Firms To Watch: Financial services: contentious

At Burges Salmon LLP, the focus is predominantly on representing the FSCS, with recent highlights including acting on a portfolio of claims against defaulted SIPP operators and their insurers. Matthew Walker is the key name to note.
Boutique Pallas Partners LLP was founded in early 2022, and comprises practitioners assembled from the London office of Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP; the firm brings a concerted contentious focus to its cases. Matt Getz and Tracey Dovaston head up the global investigations and financial crime offering.

Financial services: contentious in London

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman‘s ‘deep expertise in dealing with financial institutions‘ marks the team as an advisor of choice for household names in the sector, and regularly handles highly sensitive and complex regulatory and internal investigations mandates. The department leverages the strength of the firm’s global investigations practice across continental Europe, the US and Asia, and is noted for its ‘thoughtful approach to blending the best legal knowledge into effective teams‘. Calum Burnett heads up the London-based litigation and investigations offering, while Arnondo Chakrabarti oversees the UK-wide litigation group. Sarah Hitchins brings ‘deep expertise‘ to her defence of clients in FCA investigations into alleged criminal and civil deficiencies in their financial crime controls. Mahmood Lone is well versed in conducting internal investigations, while Eve Giles‘ specialism is in conducting financial crime investigations, including those in relation to money laundering, insider dealing and market abuse. Brandon O’Neil, who is also admitted in New York, is particularly noted for his extensive knowledge of US authority-led investigations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Arnondo Chakrabarti; Calum Burnett

Autres avocats clés:

Eve Giles; Mahmood Lone; Sarah Hitchins; Brandon O’Neil

Les références

‘Go-to firm for financial services advice. Always provides clear, well thought through advice and analysis.’

‘Calum Burnett – commercial and approachable. I trust his judgment and value his counsel.’

‘Deep expertise in dealing with financial institutions, including the private investment fund industry.’

Clifford Chance LLP

The offering at Clifford Chance LLP is singled out by clients as ‘quite simply the best in the market‘, and continues to act in a significant proportion of the most intricate and notable PRA and FCA investigations in the market. Carlos Conceicaoteams fierce intellect with highly effective communication skills‘, and has particular expertise in cases of market abuse. Dorian Drew and Oliver Pegdencan handle the most difficult and complex cases with aplomb.‘ Drew frequently handles enforcement actions brought by a range of domestic and international regulators, while Pegden is highly active in internal investigations and related High Court litigation. Other notable practitioners in the ‘superb team‘ include Kelwin Nicholls, whose latest highlights include leading one of the first investigations in the blockchain sector, and Samantha Ward, whose expertise lies in data-related risks.

Responsables de la pratique:

Carlos Conceicao

Autres avocats clés:

Dorian Drew; Oliver Pegden; Kelwin Nicholls; Samantha Ward; Michael Lyons; Sophie Cunliffe

Les références

‘Superb team with standout individuals and strength in depth.’

‘Carlos Conceicao: huge experience; leading the field.’

‘Dorian Drew is a very capable and reassuring presence.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing a global investment bank in a multi-regulator, multi-jurisdictional investigation into potential systems and controls issues, in connection with a significant trading error.
  • Conducting an internal investigation, as well as responding to regulatory and select committee enquiries relating to Liability Driven Investments and disruption in the Gilt market following the Autumn 2022 mini-budget, on behalf of a global asset management firm.
  • Conducting an expedited internal investigation into trading conduct in the context of a bond buy-back auction, including the question of potentially anti-competitive information sharing, on behalf of a global investment bank.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s client roster comprises many of the best known financial institutions across the globe. Operational resilience, consumer duties and market disclosures are just some of the core areas of focus for the firm. Lauded expert Jenny Stainsby heads up the global financial services regulatory offering, with Hywel Jenkins taking the lead in London. The team has ‘seen it all before from both sides‘, and fields numerous practitioners with experience working for major domestic and overseas regulators, including Karen Anderson. Chris Ninan primarily acts on FCA and PRA enforcement actions, while Susannah Cogman operates at the intersection between regulatory obligations and criminal law. Andrew Procter now acts as a consultant for the department. In other team news, Jon Ford made partner in May 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Hywel Jenkins; Jenny Stainsby

Autres avocats clés:

Karen Anderson; Andrew Procter; Susannah Cogman; Chris Ninan; Jon Ford

Les références

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced. Seen it all before from both sides.’

‘Hywel Jenkins – he’s very pragmatic; good market insight into what regulators’ priorities are; provides sensible commercial advice; deep understanding of the financial services industry.’

Principaux clients

TSB Bank plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised TSB Bank on the resolution of investigations brought by the FCA and PRA arising out of the migration of TSB’s customer data to a new platform.
  • Acted on behalf of a guarantor lender in an investigation by the FCA into the lender’s assessment of creditworthiness and affordability, as well as customer complaints handling.
  • Advised a number of banks on individual accountability issues arising out of risk management failures, including potential disciplinary consequences, conduct rules, fitness and propriety, and regulatory references.

Linklaters LLP

The ‘first-rate‘ offering at Linklaters LLP is known for its expertise in handling the gamut of PRA, FCA and BoE investigations and enforcement actions. The firm’s cross-border contentious footprint enables practitioners to handle complex multi-jurisdictional mandates. Alison Wilson heads up the global litigation, arbitration and investigations offering. Martyn Hopper is experienced in representing clients before regulators, tribunals and the higher courts. Nikunj Kiri is highly regarded both for his expertise in conducting internal investigations, and representing clients in FSA and FCA investigations and enforcement proceedings. Barrister Clare McMullen brings her experience as counsel in the Enforcement Division of the FCA to the team. Ben Packer regularly handles multiple parallel investigations by authorities into firms and individuals. Counsel Elizabeth Dowd is another key team member.

Responsables de la pratique:

Martyn Hopper; Alison Wilson

Autres avocats clés:

Nikunj Kiri; Clare McMullen; Ben Packer; Elizabeth Dowd; Sara Cody; Verity Kemp; Susana Cao Miranda

Les références

‘Extremely strong team – one of the best in the city. All round experience and capability.’

‘Clare McMullen – Great manner; strong regulatory background.’

‘Nikunj Kiri is very knowledgable.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for a global financial institution in a PRA investigation in relation to its risk management systems and controls following the collapse of one of its fund clients.
  • Representing a large retail bank in an FCA investigation into its treatment of customers in arrears.
  • Representing a major UK challenger banks in parallel regulatory investigations conducted by the PRA and FCA in relation to its systems and controls and compliance with its disclosure obligations.


With dispute resolution practice head Tom Connor at the helm, the team at Ashurst continues to act in some of the largest and most complex contentious regulatory matters, for clients spanning the full breadth of the financial services sector. The group brings ‘deep understanding‘ to issues including market abuse, trade surveillance and conflicts of interest, as well as trading controls, credit risk management and whistleblowing. 2022 was a key year of growth for the department, with Nathan Willmott and Adam Jamieson joining from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, in January and June, respectively. Willmott and Jamieson both have extensive experience defending both outfits and individuals in FCA and PRA proceedings.

