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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. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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With impressively broad, deep knowledge of the financial services sector, Allen & Overy LLP's team frequently advises high-profile clients on cutting-edge regulatory matters, as well as assisting newer companies with issues ranging from ICOs to structuring lending platforms. Group head Simon Toms acted for a consortium of financiers including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Temasek on its $107m investment in R3, a consortium of financial institutions collaborating to develop a DLT platform. He also acted for SPiCE Venture Capital on its ICO of 130 million tokens, which raised $100m for investing in fintech start-ups in Europe and Israel. Capital markets expert Philip Smith worked with fintech company Nivaura on the regulatory and documentation aspects of a cryptocurrency-denominated bond issuance by LuxDeco via Nivaura's platform. Structured finance specialist David Wakeling advised various derivatives dealers on the development of regtech solution marginMatrix, a cloud-based IT system designed to help dealers handle the variation margin regulations that have applied to the OTC derivatives market since 2017. On the corporate side, Duncan Bellamy and Seth Jones acted for Worldpay Group on its £8bn merger with Vantiv. Ben Regnard-Weinrabe, who is 'an unparalleled expert in the financial services regulatory environment', arrived from Paul Hastings LLP in 2018, as did senior associate Nikki Johnstone.

With impressive capabilities across the full range of fintech matters, including robo-advice, payments, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and open banking, the team at Hogan Lovells International LLP has excellent strength in depth and is experienced in both technology and financial regulatory work. Assisted by Jonathan Chertkow, Emily Reid and Richard Diffenthal, John Salmon has been advising Open Banking on its project to create open APIs in the UK's retail banking sector; this involves regular negotiations with the nine large banks funding it, as well as commercial negotiations with payment service providers. Rachel Kent acted for DualityBanx on obtaining FCA authorisation, and advised Brolly UK Technology on various regulatory issues. Salmon and Diffenthal acted for Refineryy on the development and implementation of its blockchain-based platform to facilitate commercial real estate transactions. Chertkow assisted Monzo Bank with launching its lending products as part of its move into offering full current account services. Other fintech clients include Habito and Zopa. On the corporate side, Maegen Morrison, John Connell and Don McGown acted for Paysafe Group on its £3bn takeover offer from a Blackstone- and CVC-led consortium.

With particularly deep experience in cryptocurrencies and open banking, particularly at the start-up end, Kemp Little LLP's 'commercial' department is 'excellent on all counts'. It has also been increasingly busy with payments and regtech work; clients say it has 'expert knowledge of payments regulations and how they apply to small, medium-sized and large technoloy companies'. The team handles the full range of fintech work, and adopts 'a well-reasoned, practical approach to complex legal issues'. The 'astute, extremely personable' Chris Hill is 'always available'; he and Andy Moseby  advise payments start-up Flux on commercial, corporate and regulatory matters, and along with data protection expert Nicola Fulford, both partners have been assisting Nesta and the 20 fintech companies participating in Nesta's 'Open Up Challenge' with commercial, regulatory, IP and corporate matters. Hill has also been handling Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading matters for numerous companies; licensing arrangements for Californian insurtech company Qlaimstech; and 'agile software' development agreements for foreign exchange trading platform SmartCharts. Other clients of the practice include Eigen Technologies, AxiomHQ, Worldpay, Monese and the New Zealand-based Xero. Payments expert and senior associate Sophie van Wingerden is 'a safe pair of hands' who 'knows UK and EU financial regulations inside-out'. The 'responsive' Jacob Ghanty joined from K&L Gates LLP in November 2017; he is especially strong in fintech matters pertaining to MiFID and funds.

With global breadth, strength in depth and a formidable line in high-end financial services regulatory work, the 'superb' practice at Linklaters LLP adopts 'a multi-disciplinary approach' and 'truly bridges the gap between finance and technology'. Harry Eddis and capital markets expert Richard Hay are 'very impressive: they cut to the chase and are pleasant to deal with'. As well as handling more conventional fintech work, the department also advises clients on technology matters relating to structured finance and capital markets: together with Michael Kent, Eddis, who has 'deep financial regulatory knowledge across markets', advised Quantile Technologies on regulatory matters pertaining to its derivatives portfolio optimisation service. Eddis and Paul Lewis, who is 'a clear leader in smart contracts, derivatives and distributed ledger technology (DLT)', acted for Clearmatics Technology Solutions and UBS, leading a bank consortium, on the development of a new inter-bank payment system involving Utility Settlement Coins. Both partners have also been advising a multinational investment bank on establishing spot and derivatives trading services involving Bitcoin and Ether. At the start-up end, technology expert Julian Cunningham-Day, who heads the group alongside Eddis and corporate expert Fionnghuala Griggs, advised regtech company Market Axess on its client contracts and the establishment of a cloud-based European data store.

