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Financial services: contentious in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP provides clients with a ‘wealth of technical and practical experience' ranging from major regulatory investigations to high profile disputes, as well as multi-jurisdictional and multi-regulator matters. The firm’s regulatory and criminal expertise covers anti-corruption and bribery, anti-money laundering, antitrust and sanctions, with notable experience in the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) . Calum Burnett leads the practice and is known for domestic and cross-border regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. The ‘quality of partners and associates in the team is outstanding', including Eve Giles, who specialises in cases relating to international and domestic corruption, cartels, fraud, money laundering, insider dealing, market abuse and extradition; Mahmood Lone, who focuses on high profile investigations into alleged market abuse and manipulation; and newly promoted partner Sarah Hitchins, who has particular strength in acting for financial services firms and listed companies.

Practice head(s):

Calum Burnett


‘A&O are our first choice for any of our contentious regulatory issues’ 

‘All the team are very easy to work with and extremely responsive.  A pleasure to work with’

‘Calum Burnett and Sarah Hitchins have an invaluable combination of excellent subject matter expertise and industry knowledge. They always go the extra mile’

‘Often our go to firm for advice on a wide range of contentious financial services issues’

‘Tim House is fantastic at providing strategic advice and navigating difficult issues, as well as being very intelligent and charming’

‘Mahmood Lone is an excellent lawyer, who works extremely hard to provide a high quality of service to his clients. His attention to detail and faultless work product are unparalleled’

‘Sarah Hitchins is very smart and extremely user friendly’

Clifford Chance LLP

The 'quality and breadth of experience is excellent' at Clifford Chance LLP , according to clients. The firm’s expertise covers outsourcing investigations, financial crime matters and acting for directors in relation to the SMCR. The practice also specialises in PRA enforcement proceedings. Carlos Conceicao leads the team and acts for financial institutions involved in enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. Notable in his team are Roger Best, who advises on multi-jurisdictional criminal and regulatory investigations; Dorian Drew, who is known for complex and reputational work; Kelwin Nicholls, who focuses on the financial services, commodities and cryptocurrency sectors and regulatory enforcement and litigation expert Oliver Pegden . Samantha Ward, who has experience handling FCA, payment systems regulator, SFO and antitrust authorities cases; financial crime specialist Michael Lyons; and senior associate Nicholas Grafton-Green, who deals with complex contentious matters, are also recommended..

Practice head(s):

Carlos Conceicao


‘Very keen to deliver in a super efficient and helpful way to their clients’

‘Solid strong professionalism and good balance of sticking to principles to keep independence of view’

‘Show respect to the client’s business model, corporate culture and management decisions’

‘Always reliable, immediate response even during the weekends’

‘Highly agile to provide advice with a timely manner and sound consistent quality’

‘Dorian Drew has profound experience of working with regulators; leadership skills, a solid tone and the  clear view needed to lead discussion with regulators, as well as strategic thinking’

‘Michael Lyons is a priceless partner. He has super all-round skills, not limited to excellent understanding, outstanding communication, critical thinking and abundant insights, as well as super paper work’

‘Oliver Pegden is very consistent in his professional style of hard-working approach – always candid and always sticking to the principles. He is very calm and stable, perfect to work with on complicated projects’

Key clients

R Raphael & Sons (Raphaels Bank)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Raphaels in a joint FCA and PRA enforcement investigation in relation to its oversight over the business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements of its outsourced service providers, and in particular how they would support the continued operation of its card programmes during a disruptive event.  This followed a technology incident in 2015 which impacted customers.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is well-regarded for applying its regulatory expertise to complex, high-risk and multijurisdictional issues in the financial services sector. The firm integrates its contentious and non-contentious financial services practices to provide a full service to a range of clients, from investment, commercial and retail banks, to investment managers, exchanges, asset managers and individuals. Regulatory compliance expert Martyn Hopper leads a team that includes Alison Wilson, who specialises in FCA enforcement investigations, internal investigations and pre-enforcement matters; Nikunj Kiri, who has a particular focus on contentious regulatory and compliance risk management issues; and Ben Packer, who is known for acting in the financial services, technology and sports sectors. Also notable are counsels Clare McMullen and Elizabeth Dowd.