Responsables de la pratique:

Tom Connor

Autres avocats clés:

Nathan Willmott; Adam Jamieson; Neil Donovan

Les références

‘Very practical and hands-on. Prepared to give tough love, but with excellent judgement.’

‘Very strong team in Nathan Willmott and Adam Jamieson on regulatory affairs.’

‘Easy to access and work with. Deep understanding but with a very pragmatic and engaged way of working.’


CMS has recently been active in a number of FCA enforcement investigations and regulatory interventions, as well as handling several significant remediation projects, s166 reviews and regulatory enquiries. The firm’s client base spans banks, funds, insurance brokers, advisers, lenders, and listed companies. Ash Saluja oversees the wider financial services and products offering. Key contentious regulatory specialists include Simon Morris, Alison McHaffie and Elisabeth Bremner, all of whom have considerable experience handling all aspects of investigation and enforcement processes. In January 2023, the team was further strengthened by the acquisition of Robert Dedman from King & Spalding LLP; he brings his experience as former Head of Enforcement at the PRA to the group.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ash Saluja

Autres avocats clés:

Simon Morris; Alison McHaffie; Elisabeth Bremner; Robert Dedman

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Leveraging its ‘incredible depth and breadth of knowledge‘, Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s team supports a roster of notable clients with all issues related to investigations. Philip Parish is head of the team. The firm’s cross-border capabilities significant, notably demonstrated by Arwen Handley, who has recent experience working on cases spanning London, New York, and Hong Kong. Elaine Penrose, who is singled out by clients as ‘a huge asset to the firm and to her clients‘, is active across the range of internal and regulator-led investigations. Claire Lipworth operates at the junction between regulatory and criminal mandates.

Responsables de la pratique:

Philip Parish

Autres avocats clés:

Elaine Penrose; Louise Lamb; Arwen Handley; Claire Lipworth

Les références

‘Louise Lamb and Arwen Handley are both excellent – technically skilled, excellent client skills and able to identify the winning point.’

‘Partners know their stuff, and the firm has a great depth of expertise if new or novel points arise.’

‘Philip Parish is a stand-out individual.’

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLPknows perfectly how to handle complex and international cases.‘ FCA investigations and enquiries relating to market abuse issues, including market manipulation and insider trading, are the central focus for the team. ‘Very effective and wise operatorDan Lavender heads up the financial services and markets dispute resolution group, while Matt McCahearty oversees the litigation department. As well as UK-based regulatory engagements, the group also handles a large number of complex international mandates, including global investigations, disputes and prosecutions. Barry Donnelly‘s broad caseload includes enforcement proceedings brought by both UK and US regulatory and criminal authorities. Laura Bridgewater's experience includes regulatory investigations and studies for major financial services entities.

Responsables de la pratique:

Dan Lavender; Matt McCahearty

Autres avocats clés:

Barry Donnelly; Helen Carter; Laura Bridgewater

Les références

‘I frequently recommend Macfarlanes to my clients, as the Macfarlanes team knows perfectly how to handle complex and international cases as well as investigations.’

‘A good all-round team which is able to take a holistic view of commercial problems.’

‘Dan Lavender is a very effective and wise operator.’

Principaux clients

The State of Qatar

The British Bankers’ Association


NatWest (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland)

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for NatWest in its defence of three separate claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal relating to losses alleged to have arisen from anti-competitive manipulation of foreign exchange markets by individual traders at various banks.
  • Advised the FMSB on the development of the second edition of its Behavioural Cluster Analysis study.
  • Advising the State of Qatar on claims against Banque Havilland and one of its employees, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, and Emirates NBD Bank PJSC alleging a conspiracy to manipulate the Qatari Riyal and associated financial instruments.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Clients describe Mishcon de Reya LLP as being ‘in the Premier League for representing individuals under FCA disciplinary investigation‘, with a considerable breadth of expertise which includes market misconduct, and alleged failures of governance and oversight. Practice head Adam Epstein is regarded as ‘a leader in his field‘. Guy Wilkes stands out as ‘a charismatic and effective presence in every case‘, and has particular experience in financial crime and anti-money laundering investigations. Managing associate Elizabeth Hope is another key member of the group.

Responsables de la pratique:

Adam Epstein

Autres avocats clés:

Guy Wilkes; Elizabeth Hope; Jonathan Barnett

Les références

‘I feel as if the team was exceptionally experienced. They had clearly worked on many similar cases, and this knowledge was evident during my interactions. The team was also willing to get advice and expertise from others within their organisation when required. I found this collaboration within the teams to be beneficial in coming to a potential resolution.’

‘Adam Epstein – vastly experienced partner; details man but also sees the big picture. Top of the tree.’

‘Mishcon are routinely involved in the biggest cases in the sector, and are feared by all their opponents.’

Norton Rose Fulbright

Fielding a ‘very sophisticated group of lawyers‘, Norton Rose Fulbright is experienced at all stages of the contentious regulatory process, from the emergence of potential reportable issues through to enforcement and remediation. The team’s work covers a wide range of regulators, including not only the FCA and PRA, but also the FRC, SFO, NCA and OFSI, in addition to global regulatory agencies. Much lauded duo Katie Stephen and David Harris jointly lead the London-based department, with support from Jonathan Herbst, the global head of the financial services offering. Matthew Gregory was promoted to partner in January 2023. At the senior associate level, Claudia Van Gruisen is marked out as ‘a star of the future‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Katie Stephen; David Harris

Autres avocats clés:

Jonathan Herbst; Matthew Gregory; Joe Smallshaw; Andrew Reeves; Claudia Van Gruisen

Les références

‘Andrew Reeves is a sure-footed and sophisticated thinker. He misses nothing.’

‘David Harris is a brilliant tactician.’

‘Claudia Van Gruisen is a star of the future.’

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons‘ capabilities span a broad range of issues, including regulatory investigations - such as potential misconduct, market abuse, and individual accountability - internal investigations, rule-based breaches, and the implementation of large-scale regulatory change projects. The team works particularly closely with the crime and competition departments in order to expertly handle multidisciplinary investigations involving numerous regulators and other public authorities. ‘First-rateRichard Sims and ‘superbEmma Sutcliffe are the key senior contacts. The firm’s deep bench also includes managing associate Douglas Robinson, who has particular expertise in handling litigation with parallel regulatory proceedings and enforcement actions by multiple regulators.

Responsables de la pratique:

Richard Sims; Emma Sutcliffe

Autres avocats clés:

Caroline Hunter-Yeats; Douglas Robinson

Les références

‘Strong team, on the up at the moment.’

‘Emma Sutcliffe: assured, good tactician.’

‘Expert team with great work.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for a financial institution in an ongoing investigation by the FCA and parallel skilled persons review resulting from a significant market event.
  • Acting for a firm in an ongoing FCA investigation relating to anti-financial crime systems and controls.
  • Acting for a global bank in an FCA investigation relating to alleged fraud and systems and controls failings, including in front of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee.

