can help. If you need help working out how best to respond to questions from the regulators, we can help with that too. We can’t help with routine compliance activities, compliance monitoring, compliance auditing or the detailed design of new systems and controls. We may, however, be able to introduce you to a compliance consultant who can.
What types of financial market investigations do you handle?
We handle the full spectrum of investigations that occur in the financial markets. We act for firms and individuals in the fields of banking, insurance, investment, payments and fintech.
Our recent investigatory experience includes a wide variety of matters which include: financial mis-selling; serious fraud and money laundering; conduct of business failures (including pensions transfer and discretionary investment management investigations); insider dealing and market abuse investigations (including market manipulation); payment services fraud; and systems and controls investigations amongst others.
Can you help us with an application to the PRA / FCA?
We can, if there’s something especially novel about it; it’s unusually complex; or there’s a reason to think it might be rejected. If there isn’t, you probably don’t need a law firm, but you might need a compliance consultant.
If the compliance consultants need legal advice about something, we certainly help with that.
We can also help if the regulators ask you to get legal advice about an issue, before sharing this advice with them. For example, the regulators sometimes ask applicants (a) to get legal advice, which explains why they need to be authorised and regulated, and which particular regulated activities they need to be authorised for; and/or (b) to get a legal opinion, which confirms the regulatory capital status of their shares, and any other financial instruments they might have issued. Advice like that is right up our street.
Do you handle dispute and investigatory matters relating to the FCA’s Senior Management and Certification Regime (SMCR)?
Yes we frequently act for both firms and individuals who are addressing complex issues under the SMCR.
We frequently advise firms on how to comply with the SMCR when complex and sensitive issues arise. Our work includes advising on how to conduct internal disciplinary processes on an SMCR compliant basis. We do this by deploying our expertise in both the regulatory and employment law fields. We can ensure that firms meet their PRA and FCA regulatory obligations whilst acting on a fair and appropriate basis as an employer.
Equally, we can act for individuals who may be subject to internal investigation or are seeking to join a new firm as a Senior Management Function (SMF) holder, or as a certified staff member. We are experienced in dealing with difficult issues and the implications that can arise in respect of adverse regulatory references. We are also able to represent and support individuals who may be subject to investigation for breaches of the FCA’s Code of Conduct (CoCON) provisions.
Do you advise on regulated consumer credit issues?
Yes we do, please go to our consumer credit page for more information.
Do you do fund formation work?
We’re often asked to advise PEVC fund managers on regulatory matters, including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). But we don’t do fund formation work of any kind.
Legal 500 2023
Legal 500 2023
Legal 500 2023