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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > Financial services > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory)
  2. Financial services contentious
  3. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Leading individuals: Financial services contentious
  6. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Financial services contentious

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Litigation boutique Bivonas Law LLP provides an 'exceptional level of service' to individuals facing regulatory investigations or criminal charges. In recent years the firm has secured numerous successes for individuals accused of market manipulation, in relation to financial benchmarks including LIBOR. The 'experienced and diligent' Cindy Dorrington is praised for her 'second-to-none knowledge of the evidence'. Anthony Brown and John Bechelet are also recommended.

Brown Rudnick LLP continues to 'be on the up' as a result of a growing team which most notably recently welcomed the arrival of the 'excellent' Jamie Symington  from the FCA. Now with four partners at its disposal, the team has the strength-in-depth to handle a significant volume and variety of regulatory enforcement action/investigations for both individuals and institutions. 'Very experienced and tenacious' team head Peter Bibby recently secured a favourable settlement for a UK asset management firm in an FCA investigation into alleged front office failings which made the firm vulnerable to an attempted fraud worth around $120m. 'A pleasure to work with', junior partner Chloe Pawson Pounds is also gaining an excellent reputation in the market and is advising a former senior executive of a major UK bank in relation to an FCA investigation into the bank’s treatment of customers and the associated conduct of the executive and certain other members of the bank's senior management.

'A well-established powerhouse boutique in banking and financial services litigation', Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP has also 'developed an excellent regulatory practice which compliments the fine work they have been doing in the banking litigation sphere since the firm’s inception'. Himself formerly in-house at MF Global, the 'very bright and utterly charming' Stephen Elam is a 'very safe pair of hands' in relation to regulatory enforcement work on behalf of a range of financial institutions including a growing number of brokers. The 'hugely energetic and indefatigable' Marc Keidan is 'particularly well-known in the field of banking and financial services disputes'  and regularly acts in financial disputes adverse to the banks and in hedge fund related work. Other recommended practitioners include 'skilled litigator' Sinead O'Callaghan, 'rising star' Daniel Burbeary and the 'very bright and client-focused' Lydia Danon.

'One of the go-to-names in the market for work at the intersection of the criminal and regulatory spheres', financial services boutique Corker Binning has an excellent reputation defending individuals in high-profile regulatory investigations. Peter Binning and Claire Cross are 'brilliant at the interface of insider dealing and market abuse and are able to run rings round the regulator'. Cross is representing several individuals in an FCA regulatory investigation regarding their conduct as brokers, particularly as it pertains to alleged front-running activity. David Corker is also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell 's two-partner team 'punches well above its weight' and is regularly involved in some very high-profile internal investigations and regulatory investigations on behalf of individuals. Particularly accomplished at handling criminal matters where there is an overlap with financial regulation, 'bright and hardworking' team head Sarah Wallace is 'wise beyond her years and brings heaps of experience to any dispute'. Wallace has expertise across a wide array of disputes and has recently achieved favourable results for numerous individuals in separate cases relating to alleged insider dealing, as well as successfully defending a company alleged to have engaged in pension mis-selling. Wallace is ably assisted in many of her matters by Tina Lakhani and the 'up-and-coming' Craig Weston, who are both senior associates.

'Excellent at handling work on behalf of individuals', Kingsley Napley LLP is particularly strong at handling white-collar criminal matters where there is an overlap with financial regulation. 'Excellent' team head Louise Hodges has a well-deserved reputation for defending individuals in market abuse cases and has recently represented LIBOR and FX. The arrival in May 2017 of senior associate Joanne Stephens from Northern Trust Corporation adds further firepower on the criminal front, particularly in relation to handling insider dealing and market abuse cases in light of her previous exposure to such cases on the prosecution side during her tenure at the enforcement division of the FCA. Eve Giles and Stephen Parkinson are also recommended.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP has a particularly strong reputation defending individuals, particularly charges. The 'unassuming, calm and sympathetic' Neil Swift 'understands the issues at stake and provides commercial and strategic advice'; alongside 'long-established legend' Monty Raphael, Swift is representing a former trader who is being prosecuted by the FCA for alleged insider dealing. Herself a former FSA prosecutor, the 'talented, dedicated and creative' Hannah Laming is the 'standout performer in a strong team' and has expertise at handling a range of FCA regulatory matters including insider dealing, market abuse and unauthorised trading matters.

Led by the 'experienced' Stephen Pollard, WilmerHale provides 'very knowledgeable, pragmatic and hands-on' advice to senior executives facing regulatory scrutiny. Counsel David Rundle is also recommended.

Often working in concert with lawyers in the US, Winston & Strawn London LLP's small one-partner team excels at handling multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations and follow-on private litigation. 'Very knowledgeable, experienced and extremely approachable' team head Justin McClelland has an excellent perspective of the market gleaned through his previous work as a prosecutor as well as his many years' experience in private practice on the defence front.

Withers LLP 's team head Harvey Knight spent many years at the FSA before moving into private practice, thereby affording him 'good insight into the regulatory mindset'. 'Bullish, enthusiastic and not afraid to take on difficult points for his client', Knight is 'an excellent man to have on your side', particularly if you are a senior executive facing regulatory scrutiny.

Clifford Chance LLP benefits from an 'unparalleled depth and breadth of regulatory experts, particularly in traditional banking products, payments and custody businesses'. The team's ability to leverage its wider finance practice in London, as well as its pan-European network of offices is 'a game changer in the context of Brexit contingency planning'. The firm is heavily engaged with numerous industry associations including The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) which it partnered with to provide an extensive report assessing the legal and regulatory impact of the exit of the UK from the EU on the EU’s wholesale capital markets. Monica Sah and Chris Bates have been at the heart of much of the Brexit-related advice to the AFME, while the 'excellent' Simon Crown has provided high-level advice on the implications of Brexit to the asset management sector. Alongside Bates, Simon Gleeson is 'recognised as one of the most trusted advisers across the Square Mile and is therefore pivotal to the highest level advice provided by the firm including on Brexit contingency planning and policy level advice relating to resolution planning' . The 'outstanding' Jeremy Walter heads up the firm's relationship with the Futures Industry Association (FIA) and has been busy advising it on coordinating and drafting updated legal opinions in respect of the netting and collateral provisions contained in FIA’s industry standard documentation (both older versions and the latest 2018 terms of business) on the basis of templates prepared and provided to counsel. Caroline Meinertz 'is a rising star' and also provided vital input on much of the firm's Brexit-related work as well as on other big-ticket strategic advice impacting the banking sector. The firm’s contentious team has been at the forefront of the most significant domestic and multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations in the industry, in addition to acting on behalf of top-level executives. The 'hugely experienced' Carlos Conceicao has an 'unmatched reputation in the field', regularly defending financial institutions in the highest-profile agency investigations in the market. Praised for his 'well-balanced approach and very sound advice', Dorian Drew has 'extensive experience in negotiating regulatory settlements'. Roger Best is also recommended.