Slaughter and May

At Slaughter and May, the London-based financial services regulatory investigations practice sits within the firm’s cross-practice global disputes and investigations group, which is helmed by Richard Swallow. The group advises clients across the financial services sector on the gamut of UK, EU and global regulatory issues, and continues to excel in handling high-stakes domestic and cross-border enforcement actions. Ewan Brown and Jonathan Cotton act as the co-heads of the global investigations practice. Other key contacts include Holly Ware, Jonathan Clark and Gayathri Kamalanathan. ‘Senior figureDeborah Finkler also remains an active part of the department.

Responsables de la pratique:

Richard Swallow

Autres avocats clés:

Deborah Finkler; Ewan Brown; Holly Ware; Jonathan Cotton; Jonathan Clark; Gayathri Kamalanathan; Tim Blanchard

Les références

‘All-round excellence, built on quality and experience.’

‘Ewan Brown – engaging, reassuring, good client handler and team leader.’

‘Deborah Finkler – senior figure, clients love her.’

Principaux clients

Danske Bank

Zurich Insurance plc

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse International and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited

Principaux dossiers

  • Acted as coordinating counsel in Danske Bank’s $2bn settlement with US and Danish authorities concerning a multi-jurisdictional investigation concluding investigations into failings and misconduct related to the non-resident portfolio at Danske Bank’s former Estonia branch.
  • Representing Zurich Insurance in an FOS complaint linked to a business interruption insurance FCA test case.
  • Representing JPMorgan in various regulatory and governmental investigations into allegations of manipulation of a foreign exchange.

Stephenson Harwood

The practitioners at Stephenson Harwoodmake an extremely effective team‘, and are able to balance acting for both corporates and individuals in the most complex and high-profile cases, whether solely domestic or international. Practice head Sean Jeffrey brings a ‘razor-sharp, insightful and trustworthy‘ approach to significant FCA enforcement matters, including those regarding client money and retail products. Justin McClelland‘s broad practice covers the spectrum of contentious work, from criminal and regulatory investigations to the civil disputes which flow from them. The team has recently expanded its partner bench through the internal promotion of Alan Ward in May 2022, and the lateral hire of David Capps from Ashurst in March 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sean Jeffrey

Autres avocats clés:

Justin McClelland; David Capps; Alan Ward; Ellen Gallagher

Les références

‘Justin McClelland is strategic, thinking several steps ahead, and also pragmatic and empathetic. Have used him for many years and wouldn’t go elsewhere.’

‘Very strong team; short turn-around time for important works; flexible invoicing. I personally work regularly with Alan Ward; very professional and he delivers prompt service at all times!’

‘Justin Mcclelland, Alan Ward and the wider team are outstanding professionals, enormously talented and show full dedication. They work tirelessly, are highly intelligent, objective and straight-talking. They are very impressive in their technical knowledge and level of detail, giving them the ability to deal appropriately with the most complex areas. ’

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard brings a ‘calm and measured approach‘ to investigations work, with a particular emphasis on alleged market abuse and insider dealing, anti-money laundering controls, non-financial misconduct, retail mis-selling, consumer credit, and customer redress and remediation exercises. The London-based financial services regulatory group sits within the firm’s global investigations practice, which is headed up by Nichola Peters. Other key senior contacts include ‘clever, meticulous, thoughtful and phenomenally hard-workingDavid Pygott and ‘responsive and strategicSarah Thomas, both of whom work across the department's key areas of focus, and are experienced in handling FCA enforcement proceedings.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nichola Peters; David Pygott

Autres avocats clés:

Sarah Thomas; Matthew Stockton

Les références

‘Very knowledgeable – calm and measured approach. Ability to work to tight deadlines.’

‘Sarah Thomas is responsive and strategic, and goes the extra mile for her clients. She is the ideal person to have representing an individual on a significant investigation: she is easy to work with, quick off the mark, understands the issues and brings a reassuring presence.’

‘Highly competent; easy to collaborate with; always prepared; very engaging and attentive; a pleasure to work with.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Richard Howson in proceedings brought against him following the collapse of Carillion.

Baker McKenzie

The offering at Baker McKenzie is composed of specialist financial institutions experts, working within the larger dispute resolution department. The group has particular proficiency in compliance, investigations and regulatory enforcement, and benefits from the firm’s collaborative approach, ensuring that the knowledge of the public law, employment, competition, data privacy and M&A teams is efficiently leveraged. Jonathan Peddie acts as the global chair of the financial institutions practice, while Mark Simpson oversees the financial services regulation group. Philip Annett is another key name to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Peddie; Mark Simpson

Autres avocats clés:

Philip Annett

Les références

‘The team have real life experiences of being in companies and going through the situations of their clients, as well as being in the regulator on similar cases the clients are facing. This is hugely helpful and adds significantly to the quality of work.’

‘Jonathan Peddie is an exceptional partner – the best I have worked with. Has real life experience of being in a client’s shoes and uses that to offer support and, where appropriate, challenge that is exceptionally timely and well put. An outstanding individual to work with.’

‘A very strong practice with unique experience and dep understanding of the financial services sector.’

Principaux clients

Metro Bank Plc.

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for senior executives subject to FCA and PRA investigations into the circumstances and events that led to a risk-weighted assets adjustment for Metro Bank in January 2019 and subsequent enforcement actions.

Brown Rudnick LLP

Brown Rudnick LLP is best known for its representation of senior individuals facing regulatory investigations, and is valued by such clients for its ‘outstanding commitment to professional service‘. The practice is headed up by Peter Bibby, who brings his previous experience as head of enforcement at the FCA to the role, and is described as ‘a details man, so perfect for complicated cases on.Chloe Pawson-Pounds and Ian Weinstein are the other key names within the group.

Responsables de la pratique:

Peter Bibby

Autres avocats clés:

Chloe Pawson-Pounds; Ian Weinstein

Les références

‘Stong contentious team with lots of experience.’

‘Peter Bibby: hugely experienced; a details man, so perfect for complicated cases on the facts; good strategist.’

‘The team we worked with was exceptional, they were collaborative and attentive to our needs and very demanding timescales, at every engagement we were met with professionalism and a superb service was provided. We felt confident in the team’s ability to support us through a very serious and challenging time.’

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is marked by its ‘sophisticated understanding‘ of contentious regulatory issues and cross-border investigations. Polly James, who acts as the global co-lead of the financial services disputes and investigations department, has a wealth of experience acting on substantial and complex cases for a wide range of clients, including international banks and other financial institutions, as well as individual members of their senior management. Oran Gelb, the global banking practice co-head, also provides oversight. In a key development, highly regarded expert David Rundle joined the group from WilmerHale in May 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Polly James

Autres avocats clés:

David Rundle; Joseph Ninan; Oran Gelb

Les références

‘I’ve worked extensively with the BCLP team over many years and I hold them in high regard. They have a sophisticated understanding of financial services, especially complex trading cases. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Oran Gelb is terrific. He has excellent judgment and is highly experienced.’

‘Polly James is an outstanding practitioner. She is incredibly knowledgeable and has vast experience in advising FCA-regulated firms caught up in regulatory matters, including advising on connected internal investigations. She has a wonderfully calming presence and is extremely client friendly. A very safe pair of hands.’


