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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 > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Fintech > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Fintech
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Clifford Chance LLP's fintech group attracts work from financial institutions, banks, regulators, insurance companies, investors, and start-ups, advising on projects utilising technology such as blockchain, smart contracts and AI. The team frequently works alongside other practice groups within the firm to advise on commercial contracts, data privacy, software licensing agreements,  regulatory compliance, and governance frameworks. Peter Chapman, who advises both traditional banks and emerging payment service providers on product developments and regulatory matters, leads the practice group alongside co-head of the firm's tech group, Jonathan Kewley. Litigation partner Samantha Ward stands out for her experience in cyber incident response planning matters, whereas fellow litigation partner Kate Scott specialises in disputes involving fintech litigants and recently represented a fintech client in a dispute regarding its access to the UK market.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Kewley; Peter Chapman

Other key lawyers:Kate Scott; Samantha Ward

Key Clients

Citi/Proxymity

HQLAx Sarl

PrimaryBid

Spanish Bank BBVA

Pigzbe

R3

Work highlights

  • Advised Citi on its collaboration with Computershare, to launch Proxymity, the digital proxy voting plaform.
  • Advise HQLAx, which collaborated with Deutsche Borse Group to develop an innovative blockchain solution for collateral swaps in the securities lending market, on a number of tech arrangements.
  • Advised Spanish Bank BBVA on its £85.4m investment in Atom Bank, the UK's first app-only digital challenger bank.
  • Advising a global bank on ethical issues regarding the use of AI, including financial regulatory, data protection, data privacy and antitrust enforcement risks.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's fintech practice acts for financial institutions, challenger banks, start-ups and numerous investors in the sector. The group's broad expertise covers corporate matters, such as joint ventures and M&A; regulatory advice in terms of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)/open banking, FCA approvals, GDPR and other pertinent legislation; ICOs, cyber crime, and high value disputes concerning digital finance platforms and the provision of digital products. The practice has strength assisting clients with FCA applications, and advising on specific, complex regulatory matters in relation to the application of blockchain within the context of new digital currencies and on the launch of new cryptocurrency platforms. Under the overall leadership of digital financial services and fintech head Matthew Gough, Andrew Henderson leads the group's crypto practice and has advised several key clients, such as Nivaura, through the FCA sandbox process, which provides a restricted environment in which companies can test new tech in a live environment. Senior associate David Cook manages contentious and non-contentious matters regarding cyber crime, cyber security and data protection, including GDPR.

Practice head(s):Matthew Gough

Other key lawyers:Andrew Henderson; David Cook

Key Clients

Pollen Street Capital Limited

Experian Limited

Europcar

2030 Limited

Jaja Finance Limited

KINESIS

Gresham House

Aston Lark Group

Nivaura

WealthKernel

Source Insurance Limited

Confused.com

Admiral Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advising Pollen on the acquisition of various companies including mediation entities and three payment services firms.
  • Advised Experian, the leading global information services company, on its proposed acquisition of the ClearScore Group.
  • Assisting 2030 Limited on first issuance of tokenised shares settled using Blockchain technology.
  • Advising on all regulatory aspects of launching a services payment utility token in the fashion industry.
  • Advising WealthKernel in relation to setting up one of the first Shariah-compliant robo-advice services and setting up a platform services model which allowed for seamless integration of robo-advisers, platform and execution products line within a single umbrella.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's fintech group advises start-ups, robo-advisers and alternative lending companies on payments, money transfers, blockchain, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence matters, and also acts for financial institutions and banks in a wide range of areas, including investment work. The team handles the full life-cycle work for fintechs, from setup and regulatory authorisations to fundraising IPOs. Further, the group boasts considerable expertise in the intersecting areas of blockchain and open banking. Practice head Emily Reid specialises in financial services regulatory matters and leads the firm's relationship with Innovate Finance, a group designed to drive success in the sector through open, industry-wide discussions on the future of UK fintech. Technology lawyer John Salmon advises clients on mobile payments, cloud projects, cyber security, digital platforms, IT procurement and outsourcing and leads the firm's blockchain group, specifically looking into the use of blockchain in the financial services sector. Rachel Kent advises insurtech companies on how they can navigate the regulatory regime in the UK and also acts for regtech companies on the development of more effective solutions for their clients. In a recent instruction, Emily Reid advised longstanding client Curve, which the firm previously helped to gain FCA approval, on regulatory and competition law issues arising from changes to the Visa Europe Core Rules.

Practice head(s):Emily Reid

Other key lawyers:John Salmon; Rachel Kent

Key Clients

Accion International

Barclays

Brolly

Curve 1 Limited

CV Starr & Co Inc. (Starr Insurance Companies)

Duality Banx

Habito

Innovate Finance

Monzo Bank

Open Banking Limited

PayPal

Paysafe

Refineryy Limited

Santander Innoventures

SteelEye

Steps

Thincats

Trōv International UK Limited

Zopa

Work highlights

  • Appointed by Open Banking as exclusive legal adviser on all regulatory matters.
  • Advising Curve on regulatory and competition law issues.
  • Advised Globacap on its issuance of tokenised equity, which was the first time an English company had issued shares recorded onto a blockchain.
  • We advised Goldman Sachs on its Series E investment in online asset manager Nutmeg.
  • Advised Dr Timo Schlaefer and other key shareholders of Crypto Research Limited on its sale to Kraken.

Kemp Little LLP's traditionally technology driven fintech practice continues to grow its financial services regulatory offering, most recently with the addition of John Drabble as a senior financial regulatory compliance consultant. The group acts in a full-service capacity for a wide range of start-ups and large-scale fintech companies, including payment service providers, insurtech providers, open banking innovators and cryptocurrency exchanges; it has also been instructed by large financial institutions. IT practice head Chris Hill, who is a leading voice on mobile payments and open banking, acts for a variety of fintech clients, where he specialises in advising on the various elements of fintech contracting, such as software, cloud computing, IP licensing and AI. Jacob Ghanty (head of the financial regulation team) focuses predominantly on payments law, an area in which he advises clients ranging from crowdfunding platforms to large incumbent banks. The team boasts further expertise working with clients on white labelling and distribution deals for regulated services. In a recent highlight Hill and recent joiner Anita Bapat advised Flux on its successful application to the FCA to become the first ever regulated account information service provider.

Practice head(s):Chris Hill

Other key lawyers:John Drabble; Jacob Ghanty

Testimonials

"Kemp Little has a team genuinely focused on the fintech area; their lawyers not only have relevant legal expertise but extensive practical experience as well." 

"Very understanding of our specific business and legal requirements, Kemp Little have partnered with us in contract negotiations and helped find practical solutions when necessary."  

"Chris Hill has great knowledge of complex matters not only from a legal standpoint but also from a technical and operational perspective."

"Chris Hill is an excellent technical lawyer who understands the need to focus on detail but also has an excellent knowledge of IP/IT law and the fintech industry. Chris has a flexible approach and a constructive attitude which makes him a pleasure to deal with." 

Key Clients

Flux

Xero

Nesta

Monese

Openwrks

Lykke

Credit Benchmark

Qlaimstech

Dozens

AxiomHQ

AxeTrading

Plinth

Cube Global

Z-Risk Engine

Work highlights

  • Advising digital receipts and payment data start-up on its relationships with banks and retailers, its regulatory status and its complex data protection issues.
  • Advising participants in a CMA-mandated challenge prize around open banking.
  • Advising various fintech clients on the distribution of their open banking products through partnership agreements
  • Advising neobanks and challenger banks on a range of issues as they grow
  • Advising a highly innovative payments start up on contracts with payment gateways and telcos

Linklaters LLP's fintech group acts for financial institutions and major banks, disruptive technology companies, many of which operate in the payments space, and crowdfunding platforms. The team frequently advises start-ups on the regulatory considerations of developing new digital tokens or payment systems, often based around utilising distributed ledger technology, and also advises large-scale fintech companies on setting up global banking structures that comply with regulatory standards. More broadly the practice is involved in fundraising work (ICOs/IPOs), corporate investments such as M&A and joint ventures, data governance, AI and cloud computing, and in advising on the use of blockchain platforms and smart contracts across a range of industries. Joint practice heads Julian Cunningham-Day and Richard Hay advise leading financial institutions on major technology projects, whereas Fionnghuala Griggs acts on corporate matters such as M&A and bank consortium projects. In a recent mandate, financial services regulatory partner Harry Eddis advised a Singapore-based start-up on the creation, transfer and issuance of digital tokens on a private blockchain.