Norton Rose Fulbright's department, which embodies 'a good balance of caution with practical assistance', has 'very good awareness of the blockchain space', and provides 'a sensible guide to the cryptosphere'; other areas of strength include regtech, insurtech, payments, robo-advice and establishing DLT platforms. The 'unflappable' Sean Murphy, who heads the group jointly alongside financial services regulatory experts Imogen Garner and Hannah Meakin, can 'absorb and martial an inordinate amount of information'. He acted for Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation on its $150m ICO to support the creation of a multi-blockchain system to develop greater connectivity between blockchains. He also assisted banks such as ABN AMRO and ING and energy companies including BP, Shell and Statoil with establishing a joint venture to develop a DLT-based commodity-trading platform. Garner advised a foreign state government on drawing up a legal framework for a new technology regulator. Corporate and regulatory insurance expert Nicholas Berry advised Lloyd's of London on issues surrounding the underwriting of cryptocurrency risks. Structured finance specialist David Shearer and banking expert Nicholas (Nick) Grandage acted for AIG and Standard Chartered Bank on a £200m trade receivables purchase facility, with blockchain facilitating the receivables' purchase and settlement. Other clients include UBS, Paxos and the New Payment System Operator (NPSO). Insurtech associate Charlotte Rowlandson's 'attention to detail coupled with her amazing turnaround speeds defy understanding'; one client describes her as 'a power behind the throne'.

The 'practical advice' given by Slaughter and May 's 'very commercial, incredibly knowledgeable' team is 'most helpful' and 'always prompt'. Financial services regulatory expert Ben Kingsley and technology and data specialist Rob Sumroy head the group, which counts blockchain, insurtech, regtech and market-scale payments infrastructure as core strengths. Kingsley advised Euroclear on various fintech investments and joint ventures, as well as assisting it with two blockchain projects, including a report into the use of blockchain in the settlement and clearing industry. Another payments mandate saw Thomas Cook Money instruct Kingsley on strategic issues relating to its digitisation. In the start-up space, Robert Innes has helped companies deal with documentation to help engage their customers, Kingsley advised TrueLayer on various commercial and data protection matters, and Innes and Kingsley acted for insurtech company By Miles on all aspects of its growth. Also in this space, Kingsley and Sumroy advised Bupa Customer Labs, acting as an incubator for insurtech start-ups, on various regulatory matters. Other major fintech clients include payments companies and AI providers. IP and technology expert Duncan Blaikie made partner in 2017.

Led jointly by financial regulatory expert Jake Green, technology specialist David Futter and corporate partner Rob Aird, Ashurst's practice has excellent strength in depth and advises several high-profile financial institutions on a range of technology matters. Green and Futter have been advising Goldman Sachs on the roll-out of its digital retail banking platform Marcus, including regulatory advice as well as negotiating over 30 vendor collaboration agreements. Lorraine Johnston, who made counsel in January 2018, advised on the matter, as did fellow regulatory expert and senior associate Bradley Rice. All four lawyers also act for various cryptocurrency clients, including Plus500 and e-Toro, and have assisted clients with ICOs. Nick Elverston, who heads the firm's TMT and digital economy group, advised WorldPay Group on its strategic partnership with Visa, with a view to both parties launching payments innovations in several jurisdictions. Additionally in the payments space, Green advised BP Oil UK on the regulatory aspects of BPme, the company's new mobile app for paying for fuel at petrol station forecourts. On the corporate side, Aird acted for Countrywide on its joint venture with Blenheim Chalcott to create digital mortgage broker Dynamo. Other clients of the department include Lloyds Banking Group, DXC Technologies, Aldermore Bank and Ellul & Co. Technology expert Tara Waters made partner in May 2018.