Strong relationships with major regulatory bodies are a defining element of the Dentons practice. Katharine Harle, for example, brings her previous in-house experience at the FCA to her current role as team lead of the UK regulatory and investigations group. As a consequence of the firm’s global reach, the client base spans foreign-owned banks operating in the UK, major financial services and insurance players facing cross-border regulatory and compliance issues, and asset managers. The expertise of counsel Zeena Saleh and newly promoted partner Lara Seabourne is demonstrative of the bench strength across all levels.

Responsables de la pratique:

Katharine Harle

Autres avocats clés:

Lara Seabourne; Zeena Saleh; Sarah Partridge-Smith

Les références

‘Katharine Harle is a remarkably knowledgeable financial services practitioner; she’s enormously hard-working; she gets on brilliantly with clients, including the most sophisticated and demanding ones; she produces superb letters and advice; she’s an astute tactician; and a nightmare for the other side when she needs to be.’

‘Lara Seabourne: an excellent lawyer, and first-rate.’

‘Very responsive and engaged team delivering high quality advice consistently and across the board. Highly recommend.’

Principaux clients





Currency Index Limited

John Lewis Plc

Marks & Spencer

National House Building Council (NHBC)

Dye & Durham

Lek Securities UK Limited

Arion Global Limited

Standish Management (UK) Ltd

LL Funds, LLC

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising FSCS on the potential insolvency of Silicon Valley Bank UK.
  • Acting for the FCA in defending a judicial review brought by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking in respect of the FCA’s decision not to re-open the 2012/13 Interest Rate Hedging Products Redress Schemes in respect of a certain cohort of customers.

DLA Piper

Noted for its ability to advise both regulators and major financial institutions, DLA Piper continues to be a highly valued port of call for the gamut of contentious regulatory issues in the financial services space. The firm is also well regarded for building up a specialist contentious cybersecurity and data protection offering within the investigations group. Tony Katz, who acts as one of the global co-chairs for the financial services practice, is described as ‘exceptionally tactically astute‘. Sam Millar, who co-heads the investigations department, is another key contact at leadership level.

Responsables de la pratique:

Tony Katz; Sam Millar

Autres avocats clés:

Puesan Lam; Shabaz Ahmed

Les références

‘The team is very responsive and has good knowledge of this sector.’

‘Superb at operating on the intersection between financial services and public law.’

‘This team is notable for the quality of its partners above all else.’

Principaux clients

Sunrise Brokers LLP / Canto Fitzgerald Group

National Westminster plc

UK Finance

Principaux dossiers

  • Appointed by UK Finance to advise on its responses to the FCA’s consultation on a new consumer duty.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Many of the world’s largest and most established regulated institutions instruct the team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which operates across all areas pertaining to financial crime investigations, compliance, risk advisory and enforcement matters. In a recent demonstration of its expertise, the firm has acted successfully as defence counsel in six FCA enforcement investigations involving potential criminal offences and breaches of the money laundering regulations. ‘Great lawyer and leaderGregory Brandman heads up the practice, with capable support from seasoned practitioners Jake McQuitty and Julia Neal. Principal associate Adam Berry and senior associate Hayley Astles are also noted.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gregory Brandman; Jake McQuitty; Julia Neal

Autres avocats clés:

Ruth Paley; Adam Berry; Hayley Astles

Les références

‘A stand-out team in the market. They know what the regulator thinks and what is achievable for the client. Well versed, well resourced, driven to get the desired outcome for the client and lovely to work with.’

‘Gregory Brandman: few in the market have as much experience. A great lawyer and leader.’

‘Adam Berry – having worked for the FCA, he knows how to handle the very toughest of investigations and negotiations.’

Principaux clients

Equifax Limited

Julius Baer International Limited

Al Rayan Bank Plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for Julius Baer International in its FCA enforcement investigation.
  • Defending the former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK) against an enforcement action that the FCA brought against him for senior manager misconduct.
  • Defending Al Rayan Bank in an FCA enforcement action into alleged failings concerning the bank’s financial crime controls framework.

Fox Williams LLP

Fox Williams LLP is seen as a go-to advisor by boutique, challenger and foreign branch banks, as well as senior executives and mid-range investment firms facing regulatory concerns. The group is also developing a particular specialism for supporting fintech firms undergoing investigation or supervisory intervention by the FCA. A recent reorganisation means that all contentious regulatory work now sits under the umbrella of the broader financial services department, with Sona Ganatra providing oversight. Other key practitioners include Peter Wright, who regularly acts on cases involving an international element, and Sebastian Sayer, who was promoted to partner in May 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sona Ganatra

Autres avocats clés:

Peter Wright; Sebastian Sayer; Andrew Marra

Les références

‘The team are incredible; always available, very efficient; swift with advice;and very reasonable with their billing.’

‘I can recommend the firm very highly.’

‘The team are utterly professional, totally knowledgeable, cool under pressure, and inspire trust and confidence from their clients. They are the obvious choice for difficult and complex financial services matters.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for senior executives in the Dame Linda Dobbs review of Lloyds Banking Group.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP stands out for its focus on individual-side representation, and its stellar track record of successfully defending executives against allegations of criminal dealings in the financial services area. Recently, the firm has increasingly been involved with enforcement investigations which straddle both the approved persons regime and the senior managers and certification regime. Louise Hodges and Jill Lorimer oversee the offering from the criminal litigation and financial services sides, respectively. In May 2022, the team was strengthened by the arrival of legal director James Alleyne from the enforcement division of the FCA.

Responsables de la pratique:

Louise Hodges; Jill Lorimer

Autres avocats clés:

Nicola Finnerty; Julie Matheson; James Alleyne

Les références

‘Good knowledge across the breadth of the area.’

‘Jill Lorimer: a standout for contentious FS work. She also understands the criminal aspect extremely well. Definitely one to have on your side, and not against you!’

‘I have been very impressed indeed by Jill Lorimer’s encyclopaedic knowledge and acute analysis.’

Latham & Watkins

The broad practice at Latham & Watkins spans investigations, senior management responsibility, market abuse and financial crime. The firm’s global reach ensures that cross-border mandates are a regular part of the workload, with the firm leveraging its knowledge of regulators and law enforcement agencies in key financial centres to handle complex matters which cover multiple jurisdictions. Andrea Monks is the key name to note at leadership level. In team news, Nell Perks was promoted to partner in January 2023, while former practice co-head Jon Holland retired in March 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrea Monks

Autres avocats clés:

Nell Perks

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing a major global investment bank in an investigation by the PRA regarding regulatory reporting failures.
  • Training senior managers, including the CEO and independent non-executive board directors, on failures under the UK senior manager regulatory regime.
  • Representing the board of an international bank in an independent investigation into various significant whistleblowing allegations made by an employee.

Osborne Clarke LLP

At Osborne Clarke LLP, clients range from traditional financial services companies to alternative lenders and fintech providers. Other recognised practitioners include Tom Ellis and recently promoted partner Nick Price, who are singled out as ‘real heavyweights with great caseloads‘. In October 2022, the team benefitted from the arrival of Benedicte Perowne, formerly of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who has extensive experience handling all aspects of interactions with the FCA and PRA, from authorisations, to notifications, to enforcement. Rachel Couter oversees the offering.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rachel Couter

Autres avocats clés:

Nick Price; Tom Ellis; Benedicte Perowne; Tom Frapwell

Les références

‘Enormous experience enables the firm to have unique insight into the client’s demands and needs. First-rate client service.’