'Market-leading in the financial services space', Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 's 'broad-ranging practice' represents an eclectic mix of clients in the financial services industry,  including investment banks, market infrastructure entities and asset management firms across a range of advisory, transactional, investigative and enforcement matters. Able to leverage the expertise of lawyers out of London as well as globally, the firm excels at handling strategically important matters requiring consideration not only of domestic regulatory issues, but also global ones. In addition to advising on the impact of Brexit on the industry, as well as the team is providing guidance to some of the largest financial institutions on the implications of MiFID II. Leveraging the firm's reputation as an 'outstanding brand for global transactions', in addition to handling standalone regulatory mandates, a significant amount of the firm's non-contentious work relates to financial services M&A. James Smethurst has an excellent reputation in the market across a broad swathe of regulatory and transactional matters, including prudential standards and conduct matters. Other key practitioners on the non-contentious front include global financial services head Michael Raffan, whose prudential expertise regularly sees him advising on core issues relating to capital adequacy issues and resolution planning matters; David Rouch, who is noted in particular for his regulatory work in relation to asset management clients; and Mark Kalderon, who is noted for his regulatory expertise on behalf of commercial and investment banks. On the contentious front, the firm excels in representing clients that are the subject of multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations (often involving parallel private litigation). David Scott, Simon Orton, Ian Taylor, Andrew Hart, Piers Reynolds and corporate crime expert Ali Sallaway are recommended.

'One of the top few leading practices', Linklaters LLP provides 'strong strategic advice' to investment banks, investment managers and infrastructure providers across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. On the non-contentious front, the firm advises on discrete regulatory issues as well as large-scale regulatory projects relating to Brexit, ring-fencing and regulatory capital. The team continues to handle numerous mandates relating to MiFID II and led by the 'excellent' Harry Eddis has been representing Nomura International plc on the implementation of the directive. Alongside Nikunj Kiri, Michael Kent and Martyn Hopper, Eddis has  also been central to the 12 leading investment and retail banks on their implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. The 'super bright' Peter Bevan has broad-ranging financial services regulatory expertise and often puts this knowledge to good effect on behalf of entities seeking to develop new financial products. The 'very technical and knowledgeable' Sebastian Barling  provides standalone regulatory advice as well as advising on the regulatory overlay in relation to financial services M&A. On the contentious front, in addition to the presence of pre-eminent practitioners including Hopper, Kent, Kiri and 'clever and dynamic' solicitor advocate Andrew Hughes , the team also benefits from numerous more junior practitioners who are developing a strong reputation, including the 'very articulate and detail oriented' Alison Wilson, who excels at handling FCA enforcement actions on behalf of retail banks and 'user-friendly and very bright' managing associate Ben Packer, who handles contentious financial services as a function of his broader dispute resolution offering. Sarah Parkhouse retired and Carl Fernandes joined Latham & Watkins.

Praised for its 'strong technical knowledge of the subject area', Allen & Overy LLP provides 'pragmatic advice' to a broad-ranging client base (including investment and retail banks, asset management firms and trade bodies) across the gamut of advisory, transactional-related regulatory, and contentious matters.  Team head Damian Carolan is best known for his derivatives and securities regulation expertise, as well as on the development of new markets and clearing settlement systems. In addition to providing regulatory advice in relation to financial services M&A, Etay Katz also acts for financial services entities and trade bodies across a host of regulatory issues including matters impacting on the wholesale and retail banking sectors, as well as market infrastructure entities. Katz is acting for Bacs on structural reform solutions to adapt to the substantial documentation and operational changes resulting from retail banking structural reform (ring-fencing) requirements. The team is rounded out on the non-contentious front by Kate Sumpter and Nick Bradbury, who have been busy advising HSBC in relation to the ring-fencing of its banking operations. On the contentious front, the 'very responsive and knowledgeable' Calum Burnett is praised for his 'pragmatic and commercial advice' to prominent financial services entities engaged in domestic and multi-jurisdictional enforcement actions and investigations. Arnondo Chakrabarti is also recommended for handling disputes work and adds value to clients as a result of his ability to handle not only the civil aspects of an enforcement action but also in relation to any criminal liability which may arise. Tim House and Mahmood Lone have been particularly active in relation to benchmark litigation including their defence of a major bank which has been the subject of a co-ordinated global regulatory investigation/enforcement action into its alleged role in foreign exchange (FX) manipulation.

Ashurst provides 'high-quality and cost-effective advice' covering standalone regulatory issues, regulatory informed financial services transactional work and contentious work on behalf of a broad range of clients including banks, trading platforms, funds and clearing houses. Jake Green has developed a strong reputation for providing fintech-related regulatory advice both in relation to cryptocurrency matters (where he has acted for numerous cryptocurrency start-ups on the regulatory issues associated with their initial coin offerings) and on the development of new fintech products for financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, which he advised on the roll-out of its much publicised online consumer banking platform. Alongside the 'excellent' James Perry, and 'technically astute' counsel Tim Cant, Green has also been very active for a broad array of both buy and sell-side clients on the implementation of the MiFID II directive. On the contentious front, David Capps benefits from in-house litigation experience at UBS and puts this to good effect on behalf of investment banks and broker-dealers across a range of matters including in relation to market abuse regulatory investigations. The 'wonderful' Edward Sparrow provides significant gravitas to the firm's litigation function and still maintains a thriving practice in his capacity as senior consultant. Tom Connor is also recommended. Clients include RBS, Credit Suisse, Oak Hill and Saxo Bank.

Benefiting from 'real strength-in-depth' on the contentious side out of London, and from other key international financial centres including New York, Hong Kong and Paris, Hogan Lovells International LLP provides a 'top-notch' service to large global financial services entities on purely domestic, as well as multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations and follow-on private litigation. 'Very experienced and sensible' team head Philip Parish has led on many of these multi-jurisdictional matters, including representing a large bank in relation to an investigation by UK and US regulators regarding alleged FX market manipulation. The 'very talented' Louise Lamb 'has excellent litigation instincts', both from a regulatory enforcement perspective and in relation to related civil and criminal litigation. Lamb's broad-ranging expertise includes sanctions work. Elaine Penrose also has strong credibility in the market having handled a wide range of internal and regulator-led investigations, from domestic market abuse and retail mis-selling to global benchmark manipulation cases. The arrival in January 2017 of Claire Lipworth from the FCA (where she served as chief criminal counsel) adds weight to the firm's criminal capability and underscores its acknowledgement and commitment to handling work at the intersection of criminal and civil liability. On the non-contentious front, team head Rachel Kent has an excellent reputation in the market and is picking up plaudits for her work in relation to Brexit-related advice where her work has included chairing the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) on its Brexit proposals and engagements. Kent is also noted for her work at the vanguard of developments in the fintech sector and continues to work alongside government backed organisation Innovate Finance on the Regulatory Accelerator tool for fintech companies designed to assist them understand and navigate their way through the FCA’s regulatory regime. Michael Thomas  is also recommended and regularly advises financial services entities on ensuring that systems and controls are in place to comply with regulation in the industry. Thomas is also noted for his market infrastructure expertise and continues to advise the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) on the development of its legal and regulatory framework.