Bird & Bird LLP's practice is especially strong in payments, crowdfunding, open banking and blockchain; it advises clients on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, including data protection, and often handles cross-border mandates. Commercial partner¬†Christian Bartsch, who is especially active in financial services and technology, heads the group jointly with finance expert¬†Trystan Tether; Tether and senior associate¬†Gavin Punia, a financial services regulatory expert who arrived from¬†Norton Rose Fulbright¬†in October 2017, acted alongside the firm's Brussels office on assisting Stripe with payments-related regulatory issues. Authenteq instructed¬†Shing Lo¬†on its ‚ā¨1.5m seed financing by Initial Capital, Draper Associates and Cavalry Ventures, and¬†Guadalupe Sampedro¬†advised at least two global payments companies on GDPR matters. Other clients include Fidelity and Tink. Commercial partner¬†Jonathan Emmanuel¬†is noted for his expertise in outsourcing and IT contracts; technology and procurement specialist¬†Roger Bickerstaff¬†is also active in the space. Corporate technology expert¬†Ali Ramadan¬†left to join¬†Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.

The inter-departmental practice at Clifford Chance LLP has impressive cross-border capabilities and is especially strong in DLT-related work, corporate transactions and cutting-edge regulatory matters. Derivatives expert Jeremy Walter and technology and outsourcing specialist André Duminy acted for HQLAx on the development and launch of a collateral lending app for liquidity transfers on DLT platform Corda. Duminy and Hilary Evenett advised Generali on its partnership with a technology start-up to roll out an insurance app for its key clients; Duminy and Caroline Meinertz assisted Cash Netting Services with developing a fintech solution to make inter-bank payments more efficient. Owen Lysak advised CVC Capital Partners on the financial regulatory aspects of its joint offer with Blackstone to purchase Paysafe Group for £2.96bn. On the corporate side, Gareth Camp acted for BBVA on its £85m investment in Atom Bank, and Duminy assisted Status with its investment of cryptocurrency SNT into New Vector. Senior associate Peter Chapman is frequently active in the space; he advised one major financial services company on the regulatory aspects of biometrically enabled cards. Technology expert Jonathan Kewley heads the practice. Coinbase, Credit Suisse and Disberse are among the team's client roster.

CMS's 'innovative' practice provides 'excellent service', and handles 'large, complicated transactions' in the fintech space as well as a range of regulatory work. Financial services regulatory expert Sam Robinson is 'sought out by innovators for being able to navigate mazes by thinking laterally'; he has experience in peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrencies, and acted for crowdfunding platform Property Partner on MiFID regulations pertaining to multilateral trading facilities. Robinson also advised London Football Exchange on a $350m token issuance. Anthony Waller acted for Behavox on various commercial contracts and data protection matters. In the corporate and finance sphere, Chris Southorn assisted Salary Finance and Blenheim Chalcot with a £40m investment by Legal & General, and Charles Kerrigan advised ESF Capital and Thin Cats on a £200m working capital loan from Waterfall AM and ESO Capital. Other clients of the team include ClearScore Technology. IT and outsourcing expert Ian Stevens heads the group; technology specialist Alan Nelson, data protection expert Elle Todd and corporate partner John Finnemore are also recommended.

The team at DLA Piper fields 'excellent, knowledgeable' lawyers and 'excels in the strength and depth of its global practice'. It is singled out by clients for being 'first choice' for payments work, though the practice is active in a wide range of areas including regtech, robo-advice, new-model funding and cryptocurrencies; it acts for financial institutions as well as fintech start-ups. Technology expert Anthony Day, who heads the group jointly with financial services specialist Martin Bartlam, assisted Zurich with launching a new online platform aimed at SME customers across Europe. The team also advised Nutmeg on regulatory matters, particularly MiFID-related issues surrounding its wealth management technology. On the corporate side, Day and Luca Gori advised Aviva on its £20m investment in Wealthify as well as on its investments into Canadian real estate marketplace platform Casalova. Ben Forgiel-Jenkins acted for Euronext on its $10m investment in Algomi. On the start-up side, Jon Kenworthy advised blockchain company Luther Systems on its £1m funding by several investors. The London Stock Exchange and iYield are additional fintech clients. Financial services experts Steven Krivinskas and Bryony Robottom, who have recently been very busy in ICOs and new-model funding respectively, made partner in May 2018. Financial services specialist Michael McKee is also recommended.

IT expert Matthew Gough¬†leads the team at¬†Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which handles a wide range of fintech work and has strong transactional capabilities. Financial institutions expert¬†Andrew Henderson¬†acted for the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance on its ¬£5m ICO, and advised HSBC, WealthKernel and TAM Asset Management on robo-advice matters. Henderson and¬†Ronald Paterson¬†assisted Nivaura with obtaining regulatory authorisation for its new blockchain concept to automate bond trading. IT partner¬†Craig Rogers¬†advised Citibank on its new digital proxy voting system Proxymity, which aims to connect and authenticate issuers and investors in listed securities and to streamline the voting process at Annual General Meetings. Gresham House instructed Rogers on its new investor portal, developed in partnership with MMR Digital, to provide a personalised digital experience for investors and clients. Rogers and¬†Stephen Nash¬†acted for StatPro Group on its ‚ā¨13m purchase of UBS's risk and performance analytics business, Delta.¬†Paul Pugh¬†is often active in fintech M&A and fundraising. Associate¬†James Burnie¬†is also recommended.

