Financial Services Regulatory
Our regulatory practice provides clients in the financial sector with practical and commercial advice in relation to their dealings with the FCA and other regulators on contentious issues. These matters raise reputational risks for companies and individuals, as well as potential exposure to civil and criminal sanctions. We understand the regulators and their objectives, and the benefits for our clients of constructive and proactive engagement with regulators. The firm’s financial services regulatory team is led by Stephen Elam.
Our clients are diverse and include FCA Authorised firms, Approved Persons as well as Trust Companies, Hedge Funds and Company Directors.
Our team has significant experience in dealing with a wide variety of regulatory disputes – from conducting internal investigations and helping clients manage their existing and future regulatory risks through to responding to investigations and enforcement actions initiated by the regulators. Our expertise includes acting on matters involving dawn raids, insider dealing, market manipulation, misleading statements, mis-selling and breach of FCA Principles, client money and custody issues, breach of the Listing Rules, market misconduct, wall crossing and unregulated collective investment schemes. Since the FCA assumed responsibility for regulation of consumer credit in April 2014, we are increasingly involved in this area, particularly in relation to developing sectors such as crowd-funding, peer to peer lending and high-cost short-term credit (including payday lending).
The firm deals with high-level negotiations with the FCA enforcement team at all stages, including in relation to the FCA early settlement scheme on reduced fines as well as the FCA mediation scheme. Where it is in our clients’ interests, we will seek proactively to bring matters to an early resolution where possible. We are one of a very few number of London Law Firms that will represent clients as advocates before the Regulatory Decisions Committee as well as the Upper Tribunal. Typically, we are instructed by clients following their receipt of Notice of Appointment of Investigators. We will attend FCA interviews with the clients which may be held on either a compelled or non compelled basis. We will make detailed written representations to the FCA both before and after any report of the investigation has been issued by the FCA. If the FCA decides to continue further with the case and issues a warning notice, we will then prepare the representations before the Regulatory Decisions Committee and undertake the advocacy on the client’s behalf before that body.
Many cases are withdrawn by the FCA or settle at an early stage. However if the case continues we are highly experienced in making reference to the Upper Tribunal where the case will be reheard before an independent panel.