Benefiting from 'great experience in the area', Norton Rose Fulbright provides 'excellent all-round advice' to both retail and wholesale clients, both from a purely domestic standpoint as well as internationally - where it is able to leverage its huge global footprint. Aided by the firm's government relations and public policy team across Brussels, London and Washington, DC, and also with a large team of compliance and risk professionals working alongside the regulatory lawyers, the team is able to provide a holistic service which is mindful not only of the strict legal regulatory hurdles but also how to adapt in a commercial and practical way. The 'incredible' Jonathan Herbst heads up the office's four-partner non-contentious offering and has been at the forefront of thought leadership of major change in the industry including in relation to MiFID ii and Brexit (he recently co-authored a report for the Financial Services Forum on EU equivalence). Hannah Meakin has also been at the forefront of the firm's MiFID ii work on behalf of wholesale banking clients. In addition, Meakin's practice has also seen her active on the fintech front and in this regard she recently assisted Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation on its initial coin offering to support the creation of the a scalable, heterogeneous multi-blockchain system that would allow greater connectivity and inter-operability between blockchains. Imogen Garner leads the team's work on the buy-side and is advising The Investment Association (the leading trade association for the UK's asset management industry) on changes to the model documents used by its members to take into account the changes ushered in by MiFID ii. Spearheaded by dual-US and UK qualified partner Lista Cannon on the contentious side, the firm has the 'advantage of being able to draw on experience of being involved in cases with both a UK and US dimension', a strength which was further reinforced by the firm's recent merger with Chadbourne & Parke. Praised for her 'great strategic vision', Lista excels in handling multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations/enforcements, and following five years of investigations and regulatory proceedings in the US and Europe achieved a notable victory on behalf of a former senior executive at JP Morgan, following the US government's decision to dismiss all civil and criminal charges against him.  Katie Stephen is also recommended for her contentious expertise and in addition to defending clients before the FCA and PRA, has also handled several Skilled Persons (section 166) reviews.

'Providing a winning mix of experience, dedication, obstinacy and client-centric culture', Shearman & Sterling LLP's two-partner non-contentious team provides 'pragmatic advice and excellent industry knowledge' garnered through the longevity and experience with which the lead practitioners within the team have operated at the upper end of the market. 'Unafraid to make difficult judgement calls', the 'excellent' Barney Reynolds has been at the cutting-edge of Brexit-related advice and has been a fierce proponent of enhanced equivalence solutions. As well as his authorship of various widely read texts on the subject, Reynolds has also represented two bulge bracket banks and numerous medium and small sized institutions on risk management in relation to specific Brexit scenarios. Reynolds is also noted for his market infrastructure expertise and in this regard continues to represent Abu Dhabi Global Market, the new international financial centre in the UAE, on new legislation and rulebooks to ensure compliance with global standards. The 'excellent' Thomas Donegan has also been heavily involved in Brexit advisory matters, as well as representing a broad array of market participants on adapting to recent EU legislative change including advising ICE Futures Europe on updating its exchange rules in light of the MiFID II and MiFIR. Donegan also regularly provides the regulatory overlay on financial services-related transactional work handled by the firm including its role for the underwriter on RBS' $3bn aggregate bond offering. On the contentious side, Jo Rickard handles financial services litigation as part of her broad commercial litigation offering.

Praised for its 'very collaborative and proactive approach',¬†Simmons & Simmons displays 'great market knowledge' on behalf of both sell and buy-side participants and therefore has an excellent perspective of the market. The firm has been highly active on behalf of its hedge fund manager and asset manager client base on issues arising from MiFID ii implementation and Brexit. The team also stands out for its ability and willingness to innovate and this has been exemplified by the firm's MiFID ii Manager product, which socialises the costs and experience of MiFID ii implementation across the firm's client base. The 'superb' Charlotte Stalin was integral to establishing the product and has an excellent reputation on behalf of investment banks and global asset managers.¬†Penny Miller 'is excellent at explaining even the most cerebral and dry areas of law'. One of the City's leading experts on product governance and intervention, Miller has developed an excellent reputation in relation to Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation (PRIIPs) as well as in relation to advising on Senior Manager‚Äôs Regime implementation and risk management. Jonathan Melrose has ‚Äėgreat market knowledge‚Äô of commodities/derivatives matters and is a key member of the team that also includes 'superb' hedge fund expert Darren Fox and¬†Rosali Pretorius.¬†On the contentious front, ‚Äėthe very approachable and bright'¬†Richard Sims leverages off his former in-house expertise at the regulator to provide a 'high-quality service' to clients facing scrutiny from the FCA.¬†Emma Sutcliffe is also recommended.

Slaughter and May provides a 'very strong service' to a broad range of financial services clients including advising non-regulated businesses on the impact of financial services regulation. Ewan Brown has been involved in numerous multi-jurisdictional market manipulation cases, including his representation of JP Morgan Chase as one of the defendants accused of rigging the FX market. Alongside Deborah Finkler and Jonathan Clark, Brown was also involved in the long-running representation of Deutsche Bank in the LIBOR regulatory investigations and continues to act for the bank assisting with monitoring and remediation programmes following its settlements with the US and UK regulatory authorities. The 'phenomenal' Jonathan Cotton regularly handles financial services-related work as part of his wide-ranging global investigations and disputes practice; alongside Finkler he represented Carillion plc in an investigation undertaken by the FCA, following its adverse trading announcement, into potential market abuse violations. The firm also has a formidable presence in the market acting on transactional work in the sector, in addition to strategic advice on ongoing regulatory matters. Team head Jan Putnis is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile matters handled by the team including his recent representation of Prudential plc on the proposed demerger of its UK and European business. Ben Kingsley recently provided the regulatory input in relation to the firm's representation of UK Asset Resolution and Bradford & Bingley plc on the disposal of legacy owner occupied and buy-to-let mortgage assets to an investor group led by Barclays Bank. Kingsley is also recommended for his fintech expertise.