Regularly acting for start-ups, disruptive fintech companies, financial institutions and investors, Latham & Watkins handles strategically significant, cutting-edge matters and has impressive cross-border capabilities. Blockchain and ICOs are particular strengths; it also advises financial institutions on IT outsourcing. The team recently advised a foreign central bank on restructuring its financial regulatory regime, and has experience advising nation states on digital currency issuances. The group also handles high-value corporate work in the fintech space: David Walker advised Blackstone Group on all aspects of its joint offer with CVC Capital Partners to purchase Paysafe Group for £2.96bn. Other clients include Credit Suisse, TA Associaties and the UAE Banks Federation; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and Liquidnet are recent clients. IT and outsourcing expert Andrew Moyle heads the department; senior associates Stuart Davis, Fiona Maclean and Christian McDermott are frequently active in fintech. Financial services regulatory expert Carl Fernandes arrived from Linklaters LLP in September 2018.

Widely praised by its peers, particularly for its strength in payments-related work, the practice at Osborne Clarke LLP has deep expertise in IT outsourcing, peer-to-peer lending and cloud-related services, and has excellent strength in depth. Cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are also areas of experience. Kate Johnson, who heads the firm's financial institutions group, is especially strong in payments and consumer finance; she and Bristol-based corporate and finance expert Mark Wesker are the key partners. Clients of the department include Wirecard, iZettle, Advanced Payment Solutions and Tech Mahindra Fintech Holdings; Admiral Group is an insurtech client. Nikki Worden is especially experienced in consumer finance, especially in the digital sphere; payments expert Paul Anning and commercial and outsourcing specialist Mark Taylor are also recommended, as is associate director Tom Try, who has a fintech sector focus. Financial services regulatory expert Michael Lewis arrived in September 2017 from Pinsent Masons LLP.

Noted for acting on 'complex, innovative and ground-breaking' matters, Pinsent Masons LLP's practice is 'excellent in all respects'. Open banking, ICOs, advising banks on technological matters and acting for fintech start-ups are key strengths of the department, which counts Tesco Bank, Allied Irish Banks, HubPay Technologies, Electron and International Personal Finance among its clients. The 'calm, measured' Angus McFadyen 'clearly has excellent knowledge of the payments space'; he advised ING Bank on its development of Yolt, an open banking mobile app. 'Extremely professional, knowledgeable and friendly' legal director Luke Scanlon acted for Coinschedule on its contractual relationships with parties issuing ICOs and tokens on its platform as well as on regulatory compliance; he also advised AccountScore and Consents Online on open banking matters, and assisted fintech authentication start-up Priviti Group with the regulatory aspects of its engagement with the banking sector. The team often handles corporate work in the fintech space: Andrew McMillan acted for Finestra International on its purchase of Olfa Soft and its foreign exchange e-trading platform for financial institutions. The Glasgow-based Yvonne Dunn heads the group.

The 'extremely professional, thorough and prompt' team at Simmons & Simmons has 'great strength in depth' and leaves clients 'delighted with the quality of its service'; it leverages the firm's strengths in asset management, investment funds, financial services and technology to provide excellent fintech advice across the board, though peer-to-peer lending is an area of particular strength. 'Outstanding' group head Angus McLean advised the British Business Bank on regulatory matters, mostly involving assessing the suitability of finance platforms to which small and medium-sized enterprises would be referred. Other areas of fintech experience include AI, payments, regtech, insurtech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and robo-advice. On the transactional side, Piers Summerfield assisted LendInvest with establishing its £500m EMTN programme, Isabella Roberts advised Fidante Partners Europe as bookrunner on Augmentum Fintech's £125m IPO, and Patrick Graves acted for Metro Group on its £12m investment in Yoyo Wallet. In dispute resolution, Patrick Boylan represented Capco as plaintiff in commercial litigation; the £100m case accused numerous defendants of economic torts, copyright infringement and corporate wrongdoing. Other recommended partners include financial services regulatory experts Penny Miller and Mahrie Webb, and asset-backed finance and securitisation specialist Michael Lorraine. Technology expert George Morris made partner in 2018.