Practice head(s):Julian Cunningham-Day; Richard Hay

Other key lawyers:Fionnghuala Griggs; Harry Eddis

Testimonials

"Linklaters have been hugely supportive over the last 12 months in our drive to automate the primary issuance of securities, providing their expertise in capital markets and structuring debt and swap documentation for completely automated assembly."

"Each individual lawyer at Linklaters understands the law, business context and underlying technologies in this sector. For us, Linklaters is the go-to firm in this sector." 

"The fintech team at Linklaters is able to understand how to incorporate existing law into a new business model and technological paradigm."

"Linklaters have an in-depth understanding of the fintech space."

"Richard Hay is extremely knowledgeable and stands out for his practical advice. He is one of the most outstanding lawyers I have ever worked with. In the blockchain/crypto space, there is no parallel; he understands the market, the technology and the legal issues better than anyone."

"Harry Eddis is very creative and able to describe complex legal issues simply."

Key Clients

Consortium of financial institutions: Utility Settlement Coin project

Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Numis Securities (underwriters of Funding Circle IPO)

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters on the IPO of Funding Circle Holdings plc.
  • Representing a Singapore-based start-up on the creation, issuance and transfer between participants of digital tokens on a private blockchain.
  • Representing a consortium of financial institutions in the development of a new inter-bank payment system based on distributed ledger technology.

Norton Rose Fulbright's 'pragmatic and experienced' fintech group advises clearing banks, financial institutions, challenger banks, start-ups, p2p platforms, payment institutions, investors and foreign governments on all areas of their operations, including AI, smart contracts, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, ICOs and insurtech. The team stands out for its work with fintech companies on the establishment of different platforms including trade, regulatory compliance and blockchain platforms. It also advises on investments and ICOs on behalf of major banks and cryptocurrency platforms. On the regulatory side, the team uses its global reach to advise foreign governments on updating their legislative frameworks in relation to technology developments such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Sean Murphy, whose practice covers the development of fintech and corporate transactions in the sector, recently advised The Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation on its 'Polkadot' initial coin offering. In another significant mandate, Nicholas Berry, who handles financial services regulatory work for insurance clients in the sector, advised Arch Insurance on insuring cryptocurrencies through the use of cold storage custody arrangements. Corporate associate Charlotte Rowlandson recently advised Lendingblock on its seed fundraising round.

Practice head(s):Sean Murphy; Imogen Garner; Hannah Meakin

Other key lawyers:Nicholas Berry; Charlotte Rowlandson

Testimonials

"The team at Norton Rose Fulbright have a strong grasp of both the commercial and technical issues at play."

Key Clients

AIG

Anacap Financial Partners

Flock

Primary Group

HSBC Investment Bank

IG Markets

Lendingblock

Lloyd’s of London

McKenzie Intelligence Systems

Nexus Mutual

New Payment System Operator

Northern Trust

Paxos (formerly itBit)

Standard Chartered

Starling Bank

Pluto

Post Trade Distributed Ledger Group

Web 3.0 Technologies  Foundation

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Advising The Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation on the launch of a cutting edge interoperability protocol project; their ICO in a range of cryptocurrencies, as well as the ensuing private sales of DOTs, software development and DOT incentive structures.
  • Advised UBS, Erste Bank and Caixabank on their investment in We.Trade, the largest blockchain-based digital trade financing company in production
  • Advised a consortium of three global banks on the structuring of a consortium and the procurement of a regulatory compliance technology platform called Sentinel.
  • Advising a consortium of energy businesses and global banks on all legal aspects of the VAKT project – a first of its kind blockchain-enabled post-trade management platform.
  • Advising Lendingblock on the creation of their new digital assets lending platform bringing securities lending to the crypto markets.

Addleshaw Goddard stands out for its work for clients across the spectrum of fintech, including major banks and start-ups, which it advises on investments, collaborative projects and partnership agreements, particularly in the payments space. The group also stands out for its work assisting clients, primarily banks, with the development of new payment products, including mobile payment services and digital banking platforms. Practice head Fiona Ghosh (who has expertise in outsourcing, procurements, strategic alliances and joint ventures) recently advised Bink on its partnership agreement with Barclays bank relating to the provision of its technology to Barclays. Junior partner David Anderson predominantly advises clients on IT projects and strategic investments into IT and fintech companies; he is currently instructed by FNZ to manage its material outsourcing services contracts with blue-chip financial services clients. The firm’s extensive work for banks also covers regulatory compliance in relation to PSD2, having previously acted for CMA9 banks in relation to open banking solutions.

Practice head(s):Fiona Ghosh

Other key lawyers:David Anderson

Key Clients

FNZ (UK) Limited

Loyalty Angels trading as Bink

Rainmaking io

Halotrade

Airtime Rewards Ltd

Lendable

Nivo

Trezeo

Worrapay

The Card Processing Advisory Service Limited

PaySafe

Ratesetter

Revolut

WireCard

Oodle Finance

ShieldPay

Aareal Bank

NIBC Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Bink on the contractual negotiations with Barclays Bank for the integration of the company’s technology into Barclays’ retail app and Barclays’ investment into Bink.
  • Delivering ongoing legal advice to Halotrade, the ground breaking fintech involved in ethical supply chain finance.
  • Advising banks on their mobile payments arrangements with global technology companies including ApplePay and AndroidPay  expand in reach to a broader cross section of banks and jurisdictions.
  • Advised FNZ on a number of its long-term contracts with banks, insurers, life companies and insurers over the last twelve months.
  • Advising the leading global fintech business on a review of its business terms including crypto services.

Standing out for the strength of its financial services regulatory practice, Allen & Overy LLP's 'capable and responsive' team acts for clients across the spectrum of fintech, where the team advises on corporate and financing transactions, regulatory compliance, and the structuring of lending platforms. Jane Finlayson-Brown stands out for her in-depth knowledge of information technology requirements, particularly the exploitation of data, an area in which she is frequently instructed by financial institutions looking to capitalise on opportunities to develop data driven products and services.

Other key lawyers:Jane Finlayson-Brown

Testimonials

"Allen & Overy have in-depth knowledge of the sector and unsurpassed knowledge of the relevant regulations and market practice."

"The practice make a real effort to get to know us as a business and customer and the focus they place on the customer experience and building an effective relationship with us is a real differentiator."

"Jane Finlayson-Brown is our main relationship point of contact and she consistently makes us feel like a valued customer. For a senior partner, her level of engagement, support and personal accountability to make sure our needs are met is exceptional."

Ashurst's 'proactive and pragmatic' fintech team focuses predominantly on acting for global banks, financial services clients and corporations, but also carries out work for large-scale technology and social media clients in matters spanning open banking, digital payments, crypto exchanges, token-based products, p2p lending, and AI wealth management solutions. The group has a strong track record of advising major banks on the creation and launch of new financial platforms, including online banks and digital SME finance management and lending platforms. In addition, the team advises companies on early and late stage fundraising rounds and major incoming investments. On the regulatory side, the firm advises clients such as banks and trading platforms on FCA compliance and authorisations often relating to MiFID II and the Payment Services Regulation. David Futter specialises in technology procurements and collaborative partnerships in the fintech space, generally concerning the development of digital platform based financial products.

Practice head(s):David Futter; Jake Green; Rob Aird

Testimonials

"The team at Ashurst understand technology in its practical application and have extensive experience of working with technology start-ups and the challenges they face."