Travers Smith LLP¬†has ‚Äėsignificant visibility in the market' and provides an 'exceptional level of service' which considers the 'commercial objectives' of the clients which include asset management firms, investment banks, broker-dealers and trading venues. Leveraging the firm's institutional alternative asset management client base as well as receiving standalone work in the area, the team is 'particularly strong when it comes to advising UK private equity firms on their operations'. As well as regularly providing regulatory input on fundraising processes and in relation investment work, the team has also been very active for alternative investment management clients on large-scale regulatory projects including MiFID ii implementation and on the impact of Brexit. Team head Tim Lewis has an excellent reputation within the alternative asset management space as is underscored by his role as chair of the Regulatory Committee of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA). Lewis recently provided regulatory input for TA Associates on its acquisition of a ¬£26bn global fund management business from Old Mutual Wealth. The 'outstanding'¬†Phil Bartram has 'the rare ability to explain complex regulatory issues in a clear, concise and jargon-free manner' and provides 'commercial and solutions focused advice' to funds clients, in particular. The 'exceptional'¬†Mark Evans has 'an expansive and deep knowledge of all regulations that touch and concern UK and European financial services'.¬†Evans is noted for his financial market infrastructure work, particularly in relation to clearing and settlement systems, and is providing regulatory input to Euroclear UK & Ireland, on the restructuring of its UK and international central depositories businesses.¬†Jane Tuckley , Stephanie Biggs and consultant Margaret Chamberlain¬†are also recommended. On the contentious front, the 'very experienced'¬†Rob Fell provides a 'first-rate service' and along with the 'incredibly strong' Huw Jenkin recently successfully concluded its long-running representation of The Bank of England in the Serious Fraud Office's investigation into crisis-era liquidity auctions.¬† Fell has also represented an investment bank, as one of the defendants market. The 'very dedicated'¬†Caroline Edwards has an 'incredible reputation' and is a key member of the contentious team that also includes Stephen Paget-Brown and senior associate Stephanie Lee, who is 'developing a significant amount of experience advising institutions and individuals'.

Addleshaw Goddard is best-known for its 'superb knowledge' of the retail market where its 'very strong team' provides 'thoughtful and succinct advice' across the myriad issues facing clients in that space including as it relates to mortgages, consumer credit and payments. 'Extremely knowledgeable about the application of regulation to innovation', the team has 'excellent insight into the fintech space' and provides 'invaluable insight into cutting-edge industry approaches'. The 'very well-informed' Amanda Hulme acted for a major financial services firm on the review, simplification and subsequent redrafting of the full suite of deposit account product documentation, including all savings, ISAs and bond products. An 'unfailing source of thoughtful and well-balanced advice', Rosanna Bryant handles standalone consumer credit regulatory advice and is also regularly involved in financial services transactional work including advising Lloyds Banking Group on the regulatory aspects associated with its £1.9bn purchase of the MBNA credit card business from the Bank of America.  Other key non-contentious retail financial services regulatory experts include Ben Koehne , who is 'well-equipped to untangle the most complex regulatory issues' - particularly as they pertain to strategic and regulatory driven transactions within the building society and mutuals sectors, and Adam Bennett , who has 'unrivalled expertise on anything to do with building societies'. The arrival in June 2018 of Richard Small from Stephenson Harwood strengthens the team on the wholesale front; he joins the well-regarded David Ellis and Brian McDonnell. Despite the departure in June 2018 of former team head Chris Brennan to White & Case LLP, the practice still includes several notable contentious practitioners including Nichola Peters, who 'has had some outstanding successes in this field' and 'very able' corporate crimes investigation expert Michelle de Kluyver, who joined the firm in December 2017 from Allen & Overy LLP.

Benefiting from 'deep practical experience', Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is best-known for its contentious expertise and is recognised as a 'strong choice for anyone looking beyond the Magic Circle'. Team head Nathan Willmott is an 'excellent lawyer' and has vast experience at handling regulatory investigations and enforcement actions both from a purely domestic as well as cross-border perspective. 'Hugely experienced' consultant Sidney Myers 'knows the FCA inside out' and has expertise across a wide array of work including in relation to market manipulation of financial benchmarks and insider dealing. At a more junior level, the 'very knowledgeable and hardworking' Oran Gelb is developing a strong reputation across both regulatory investigations and financial services litigation, and the 'tenacious and ambitious' Polly James is 'very strong on market abuse cases'. James is also fairly active on the non-contentious front (particularly in relation to Senior Managers and Certification Regime matters) and is emblematic of the firm's coordinated and fluid approach in relation to advisory work, mindful as it is to mitigate against potential litigious problems further down the line but seamlessly able to handle any issues should they arise. The 'user-friendly and accessible' Daniel Csefalvay joined the team in October 2017 from Linklaters LLP and is noted for his 'excellent working knowledge of the complicated regulatory regimes'. Csefalvay is particularly active in the wholesale market acting for investment banks, broker dealers, high frequency trading firms and market infrastructure providers on critical regulatory reform projects including MiFID ii. Matthew Baker is 'also very good' and regularly supports the firm's funds clients on regulatory issues. Clients include AIG, Aviva and CBRE Global Investors.

'Very strong on financial services regulation', CMS 'has a real depth of understanding' across the panoply of regulatory matters impacting retail and wholesale banking clients. 'Very strong' team head Ash Saluja handles discrete regulatory advisory work as well as regulatory issues arising in the context of financial services transactions; he recently advised Aon Hewitt on the launch of United Pensions, the company's multi-employer, multi-country pension solution. Saluja also recently advised two leading UK private banks on all aspects of their implementation of MiFID II and PRIIPs. Although he is active across a broad range of regulatory matters, both from a contentious and non-contentious standpoint, the 'experienced' Simon Morris has particular expertise in the retail insurance market. The merger in May 2017 with Olswang and Nabarro, has deepened and broadened the scope of work handled by the team, particularly in relation to fintech work; legacy Nabarro partner Sam Robinson handles a significant amount of crowdfunding-related work. Other recommended practitioners include Bill McCaffrey, for consumer credit, and Paul Edmondson , who has handled a broad range of strategically important matters for  insurers on Solvency II, fund managers on AIFMD and investment firms on MiFID ii. Clients include Lloyds, HSBC and Zurich.