‘Tom Ellis – urbane and astute; able intuitively to understand what the client wants and to formulate the necessary strategy. Superb communicator.’

‘Tom Frapwell is a very dedicated lawyer with a razor-sharp mind. Tom has wide experience in cross-border disputes and has a particular expertise in compliance. Very tech-savvy and understands the significance of tech to clients in the financial services sector.’

Principaux clients

Former directors of Comet plc

Wirecard Card Solutions Limited

Pricewaterhouse Coopers C.I. LLP

Mr Alistair Wright

DECTA Limited

Airbnb Payments UK Limited

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is differentiated by its systemic FCA regulatory breach mitigation strategies, including high-value remediation projects, FCA investigation and enforcement advice, mass action litigation, and FOS complaint defences. The contentious regulatory offering sits within the firm’s wider insurance, regulation and funds team, which is headed up by Colin Read. For the financial services angle, Jonathan Cavill is the key senior name. The group also stands out for the high proportion of ex-regulators practising, and providing a ‘unique blend of experience‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Colin Read

Autres avocats clés:

Jonathan Cavill; Chris Riach; Venetia Jackson

Les références

‘A strong offering across the range of financial services contentious work.’

‘Jonathan Cavill knows his insurance regulation very well.’

‘Practical and commercial advice.’

Principaux clients

James Hay


AJ Bell


Direct Line Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising a large international banking group on its regulatory crisis management concerning regulatory and legislative breaches from 2008 to the present.
  • Representing a  FTSE 100 company in a case relating to £900m of mis-selling exposures.
  • Representing a large American-owned insurance company in four judicial reviews of the FOS.

Travers Smith LLP

At Travers Smith LLP, the regulatory investigations offering comprises specialists from the financial services and markets team, and the dispute resolution department, which is helmed by ‘terrific strategistRob Fell. The cross-departmental team utilises its various strengths to handle all relevant issues pertaining to regulatory investigations, enforcement actions and disciplinary proceedings, with a particular focus on litigation, due to the contentious expertise of many of the practitioners; Caroline Edwards, Toby Robinson, Huw Jenkin and Stephanie Lee are all key names in this regard.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rob Fell

Autres avocats clés:

Caroline Edwards; Toby Robinson; Stephanie Lee; Huw Jenkin

Les références

‘Rob Fell is absolutely superb, and runs a team on a big case beautifully. He’s incredibly clever, is one of most experienced financial services litigators in the market, and has a detailed knowledge of both the industry and the law in this area.’

‘Rob Fell is a terrific strategist, and a brilliant negotiator. He’s perfect for any really tough financial services dispute.’

‘They have a lot of experience in high-value and high-profile contentious financial work, including sensitive internal investigation work.’

Principaux clients

Nomura International plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing the former CEO of Nomura International in criminal proceedings which have been brought in Italy against him, the Italian Bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, and certain other individuals from the three banks for false accounting, market manipulation and obstruction of a regulator in respect of complex derivative trades entered into between Nomura International and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in 2009; as well as in regulatory proceedings that have been brought in Italy in relation to the same derivative trades.
  • Defending Nomura in a consolidated class action complaint related to anti-competitive behaviour in the primary and secondary European Government Bond market.


Investigations conducted, and disciplinary action proposed by the FCA are the primary focus at Akin, which is instructed by a core client base of investment and hedge funds, as well as C-suite individuals. Helen Marshall leads the team with a ‘very strong track record‘, supported by seasoned practitioner Ezra Zahabi.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ezra Zahabi; Helen Marshall

Autres avocats clés:

Joe Hewton

Les références

‘They are just top of the tree for big ticket financial services work.’

‘Helen Marshall – extremely knowledgable and experienced, excellent at managing a team and tricky clients.’

‘Joe Hewton – super bright, calm, on top of everything.’

Principaux clients

BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP

Bivonas Law LLP

Litigation boutique Bivonas Law LLP brings its contentious expertise to bear on complex investigations and high-profile disputes. In addition to handling the gamut of regulatory cases, the firm is also well-placed to deal with the associated civil issues and any criminal liability. Practice head Cindy Dorrington is ‘known for her robust approach when dealing with the FCA and other regulators‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Cindy Dorrington

Autres avocats clés:

Antony Brown; Roland Ellis

Les références

‘Excellent nous and client-handling skills. Unusual regulatory knowledge combined with real commercial knowledge and experience.’

‘Antony Brown: grand in stature but humble in nature, Antony is a fighter who you want on your side in a tight spot.’

‘Cindy Dorrington: the queen of financial services disputes, combining brilliant client-handling skills with extensive experience.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing an individual being investigated by the FCA and SFO for fraud and mis-selling mini-bonds to the value of £250m to retail investors.
  • Representing an individual in the FCA’s investigation into banks, brokers and pensions funds involved in Cum-Ex trading.
  • Representing a defendant in an insider dealing case being prosecuted by the FCA.

Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP

Boutique firm Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP leverages its well-established reputation for acting in commercial and financial disputes to represent corporates, regulated firms and approved persons across a range of sectors in complex supervisory and enforcement proceedings. Recently, the team has seen a notable increase in cryptocurrency-related work. Stephen Elam is the key senior contact.

Responsables de la pratique:

Stephen Elam

Autres avocats clés:

Sinead O’Callaghan

Les références

‘The team we work with has a demonstrated desire and ability to learn new technologies and take positions in a difficult and uncertain field. They are excellent advisors.’

Principaux clients


iFinex Inc

TF Global Markets (UK) Ltd

TF Global Markets (Aust) Pty Ltd

S&B Consultancy Services Limited

JNFX Limited

Principaux dossiers

  • Defending ThinkMarkets group companies in proceedings brought by IS Prime relating to the basis upon which IS Prime provided matched principal brokerage services to ThinkMarkets on exclusive terms.
  • Acting for cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitfinex in proceedings brought by an anonymous insurer in relation to a cyberattack committed by unknown fraudsters against the insurer’s customer.
  • Acting for two defendants in the £4bn claim brought by Tulip Trading in relation to the alleged hack of Dr Wright’s home network and theft of private keys for approximately 110,000 bitcoin and related digital assets.

Corker Binning

Corker Binning is ‘perfect for tricky financial services cases that don’t fit into a predefined box‘; cross-border proceedings, internal investigations, FCA-compelled interviews and dual track investigations all form part of the team’s regular workload. As a former senior lawyer at the FCA, Claire Cross has ‘a well deserved reputation for working on the highest profile disputes‘. Name partners David Corker and Peter Binning continue to play active roles in the firm; the latter has particular insight into overlapping regulatory and criminal matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Claire Cross

Autres avocats clés:

David Corker; Peter Binning; Nick Barnard

Les références

‘Corker Binning stands out as one of the finest boutique business crime and regulation firms.’

‘Nick Barnard is hugely diligent and clearly leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of his client’s best interests. Claire Cross is one of the few real experts working at boutique level in the field of contentious financial services. Her experience whilst a lawyer at the FCA ensures she knows the inner workings of financial services regulation backwards.’