"Ashurst's fintech team have a great combination of technical expertise and  appreciation of the commercial, real world context."

"The team at Ashurst provide highly responsive support and solutions-focused delivery."

"David Futter is a very effective negotiator, balancing both technical and commercial requirements."

"Brad Rice is a fintech specialist who is able to combine in-depth knowledge of a rapidly developing area with sound, commercial advice."

"Tara Waters is what you want as a lawyer: experience of having worked in the tech sector before becoming a lawyer, and complete engagement with next generation tech and market developments."

Key Clients

BP Oil UK Limited

CCX Holdings Limited

Countrywide PLC

Crypton Digital Assets

DXC Technologies Limited

Goldman Sachs International

JP Morgan Asset Management

Lloyds Banking Group

Nomura

R3 Consortium

Saxo Capital Markets

Santander UK plc

WorldPay Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Goldman Sachs on the launch and subsequent development of its first online retail bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs.  The launch attracted international media attention.
  • Advising Sprints Capital on its investment in Revolut as part of a $250m Series C funding round.  This created the UK's first digital bank Unicorn.
  • Advising Nomura on its tripartite collaborative partnership with cryptocurrency specialists Ledger Technology and Global Advisers, to form the world's first crypt-custody bank for institutional investment in digital assets.
  • Advising Asto Digital (part of the Banco Santander group) on its creation, launch and ongoing development of its digital SME finance management and lending platform.
  • Advising an international digital asset market platform on its expansion into new territories and on its transition to a white-labelled blockchain-as-a-service platform, as part of its strategic growth and product enhancement roadmap.

Bird & Bird LLP's fintech practice acts for a number of start-ups and growth scale companies in addition to some large financial services companies, displaying particular strength in the areas of payments, crowdfunding, open banking, blockchain and data protection. The firm's dedicated UK payments team (which is peopled by several lawyers with in-house experience in the sector) frequently advises clients on FCA authorisations, passporting, GDPR, competition law and compliance with various pieces of regulation, including the EU Interchange Fee Regulation, PSD2 and the EU Cross-Border Regulation. On the technology side, partner Jonathan Emmanuel, who specialises in commercial and outsourcing projects, frequently works alongside his colleagues to put in place SaaS agreements, virtual counsel services and various other agreements enabling start-ups to run their business successfully online. Trystan Tether (who has expertise in electronic banking, financial services, electronic cash and payment mechanisms) is currently advising Revolut and Stripe, separately, in relation to EU and UK payments regulation.

Practice head(s):Trystan Tether; Christian Bartsch

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Emmanuel

Key Clients

MasterCard/ Vocalink

EasyJet

Revolut

Stripe

Amadeus

Starling Bank

Booking.com

Alpha FX

Work highlights

  • Advising MasterCard on the EU Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), competition law, cybersecurity, the distribution of insurance services from a regulatory and contractual point of view.

  • Acting for EasyJet in relation to various payments regulatory issues, including PSD2.
  • Assisting Revolut with EU and UK payments regulation.
  • Acting for Stripe in relation to PSD2, the revision of the EU Cross-Border Regulation, the EU Interchange Fee Regulation, strong customer authentication and UK domestic payments regulation.

CMS' fintech group handles a wide range of corporate transactions for clients such as banks and other financial institutions, investment vehicles and IT companies. The team has further expertise in crowdfunding, blockchain and software development, outsourcing, and cryptocurrencies, where Sam Robinson and John Finnemore have managed ICOs and STOs. IT partner Ian Stevens (who is a member of the Bank of England's DLT working group) advises clients on payments infrastructure, open banking, mobile commerce, cyber security and data privacy. Charles Kerrigan has an excellent working knowledge of blockchain, having advised over 15 companies using this technology in 2018, including major international software companies. Senior associate Daniel Gallagher, who specialises in global IP and technology agreements, recently joined from Mayer Brown International LLP.

Practice head(s):Ian Stevens

Other key lawyers:Sam Robinson; John Finnemore; Charles Kerrigan; Daniel Gallagher

Testimonials

"The quality of the work is top notch and allows us to negotiate with the top investment banks around the world." 

"CMS has a valuable start-up package which makes a firm of this caliber affordable to us."

"We have always found the team at CMS to be exemplary in both their approach to business, their knowledge and understanding and their attention to detail."

Key Clients

Barclays

Lloyds Bank

HSBC

RBS

Metro Bank

Clydesdale Bank

TSB

Anacap

Blenheim Chalcot

Global Growth Capital

JP Morgan

Parmenion Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising upstart fintech challenger Saffron Robo Services Limited on its cloud advisory portfolio management platform.
  • Advised ClearScore and shareholders on proposed sale to Experian.
  • Advised venture builder Blenheim Chalcot on the formation of Koodoo Mortgages as a joint venture with Countrywide plc.
  • Represented Global Growth Capital in a series of major investments in high profile fintechs in 2018.

Acting for banks, financial institutions, start-ups and various other fintech innovators, DLA Piper's 'very practical' team handles venture capital acquisitions, investment rounds, corporate restructuring and governance matters, as well as the launch of new trading and fundraising platforms, digital banks and wealth management platforms. On the regulatory side the group advise on compliance and authorisation in relation to the use of blockchain technology, PSD2, the Cross-border Payments Regulation, data privacy and data protection. Led by partner Martin Bartlam, the firm runs an ICO masterclass focusing on how best to structure ICOs and the evolution of smart contracts. In addition, through its global digital finance initiative, the team collaborates with digital and crypto businesses across the world to develop a cohesive approach to the regulatory framework of the cryptocurrency industry. Anthony Day has notable expertise in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, and strategic collaborative arrangements, and a reputation for assisting financial institutions, and insurtech and fintech companies with the launch and development of digital platforms.

Practice head(s):Anthony Day; Martin Bartlam

Testimonials

"The fintech group at DLA Piper are very knowledgeable and give cost-effective advice."

"DLA Piper have a clear understanding of the payments industry and an approachable team who are dedicated to delivering exceptional quality." 

"Martin Bartlam is approachable, commercially-focused and always sees the bigger picture."

"Michael McKee and Chris Whittaker embody the provision of good commercial advice in a down-to-earth, practical and thoughtful way." 

Key Clients

Archax

Tokeny

IFX Payments

Global Digital Finance

Mash

iYield

Luther Systems

Lendable

Cavmont Bank

Tandem

Liverpool Victoria

Work highlights

  • Strategic venture capital acquisitions for various insurance groups.
  • Joined GDF as Patron Member and acting as effective General Counsel and member of the Advisory Board alongside Archax, Messari, Circle, Coinbase, Consensys, Diginex, and R3.
  • Advising Archax on the establishment of an institutional grade exchange and custody arrangements for trading digital assets in the UK.
  • Partnering with Tokeny to establish Digital Securities Alliance to provide an approach to capital raising which enables companies to raise funding in a regulatory compliant manner from their own website.
  • Advising Cavmont Bank on its arrangement with a Norwegian technology company for the roll-out of a blockchain-based mobile banking solution in Zambia.

Fieldfisher's fintech group stands out for its commitment to advising start-ups and growth scale companies in the digital payments and banking space, on all aspects of their development, including fundraising, PSD2 compliance and implementation, cross-border regulatory issues, market access requirements, commercial contracts and cloud banking. Outside of this core area the team has further expertise in the areas of blockchain, p2p lending, M&A and data privacy. Partner Simon Briskman, whose clients include banks and financial institutions, has niche expertise in the use of AI and robotic process automation and offshoring and nearshoring projects; in a highlight instruction, he represented Atom Bank in its deal with Google to use the cloud to run its core banking platform. Recently promoted partner Marsili Hale specialises in assisting alternative finance providers and financial institutions with the creation of new finance structures.