Addleshaw Goddard's 'dynamic, approachable' practice provides 'truly outstanding, confident advice overlaid by business acumen' and has 'unparalleled industry knowledge'; it 'puts clients' interests ahead of everything else'. With strengths at the intersection between the technology, payments and financial regulatory spaces, the practice counts mobile payments and open banking as particular areas of expertise; it has also handled ICO-related advisory work. Practice head Fiona Ghosh's 'tremendous business acumen complements her obvious legal expertise'; she 'looks for the tough questions clients don't think of' and is 'first-class all around'. Ghosh advised fintech accelerator Rainmaking.io on the partnership and participation aspects of its new venture, Rainmaking Colab. She also advised Mespo on regulatory matters and on its contracts with Salt Edge concerning data procurement for account information services. The department also handles corporate work: Elvan Hussein acted for NIBC Bank on its investment in Ebury. Other clients include Penta Finance, FNZ (UK), Worrapay and the Card Processing Advisory Service. Corporate and commercial partner William James is frequently active in the fintech space; financial services regulatory partner Amanda Hulme is also recommended.

With blockchain and payments having been its core pillars for some time, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is also highly active in regtech and ICOs. Financial services regulatory expert William Garner, who is strong in blockchain, ICOs, payments and broker-related work, heads the department jointly with technology infrastructure and outsourcing expert Mark Bailey. Garner continued to assist SETL Development with regulatory matters, and Bailey advised insurance platform Cheshire Datasystems on various GDPR issues and on its move to cloud-based solutions. On the corporate side, Duco Technology instructed William Nash on an $28m investment by Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities and Eight Roads Ventures, and Tim Ball advised Nxtera on its £13m sale to an undisclosed buyer. One Ragtime Platform, Conferma, R5FX and, more recently, Kuende are all clients of the practice. Senior associate Richard Ellis joined in September 2017 from Gowling WLG; he is a financial services regulatory specialist with particular knowledge of crowdfunding.

Busy largely on commercial and investment matters, particularly on the venture capital end, Cooley (UK) LLP's department is especially active in insurtech, payments and blockchain. Financial institutions also instruct the practice on outsourcing and IT procurement matters. IP and technology specialist Chris Coulter heads the group; Justin Stock, David Bresnick and senior associate Aaron Archer are noted for their corporate and M&A experience. Financing expert John Clark is often active in the technology space. Clients have included Receipt Bank, MoneyFarm, ShieldPay, Mastercard and NFU Mutual.

The team at Dentons is headed jointly by financial services regulatory specialist Jonathan Garforth, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP in September 2017, and counsel Ian Benson, who is also a financial services expert. Benson advised PCF Bank on the 'customer journey' aspects of its new payment account products, including regulatory and commercial issues; he also acted for Hybrid Payment Aggregator Business on the regulatory aspects of its new app to allow users to view their bank accounts and credit card information on one platform. Bitstamp instructed Benson on the regulatory aspects of funds it had received in connection with bitcoin transactions. Technology expert Dan Burge acted for Salt Exchange on the technological and commercial aspects of establishing an asset-backed cryptocurrency exchange, and assisted challenger bank Wyelands Bank with commercial arrangements pertaining to a new banking solution. Martin Fanning advised B Social Bank on regulatory, commercial and IP and brand protection matters. Foreign Currency Direct, HiFX and First Data are additional clients of the practice. IP and IT specialist Scott Singer is also active in the fintech space.

Building on the firm's strengths in technology and financial services, the fintech practice at Fieldfisher counts blockchain, crowdfunding, payments and peer-to-peer lending as areas of particular expertise. IT, outsourcing and data privacy expert James Walsh and director Marsili Hale, who specialises in structured finance and securitisation, advised Link Mortgage Services on the technological, regulatory and outsourcing elements of servicing loans made on the Landbay peer-to-peer lending platform. Walsh also advised Centtrip on the regulatory aspects of its e-money issuances. Structured finance specialist Stephen Moller advised Propfin on establishing its fully automated loan-origination business, and financial services regulatory expert Azad Ali acted for Euronext on its joint venture with Algomi to improve the visibility of corporate bond liquidity for investors. Hannah Rowbotham acted for Silicon Valley Bank on $20m-worth of loans to WorldRemit Group, and Tim Bird advised Wirex on a $3m investment by SBI Holdings. Deutsche Bank and Paysafe Group are additional clients. Simon Briskman heads the group; financial services regulatory expert Nicholas Thompsell and payments specialist John Worthy are also recommended.

