Winner of inaugural IFN Law Award for FinTech

25 Sep 2017

Simmons & Simmons wins inaugural IFN Law Award for FinTech

Islamic Finance News (IFN) has announced that international law firm Simmons & Simmons has been awarded the 2017 IFN Law Award for FinTech.

IFN highlighted the firm’s standing in the Islamic finance market and how Simmons & Simmons has ensured its FinTech expertise has benefitted clients in this area. The way in which Simmons & Simmons has been at the forefront of projects that are accelerating digital innovation in Islamic finance was also pointed to as a deciding factor in selecting the winner of the prestigious award. These projects have involved equity and debt-based peer-to-peer platforms in Europe, digital wallets in the Middle East, financial inclusion through open API projects in Africa and robo-advisory in Asia and North America, to name just a few.

In response to growing demand in this area, Simmons & Simmons has established an international FinTech Team made up of expert lawyers from across all practice areas within the firm to provide a full-service offering to clients operating in the FinTech sector. The team members are recognised as leaders in their fields and have extensive experience of advising businesses in both the financial services and technology industries. Simmons & Simmons has led the legal industry in its approach to the FinTech sector with a number of “firsts” including being the first firm to launch a FinTech fund to provide cost effective legal services to some of the UK’s most exciting FinTech businesses, being the only law firm to have been invited to be part of the Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator Community, and becoming a legal partner to FinTech Hive in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the first-of-its-kind accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Muneer Khan, Partner and head of Middle East financial markets and international Islamic finance, commented: “We have been involved in many firsts in the area of FinTech and Islamic finance over the years and the combination of our international strength in both areas is adding value to clients, established and emerging, who we are helping to push the boundaries of digital innovation.”

Raza Rizvi, Partner and Head of TMT and IP in the Middle East, commented: "Across Islamic and conventional financial services, we continue to hear institutions acknowledge that they need to accelerate their digital innovation efforts. We are delighted with the recognition through this award which is linked to complex projects where we have helped such institutions achieve real success around such innovation."

Angus McLean, Partner and head of the global FinTech practice, commented: "This award is just recognition for the way in which our Islamic Finance team has applied its existing market leading expertise to this fast developing branch of the FinTech sector. As in all areas of FinTech, success in this field requires technical excellence and the ability to apply existing laws and regulations to novel technologies and business models. This award recognises those skills as well the team's ability to navigate the additional complexities of applying Sharia rules to this new industry."

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