Practice head(s):Simon Briskman

Other key lawyers:Marsili Hale

Key Clients

Atom Bank

Euronext

Wirecard

Netflix

National savings and investment

E-commerce and FinTech – Payments Advisory

HUBX

QUANTERIUM TECHNOLOGIES

Bank Leumi

Work highlights

  • Euronext and Algomi have created a bond trading fintech, Algonext, to increase liquidity in the bond markets. We helped set up and commercialise the platform; and have continued to be involved in its development.
  • Supporting many leading e-commerce/fintech businesses in their new payment operation, including advising Twilio, Sift Science and Invoice2go on PSD2 compliance in Europe in relation to their international payments activities.
  • Working with Wirecard on a range of payment services issues and commercial partnering agreements.
  • Advised National Savings and Investments on current issues with implementing open banking.
  • Advised on the further international expansion of the highly successful Netflix gift card programme across new territories, including Romania, Greece, Israel, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Latham & Watkins's fintech group advises financial institutions, investors, emerging companies and technology and internet companies on projects relating to blockchain, cryptocurrency, tokenisation of assets, payments, cloud computing, AI, cyber security, digital banking and technology, as well as conventional corporate transactions. Andrew Moyle (global co-chair of the fintech practice) advises traditional financial institutions and new tech companies on payments and transfers, insurtech developments and virtual currencies. Senior associate Stuart Davis specialises in advising clients on the domestic and cross-border regulatory aspects of fintech initiatives, often in relation to the use of blockchain and in structuring ICOs. Davis and Moyle were recently appointed by the World Economic Forum to advise on a range of strategic initiatives, including a blockchain project for which they have produced several whitepapers. In another major instruction, the team was retained by Nivaura to provide advice on the legal and regulatory aspects of the development of a platform for creating, clearing and settling tokenised equity using blockchain technology. The group hired five new lawyers in 2018-2019, including associate Sam Maxson, who has expertise in cryptoassets and the 'tokenisation' of financial markets.

Practice head(s):Andrew Moyle

Other key lawyers:Stuart Davis; Sam Maxson

Testimonials

"The capital markets legal and regulatory expertise is unparalleled. Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson and the London team have been instrumental in some of the groundbreaking work we've done in automated securities issuances, particularly around creating automated documentation for equities, and with a lot of the in-depth regulatory analysis on how to vertically integrate with CSDs for automated primary issuance."

"This team has deep experience in digital assets and capital markets and is able to go into significant detail on the content, structure, and implementations of digital asset markets and products. Additionally, the team is able to interpret digital asset market implications for different jurisdictions and regulations." 

"Stuart Davis in particular is able and eager to understand new digital asset products and markets, and identify the industry initiatives and regulations that are most relevant. He also takes initiative, participating in industry working groups and advocacy bodies, and providing input on the best direction for various market participants."

"Stuart Davis was able draw on the full scope of Latham & Watkin's expertise across lending, fintech and fund management. In addition the firm had the connections with specialist solicitor firms in other jurisdictions that we required."

"Stuart Davis has the rare combination of understanding the commercial needs for a proposition to work, being able to negotiate highly competently on our behalf with key stakeholders and possessing the deep legal knowledge expected of a top tier lawyer."

"In comparison to other firms Latham & Watkins shows significant knowledge in the payment industry."

Key Clients

Nivaura

Refinitiv

Tencent

Transferwise

Consensys

Symphony

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

GVE Ltd

StepEx

Circle

Agora

180 Digital Assets

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Act as legal advisor to ConsenSys on some of its most important global initiatives. ConsenSys AG is a leading developer of, and investor in, blockchain solutions globally, founded by Joe Lubin, one of the co-founders of the Ethereum blockchain network.
  • Involved in one of the world’s largest fintech transactions of 2018, wherein Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Generation Investment Management acquired majority control of FNZ.
  • Advised Non-Zero on its successful initial coin offering.
  • Acting as legal advisers to Tencent.
  • Advised GVE on its successful initial coin offering and the launch of the Excor platform and EXC tokens

Osborne Clarke LLP's fintech practice is particularly strong in the payments space, where it acts for large banks and start-ups, advising on FCA approvals, PSD2 implementation, expansion into new markets, M&A, anti-money laundering laws and contentious media issues. In addition, the firm has a range of expertise in general corporate transactions, which complements its strengths in complex cryptocurrency matters, tech sector mandates and data protection. Practice head Kate Johnson advises on the regulatory environment affecting payments, as well as structuring significant and transformational payments projects. Another key figure is Mark Taylor, who advises clients on outsourcing, IT contracts, cyber security and blockchain related matters. The group is currently advising JPMorgan on its implementation of PSD2 across multiple jurisdictions in Europe.

Practice head(s):Kate Johnson

Other key lawyers:Mark Taylor

Testimonials

"The team works very well and their knowledge of the payments and fintech sector is unparalleled. They are very client driven and tailor their approach to meet the needs of the client."

"The individuals we work with at Osborne Clarke are very solutions oriented."

"Paul Anning is a leading expert in his field; he is also approachable and builds a great rapport with clients."

Key Clients

HSBC

JPMorgan

Wirecard

Vocalink

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Wirecard on a number of large-scale and high-value projects.
  • Ongoing advice to JPMorgan in relation to its PSD2 implementation projects.
  • Advising Vocalink on its recognition and designation by the Bank of England as a service provider to a recognised payment system.
  • Advised Finantix, a leading provider of technology enabling digitalisation of financial services, on the acquisition of a controlling interest in it by Motive Partners.
  • Advised the Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments group in relation to its lead of a £13m ($17.5m) Series A funding round in Eigen Technologies Limited.

Pinsent Masons LLP's fintech group represents a number of banks, financial institutions and fast-growth companies invested in the payments space. The team has particular expertise advising on regulatory issues, including the implementation of Open Banking in line with PSD2, API licensing agreements, applications to become a regulated financial services entity to provide 'account information services', and compliance with the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017. In the commercial space, the group advises on investments, acquisitions, contractual agreements, product development, white labelling and service agreements. Yvonne Dunn, whose clients include banks and start-ups, brings specialist Open Banking knowledge to the team. Angus McFadyen is the firm's go-to payments lawyer; in a recent case he advised Yolt on the pan-European development and roll out of its financial management product. Junior partner Thilo Schneider focuses on corporate work in the sector, including M&A, venture capital investments and joint venture transactions. Financial services regulatory lawyer Andrew Barber (who joined the firm in 2019 from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP) has broad experience in payments, e-money and, in particular, the regulation and risks of ICOs and DLT.

Practice head(s):Yvonne Dunn

Other key lawyers:Angus McFadyen; Thilo Schneider; Andrew Barber

Testimonials

"The team have the expertise in providing excellent professional legal advice on complex matters relating to technology and this is enhanced by their brilliant relationship management skills which enables them to engage effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders from large institutions to small innovative firms and entrepreneurs."

"Yvonne Dunn demonstrates terrific empathy in dealing with client needs and challenges and is always extremely proactive in coming up with innovative and market leading solutions which enable effective collaboration and delivery."

"Angus McFadyen is very responsive, delivers on time and keeps us informed proactively as issues arise. He is to the point in his answers, pragmatic and business driven." 

"Luke Scanlon in our opinion has second to none perspective in the Open Banking and PSD2 universe. It is very hard to find lawyers who have an equivalent grasp of both the detail and the big picture."

Key Clients

Capita Scaling Partners

Indigo Michael/Consents

Online/AccountScore

Coinschedule

Meniga

Fintech Scotland

Priviti

Kalypton

Yolt/ING Bank NV

Elavon

Chequre & Credit Clearing

Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Capita's Scaling Partners division on its minority investment in the award-winning robo-advice platform Munnypot.
  • Advising group company Indigo Michael Limited on various aspects of open banking including regulatory and commercial.
  • Advising Coinschedule on its commercial relationships, internal legal and risk processes and investment documentation.
  • Advising Meniga on gaining permission in the UK to become a regulated financial services entity to provide 'account information services'. Advising more broadly on payment services and open banking regulatory matters.
  • Advising Yolt on the continued development of its product, with the introduction of key features such as market place and payment initiation, with the roll out across a number of European member states (having originally developed the product in the UK).