‘Claire Cross is the real standout partner in the financial services space. Her judgement is excellent, she is strategic and very good fun to work with.’

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP fields a team with contentious regulatory experience extending not only to both sides of the FCA process, but also SFO and HMRC investigations, along with FOS complaints. Recently, the firm has been particularly notable in achieving successful outcomes for individuals challenging adverse decisions by UK and overseas regulators and prosecutors. Jonathan Brogden and Angela Hayes are the key senior contacts.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Brogden; Angela Hayes

Autres avocats clés:

Christopher Dyke

Les références

‘Attention to detail. Clear and concise communication in non-legal speak. Strength in depth, brilliant leader in Jonathan Brogden, but also amazing support from his team.’

‘Flexibility, support – both legal and emotional! Superb value.’

‘DACB have decades of market-leading experience in providing efficient, cost-effective and successful legal services.’

Principaux clients

Polar Capital LLP

Platinum Capital

Stuart Forsyth

Gavin Black

Habib Bank Zurich

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Stuart Forsyth before the Upper Tribunal, overturning decisions by the FCA and PRA to fine the former CEO of a mutual insurer and prohibit him from working in financial services.
  • Representing Gavin Black in proceedings concerning allegations of the manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark rate.


Under the guidance of  the ‘highly motivated, energetic and intelligentDuncan Black, the team at Fieldfisher expertly deals with the gamut of contentious regulatory issues faced by service providers, asset managers, brokers and dealers. The firm is particularly noted for its niche specialism in market abuse, anti-money laundering, structured finance, London Metal Exchange businesses, and systems and controls breaches. In January 2023, the practice was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Sam Clyndes from the FCA.

Responsables de la pratique:

Duncan Black

Autres avocats clés:

Sam Clyndes

Les références

‘Forensic attention to detail, meticulous work and a uniquely human dynamic make the team a joy to work with.’

‘Each of the team are highly intelligent, work extremely hard and tirelessly strive for the best results for clients. Their client skills are incomparable, and they are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Well organised, cost-effective, highly knowledgeable and very easy to deal with.’

Principaux clients

Triland Metals Ltd

Hugo Van Kuffeler

Assure Hedge Ltd

Alliance Bernstein

Starz Mortgage Capital Ltd


Armira Capital

Wilmington Trust

Aquis Stock Exchange Ltd

Sucden Financial Ltd

VG Fund Services


Law Debenture Corporate Services Ltd

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Hugo Van Kuffeler in litigation regarding the nature of investment fund directors’ duties.
  • Representing Law Debenture Corp in litigation defending attacks on corporate service providers to securitisation structures brought by Rizwan Hussein and his aliases.
  • Representing a major UK IFA which has been accused of numerous SYSC breaches by the FCA.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Sitting within Greenberg Traurig, LLP‘s wider litigation and white-collar team, the financial regulatory and compliance practice benefits from the firm’s considerable contentious prowess. Since the arrival of ‘go-to individualMatt Hancock in November 2021, the group has been going from strength to strength, with the recruitment of Tim Dolan from Reed Smith LLP in January 2023 marking the latest notable development in the composition of the department.

Responsables de la pratique:

Matt Hancock

Autres avocats clés:

Katharine Bond; Tim Dolan

Les références

‘Greenberg’s recent hires have catapulted them into a leading position in this field.’

‘Matt Hancock is one of the most savvy, charismatic and strategically effective practitioners around.’

‘The GT team specialise in enforcement issues and are a pleasure to deal with. They know how to get to the heart of an issue with minimum fuss, and their client care is first-rate. They are very personable and easy to deal with, without compromising on intellectual firepower.’

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s contentious regulatory practice draws upon the collective experience of both the financial regulatory, and the government and internal investigations groups. The arrival of ‘fantastic new hireJulia Dixon from Linklaters LLP in November 2021 to co-chair the team alongside Marcus Thompson signalled the beginning of a concerted period of growth and development for the group. The partner bench has further expanded with the lateral hire of Shruti Chandhok from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in June 2022, and the promotion of Patrick Navein.

Responsables de la pratique:

Julia Dixon; Marcus Thompson

Autres avocats clés:

Patrick Navein; Shruti Chandhok

Les références

‘Very good knowledge and understanding of enforcement matters.’

‘Julia Dixon – very bright and personable.’

‘Great resources and global reach.’

Mayer Brown International LLP

With connections to the major financial hubs of New York, London and Hong Kong, Mayer Brown International LLP is well-placed to handle law enforcement investigations with some of the world’s most sophisticated and proactive regulators, including the FCA and PRA. Chris Chapman and Alistair Graham are the key senior contacts, and both have significant litigation and arbitration expertise to complement their regulatory skill sets.

Responsables de la pratique:

Chris Chapman; Alistair Graham

Autres avocats clés:

Airlie Goodman

Les références

‘There is strength and depth across the entire team. They are incredibly bright and have a deep understanding of financial services. I’d trust them to run with any matter.’

‘Aside from being great lawyers, they’re personable, and you can trust them to deliver to tight timeframes and engage well with senior management.’

‘I always have the view that Mayer Brown remain on top of what’s going on in the market across the world, and therefore are in a position to give best practice advice at all times.’

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP‘s ‘dynamic‘ team in London is a critical part of the firm’s global contentious regulatory practice, with practitioners frequently playing a key role in matters with a cross-border element. FCA investigations and proceedings, large-scale customer redress exercises, and remediation programmes are all part of the group’s regular workload. The key senior contacts are Chris Warren-Smith, who ‘combines great strategic and tactical nous with rigorous analysis and excellent legal judgment‘, and ‘great litigatorMelanie Ryan.

Responsables de la pratique:

Melanie Ryan; Chris Warren-Smith

Autres avocats clés:

Paul Mesquitta

Les références

‘The team led by Chris Warren-Smith is dynamic, highly effective and committed to putting the client in the best possible position – right up there with the best magic circle firms.’

‘Chris Warren-Smith is one of the profession’s heavy hitters – combines great strategic and tactical nous with rigorous analysis and excellent legal judgment. He is direct, focused and gets straight to the point. As well as having clear vision and the drive to win, he is also on top of the detail. He is great at asking the right question and no one pulls the wool over his eyes.’

‘Melanie Ryan is a great litigator with a very good following. She is hugely experienced and has a great ability to get to the nub of the problem clearly and decisively. Her pragmatism and thoroughness always sets up the client for the best outcome.’

Squire Patton Boggs

At Squire Patton Boggs, FCA regulatory investigations, skilled person reviews, and investment mis-selling disputes – including High Court litigation and complex mass claims to the FOS – make up the cornerstone of the practice. The team is ‘not phased by challenging issues‘, and is regularly instructed to handle complex, multijurisdictional investigations relating to alleged breaches of financial crime laws and regulations. The key senior practitioners are Paul Anderson, who oversees the national financial services regulatory practice; Hannah Laming, who acts as both the UK and European head of the government investigations and white-collar crime department; and ‘intelligent and unflappableChris Webber.

