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Financial Services Regulation

Sector focused legal advice for financial services

Our lawyers provide business critical regulatory advice to financial services businesses and other sectors impacted by financial regulation.

We understand the global regulatory framework for financial institutions and regularly advise clients in the financial services sector on the impact of UK and EU harmonising regulatory regimes on their businesses, including under EMIR, MiFID II, the Benchmarks Regulation, the Market Abuse Regulation, Solvency II and Basel III/IV. 

What we do in Financial Services Regulation

We advise clients on whether they are carrying on regulated activities, the extent to which any statutory exclusions may apply, and provide ongoing assistance to ensure that they remain on the right side of the regulatory perimeter. We can assist with the application for financial services authorisations, variations of permission, approved persons applications, withdrawal of applications, end of life scenarios including business transfer schemes and schemes of arrangement.

We also provide our clients with advice during the course of trading, such as handling client monies, compliant conduct of business activities, and developing in-house compliance programmes and training materials. We can assist clients with major developments during the life of the business such as substantial outsourcings, new products and business lines, intermediary appointments, restructuring (including advice on Brexit), acquisitions and disposals, and joint ventures.

We regularly advocate on behalf of our clients and industry groups seeking to influence the rulemaking process. For instance, we have been following and advising on MiFID II and Solvency II from inception through to pre- and post-implementation. 

We focus on the regulation of three main sectors of financial services:

Our experience in Financial Services Regulation

Insurance and Reinsurance Regulation

  • Advising EU and UK (re)insurers and intermediaries on restructuring options to ensure their ability to operate their cross-border businesses after Brexit.
  • Advice to a private equity fund on change of control approvals in 24 jurisdictions in respect of its investment in an international insurance group.
  • Advice on the impact on business models of Solvency II, the Insurance Distribution Directive, GDPR, and other EU legislation.
  • Perimeter advice on cross-border business activities, in particular delegated underwriting and appointment of agents.
  • Advice to a global (re)insurance group on the EU regulatory framework and local regulation applicable to distribution of consumer InsurTech products in seven EU states.
  • Reported on regulatory compliance and client money procedures in respect of five recent insurance intermediary acquisitions.
  • Regulatory advice to a global insurance group on its international insurance programmes structure for multinational customers.
  • Drafting and review of compliance manuals and governance systems of insurance companies and intermediaries.

Derivatives and Commodities Trading Regulation

  • Advising an international oil trading group on structuring its business to benefit from regulatory exemptions.
  • Advising a commodities trading house on the establishment of a new trading desk for iron ore products and helping to structure the set-up to take advantage of available regulatory exclusions.
  • Advising a global commodity trader on cross-border market abuse issues and the impact of social media on market abuse cases.
  • Advising an FCA-authorised commodity broker in connection with the impact of MiFID II on its business, including analysing whether it needs to be become an operator of an "organised trading facility" and the impact this will have on its business, plus assisting with the related variation to its FCA authorisation.
  • Advising the FCA-authorised operator of a UK trading venue in connection with the duties and responsibilities of its directors under the approved person regime.
  • Advising numerous commodities trading houses on the ancillary activities exemption to authorisation under MiFID II.
  • Advising a range of financial and non-financial clients in connection with the impact of the EU position limits regimes, including contracts in scope and hedging exemptions.
  • Assisting various energy and commodities companies with drafting and/or updating hedging policies to take advantage of exemptions for risk reducing trading under MiFID II and EMIR.
  • Advising an international bank on the requirements for trading physical and financial LNG and oil in the UK.
  • Structuring shipping pools to be compliant with applicable UK/EU regulatory regimes, including AIFMD, collective investment schemes and MiFID II.

Banking and Investment Services Regulation

  • Advising Middle East capital on the authorisation process to be complied with to set up a UK financial institution.
  • Assisting an international provider of CfD trading services to obtain authorisation in the UK.
  • Advising on the detailed provisions of the FCA Handbook for various clients, including client money issues, conduct of business rules, anti-money laundering and general financial crime and compliance policies.
  • Advising various exchanges on setting up new UK and international trading platforms.
  • Advising a stockbroker on updating its terms of business for compliance with MiFID II.
  • Providing advice in respect of issues around investment research and market commentary under MIFID II.
  • Advising a broker-dealer on its conflicts of interests and best execution policies under MiFID II.
  • Advising a broker-dealer on regulatory requirements and permissions needed to undertake investment management and wealth management activities and to provide regulated services in FX and CfD products.
  • Advising an international bank on capital requirements in respect of certain types of transactions, including repos.

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