Simmons & Simmons' fintech clients include major banks, financial institutions, investors and start-ups, which it advises on employment issues, investments and M&A, supply contracts, and repackaging platforms. On the regulatory side the group handles applications to the FCA for banking licenses and authorisations, ad also advises on cryptocurrency regulatory matters, ICOs and trade mark protection. Practice Head Angus McLean, whose clients include investment banks, software developers and start-ups, advises on technology issues in the financial services sector and has notable expertise in intellectual property law. Penny Miller specialises in UK and EU regulatory matters, where she advises clients on all aspects of financial services regulation; she is acting for the British Business Bank in relation to its designation of Alternative Finance Platforms. Associate Sophie Lessar focuses on payments, regulated lending and consumer protection, and frequently assists financial institutions with product developments.

Practice head(s):Angus McLean

Other key lawyers:Penny Miller; Sophie Lessar

Key Clients

Ant Financial

Augmentum

BBVA

British Business Bank

Cuvva

Funding Circle

GoCompare

Global Advisors

Hargreaves Lansdown

HSBC

Illuminate Financial

Iwoca Limited

Legal & General

LendInvest

Macquarie

Monzo

Origin Primary

Suade

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Ant Financial and Alibaba to manage the ALIPAY international trade mark portfolio and to undertake other international trade mark work.
  • Advised HSBC’s strategic investment team on their investment in Open Banking fintech start-up Bud Financial Limited.
  • Advised Augmentum on its investment in iwoca Limited which required immediate investment via a complex, multi share Series D round involving multifaceted capital tabling.
  • Since 2017 Bitstocks has required advice in a number of different areas, including a potential initial coin offering, new client terms and conditions, advice on structuring of a new payment mechanism and advice on set-up of business arrangements in a number of other countries.

Slaughter and May's fintech group advises start-ups, fast-growth challenger businesses and longstanding financial services and technology companies on corporate, commercial and regulatory developments and challenges. On the corporate side the team advises clients on the structuring of new business ventures, major acquisitions, private equity investments, strategic investment in the sector and corporate governance. In the regulatory space the team has expertise in PSD2 compliance/open banking, GDPR compliance (particularly in the context of blockchain and smart contracts) and in advising payment services on operating issues in the UK regulatory environment. The team is invested in enabling start-ups to grow through its fintech incubator programme, where it handles the full range of legal needs for a diverse set of early-stage clients. IP and tech partner Rob Sumroy has standout knowledge of AI, GDPR and blockchain and acts for leading innovators in the sector, including Y Tree and WorldRemit. In a recent highlight, financial services regulatory partner Ben Kingsley acted for challenger bank Oaknorth in its $440m equity raise led by Softbank Vision Fund.

Practice head(s):Ben Kingsley; Rob Sumroy

Key Clients

Euroclear

Stripe

Thomas Cook Money

Klarna

Credit Karma

OakNorth

WorldRemit

Multiply

TrueLayer

Gardenia

Y Tree

Go Cardless

Paymentsense

Treasury Spring

Legal & General

Work highlights

  • Advised Y Tree on aspects of its new business formation and in particular on the preparation and development of their client-facing documentation including terms of business, as well as on data portability aspects of GDPR which is central to the data-aggregation model of their wealthtech business, and some discrete tax matters.
  • Advised Credit Karma on its agreement to acquire TransUnion's Noddle business.
  • Now in the third year of our fintech incubator programme, Fast Forward, and are advising six new companies including three exciting new fintech’s (Coconut, Credit Mint and Tully) on a range of legal matters and other value-added services.
  • Advised OakNorth on its $440m equity raise led by SoftBank Vision Fund.
  • Advising TrueLayer on regulatory matters including the impact of the market reforms introduced by the Second Payment Services Directive and by the Open Banking initiative.

Baker McKenzie's fintech team act for banks, financial services companies, fast-growth companies and technology companies, advising on corporate matters, product and platform launches in the UK and EU, regulatory compliance in relation to instruments such as MiFID 2 and PSD2, all aspects of blockchain related projects, and other key issues such as IP, data protection and tax. The firm's blockchain expertise is considerable, spanning payments, banking, insurance and wealth management, crypto-assets and tokenization. Practice head Sue McLean is the group's primary blockchain expert and regularly advises clients on outsourcing, technology procurement, development and licensing, cloud computing, AI, data privacy and cyber security. Caitlin McErlane and Philip Annett joined the firm's partner roster in 2019, bringing to the team expertise in trading platforms and regulatory enforcement, respectively.

Practice head(s):Sue McLean

Other key lawyers:Caitlin McErlane; Philip Annett

Key Clients

Ebury

Bitfury

Deposit Solutions

HSBC

Veridium

Work highlights

  • Advised the Bitfury Group, the world's leading full-service blockchain technology company, on its $80m private placement.
  • Acting for Deposit Solutions on a range of support relating to its leading international platform for savings deposits.
  • Advised Ebury on an a range of regulatory matters including all aspects of its implementation of MiFID 2 and expansion into North America and Asia.
  • Advising a global bank on its strategic global blockchain platform for the financial services sector.
  • Advising a leading insurance broker on its participation in the world’s first blockchain enabled marine insurance platform and related investment.

Bristows LLP's technology-oriented fintech practice represents start-ups (particularly payment service providers), large insurance companies, major banks and corporations, in corporate transactions, data and IP protection, compliance with regulatory standards (PSD2), key contractual agreements governing the provision of services, outsourcing projects and disputes. Corporate partner Louise Eldridge handles M&A, venture capital transactions and joint venture deals and has experience advising clients on blockchain technology, digital transactions, and regtech and insurtech developments. Recent joiner Marc Dautlich is the firm's go-to data protection expert; he also brings to the group additional expertise in financial services regulation, spanning PSD2, e-privacy and the Lawful Business Practice Regulations. In a recent instruction, Eldridge acted for DNB Bank on its strategic investment in FinTech 11:FS Group.

Practice head(s):Louise Eldridge

Other key lawyers:Marc Dautlich

Testimonials

"Bristows have a clear understanding of the technology in the sector and specifically the fintech/insurtech market."

"Bristows has relevant experience related to PSD2 compliance and provides concrete and practical advice on how to navigate these rules."

"Louise Eldridge gives constructive advice, co-ordinates the team well and ensures transactions run smoothly."

"Marc Dautlich has a strong technical background which is critical when advising on emerging technologies."

Key Clients

DNB Bank AsA

Munich Re

Littlepay Ltd

Uniface

Isle of Man Enterprises Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for DNB, Norway’s largest financial services group investing in leading UK Fintech company 11:FS Group.
  • Commercial advice, covering contracts, strategies and risk compliance for Munich Re.
  • Handled equity and debt financing for leading blockchain/DLT fintech company, VChain Technology.
  • Advising a new market entrant providing tap & go payment tech to small public transport.
  • Advised fintech vendor Itiviti on the negotiation of a long-term strategic agreement with a major global bank for the provision to the bank of trading infrastructure systems for capital markets.

Acting for start-ups, financial institutions, global regulators and policymakers, Burges Salmon LLP's fintech group distinguishes itself through its experience advising public and private sector clients on issues relating to blockchain technology, PSD2 compliance, EU payments law, data privacy, AI, automated reporting, retail distribution review regulations and tax-efficient regulatory structures. The team's knowledge of payments law is particularly strong, highlighted by its work with R3CEV (a global consortium of financial institutions) on the development of smart contract templates, and its work with Faster Payments Scheme to establish a platform to enable financial institutions to more effectively trace and prevent fraud. Practice Head Sarah Kenshall (who has experience working in-house and in private practice) advises technology providers in the payments space aiming to develop commercially viable projects or seeking assistance with software builds and major procurements.