M&A, IT outsourcing, assisting banks with digitisation, and all kinds of work for start-ups are the core pillars of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'excellent, really responsive' , 'practical and thoughtful'  department, which provides 'comprehensive, reliable' advice and is noted for its 'rapid turnaround of high-quality documents'. The team is recommended for 'complex legal areas': a large team including Greg Mulley, the 'calm, steady' Nick Pantlin, Caroline Rae, Andrew Procter and Clive Cunningham continued to act for ClearBank -- the UK's first clearing bank in two and a half centuries -- on regulatory and commercial matters. Pantlin and Cunningham advised Banco de Sabadell and TSB Bank on the latter's migration of services from its existing fintech services platform to one provided by the former's in-house services company, Sabadell Information Systems. Barnaby Hinnigan advised Tandem Money on its purchase of Harrods Bank from Qatar Holding. Other clients of the 'very enthusiastic, personable' practice include GlobalCollect and Lloyds Banking Group as well as new clients Funding Circle and LendInvest. Rae and corporate partner Alex Kay, who heads the firm's financial institutions group, are 'exceptional' and provide 'spot-on advice'. Corporate partner Nicholas Moore and senior associate Suzanne Sullivan are 'pragmatic, responsive and particularly good at distilling complex issues into key bullet-points'.

Headed by IP, IT and outsourcing expert Mark Prinsley, the team at Mayer Brown International LLP handles a range of work that belies its size, from acting for fintech companies on establishing their platforms to assisting a variety of large financial institutions with outsourcing and technological developments. Prinsley acted for South African insurance company AllLife on its collaboration with a UK insurance company to develop and implement a technological insurance product for diabetics; he also assisted a large financial services company on its outsourcing of data centre supply, management and support services. IP and IT expert Oliver Yaros advised one global financial services client on its development of a digital platform for investment banking services. A similar client instructed Yaros on its collaboration with a third party to develop a know-your-client tool for banks and other financial services companies. Both Prinsley and Yaros have been advising a large financial institution on the commercial and regulatory aspects of its potential acquisition of cloud-based services provided by Microsoft. HSBC is a fintech client of the firm.

Especially strong in the IT and commercial aspects of fintech work, the team at Taylor Wessing LLP also has corporate and regulatory capabilities. Financial services regulatory specialist Jonathan Rogers and technology expert Graham Hann advised one Fintech 50 payments company on all regulatory and commercial matters; Rogers also assisted a merchant acquirer fintech company and a leading robo-advice company with various regulatory issues, and advised an online consumer credit lender on obtaining regulatory approval to operate in the UK. The team is also active in the cryptocurrency space: Rogers advised European cryptocurrency exchange BitPanda on all aspects of establishing itself in the UK, and has experience in handling cross-border ICOs. Monzo Bank instructed Adrian Rainey on its £71m financing by investors including Goodwater, Stripe and Michael Moritz; Rainey and Rogers also assisted Index Ventures with its $66m investment in Revolut. Insurtech and financial authentication are also areas handled by the department's regulatory experts.

The 'proactive' department at Travers Smith LLP provides 'exceptional service and commercial, actionable advice'; it has 'deep industry knowledge', especially in payments and wider fintech infrastructure. Mark Evans's 'deep, expansive knowledge of fintech laws' is complemented by his 'understanding of technology and how it interacts with regulations'; he 'consistently provides timely, appropriate, commercial and in-depth advice'. Evans advised the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company on its launch of the Image Clearing System, designed to reduce clearing times and ease the process for customers to make payments via phones and tablets. He also advised Faster Payments Scheme on the introduction of a model that allows non-bank payments service providers to use enhanced settlement facilities, and acted for Euroclear UK & Ireland on implementing a cross-border settlement system for US dollars. Group head Dan Reavill advised eFront Financial Solutions on customer contracts and data protection matters; fellow IT expert Louisa Chambers acted for Paymentsense on its agreements with various integrated third-party providers. Outside of payments, Chambers acted for one client on a contract with an AI company to implement a machine learning-based pricing system. Other clients include Ebury Partners and and the Association of British Insurers.