Able to call upon the expertise of nine partners across both non-contentious and contentious financial services regulatory matters, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume of matters for asset management and banking clients including TSB Bank, Clear Bank, BNP Paribas, BlackRock and Man Group. As well as handling large strategic implementation projects for clients relating to the Senior Managers Regime, Brexit, capital adequacy and MiFID ii, the team has also provided the regulatory overlay on numerous big-ticket financial services M&A matters including Clive Cunningham 's work for Lloyds Banking Group on the regulatory aspects of a major transfer of the retail private banking businesses of Scottish Widows Bank and Lloyds Bank Private Banking across to Lloyds Bank plc. As well as work for traditional banks, the team has also begun to pick up a significant flow of work for challenger fintech entities as they compete for market share. In this regard, Cunningham has handled numerous regulatory matters for ClearBank (the first new UK clearing bank in 250 years) and also acted for TSB on its separation from Lloyds Banking Group and on the establishment of a nascent digital bank. Benefiting from in-house banking experience, as well as a previous secondment to the UK regulator, the 'very calm and responsive' Karen Anderson provides 'proactive and well-balanced advice across a range of regulatory matters' including  responding to reviews, attestations and inquiries, focusing particularly on market abuse, wholesale conduct and conflicts of interest. Andrew Procter has a primarily contentious leaning to his practice, although alongside Cunningham and Hywel Jenkins, he has also been at the forefront of the firm's work for numerous asset managers and insurers on Senior Managers Regime implementation.  Jenny Stainsby heads the firm's global contentious financial services regulatory offering and has an impressive pedigree in the market for handling domestic and multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. Outside of her pure contentious workload, Stainsby is also well-regarded by financial institutions for her ability to provide robust risk management advice and in relation to guiding retail and commercial banking clients through remediation and redress processes.

Increasingly visible in the market, Macfarlanes LLP has 'improved its regulatory product offering' and provides 'responsive, pragmatic and insightful advice gained from the broadening of the firm's private funds offering'. Much of the credit for the growth of the firm's funds regulatory offering can be attributed to the tireless efforts of Michelle Kirschner who is appreciated by clients for her 'flexibility' and 'detailed approach to problem solving' in both a contentious and non-contentious setting. As part of her broad-ranging regulated funds practice (which also includes structuring and operation advice),  Lora Froud handles regulatory work in relation to AIFMD and MiFID ii implementation and is appreciated by clients for her 'thorough knowledge of UCITS'. Praised for their 'commerciality and intelligence', Dan Lavender and Matt McCahearty provide a 'stellar service' on contentious matters.

Active across the trading continuum on both the buy and sell side for investment and commercial banks, broker dealers, asset managers, exchanges, clearers and settlement depositories, Reed Smith LLP has an excellent perspective across the patchwork of regulations that affect clients in the financial services sector. Leveraging the firm's market-leading commodities transactional practice, guided by the 'excellent' Chris Borg, the team is regularly engaged in regulatory compliance issues associated with commodity trading and in this regard also benefits from the firm’s network in Asia, the US, Europe and the Middle East, enabling clients to receive an overarching and cohesive perspective of the market. It maintains significant strength-in-depth in core areas including private funds regulation, where Tamasin Little is a noted practitioner. On the contentious side, the 'very punchy, smart and experienced' Charles Hewetson is a key member of the team that also includes Robert Falkner and 'outstanding' senior associate Matthew Stone, who regularly handles financial services-related matters as part of his broader commercial disputes offering. Jacqui Hatfield joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP in September 2017.

'In addition to providing excellent and up-to-date regulatory advice', Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'sets itself apart from others by providing a personalised and hands-on approach'. Able to draw on the expertise of the firm’s private client practice, the team has a particular focus on regulatory issues impacting the private banking and wealth management sector. Praised for her 'sound and pragmatic advice', Kate Troup is particularly accomplished at work in this area and regularly provides regulatory structuring advice to banks to ensure that lending facilities are consistent with the regulations affecting consumer credit and mortgages. Jonathan Bayliss is also well-versed at regulatory issues within the private banking and wealth management sector; he regularly assists on the structuring and establishment of  investment funds including his recent work for ShadowFall Capital & Research on the formation of a Cayman domiciled hedge fund and on all related UK regulatory aspects. William Garner has a focus on UK and EU regulations affecting the wholesale trading and markets sector; he recently assisted NFEx Markets on the establishment of the platform and on the authorisation process to become a multilateral trading venue. Other clients include London Stock Exchange, St James's Place and McInroy and Wood.

Well plugged into the financial services firmament and with strong ties with the retail and investment banking sector in particular, DLA Piper provides 'responsive and commercial' expertise across all the key regulatory issues affecting their businesses, both from a domestic perspective, as well as internationally where it is also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners situated in many important global jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Washington, DC. Benefiting from many years' experience in private practice as well as a stint in-house at Citigroup, Michael McKee has significant credibility in the industry and has been particularly active of late advising clients on the implications of the recently enacted Senior Managers Regime. McKee is also regularly called upon to provide the regulatory overlay on financial services M&A; he was recently part of a cross-office team which represented the Australian financial technology solutions provider Link Group on the £888m acquisition of the UK-based Capita Asset Services. Other recommended practitioners include former FSA alumni Tony Katz, who heads up the firm's financial services and investigations team, and Sam Millar, who despite having a litigation background, is regularly involved in advisory regulatory matters, often in the context of strategic M&A transactions in the sector. Clients include UBS, Standard Chartered and MoneyCorp.

Working closely with the firm's compliance consulting arm, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides 'practical and commercial' advice to buy and sell-side clients across the panoply of regulations impacting their businesses. The firm has also been at the vanguard of fintech-related work and has subsequently already built up a significant knowledgeabase across this rapidly evolving area. Although the scope of his regulatory work is wide ranging, Andrew Henderson has been at the forefront of the most significant fintech work including advising on initial coin offerings (including KodakCoin) and assisting numerous financial services clients (including M&G and HSBC) on their robo advice systems. Michaela Walker regularly acts for fund management clients on all aspects of their regulated activities, product development and corporate work and is a key member of the team that also includes Pamela Thompson. 'A star in the ascendancy', FCA alumni Gregory Brandman is gaining much positive attention in the market as a result of his involvement for clients in a plethora of domestic and cross-border FCA investigations. The arrival in October 2017 of Jake McQuitty from TLT further enhances the firm's contentious regulatory and investigations practice, in light not only of his private practice expertise but also his previous tenure as head of EMEA Investigations & Enforcement at Barclays Bank.

Fieldfisher is able to provide 'solutions-oriented advice to often highly technical problems' on behalf of an impressive roster of retail and alternative fund clients, in addition to a growing number of banking and broker-dealer entities. Kirstene Baillie has vast experience in the asset management space and recently advised the international investment management and broker arm of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank on a major MiFID ii implementation project. Azad Ali is at the forefront of the firm's growing wholesale banking practice and recently acted for Europe's largest independent institutional equities broker, Redburn (Europe), on its revamped arrangements with BNP Paribas for the provision of clearing and settlement services, as well as advising it on the impact of MiFID ii. Praised for his 'strength in assessing highly complex issues and then distilling them into workable solutions', Nicholas Thompsell has a particular niche at handling fintech regulatory matters including on crowdfunding, e money and payment services. Able to combine regulatory enforcement expertise with criminal capabilities, the five-partner litigation offering is well-placed to represent individuals and institutions in FCA investigations. Team head Duncan Black is defending the CEO of a listed company in an FCA investigation into allegations of market abuse and the criminal conduct of insider dealing.