Practice head(s):

Martyn Hopper

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

The 'superb team' at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is 'widely respected in the field', particularly in financial crime and money laundering matters. The firm provides expertise in internal investigations and whistleblowing cases, as well as non-financial misconduct issues. Nathan Willmott leads the practice and is active for financial institutions and senior executives in regulatory proceedings and internal investigations. Also notable in the team is Polly James, who has experience as an enforcement lawyer for the Financial Services Authority.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Willmott

Other key lawyers:

Polly James; Oran Gelb; Anthony Williams


‘Very knowledgeable on the case law but also the specific industry financial matters’

‘Polly James impresses on financial services matters’

‘Oran Gelb is our go-to guy on litigation at BCLP’

‘BCLP have a strong all-round team’

‘They are an excellent team’

‘Detailed, accurate, responsive and  with in depth knowledge of the issues’

‘Partners Oran Gelb , Polly James and Senior associate Anthony Williams have been great to work with’

‘Responsive, on the ball and clear instructions’

‘Polly James is a major name in FS. Calm, thorough and incisive. Great client skills’

‘Anthony Williams is wise beyond his years. Sparky and smart’

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The regulatory specialists at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provide expertise to the financial services sector in a range of contentious matters, including Brexit related work, the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) and multijuristicational cases. Jenny Stainsby leads the team and has expertise in redress and remediation exercises, as well as governance, regulatory and compliance matters. Also notable in the team are Andrew Procter, who advises on regulatory investigations, compliance and governance issues, including market abuse and systems and control cases; Karen Anderson, who specialises in regulatory issues for financial clients; Hywel Jenkins, who acts on FCA enforcement investigations and challenging PRA decisions; and senior associate Benedicte Perowne, who is ‘available, client focused and intelligent’.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Stainsby


‘The team has a good balance of partners and associates’

‘They are good at ensuring that the whole team contributes to a matter at the appropriate level and they are very responsive’

‘Benedicte Perowne is excellent. She managed a very complex matter with a lot of evidence highly effectively, and was able to turn out a high quality work product at speed’

Key clients

Ardonagh Group Limited

Baillie Gifford

Cabot Square Capital

Goldman Sachs International

Lloyds Banking Group plc

Pension Insurance Corporation

Pool Re

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc

Standard Chartered Bank


TSB Bank plc

Vanquis Bank Limited

Willis Towers Watson

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Work highlights

  • Acting for TSB on issues arising from the migration of TSB’s customer data from an IT platform hosted by Lloyds Banking Group to a new platform developed by the Sabadell Group (of which TSB is a member). Shortly after the migration was completed a number of issues were identified by TSB and reported by customers in relation to TSB’s banking systems.
  • Acting for NAB in relation to two of NAB’s former UK subsidiaries (Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank) that have undertaken a review of their sales of Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHPs) and loans that exhibit similar features to IRHPs. The review occurred under pressure from the Financial Services Authority (as it then was) in the UK and in the context of industry-wide scrutiny of IRHPs.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The 'first rate contentious financial services team' at Hogan Lovells International LLP specialises in cross-border contentious regulatory work, including consumer finance, sanctions and anti-money laundering matters. Regulatory investigations and enforcement expert Philip Parish leads the team and can call on the expertise of Elaine Penrose, who handles a range of internal and regulator-led investigations. Also notable are Arwen Handley, who joined from UBS in 2019 and brings expertise in multijurisdictional investigations; and Jennifer Dickey, who was promoted to partner in 2020 and has experience in internal and regulatory investigations for financial services clients.

Practice head(s):

Philip Parish


‘Significant experience at all levels of qualification in relation to banking disputes and related contentious regulatory issues’

‘Often a more cost effective option than some of its magic circle or US firm peers while still delivering an excellent quality of service’

‘Claire Lipworth is an outstanding adviser in relation to financial crime-related issues. She is a go-to person for our team in light of her depth of knowledge and expertise. She is also very user-friendly and approachable’

‘The team comprises a number of high-quality, experienced senior associates’

‘Whiston Bristow is a very bright and thoughtful lawyer who gets into the detail’

‘Jennifer Dickey is a dedicated and hard-working practitioner who is a pleasure to deal with’

‘Philip Parish is a highly experienced, sensible and measured practitioner’

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins provides 'great strength in depth' and an ‘excellent litigation capability backed up by a very strong regulatory team'. The firm advises domestically and internationally on a range of contentious regulatory issues for large banks, asset managers and brokers. The ‘first-rate financial services litigatorJon Holland co-leads the practice with Andrea Monks, who is ‘able to give high-quality advice on a range of contentious banking issues, both litigation and regulatory in nature’. Also notable in the team are Stuart Alford QC, who focuses on economic crime and regulatory matters; and senior associate Nell Perks, who has particular expertise in culture and conduct issues.