Practice head(s):Sarah Kenshall

Key Clients

Faster Payments Scheme Limited

Ascentric (Investment Funds Direct Limited)

Seven Summits Financial Limited

Villa Plus Limited

World First (UK) Limited

Think Money Limited

Honda Finance

Currency Global

Amaiz (Goodwill Global Limited)

MPSCo Limited (Paym)

Currency Global

Phillips 66

Rail Delivery Group

Work highlights

  • Acquisition by Phillips 66 of NJB Services, including Payment Services Directive advice.
  • Advising Villa Plus, a significant online retailer, on EU payments law issues in the context of strategically important contracts governing online payments.
  • Represented the Faster Payments Scheme (the central infrastructure operator for internet and telephone banking) in setting up an AI-enabled platform for participating financial institutions to more efficiently trace fraud.
  • Advising the Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of England and Grant Thornton on potential changes in the current approach to regulatory reporting.
  • Advising a number of fintech providers on proposed joint ventures with fund managers and financial advisors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's fintech team is particularly invested in the areas of blockchain, regtech and payments technology, where it acts for a wide range of start-ups, software companies, and p2p lending platforms. On the corporate side the group handles sales, management buyouts and private equity fundraising, while on the commercial end it manages contractual arrangements including partnership agreements and software licensing agreements. The team has further expertise acting for cryptocurrency and blockchain developers in the launch of new platforms in the UK and the EU. In a recent matter, financial services regulatory partner William Garner advised Coinbase on various elements of setting up its operations in Europe, including contract negotiations with third party service providers. Mark Bailey, the group's resident technology expert, specialises in IT-sector contracting, cloud computing, outsourcing and data centre operation, and has additional expertise in the area of blockchain technology. Bailey is working with Konsentus to produce a white paper on the impact of PSD2 on the banking sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Bailey; William Garner

Key Clients

Coinbase

OneRagtime Platform Ltd

Duco Technology

Conferma

Kuende

Nxtera Ltd

Cheshire Datasystems Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising new client Coinbase on a range of matters in relation to their starting up of European operations, including perimeter guidance issues regarding crypto assets and contract negotiations with third party service providers.
  • Advised the founder shareholders of Taxfiler, the cloud tax and accounts provider for small accountancy practices, on the sale of Taxfiler to the UK’s leading business-critical software provider, IRIS Software Group.
  • Advised long-standing clients FPE Capital and Bestport Ventures on the sale of Creditcall to US trade buyer NMI, which is backed by Francisco Partners and Great Hill Partners.
  • Advised the institutional and management shareholders (including FPE Capital and MMC Ventures) of Small World Financial Services Group Limited, a leading multi-channel cross-border payment service provider, on the sale of Small World to European private equity firm, Equistone.
  • Advised existing client Duco Technology Limited on its $28m equity fundraising with Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities and Eight Roads Ventures.

Dentons' fintech practice primarily acts for banks, payment service providers, trading platforms, insurance companies and corporations invested in the sector. The group has strengths handling commercial and regulatory matters spanning PSD2 compliance and implementation, product and platform launches, partnership agreements, procurements, outsourcing, acquisitions and ICOs. Outside of these areas the team has further expertise assessing contractual arrangements between parties, reviewing the regulatory status of clients and, more broadly, in handling specific regulatory challenges that clients may face. Practice head Jonathan Garforth has particular expertise in open banking, payments and peer to peer lending, while recently promoted partner Tristan Jonckheer specialises in financial services outsourcing and advises clients on agreements for the development of digital payment services and financial products.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Garforth; Martin Fanning; Scott Singer

Other key lawyers:Tristan Jonckheer; Henrietta Baker

Key Clients

Dyson Technologies Ltd

MUFG Bank Ltd/MUFG Securities EMEA plc ("MUFG")

Salt Exchange

Work highlights

  • Advising Dyson on the regulatory, contractual and data protection aspects of its appointment of a global payments provider.
  • Advising Salt Exchange on setting up and operating an electronic trading system based on blockchain technology as well as in respect of its commercial relationships with third party promoters for bespoke blockchain based tokens, primarily optimised for use by consumers in a retail environment.
  • Advising the in house legal team of MUFG Bank with the review and negotiation of their business IT contracts.
  • Advising NatWest on the acquisition of a digital payments/electronic money business.
  • Advising a Canadian business payments platform (partly owned by Goldman Sachs) on its launch in the UK.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'pragmatic and responsive' fintech group acts for investors, start-ups, national and international banks, insurances companies and other financial services organisations, advising on regulatory considerations such as PSD2 and GDPR, cyber security risks, outsourcing arrangements, smart contracts, financing, and general corporate transactions. The team stands out for its ability to manage complex partnership agreements, primarily outsourcing arrangements for financial institutions and payment services but also in relation to the development of innovative funding solutions and payment platforms. Nick Pantlin's broad expertise covers the potential impact of blockchain technology and smart legal contracts in the financial services sector, whereas Caroline Rae specialises in corporate transactions, including takeovers, private acquisitions and capital raising. Senior associate Lyndon Coppin, former head of operations, technology and commercial legal at Barclays Bank, was one of several lawyers to join the team in 2018-2019.

Practice head(s):Nick Pantlin; Caroline Rae

Testimonials

"Herbert Smith Freehills are more focused on practical solutions, more willing to really get into the detail of a problem and often more innovative in finding a solution than other firms."

"HSF fintech group is a high quality legal team with excellent commercial insight."

"The firm has strength in depth in fintech and broader FS regulatory work."

"Marsha Williamson continually demonstrates a thorough knowledge of banks' complex constitutional arrangements."

"Marsha Williamson is a dedicated and hard working lawyer with incredible intellect." 

"Partner Barney Hinnigan is extremely supportive of clients through challenging transactions and able to quickly mobilise all areas of the firm to provide expertise quickly and in a highly integrated manner."

Key Clients

TSB

BNPP

Credit Agricole

ClearBank

UBS

Tandem Bank / Tandem Money

LendInvest

Santander

Funding Circle

The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son

Moneysupermarket

11:FS

Huozhi

The Big Exchange Limited

Caple

Work highlights

  • Advised The Big Exchange on the establishment of a new fintech platform, supported in part by a blockchain system.
  • Advised ClearBank on its new commercial collaboration with the financial services challenger organisation Tide (Tide Platform Limited) to deliver a business current account for small and medium size enterprises alongside Tide's other business services.
  • Advised Huozhi, a fintech social enterprise start-up, in relation to a secure aid funding solution that Huozhi has developed to ensure that beneficiaries in conflict zones can receive aid money from NGOs and government donors in a way that minimises or eliminates risk of interference.
  • Advising the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, a global multilateral development investment bank responsible for building market economies through investment, on the first generation outsourcing of its IT infrastructure across three separate multi-lot RFP processes
  • Advised 11:FS on its joint venture with Norway's largest financial group, DNB, to establish 11:FS Foundry.

Mayer Brown International LLP's fintech group acts for global financial institutions, asset managers, technology companies and start-ups and has expertise advising on cloud-related outsourcing agreements, blockchain projects and smart contracts, data protection and intellectual property risks in the development of new platforms and services. The firm generally has strong corporate practices, and in the fintech space the team has experience advising on significant investment transaction, acquisitions and IPOs. Mark Prinsley assists clients across the spectrum of fintech with IP, outsourcing, cyber security and data privacy matters.

Practice head(s):Mark Prinsley

Other key lawyers:Oliver Yaros: Valerie Vanryckeghem

Key Clients

HSBC

The Bank of New York Mellon

Grant Thornton

T Rowe Price

Previse

Mitie plc

Overmore Group

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC on a project to sell and monetise a “Know Your Client” (KYC) software solution.
  • Advising a leading provider of online consumer personal loans on entering into a node agreement to become a node (a supporting participant) in a blockchain solution that will be created to record personal loan transactions made by consumers.
  • Advising Previse on its artificial intelligence (AI) based online instant payments platform including the development, ownership and licensing of intellectual property rights in the platform and the terms on which it permits customers, suppliers and funders to use that platform.
  • Advised a global systemically important financial institution on its acquisition and implementation of Microsoft provided cloud-based services across its global business.
  • Advised an important financial institution that was hoping to acquire a Microsoft provided cloud-based service across its global business.