Led by the 'superb' Lisa Cawley and strengthened by numerous lateral hires including Sarah Thompson  and Romin Dabir from Linklaters LLP and Macfarlanes LLP,  Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 's five-partner team now has the strength-in-depth to handle a tremendous volume of matters on behalf of the firm's stellar roster of funds clients including Warburg Pincus, Bain Capital, TDR Capital and Rhone Capital. It is the 'very personable' Cawley, however, that remains the star of the show with clients praising her for her 'knowledge of relevant industry issues' as well as her 'technical knowledge and awareness of regulator appetite, with a desire and ability to apply those skills to finding pragmatic and commercial solutions for each client'. Instructed by clients to advise on the  regulatory aspects associated with new fundraisings, investments made in the financial services sector and ongoing compliance work; Cawley recently acted for GTCR on the regulatory, AIFMD and structuring matters relating to the formation and fundraising of GTCR Fund XII (its largest ever fund). The 'very strong' Adam Skinner and Prem Mohan are also recommended.

Latham & Watkins' financial services regulatory offering in London has rapidly made an impact in the market as a result of the strategic recruitment of many top-notch individuals, including most recently in May 2018 with the arrival of Carl Fernandes from Linklaters LLP. Leveraging the firm's market-leading reputation among investment banks for transactional finance work and also benefiting from strong transatlantic ties with the firm's US financial services regulatory offering, the London team is picking up some high-quality work from an impressive roster of clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Barclays and Credit Suisse. Nicola Higgs has garnered a strong reputation in relation to MiFID ii implementation and as well as acting for numerous major global financial entities, including Jeffries and Rothschild, on implementation projects, she is also providing thought leadership on the implications of the MiFID product governance regime. Higgs is also advising Goldman Sachs on the impact of the EU Benchmark Regulation across its bank, private bank and asset management businesses.  Rob Moulton has 'deep commercial insight' across a range of regulatory issues affecting the wholesale finance markets and is according to one client a 'market leader in advising small to mid-cap brokers on regulatory matters'. David Berman is also recommended across a range of regulatory work affecting banks, brokers and asset management firms, and has developed a particularly strong reputation advising on the Senior Managers Regime. The team was also boosted on the contentious front at the beginning of 2018 by the arrival of financial services litigators Andrea Monks and Jon Holland from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

'Excellent at analysing the problem and providing creative solutions', Pinsent Masons LLP 'leaves no stone unturned in exploring options for its clients', which include retail banks, as well as asset and wealth management entities. Formerly in-house at a large global insurance group, Tobin Ashby has significant practical experience within the industry and has been particularly active of late advising on MiFID ii regulatory work for clients including Standard Life. Ashby is also active in the retail wealth management sector and recently advised Aegon on its significant strategic platform migration exercise following its acquisition of Cofunds. 'A pleasure to work with', David Heffron heads the firm's financial regulation practice and provides 'straightforward answers' to regulatory questions surrounding activity across a wide array of financial services clients both in the context of standalone advisory work, as well as on the regulatory issues concomitant to M&A in the sector. The 'highly pragmatic and sensible' Tony Anderson heads up the firm's banking products and payments team and 'has garnered very good industry knowledge of the securities settlement space'. The firm also has a 'keen awareness of the interaction between the regulatory and litigation offerings' and is well-placed to handle contentious matters for both firmwide clients and clients on a standalone basis before the regulatory agencies. The 'tactically sound' Colin Read has 'huge experience in the field' and has 'a very keen awareness of insurance regulatory risk and the interaction with regulatory litigation'. Associate Jonathan Cavill 'has experience beyond his years of regulatory compliance, particularly that of insurers and intermediaries, and works extremely hard to deliver practical solutions for clients'. Formerly at the FCA, senior associate Michael Ruck is 'excellent' at defending firms and senior executives in criminal and regulatory investigations.

Dechert LLP  handles a tremendous flow of regulatory work on behalf of the firm's market leading roster of funds clients which includes 18 out of 20 of the world's largest asset managers. Benefiting from UK and US-qualified lawyers based in London and also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners on the ground in key fund jurisdictions (including Luxembourg, Ireland and the US) the team is well-placed to advice on UK and EU laws impacting funds, as well as on the extraterritorial impact of US legislation. Dual UK and US-qualified partner Richard Heffner recently provided the regulatory input pursuant to Investcorp's acquisition of the debt management business of 3i from UK-based group 3i Group plc. US-qualified partner Karen Anderberg excels in handling big-ticket work for major funds clients including on the regulatory issues associated with ensuring distribution arrangements are compliant with the various global regulations including on compliance with MiFID ii. The arrival in September 2017 of Monica Gogna from Ropes & Gray LLP further strengthens the team that also includes the well regarded Richard Frase, who as well as his fee-earning work also chair's the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) working group covering product governance.

Considerably strengthened on the non-contentious and contentious front both as a result of the firm's merger with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, as well as several astute lateral hires including Celyn Armstrong and Jonathan Garforth from Linklaters LLP and Allen & Overy LLP respectively, Dentons provides an 'excellent service' to banks, funds and fintech entities across the spectrum of regulatory matters affecting their businesses. Himself formerly at the FSA, Armstrong has a 'long regulatory background' and recently successfully appealed the FCA fine levied against Interactive Brokers (UK) for failing to have adequate systems and controls to detect insider dealings by its clients - reducing the amount the electronic securities broker had to pay by half. The 'very experienced' Richard Caird is also recommended and recently defended the FCA in a high-profile misfeasance claim brought against the regulator. Herself formerly at the FCA, 'innovative and exciting' senior associate Katharine Harle is also recommended.

'A leading firm in the area of derivatives financial regulation', Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP is 'able to provide a bridge between UK/EU law as it applies to firms in the US and to explain the UK/EU rules in a manner that the US entities understand'. Dual US and UK-qualified 'industry veteran' Nathaniel Lalone has an excellent reputation among clearing firms and 'is able to compare the two regimes (US and EU/UK) and explain the differences in a way that is clear, concise and simple, yet also factually correct and legally sound'. The 'extremely responsive, practical and commercial' Neil Robson has a strong reputation among buy-side entities, including hedge and private equity fund managers, on the ongoing regulatory issues affecting their businesses including as it relates to AIFMD and MiFID ii. David Brennand and US-qualified  Carolyn Jackson are also recommended and the firm also hired John Ahern  in early 2018 to head its London financial services group. Ahern focuses his practice on banking and financial services regulation

Particularly strong in the payments and asset management sectors and with a growing amount of work on the consumer finance front, Osborne Clarke LLP handles a mix of standalone advisory work, regulatory advice pursuant to financial services M&A, and the regulatory aspects associated with the bringing to market of new products. 'A pleasure to work with', Kate Johnson and Paul Anning lead on the payments front, with Anning recently handling major PSD2 implementation projects for JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. The 'technically strong and strategically impressive'  Rachel Couter heads up the firm's offering on the contentious front and benefits from 'vast knowledge of financial services regulations'. Couter has 'a particularly strong background in cases involving the FCA, having valuable experience of how the Regulator approaches cases '; she recently acted as an Independent Skilled Person under s166 FSMA 2000 in the HSBC customer redress review relating to the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. Associate director Nick Price is 'a very able and cerebral lawyer, with an academic but practical approach to cases'.