Responsables de la pratique:

Hannah Laming; Paul Anderson; Chris Webber

Autres avocats clés:

Christian Toms; Wayne Barnes; Ben Ticehurst; Katherine Wakeham

Les références

‘The team is experienced, well resourced and knows the area well.’

‘Chris Webber – excellent knowledge in this area.’

‘Katherine Wakeham – an associate who punches well above her seniority. She has a good tactical mind.’

Principaux clients

Manchester Building Society

Brooks Macdonald plc

Independent Wealth Planners UK Ltd

Gallium Fund Solutions Ltd

Qualia Care Limited

Maven Wealth Group Limited

Euronet Worldwide Inc (and YourCash)

Equiniti Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for Robin Forster, founder and owner of the Qualia Care group, in defence of proceedings brought by the FCA relating to allegations of operating unauthorised collective investment schemes in relation to sale and leaseback investments totalling around £50m.
  • Acting for Gallium Fund Solutions in relation to the collapse of the mini-bond issuer Basset & Gold, causing losses of approximately £36m to investors.
  • Acting for Georgi Shulev, co-founder of the cryptocurrency lending business Nexo, in a £1bn claim against Nexo and its current owners for his unpaid shareholding and other cryptocurrencies owed.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP is typically instructed by major banks to represent their senior executives in market and product investigations, often with transatlantic elements, including around whistleblowing, trading and benchmarking. The firm has lately also been developing a significant focus on the cryptocurrency space, and is increasingly active on mandates which combine those areas of focus. Charlotte Hill heads up the UK financial services regulatory group, while Andrew Howell oversees the disputes and investigations practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrew Howell; Charlotte Hill

Autres avocats clés:

Laurence Lieberman; Julian Randall; David McCluskey; Richard Viegas

Principaux clients

Former CFO of Carillion plc

White Oak

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for a former CFO of Carillion plc in relation to the director disqualification proceedings commenced against eight former directors of Carillion by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
  • Advising White Oak on recovery of funds due to it following its purchase of receivables through a structure operated by Greensill Capital UK which collapsed into administration in 2021.


At TLT, investigations work is particularly focused on whistleblowing, governance and policy issues. The firm is regularly instructed to represent senior managers, as well as advising industry bodies and regulators. The team ‘combines technical and industry expertise with a commercial, pragmatic approach.Jonathan Hoey oversees the national banking and financial services litigation offering from Bristol, with Manchester-based James Chadwick taking the lead on much of the contentious financial regulation work.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Hoey; James Chadwick

Autres avocats clés:

Clare Stothard

Les références

‘The team provides a first rate service – they have a great relationship with our business and work collaboratively with the in-house team. The team combines technical and industry expertise with a commercial, pragmatic approach at a sensible cost.’

‘Good coverage of experienced practitioners to address this work. Accurate and regular billing, good use of technology. Work collaboratively to find solutions in line with client expectations and requirements.’

Principaux clients

Santander UK plc

Lloyds Banking Group

Nationwide Building Society

Triodos Bank

One Savings Bank

Co-operative Bank plc

TSB Bank plc

Skipton Building Society


West Bromwich Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society


Bank of America

Hampshire Trust Bank

The Cumberland

Darlington Building Society

Seneca Finance Limited

FRP Advisory

Templeton LPA



Copper Technologies (UK) Limited

Ecology Building Society


With ‘market-leading‘ practice head Stephen Pollard at the helm, WilmerHale continues to be a firm of choice for stellar individual-side representation. Senior executives facing regulatory exposure value the firm’s ‘high quality advice‘ and breadth of experience with leading financial regulators, including the FCA and FRC. In January 2023, Richard Burger joined the team from DWF, bringing with him extensive experience acting in complex domestic and international regulatory enforcement proceedings and criminal investigations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Stephen Pollard

Autres avocats clés:

Richard Burger

Les références

‘High quality advice for individuals under investigation.’

‘Stephen Pollard is the figurehead of the practice and has a strong reputation for representing high-profile individuals.’

‘Richard Burger is excellent. He takes huge time and trouble for clients, worrying and thinking through all aspects of a case, and as a result achieving great results.’

Withers LLP

In keeping with its strong reputation for individual-side representation, the majority of Withers LLP‘s client base consists of senior executives of public and private businesses, as well as non-executive directors of FCA-regulated financial institutions. As well as internal investigations, the team is often instructed to advise on consequent criminal issues, as well as broader market abuse concerns. ‘Absolutely brilliantHarvey Knight brings many years of experience working internally at the FSA to his role as department lead.

Responsables de la pratique:

Harvey Knight

Autres avocats clés:

Natalie Sherborn

Les références

‘A small but high quality team.’

‘Harvey Knight is absolutely brilliant. He has huge expertise in acting for individuals and senior managers, and will fight tirelessly for his clients. One of the few solicitors to have actually defeated the FCA in Court.’

‘The Withers team as a whole are class acts. Very astute and at the top of their game.’

Principaux clients

Moneybrain Global Ltd

Constantine Law Limited

At boutique Constantine Law Limited, the regulatory and criminal investigations offering complements the firm’s core employment focus. The arrival of Emmeline Coerkamp from PCB Byrne LLP in January 2023 significantly strengthened the group’s capabilities in the investigations space, particularly those with a nexus to fraud. ‘Clever, professional and commercialSarah Wallace is the key senior contact.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sarah Wallace

Autres avocats clés:

Emmeline Coerkamp

Les références

‘Top-quality advice and support received. Technical delivery was excellent. All work was handled directly by partners who were available at short notice (within reason), highly supportive in a very stressful situation, and pragmatic and practical with the advice given.’

‘To be effective and value for money, lawyers need to be fully engaged in the problem, the background, and the objectives of the individual they are supporting. This was the case with both partners – the advice was top quality but pragmatic and practical and helped me to make the right decisions and compromise where necessary. The result was at the top end of my expectations. Hands on, personal, practical and quality advice is how I’d sum it up.’

‘Very efficient and responsive to client needs and timescales, an excellent professional all-round service.’


DWF‘s ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of financial services and regulatory law‘ makes it a destination of choice for authorised organisations, senior directors and other individuals facing regulatory and internal investigations. The firm has a particular focus on anti-financial crime, and consequently is often instructed to handle dual-track FCA investigations. Former practice head Imogen Makin left the firm in January 2024.

Autres avocats clés:

Robbie Constance

Les références

‘Experienced, responsive, broad range of talents, feels like they have your back.’

‘DWF is a very capable and proper international law firm with a very strong London and regional presence.’

‘The department has an encyclopaedic knowledge of financial services and regulatory law and a wealth of experience.’

Principaux clients

Fraser Fisher

Dolfin Financial (UK) Ltd

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented the former CEO of Redcentric in a prosecution brought by the FCA for allegedly making misleading statements to the market.
  • Representing Dolfin Financial (UK) in FCA restrictions and insolvency proceedings.