Taylor Wessing LLP acts for financial institutions, software companies, investors, and e-commerce companies, as well as a number of clients in the payments space, ranging from well-known challenger banks to thriving start-ups. The group's strong corporate offering sees it advising clients on early and late stage funding rounds, private equity investments, shareholding sales and dispositions. On the regulatory side the team has strengths in advising payments service companies on PSD2 compliance and a range of other regulatory matters. Corporate partner Adrian Rainey handles M&A and venture capital work for clients ranging from institutional investors to start-ups, whereas associate Chris Ratcliffe assists payment providers, cryptocurrency platforms and challenger banks with regulatory applications, product terms and outsourcing arrangements. In 2019, Charlotte Hill joined the firm from Covington & Burling LLP, and now serves as head of the financial services and competition group.

Practice head(s):Adrian Rainey; Graham Hann

Other key lawyers:Chris Ratcliffe; Charlotte Hill

Key Clients

Monzo

Nutmeg

MoneyFarm

TotallyMoney

Index Ventures

Credit Benchmark

Aire Labs

Trustology

Trussle

MarketInvoice

ThoughtMachine

Bitstamp

Onfido

Monese

Capitalise

Work highlights

  • Advised Monzo since its inception and on all of its fundraisings to date, the most recent being on its Series E funding round led by new investors General Catalyst and Accel, with participation from existing investors Passion Capital, Stripe, Goodwater, Thrive Capital and others.
  • Advising the banking app Monese on raising $60m in a Series B funding round.
  • Advised Thought Machine, a UK-based fintech company, on its strategic partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, and Lloyds' participation in Thought Machine's £18m Series A round financing.

  • Advised Marketinvoice on its significant minority stake by Barclays and Santander InnoVentures on its £26m funding.
  • Advising Koine on its project to establish a licenced e-money and crypto-asset custody services business, also providing a settlement service to leading cryptoasset exchanges.

Travers Smith LLP's fintech practice has particular expertise advising payments systems on setting up and running technology-based financial systems infrastructure, advising on the development of major fintech products, software and outsourcing arrangements, and assisting clients with the IP and data protection aspects of their projects. Dan Reavill, who specialises in IT and IP law, recently acted for eFront during its roll-out of an investment platform that enables investment vehicles to swap data and obtain information, involving the consideration of data and IP ownership and the preparation of contracts with third party data providers. Mark Evans is the firm's go-to international payments expert; his recent work includes helping Pay.UK to implement a legislative model enabling non-bank payment service providers to gain access to central bank settlement accounts.

Practice head(s):Dan Reavill

Other key lawyers:Mark Evans

Testimonials

"Travers Smith's fintech team stands out for its high quality partners and strong commercial advice."

"Dan Reavill is flexible, commercial in his approach and always extremely helpful."

Key Clients

eFront Limited

Paymentsense Limited

Paragon Bank plc

Cheque & Credit Clearing Company Limited

Faster Payments Scheme Limited

Pay.UK Limited

Euroclear UK & Ireland Limited

Auto Trader Group plc

Peak Business Insight Limited

Pret a Manger

Work highlights

  • Advised Peak with its standard form customer contract suite and various supplier arrangements relating to its provision of machine-based learning data analytics services.
  • Provided Paymentsense with integrated data protection and IT advice.
  • Acting as project counsel to C&CCC in the successful launch of a totally new payment system called the Image Clearing System.
  • Acted for Faster Payments Scheme Limited (a subsidiary of Pay.UK Limited) in relation to a cutting-edge new FinTech business and on regulatory developments.
  • Advised existing client Auto Trader on a joint venture with Cox Automotive UK Limited to provide a leading digital marketplace for wholesale vehicles in the UK.

Fox Williams LLP acts for disruptive fintechs including a number of p2p lenders and B2C fintech platforms, and investors, focusing predominantly on alternative finance, digital wealth and blockchain-based products. On the regulatory side the group advises on FCA authorisations and PSD2 compliance, cross-border regulatory issues, product structuring, GDPR, and consumer credit applications. The firm's corporate work for fintechs and investors spans early and late stage funding rounds, private equity investments and M&A. Jonathan Segal has niche expertise in the p2p lending space, where he often guides clients through the FCA authorisation process. Associate Marc Piano has a strong understanding of the technical and regulatory aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, and sits as a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Segal

Other key lawyers:Marc Piano

Key Clients

Neyber

Balderton Capital

ThinCats

Prodigy Finance

MoneyThing

C2FO

Property Partner

Lending Works

Revolut

Scalable Capital

Digital Moneybox

Archover

DueDil

Work highlights

  • Ongoing commercial, products and regulatory advice to Neyber.
  • Advising ThinCats on its ongoing transactional and regulatory requirements, helping set up the new institutional funding platforms and acting for the lenders on the platform for several of the most high-profile peer-to-peer loans of 2018.
  • Advised Moneybox, the mobile savings and investment app, on its £14m Series B funding round led by Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Limited
  • Advised Lending Works Limited, the peer-to-peer lending platform, on its £2m investment from private equity house Maven Capital Partners as well as £800,000 from existing investors NVM Private Equity, Pollen Street Capital and a small number of business angels.

Gowling WLG's fintech team advises banks and financial institutions, p2p lending platforms, manufactures and crypto asset firms on investments, IP issues, ICOs, platform structuring and a range of regulatory issues, spanning FCA authorisations, MiFID II requirements and the adoption of open banking. Led by David Brennan, the group's strong corporate offering covers investments in the tech sector, equity fundraising, reverse takeovers and joint ventures. Financial services regulatory associate Sushil Kuner, who joined the firm in 2018, advises clients on the regulatory aspects of ICOs, crypto-assets and blockchain projects, and sits in the firm's dedicated blockchain and smart contracts group.

Practice head(s):David Brennan

Other key lawyers:Sushil Kuner

Key Clients

Blue Star Capital

Bricklane

BTL Group Limited

Draper Esprit plc

Lending Works Limited

Nebulous, Inc.

Neyber Holding Limited

Radius Payment Solutions Limited

Route 66 Ventures

Work highlights

  • Handling a technology contract between SmartestEnergy and Origami Energy for flexible energy system.
  • Advising Nebulous, Inc. on a security token offering to be issued in Europe.
  • Advised Blue Star Capital on the corporate and regulatory issues related to its aborted acquisition of SatoshiPay, focusing on the Payment Services Directive and E-Money Regulations.
  • Advising Draper Esprit plc on its investments in technology companies such as Seedcamp and Revolut.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for a broad range of clients including challenger banks, financial institutions, insurers and investment companies, in tech procurement, outsourcing and other contractual agreements, IP protection, and regulatory compliance and authorisations covering PSD2 and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. The group actively supports fast-growth companies through its WBD Accelerate Programme, which gives developers the opportunity to present innovative solutions to drive forward progress in the sector. Practice head Alastair Mitton specialises in large scale technology implementations, outsourcing and development projects in the financial services and insurance industries. Ben Butler handles transactional work, including M&A, joint ventures, group reorganisations and fundraising.

Practice head(s):Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:Ben Butler

Key Clients

LV

Atom Bank

Nimbli

TSB

Sainsbury's Bank

British Pearl

Work highlights

  • Activng as Atom's main legal advisor across a number of disciplines, including corporate, property and intellectual property.
  • Advising Post Office on a business critical procurement under the competitive dialogue procedure to appoint a Systems Integrator prime contractor with a banking sub-contractor for multiple services in relation to Post Office Card Accounts provided to benefit and pensions recipients.