Despite the departure of Robbie Constance and Richard Burger to DWF, RPC maintains a prominent position in the market, primarily for its expertise within the insurance sector. Recent work includes acting for the London branch of the Indian state-controlled lender, Canara Bank, in an FCA enforcement investigation into anti-money laundering system and control failures. Other recommended contentious practitioners include 'great guy' Parham Kouchikali and 'clever, thoughtful and personable' associate Lucy Kerr.

'Approachable, practical and easy to get along with', the five-partner team at Taylor Wessing LLP provides a 'very high level of technical expertise and knowledge' to an eclectic roster of clients including wealth management entities, fintech companies, banks and consumer finance companies. 'Very user-friendly' team head Jonathan Rogers provides 'succinct and practical advice' to asset managers, broker-dealers and private banks on ongoing regulatory compliance issues as well as bespoke advice relating to product launches. Rogers regularly handles work for the Just Retirement Group including recently advising it on compliance issues relating to Solvency II. He also provided the regulatory input on the firm's representation of Interactive Investor on its acquisition of TD Direct Investment. David McCluskey is 'excellent' on the contentious front, particularly as it pertains to the criminal aspects of financial investigations and litigation. Other clients include Nutmeg, Index Ventures, Investec and London Stock Exchange Group.

White & Case LLP 's two-partner team provides 'consistently excellent advice' to a range of financial service clients, entities including numerous global entities. 'Very experienced and highly responsive ' team head Stuart Willey 'really knows his stuff' and has a developed particularly strong reputation for advice relating to the new risk retention rules impacting the CLO market. James Greig has a good perspective of the regulatory environments in the UK, the US and across EMEA garnered through many years' experience in private practice as well as his recent role in-house at BNY Mellon. Alongside Willey,  Greig has been representing a global investment bank on MiFID ii implementation.

'Incredibly knowledgeable about financial market regulations', Akin Gump LLP's two-partner team has an excellent pedigree in the sector and excels in handling complex regulatory investigations affecting clients in the asset management industry. Both formerly at the FSA, Helen Marshall and Rosemarie Paul are 'very knowledgeable about the UK and European markets regulatory regimes' and regularly handle high-profile multi-jurisdictional agency investigations where it can also leverage the firm's significant US presence. Marshall has a 'real understanding of the way the regulator thinks' and consequently is well-placed to provide 'practical and sensible advice', while Paul is noted not only for her 'extensive technical knowledge' but also her 'excellent soft skills and ability to explain complex matters in an easily digestible way'. On the contentious front, the 'responsive and thorough' counsel Ezra Zahabi has 'excellent knowledge of the EU and UK regulatory framework' and 'delivers a high-class work product' to funds clients across a myriad of regulatory issues impacting their businesses including as it relates to MiFID ii and the European Markets and Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

With two partners based in London and also aided by practitioners across the firm's Southampton and Wales offices, Blake Morgan LLP provides a 'strong service' across retail and consumer matters, both from an advisory and contentious perspective.  Richard Humphreys acts for banks and asset finance companies across a wide range of regulations affecting their businesses and has been particularly active of late advising on the Senior Managers' regime. Formerly at the FSA, Felicity Rowan has an excellent understanding of the practical implications of the regulations impacting the retail banking and funds industries, in particular, and is active across both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Headed by Grania Baird,  Farrer & Co 's two-partner team generates a substantial amount of regulatory work as a result of the firm's impressive roster of clients in the private banking and private wealth management sectors in particular. Baird has been advising a private bank in relation to a significant redraft of the terms of business of its wealth management arm, particularly in light of MiFID ii. As part of his wide-ranging practice, Andy Peterkin provides regulatory input in relation to the operation of alternative investment funds, as well as on capital markets and securities regulatory matters.

Led by the 'incredibly knowledgeable and calm' Peter Wright,  Fox Williams LLP provides 'pragmatic, candid and helpful' advice to a wide-ranging array of clients including banks, asset management companies and fintech companies. Although he also handles some advisory work, Wright is best-known for his contentious expertise on behalf of corporate clients and individuals and in this respect has an excellent perspective gleaned through his many years' in private practice and in the enforcement division of the FSA. The 'formidable' Sona Ganatra  'has a background in commercial litigation as well as financial services work' and combines the two skills to good effect to clients that are the subject to regulatory scrutiny, particularly as it pertains to financial crime. Both Wright and Gonatra are representing a stock broking firm in respect of FCA supervisory intervention (including two skilled persons’ reviews), a complex FCA enforcement action, as well as parallel police investigations. Chris Finney has 'excellent experience and insight into regulatory issues and the regulator's approach' and leads on much of the non-contentious work handled by the firm. Clients include eBay, Tatton Asset Management and Prodigy Finance.

Benefiting from 'real depth' in the private equity/ funds/ asset management space, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP displays an 'incredible depth of knowledge in the sector and a real understanding of the commercial issues at play'. Praised for his ability to 'cut through the uncertainty of new regulation',team head Gregg Beechey has an 'exceptional knowledge of regulatory compliance matters and their application to asset managers'. The 'commercially minded' Beechey provides 'very practical and concise advice on the steps needed to ensure compliance' with key regulatory issues impacting the funds industry including on AIFMD matters.  Clients include Bain Capital, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs.

Led by Penny Sanders, Gowling WLG provides a 'very responsive service' to  broad range of regulatory issues impacting on clients in the consumer credit, fintech, asset management and insurance space. Principal associate Kam Dhillon is praised for her ability to 'help clarify matters through informal discussions with regulators'.

Despite the departure of John Ahern to Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP in February 2018, Jones Day still has significant firepower in London and across its international offices, in particular from Washington DC, enabling it to handle a range of contentious and non-contentious work for banks, funds and broker-dealers. Harriet Territt often handles FCA investigations for clients, and is also increasingly active in assisting clients with implementing risk management measures to avoid potential litigation.