Gowling WLG

James Sidwell brings an ‘incomparable work ethic‘ to his role as practice head at Gowling WLG. The firm runs the gamut of contentious regulatory matters, and is noted for its expertise in more niche areas, including FCA and PRA authorisation, supervision and enforcement, and mandates with a nexus to fintech, including cryptocurrency and blockchain developments.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Sidwell

Autres avocats clés:

Andrew Witts; Verity Barker

Les références

‘My experience of Gowling to date has exceptional. The Gowling team was extremely impressive throughout, both in their attention to detail on the substance of the case and in the case management. I also found it extremely impressive that they were able to set up a virtual hearing centre for four barristers and a team of other professionals virtually overnight.’

‘I have developed a good professional relationship with James Sidwell. Despite being an extremely senior and experienced partner, James still gets stuck in to his cases and knows the detail just as well those more junior. He is extremely gifted in client management and has an incomparable work ethic. I very much hope to have the opportunity to work with James again in the future.’

Principaux clients

The Financial Reporting Council

Grant Thornton LLP (Mark McDonald and Hugh Dickson, liquidators of Stanford Bank)

Principaux dossiers

  • Acted for the FRC in investigation and disciplinary proceedings against KPMG and several individuals in the audit team regarding the provision of allegedly false and misleading information and/or documents to the FRC in connection with the FRC’s Audit Quality Reviews of two audits carried out by KPMG, including the audit of Carillion for the year end 2016.
  • Representing certain individuals at Grant Thornton LLP, the newly-appointed liquidators of Stanford Bank.

Hickman & Rose

Hickman & Rose is best known for its representation of company directors and senior executives facing serious fallout from financial services investigations. The practice draws on the firm’s notable prowess in the white-collar criminal and professional regulatory spaces to inform its financial regulatory offering. ‘Wonderful tacticianAndrew Katzen, co-founding partner Ben Rose, and joint chair of the financial crime department Ross Dixon are all key senior contacts.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrew Katzen

Autres avocats clés:

Ben Rose; Ross Dixon; Claire Wallace; Tom Bushnell

Les références

‘Ross Dixon: great instincts, and wonderful at dealing with matters with US legal issues.’

‘Ben Rose is a pair of experienced hands.’

‘Claire Wallace – a conscientious practitioner.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing an individual accused by the FCA of financial market manipulation designed to destabilise the currency of a Middle Eastern state at the RDC and at the Upper Tribunal.
  • Acting in an FRC misconduct investigation into the former CFO of a global company in connection with an alleged £50m overstatement in the company’s financial accounts.
  • Argued that an FRC investigation against a former executive was an abuse of process and not in the public interest.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP‘s bench strength on both sides of the Atlantic gives the firm a distinct advantage when handling US-UK mandates, and the team is consequently highly regarded for such contentious regulatory work. Practice head Aaron Stephens‘ dual qualification in the US and the UK is further emblematic of the group’s focus.

Responsables de la pratique:

Aaron Stephens

Autres avocats clés:

Margaret Nettesheim

Les références

‘Aaron Stephens – calm and very able.’

‘Great quality in depth across all levels.’

‘A well run team with strengths at every level delivering an excellent service to clients. Very knowledgeable and experienced partners.’

Principaux clients

Deutsche Bank

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Deutsche Bank in various class and direct action litigation matters which are proceeding in the UK High Court (Commercial Court), the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), Canada, Israel and Brazil; all of these relate to the previous criminal and regulatory investigations into alleged manipulation of the global foreign exchange market by traders at various FX dealer banks.


Milbank draws on its established strength in the contentious space to represent key players from the global financial services community in their interactions with the regulators. The firm’s transatlantic presence ensures that it is particularly well positioned to handle mandates with ramifications in both the UK and US. Julian Stait heads up the litigation and arbitration practice, with William Charles regularly leading on regulatory investigations work.

Responsables de la pratique:

Julian Stait

Autres avocats clés:

William Charles

Les références

‘Great at large team litigation.’

Paul Hastings LLP

Under the leadership of Arun Srivastava, Paul Hastings LLP‘s London practice has developed as an international hub, operating in concert with the firm’s teams in the US and Asia to handle high-stakes investigations by foreign regulatory authorities. Jonathan Pickworth is noted for his focus on tax evasion, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Responsables de la pratique:

Arun Srivastava

Autres avocats clés:

Jonathan Pickworth; Nina Moffatt

Principaux clients

Park First


Uphold Europe Limited

The Currency Cloud

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Richard Usher in a global investigation into the alleged rigging of the global foreign exchange market.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP brings a ‘strategic’ approach to actual and potential investigations and proceedings in the financial services sector, including those conducted by the FCA, PRA and SFO. Neil Swift brings his ‘great experience and judgement‘ to cases concerning both individual and corporate clients. Other key senior contacts include Anna Bradshaw, Maria Cronin and Nick Vamos.

Responsables de la pratique:

Neil Swift

Autres avocats clés:

Anna Bradshaw; Maria Cronin; Nick Vamos

Les références

‘Anna Bradshaw has encyclopaedic knowledge of anti-money laundering and sanctions laws.’

‘Solid and reliable.’

‘Trusted and strategic.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing a senior individual at the UK branch of a Luxembourg nank under investigation by the FCA over its role in an alleged scheme to manipulate currency and bond markets during an embargo that cost a Gulf nation billions.

Shoosmiths LLP

A strategic focus on foreign banks, the wealth management sector, and asset-based lenders differentiates the practice at Shoosmiths LLP. The team’s broad workload spans representation in FCA enforcement proceedings and internal investigations, as well as advice on notification and reporting obligations. Follow-on litigation arising from regulatory breaches is another area of strength, with Birmingham-based national head of dispute resolution Alex Bishop providing key support in such cases. Daren Allen heads up the dedicated financial services disputes and investigations offering.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alex Bishop; Daren Allen

Autres avocats clés:

Andrew Bowden-Brown

Les références

‘Availability of partners and their experience.’

‘Daren Allen is a standout practitioner who is approachable and diligent at all times. He has wide and significant industry-related experience and is highly regarded in compliance circles in the City of London.’

‘The team has strength and depth in its leadership and significant experience in this field.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised a foreign bank on all aspects of an extensive regulatory change programme for the implementation of the FCA’s new consumer duty.
  • Instructed by a UK bank to undertake an extensive investigation following a complaint by a commercial customer that the client had breached its duty of confidence and disclosed sensitive information, which resulted in significant loss.
  • Acting on behalf of a foreign bank following the discovery of regulatory failings concerning the conduct of senior officers, undertaking an investigation, and advising on disclosures to the FCA.

Sidley Austin LLP

‘Increasingly visible in the market‘, Sidley Austin LLP‘s London-based group is buttressed by the firm’s well established US practice. Former FSA prosecutor Sara George brings a ‘tenacious‘ approach to her representation of corporations in crisis situations and in matters involving allegations of criminal misconduct, including market abuse, insider dealing, money laundering, cybersecurity breaches, fraud, corruption and bribery.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sara George

Les références

‘The industry knowledge, network of contacts and experience.’

‘Strong team, increasingly visible in the market. Good on FCA defence.’

‘Sara George: vastly experienced and tenacious.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Lars Mørch, former Danske Bank executive board member and former head of international banking, in a $230bn money laundering case.
  • Represented the former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, who was convicted of interest-rate rigging following an SFO-led trial, in the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal in a successful challenge to a proposed prohibition order following his conviction for manipulation of LIBOR.