Browne Jacobson LLP's 'proactive and commercial' team acts for high-growth fintech and insurtech businesses and investors in investment rounds and fundraising, and also advises more broadly on regulatory issues, such as FCA applications and GDPR, commercial agreements and contentious matters. In the insurtech space the group provides clients with full-service legal advice, ranging from employee matters to IT projects involving IP provisions, liability provisions and various other contractual elements. Corporate partner Jon Snade handles a high volume of funding round deals and transactions for fintech clients and investors, whereas Jonathan Edwards (who joined the firm's banking practice in 2018) has notable strength and depth in the p2p lending space.

Practice head(s):Jon Snade; Declan Cushley

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Edwards

Key Clients

Digital Fineprint Limited

Enro Holdings Limited (T/A Digital Risks)

Eos Venture Partners

Coconut Platform Limited (previously Monizo Ltd) (T/A Coconut)

Hastee Pay Limited

TopCashback Ltd

Dinghy Limited

Champerty Ltd (T/A AxiaFunder)

AVSecure LLC

Founders of Dinghy Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for The British Insurance Awards 2018 Insurance Start-Up Award winner for 2018, Digital Risks on its £2.25m investment round led by VC firm Concentric, with participation from Atami Capital, Seedcamp, London Co-Investment Fund and Beazley.
  • Acted for Eos Venture Partners on its participation in a £5m investment round into Concirrus Ltd.
  • Advised crowd insurance pioneer Laka on its £1.1m seed round.
  • Advising AxiaFunder on a variety of matters, including drafting the litigation funding documents for the platform, and advising on regulatory matters, investment process, information flow and sharing, confidentiality and privilege.
  • Advised blockchain age-verification company, AVSecure, an innovative technical solution in their commercial documentation; this included advising on commercial risks, GDPR implications and agreements to underpin a blockchain mining network.

Acting for challenger banks, payment services, insurance companies, and investors in the sector, Mills & Reeve LLP advises clients on commercial agreements, corporate transactions, GDPR compliance, tax and intellectual property matters. Practice head Kevin Calder acts for regulators, private companies and start-ups, advising on commercial arrangements and IT projects. Partner Zickie Limm heads up the firm's venture capital and equity investments team and also advises start-ups and fast-growth companies on fundraisings, growth transactions and exit transactions.

Practice head(s):Kevin Calder

Other key lawyers:Zickie Limm

Testimonials

"Mills & Reeve provide practical, solid advice coupled with transparency and the ability to manage expectations."

Key Clients

Bluestone

Validus-IVC

Eckoh plc

Financial Conduct Authority

Privanet Group plc

PayPoint plc

Bango plc

Premia Solutions Limited

Brady plc

Work highlights

  • Provided Bango with advice on a range of commercial agreements and corporate transactions.
  • Carried out corporate, commercial and regulatory work for PayPoint within the last year.
  • Providing a secondee to receipt bank. Our work to date has included advice in relation to the supply of the Receipt Bank software products and associated services, including terms and conditions of supply with direct clients, third party accounting and financial services intermediaries and resellers.

With clients ranging from payment service providers and crypto asset exchanges, to traditional financial institutions and asset managers, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP's fintech group stands out for its advice across all aspects of early, mid and late stage financing rounds, security token offerings and initial coin offerings, including the inherent regulatory issues at stake. Jacqui Hatfield acts for a diverse set of clients including challenger banks, robo advisers, wealth management platforms and p2p platforms, and has particular experience in the areas of crypto assets, smart contracts and STOs.

Practice head(s):Jacqui Hatfield

Testimonials

"The team have a deep understanding of how fintech organisations operate; the challenges and risks that they need to overcome and on occasion, the personal dynamics that underlie small, high growth companies."

Key Clients

Microsoft

Kinnevik

Vitruvian Partners LLP

Sweatco Ltd.

Elliptic Enterprises Limited

MoneyFarm

OakNorth Bank

Vostok Emerging Finance

True Potential Wealth Management LLP

Finverity Ltd

Propcoin

The Reserve

Moneybox

Revolut

Work highlights

  • Advised Revolut on its $250m Series C financing round, bringing its post-money valuation to more than $1.7bn.
  • Advised Stripe and Goodwater Capital on participating in an £85m ($110m) Series E financing in UK-based challenger bank Monzo.
  • Advised Vitruvian Partners LLP on its investment in German credit comparison portal Smava GmbH.
  • Advising ShapeShift, a leading US crypto asset exchange that supports dozens of blockchain tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, on regulatory compliance related to AML/BSA and securities laws.
  • Advised Propcoin on regulatory aspects of their asset backed token raise and the setting up of a property crowd funding platform on the Blockchain.

Focusing on fintech companies in the payments and alternative finance areas, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP regularly provides advice to clients on the regulatory and technical aspects of STOs, ICOs, the implementation of DLT. Moreover, the team has additional strengths in IP, platform restructuring and the development of new products. Practice head James Campbell advises start-ups, trading platforms and financial institutions on the regulation and licensing of trading platforms and on the structuring of ICOs.

Practice head(s):James Campbell

Key Clients

First Global Credit

Augment Partners

Vistaar

Blockchain

Bunker Capital

Global Voice AS

Alibaba Coin

Verseon

Work highlights

  • Advising Blockchain on various commercial and regulatory issues arising during the year.
  • Advising Global Voice AS on strategic options and regulatory questions associated with Project UBU.
  • Advising Verseon on the regulatory aspects of their ground breaking security token offering and the development of blockchain technology to create a new funding model.

Squire Patton Boggs is instructed by clients ranging from financial institutions to start-ups in relation to corporate transactions including fundraising and investments, joint ventures, M&A and equity structuring. In addition, the team has complementary expertise in employment law, procurement, cloud arrangements and intellectual property. Practice head Robert Bray's corporate expertise spans private equity and venture capital, M&A and joint ventures. Recently promoted partner Julian Ciecierski-Burns advised Wonga on its VC fundraising, and also acted for TransUnion in the sale of Noddle to CreditKarma.

Practice head(s):Robert Bray

Other key lawyers:Julian Ciecierski-Burns

Key Clients

BRAC

Mega

Safety Net Credit

Shareholders of Business Insight

JP Morgan

Citigroup

iSwap

Broadridge

Contis Group

Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

Wonga Group

FireDrake Consulting

Monex Europe

Centtrip

Aldridge EDC Specialty Finance

Omnio Group

Work highlights

  • Advised long-standing client, Citigroup, on its investment in TransFicc.
  • Represented Register in the acquisition of Nettitude Limited.
  • Represented Omnio Group in the acquisition of cloud-based banking and payment services provider, Payment Cloud Technologies.
  • Represented Aldridge EDC Specialty Finance in the establishment of the Omnio Group.

Wiggin LLP's 'creative and persistent' fintech group has specialist expertise advising clients ranging from disruptive fast-growth machine learning companies to multinational corporates on data protection, privacy and cyber security issues. Outside of these core areas the team also assists clients with corporate transactions, including investments and acquisitions, multi-jurisdictional regulatory issues in the e-commerce space, and IP protection. Practice head David Naylor, who specialises in technology and IP law, stands out for his experience as general counsel to US and European companies on international business expansion and cross-border projects.

Practice head(s):David Naylor

Key Clients

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC

Worldpay

TheStreet, Inc

Jaguar LandRover

Rakuten

Duedil

Tessian

Thomsons Online Benefits

BoardEx

Beauhurst

Vizolution

RightIndem

Lenny

Eligible

Work highlights

  • Advised on the status of binary options, FX trading and CFDs in a variety of jurisdictions and provided some strategic corporate advice in relation to Worldpay’s investment in Featurespace.
  • Providing complex data protection compliance and transaction advice to TheStreet, Inc.
  • Advising award-winning UK cybersecurity company Tessian on IP matters and on all aspects of its data protection compliance, a critical area for a business providing email security services to some of the world's largest financial services businesses.
  • Advising Beauhurst on a wide range of matters including M&A, corporate finance, commercial, IP, tax and data protection.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to