Noted for its 'excellent service', Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's 'pragmatic' team 'really takes time to understand its clients' and has 'a fantastic grasp of the law and its practical application'. The 'experienced, knowledgeable' Emma Radmore is 'a pleasure to work with', and the 'entirely reliable, very personable' Andrew Barber 'really knows his stuff'; both are financial services experts who advised TSB Bank on the regulatory aspects of a major outsourcing. Barber also advised Sainsbury's Bank on a review of its personal loan products, and on the start-up side assisted British Pearl with establishing its crowdfunding platform. Clients 'couldn't ask more from' Southampton-based technology expert Julian Hamblin, who advised Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society on the procurement of a new website. Patrick Cantrill, a Leeds-based IP expert, advised Atom Bank on all its IP issues. Smarch is an additional client.

With excellent cross-border capabilities, Baker McKenzie's multi-departmental group assists clients with regulatory, commercial, corporate and IP work. Practice head Harry Small is an IT specialist with extensive experience in advising financial institutions on a range of technological matters; he is supported by Sue McLean, who arrived from Morrison & Foerster LLP  in September 2017, and financial services regulatory expert Mark Simpson (Arun Srivastava has moved to Paul Hastings LLP). Work highlights in the last year have included advising one global payments platform on its business models, customer contracts and global expansion, and assisting a regtech company with IP, licensing and fundraising issues. Several tech giants have instructed the team on payments-related regulatory matters. AFEX and Google are longstanding fintech clients; Coinstar is a recent client win.

The team at Burges Salmon LLP provides commercial and regulatory advice in a range of fintech fields, and is active in cutting-edge areas. Legal director and group head Sarah Kenshall, who counts payments, AI, data analytics and smart technologies as particular areas of focus, arrived from Axiom in December 2017; she advised the Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of England and Grant Thornton on adopting more efficient approaches to regulatory reporting. The team also advised R3CEV, a global consortium of financial institutions, on developing blockchain-based smart contract templates. Financial services regulatory expert Tom Dunn is often active in the space. Outside of more conventional fintech, Chris Jackson and Kari McCormick advised AXA on the insurance liability aspects of driverless cars. Senior associate Adrian Shedden departed in December 2017 to become a consultant at Keystone Law and Simmons & Simmons.

Especially strong in offering a full range of legal services to disruptive fintech start-ups, Fox Williams LLP's department is especially active in payments and peer-to-peer lending. Practice head Jonathan Segal advised Neyber, which provides employees of large organisations with financial products, on regulatory, commercial and data protection matters. He also assisted peer-to-peer fintech company ThinCats with its largest loan to date (at the time of writing), a £6.7m facility for Chelsea Yacht & Boat Company. Revolut instructed Chris Finney on various regulatory and commercial matters. On the corporate side, Paul Taylor has been assisting Velocity Mobile with fundraising, including share issuances, and Sona Ganatra advised Balderton Capital (UK) on the regulatory aspects of its £6m investment in insurtech start-up Zego. Other clients of the team include TuTasa, MoneyThing Capital and Prodigy Finance.

Counting Route 66 Ventures, Crowdcube and Radius Payment Solutions among its clients, Gowling WLG's department is headed by capital markets expert David Brennan. It has particular experience in blockchain, payments and open banking. As well as dispensing regulatory advice, the team handles corporate and finance matters: Ian Piggin acted for Neyber Holding on £21m-worth of fundraising via equity and debt investments, and advised Barclays Bank on its $5m investment in payments security fintech company Form3. The team also advised a British clearing bank on structuring a new form of supply chain financing, and acted for start-ups such as Sinus Iridum and OpenFin on becoming operational in the UK. BTL Group is a recent client win; more longstanding clients include Lending Works and TransferGo. Financial services regulatory expert Ian Mason joined in May 2018 from DLA Piper.

K&L Gates LLP's team has cross-border capabilities and assists clients, especially in the payments and financial data areas of fintech, with corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. Corporate partner Tom Wallace heads the department jointly with payments expert Judith Rinearson, who splits her time between New York and London. Wallace advised Tax Systems on its purchase of OSMO Data Technology, and assisted First Data with the $83m sale of its subsidiaries in the Baltic states to Worldline. Rinearson acted for AiX on various cross-border commercial and financing matters pertaining to its AI-based product for the inter-broker dealer industry. Special counsel Andrew Gilchrist is an IP expert who is frequently active in fintech; he advised OpenGamma on licensing and commercial agreements. Jacob Ghanty left in November 2017 to join Kemp Little LLP.

