Financial Services & Markets Regulation

Our Practice

Our team undertakes technical and complex financial services and markets regulatory work for brokerage houses, investment exchanges, investment banks, commodity traders, asset management companies, general insurance and life assurance companies and other financial institutions operating in the UK and international financial markets.

The team provides advice on the full range of financial services regulatory matters, including advising on the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), strategic regulatory issues, investigations, disputes and disciplinary matters, derivatives and commodity trading and documentation.

Our financial services and markets regulation lawyers are based in offices across our network in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. We work closely with other specialists within the firm’s financial markets practice to offer our clients a cohesive multidisciplinary service at the leading edge of the financial services industry.

Experience

Barclays Bank

  • advising on its strategic alliance with Legal & General relating to the promotion by Barclays of Legal & General pension, savings and protection products.

CSFB

  • advising on a variety of issues in the UK relating to energy trading under the new Electricity Trading Arrangements and the Grid Trade Master agreement.

e2-Capital

  • advising on the regulatory aspects of its on-line share placement platform for securities dealers to market share placements to professional investors and its on-line based securities brokerage services.

A Hong Kong bank

  • advising in connection with the commercial and regulatory issues arising in connection with the migration of 50,000 securities cash and margin trading accounts.

Ofgem

  • advising on contractual and regulatory issues relating to its institution of trading and a type of "green credit" called Renewable Obligation Certificates.

Sempra Energy Trading

  • advising on its acquisition of Enron Metals, a leading metals trader on the London Metals Exchange.

Statoil

  • advising on the regulatory issues relating to the Oil Markets Participants and Energy Markets Participants regulatory regimes under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

The Swiss Exchange

  • advising SWX Swiss Exchange in respect of its strategic collaberation with and subsequent acquisition of virt-x, a UK recognised investment exchange.

Weather Xchange

  • advising on the regulatory and other aspects of the establishment of Weather Xchange, a joint venture between the UK Meteorological Office and two prominent City brokers, as the first brokerage house dealing exclusively in the European weather derivatives market.

Investigations and contentious advice includes:

Fiba Nordic

  • representing on litigation investigations, criminal proceedings and regulatory issues arising from Fiba Nordic's involvement in the Morgan Grenfell asset Management/Peter Young affair.

A major European Bank

  • advising on the conduct of an investigation by the Central Bank of a South American state following the discovery by the bank of illegal conduct by some of its former executives. The work has involved working closely with the bank and forensic accountants upon its own internal investigation, giving strategic guidance on the conduct of and response to the Central Bank investigation, liaising with the bank's US and UK regulators and dealing with "whistle blower" issues.

A life assurance company

  • advising on the first regulatory enforcement proceedings to be referred, under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, to the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal.

Project Chianti

  • advising a party in relation to the largest ever investigation conducted by LIFFE and representation on the resulting disciplinary proceedings.

A major hedge fund

  • conducting an investigation on behalf of a major hedge fund into suspected unauthorised trading in the UK. The work involves gathering and assessing evidence, preparing a report and advising upon issues arising, including liaison with the FSA and issues of consumer compensation.

An international private bank

  • advising this international bank defending ten Commercial Court actions brought by various investors alleging mis-selling of leveraged structured products bought through an overseas affiliate of the bank and who are seeking to recover losses sustained as a result of a particular investment strategy.

Specialist Expertise

FSMA

  • advising on the scope and impact of the UK regulatory regime under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). We advise on all aspects of the FSA's rule book and codes of practice, including market abuse and money laundering issues, preparation of terms of business and other customer documentation.

Strategic regulatory advice

  • advising on the structuring of businesses in the UK and Europe in the context of the relevant regulatory regimes and the promotion of investment products and services in Europe and internationally.

Investigations

  • providing remedial and risk management-based investigative services to clients in the financial services sector, to assist them in addressing regulatory issues at an early stage.

Contentious matters

  • advising on regulatory disputes and disciplinary matters for financial institutions.

Exchanges

  • advising on stock exchange regulation and the regulation of investment exchanges and alternative trading systems.

Derivatives

  • advising on credit and financial derivatives, forwards, futures, contracts for differences, swaps, options and spreads.

Commodity trading

  • advising commodity traders and other market participants on derivatives, commodities and futures, particularly in relation to the energy and metals markets.

Documentation

  • preparing and advising on market driven documentation including ISDA agreements, product specific annexes such as equity swaps and credit support, prime brokerage agreements and market netting agreements.