Leveraging the firm's vast institutional asset management client base, as well as its ability to work with experts in leading global fund jurisdictions, K&L Gates LLP provides 'knowledgeable and responsive advice' across the gamut of issues impacting asset management clients, including matters relating to MiFID II and EMIR. The 'hugely knowledgeable' Michelle Moran is 'excellent at guiding clients through the pitfalls of funds law in the UK' and is also appreciated for the way in 'which she keeps in touch with developments in Brussels'. Moran's arrival in October 2017 from Ropes & Gray LLP was a major fillip for the team that also includes 'excellent' team head Natalie Boyd and Andrew Gilchrist, who 'provides very high-quality support in the field of data protection for asset managers'. The 'bright, efficient and calm' Christine Braamskamp handles contentious work.

Now led on the payments front by Siobhan Moore following the departure of Robert Courtneidge to international payments company Moorwand, the team at Locke Lord LLP remains a prominent presence in the industry where it provides effective advice to individual participants as well as numerous trade bodies including in relation to policy-related matters affecting the industry. Also active on the transactional front, Moore recently advised Icelandic bank Valitor on its business expansion into the acquiring, processing and e-money sector in the UK and acted for Evo Payments on its acquisition of merchant terminal operations in Europe. The arrival in July 2017 of Sean Donovan-Smith from K&L Gates LLP has widened the team's regulatory capability in light of his strong expertise in the investment management sector, in particular.  David Savell 's recruitment in February 2018, also from K&L Gates LLP, has provided increased strength on the contentious front.

Notwithstanding the departures at the end of 2017 of Mark Compton to the Bank of New York Mellon and Guy Wilkes to Mishcon de Reya LLP, Mayer Brown International LLP still maintains a 'strong financial services litigation capability', and is well-placed to resource multi-jurisidictional regulatory investigations and follow-on private litigation by virtue of practitioners in key jurisdictions including Hong Kong and the US. Solicitor advocate Alistair Graham is a 'very strong commercial litigator with a wealth of knowledge in the contentious financial services field' gleaned through years of private practice in addition to a previous tenure on secondment as Enforcement Counsel to the FSA. The 'outstanding' William Glassey 'commands respect both from his own clients and opponents' as a result of the 'careful preparation and superb judgement he brings to any case'.

Headed by the 'very thorough and sharp' Adam Epstein and strengthened in January 2018 by the arrival of Guy Wilkes from Mayer Brown International LLP, Mishcon de Reya LLP provides 'responsive, thorough and measured advice' and is 'one of the leading firms acting for individuals under FCA investigation'. The 'calm and considered' Epstein 'understands the pressures that the FCA is under and is therefore able to help his clients formulate the most beneficial strategy'. His broad-ranging work includes the continued representation of numerous high-profile executives in regulatory investigations in the aftermath of the credit crisis. 'Excellent at getting to the crux of the issues', the 'incredibly responsive, insightful and thoughtful' Matthew Hancock excels at representing defendants on matters at the intersection of regulation and employment law. The 'accessible and thorough' Tim Flood leads on the advisory front and is particularly accomplished at providing 'practical but conscientious advice' to funds clients on the regulatory issues impacting their business. Flood provides ongoing advice to Woodford Investment Management on UCITS regulatory issues, investment structuring and compliance with anti-money laundering requirements. 'A rising star in the firm', managing associate Charlotte Davidson is also recommended.

Now headed by the 'pragmatic and perceptively insightful' Arun Srivastava following his arrival at the end of July 2018 from Baker McKenzie and the departure of payments expert Ben Regnard-Weinrabe to Allen & Overy LLP  in March 2018,  Paul Hastings LLP 's regulatory team has undergone significant change over the past 12 months. While Regnard-Weinrabe's departure will certainly be a loss on the payments front given his market-leading reputation in the area, it is to be expected that under the leadership of Srivastava the firm will provide a broader service to a wider array of clients in the sector.

A former regulator, of counsel Patrick Brandt at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP handles non-contentious and contentious work for a wide variety of financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, insurers, brokers and intermediaries. Brandt is particularly effective at providing the regulatory overlay on financial services M&A handled by the firm; he recently provided the regulatory input to Vantiv on its $10.4bn acquisition of Worldpay Group plc, Britain's largest payment processor. Other clients include Old Mutual plc, Fortress Investment Group and Janus Henderson.

Led by the 'extremely knowledgeable and experienced' Tony Woodcock, Stephenson Harwood's seven-partner contentious team is 'responsive and highly effective in their handling of a range of complex issues' on behalf of individuals and institutions. 'One of the toughest and most obdurate practitioners in the field', Woodcock excels at handling regulatory investigations with a criminal complexion and has 'deep experience and the right manner and temperament to deal with senior executives in such situations'. 'A fierce fighter for her clients', who 'outwits even the wiliest of her opponents', Sara George has been involved in numerous high-profile matters including her representation of former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes accused of LIBOR manipulation. The 'commercial, pragmatic, creative and hardworking' Sean Jeffrey has a 'hugely impressive and diverse client base' that includes numerous Iranian and British-Iranian entities, which he represents in relation to financial crime matters. At associate level, David Hamilton  and Alan Ward are also recommended. On the advisory front, Richard Small specialises in market abuse, custody and regulatory issues impacting on the private wealth sector.

Jointly headed by Russell Kelsall ('has a wealth of knowledge in the industry') and Noline Matemera, TLT provides 'timely and very appropriate advice' to a range of retail financial services clients across the regulatory concerns affecting their businesses including as it relates to MiFID ii and PSD 2. Kelsall is particularly knowledgeable on consumer credit, retail mortgages and payment services matters; he has provided the regulatory input on numerous transactional matters for Cabot Credit Management including advising it on the regulatory due diligence associated with its acquisition of Wescot Credit Services. Former head Emily Benson  joined Keystone Law in August 2017 and former head of investigations and enforcement Jake McQuitty joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in October 2017. Clients include RBS, Santander and Lloyds.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's three-partner team provides 'practical, commercial and cost-effective' advice to retail financial services clients on standalone advisory work, as well as on the regulatory aspects of transactions in the sector. Himself formerly in-house at Barclays Wealth, 'user-friendly' team head Andrew Barber 'really understands what in-house lawyers are looking for' and as part of his broad-ranging retail banking and consumer finance practice has recently been active across a  range of outsourcing matters in those sectors. Barber also has extensive knowledge of consumer credit regulatory matters and recently advised longstanding client Sainsbury’s Bank plc on the production of updated documentation to comply with the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The 'experienced and knowledgeable' Emma Radmore is particularly noted for her financial crime prevention expertise and is a key member of the team that also includes 'excellent all-round financial services lawyer' Jonathan Drake and 'hardworking and helpful' associate Roseyna Jahangir. Other clients include TSB Bank, B&Q plc and AIG Europe.

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