The 'excellent, up-front, honest and forward-thinking' team at Browne Jacobson LLP provides 'hands-on service' and has 'a deep, genuine understanding of fintechs and start-ups'; it mostly handles corporate and commercial work, and is increasingly active in insurtech. 'Friendly', 'cool-headed and responsive' group head Jon Snade 'knows his stuff' and is 'a go-to lawyer for serious fintech start-ups'; he acted for Digital Fineprint on a $2.7m fundraise, and assisted Dinghy with a $1.2m fundraise. Nottingham-based data protection expert Helena Wootton advised TopCashback on GDPR compliance. Other clients of the team include Hastee Pay, Coconut, Shadow Foundr and Telleroo. 'High-quality all-rounder' and consultant David Henderson is a financial services regulatory expert with 'limitless enthusiasm for technology' and 'extensive technical knowledge'.

Led by principal associate Simon Warburton, the team at Mills & Reeve LLP is especially active on the corporate side, though it also assists clients with IT and GDPR issues. Transactions and regulatory corporate work have kept the practice busy: Tom Pickthorn advised Finnish investment service group Privanet on equity crowdfunding regulations in the UK. Stephen Hamilton acted for Bango on its £9m purchase of Audiens, and assisted Paypoint with its purchase of Romanian company Payzone. On the fundraising side, Zickie Lim advised TAB UK on a £1.2m investment led by Mustard Seed Capital. Mark Pearce advised Premia Solutions on the GDPR implications of its insurance products, and Peter Wainman acted for commodity-trading software company Brady on contractual issues. Other clients include Validus and IQ Capital Partners.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP's 'very responsive, proactive' practice is led by 'extremely knowledgeable', 'truly outstanding' financial services regulatory expert Jacqui Hatfield, who arrived from Reed Smith LLP in September 2017; she has 'in-depth understanding of an emerging, evolving market', and is 'a straight talker' with 'a clear understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies'. She assisted Revolut with its EMI re-registration and with compliance issues relating to Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), acted for Property Partner on regulatory matters, and advised four clients on establishing crowdfunding platforms. The 'flexible, deadline-driven, highly knowledgeable' Christopher Grew and venture capital expert Ylan Steiner are strong on the corporate and finance side: Grew acted for WorldRemit on a $40m investment by LeapFrog Investments, advised Revolut on a $66m investment by Index Ventures and assisted Stripe and Goodwater Capital with their $93m investment in Monzo, while Steiner advised Railsbank Technology on its £820,000 seed financing. Other clients of the department include Azimo, Currencycloud, MoneyFarm and True Potential Wealth Management. Technology-focused corporate partner Ali Ramadan arrived from Bird & Bird LLP  in January 2018.

Noted for its 'ability to move swiftly', the team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has 'excellent practical understanding of the industry'. James Campbell, who has 'a holistic understanding of the fintech environment' and 'can take the short view and the long view on any situation', co-heads the group with fellow corporate and securities expert Samuel Pearse. Campbell advised Oryx Prive Investment on its proposed ICO to finance investments in blockchain and IT solutions; Pearse assisted AugmentPartners, a fintech company whose products are based on cryptocurrency Ethereum, with an investment by Fenbushi Capital. Payments is another area of fintech activity for the firm. Vistaar and Blockchain Capital are additional clients.

Corporate partner Robert Bray¬†leads the team at¬†Squire Patton Boggs¬†; he and a multi-departmental team advised Wonga Group on the ‚ā¨61m sale of its German business, BillPay, to Swedish payments company Klarna. Bray also advised Neptune Networks on an investment by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and assisted Citigroup Financial Products with its investment in post-trade blockchain platform SETL.¬†Additionally on the corporate side,¬†James McKay¬†acted for LMAX Exchange on its ¬£22m buy-out of Paddy Power Betfair.¬†Francesco Liberatore¬†advised open banking fintech company TrueLayer on data protection issues, drafting customer contracts and raising $3m in funds. Centtrip is an additional client of the team. Corporate partners¬†Nicholas Allen¬†and¬†Julian Ciecierski-Burns¬†are also active in the space.

Technology experts David Naylor and Shaun Lowde jointly head the practice at Wiggin LLP, which specialises in advising fintech companies and platforms on commercial, corporate and regulatory work. Lowde advised Vizolution, which provides screen-sharing solutions, on various commercial contracts with financial institutions, and along with Gurminder S Panesar acted for iPipeline on commercial and regulatory matters. Naylor continues to advise RightIndem on corporate and commercial matters. Additionally on the corporate side, Benjamin Whitelock assisted InMotion Ventures with its investment into By Miles. David McLeish advised Safecharge on gambling regulatory matters. Other clients of the department include iGo4, Worldpay and Parity Technologies.

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