Practice head(s):

Jon Holland; Andrea Monks


‘Andrea Monks and Jon Holland are both outstanding – excellent tough litigators. Nell Perks who also came across with them is equally good’

‘Latham & Watkins has recruited excellent leaders and associates from many of the top practices in London’

‘Jon Holland is a seasoned litigator who also has very considerable experience of complex and wide-ranging regulatory investigations’

‘Andrea Monks’ approach is very practical and down-to-earth while still maintaining a high quality of work product’

‘Excellent service. Willing to guide the client’

‘Andrea Monks, David Berman, Mair Williams are extremely experienced in major financial services investigations, dispute resolution and handling delicate senior level Regulatory issues’

‘Technically and commercially highly astute and impressive’

‘The team mobilises very quickly and is available and flexible to meet demanding client needs’

‘Straight talkers – ensuring no time is wasted in getting to the heart of challenging issues’

‘David Berman is extremely experienced and technically sound, brings gravitas to the debate’

‘Andrea Monks and Jon Holland bring experience, gravitas and business solutions to stressed situations’

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP is known for its 'focus, strategic thinking and precision' in cross-border regulatory advice and global investigations, as well as market abuse matters. The firm has experience acting for a broad client base that includes banks, inter-dealer brokers, trading exchanges and corporates. The ‘pragmatic and effectiveMatt McCahearty handles complex litigation, investigations and regulatory enforcement. He co-leads the practice with Dan Lavender, who specialises in city and financial services litigation and investigations. Also notable is senior counsel Aalia Datoo, who focuses on complex financial litigation and regulatory investigations for banks and financial institution clients.

Practice head(s):

Matt McCahearty; Dan Lavender

Other key lawyers:

Aalia Datoo; Barry Donnelly


‘Very commercially astute, backed up by first class legal knowledge and good strategic decision making’

‘Matt McCahearty provides an excellent service. Clever, commercial, hard working and easy to work with’

‘The team is a group of talented lawyers who have deep understanding of the industry as well as expertise dealing with contentious work before various regulators and courts’

‘Matt McCahearty is a great litigator. He is particularly good at cross-border cases which involve multi-jurisdictional issues’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

British Bankers’ Association (BBA)

FICC Markets Standards Board

Work highlights

  • Defending RBS in competition law private damages claims and opt out class actions in relation to alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets.
  • Advising the BBA, the non-profit organisation that acts as a trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector, on multiple ongoing litigation and investigations.
  • Advised and supported the FICC Markets Standards Board on the development and publication of its Behavioural Cluster Analysis (BCA) study.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

The contentious regulatory team at Mishcon de Reya LLP is 'committed to achieving the best outcome for its clients'. The firm has experience in FCA and PRA related cases, acting for corporates and individuals. Financial services specialist Adam Epstein leads a practice that includes Guy Wilkes, who is known for expertise in financial crime and AML investigations. Also notable is legal director Matt Hancock, who also has experience advising clients with issues where employment and regulatory law intersect.

Practice head(s):

Adam Epstein

Other key lawyers:

Guy Wilkes; Matt Hancock


‘Very dynamic and professional team, who have a great practice in the representation of individuals for contentious regulatory matters’

‘They work very well as a team and are all very personable’

‘Adam Epstein is a fantastic lawyer, who asks the right questions and has a great sense of the industry. He really knows his stuff’

‘Matt Hancock is very proactive and client friendly. He is a creative lawyer who goes the extra mile for his clients. I have been very impressed with how he has handled a very complex market abuse case and the tactical acumen he has shown’

‘Strong expertise in the fin reg disciplinary area which is based on real experience of dealing with disputes against the regulator’

‘Adam Epstein leads the practice and is an excellent communicator with strong technical skills’

Key clients

Smith and Williamson as administrators of London Capital & Finance Plc

Smith and Williamson as administrators of various Park First Companies

Work highlights

  • Advised Smith & Williamson as administrators of London Capital & Finance Plc, which failed owing £240 million to around 11,000 retail bondholders. There has been significant fraud, and breaches of FCA rules. The company is the subject of FCA and SFO investigations and parliamentary attention.
  • Acting  for administrators in connection with insolvency of a number of Park First Companies. The Park First Group are under investigation by the FCA which has commenced actions against a number of Park First companies and individuals.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The multidisciplinary team at Norton Rose Fulbright has broad experience covering regulatory investigations, the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR), financial crime and market abuse matters. The practice is also known for its cross border expertise. The ‘outstandingKatie Stephen is ‘superb with clients and a first-rate tactician’, acting for regulated firms and individuals on a range of contentious matters. She co-leads the team with David Harris, who represents financial institutions, corporates and senior executives in cross-border internal investigations, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. Also notable is counsel Sonya Zywko, who specialises in financial services investigations, regulatory enforcement and related litigation.

Practice head(s):

Katie Stephen; David Harris

Other key lawyers:

Sonya Zywko; Chloe Fryer; James Lockwood


‘This is one of the top contentious FS teams in the UK, and rightly so’

‘One real advantage of this team is the quality of the associates’

‘Katie Stephen is absolutely top quality: she knows the FS industry backwards in that she knows FSMA and the Handbook like the back of her hands. She knows how the FCA and PRA work, and is superb at dealing with them when they’re on the other side’

‘Chloe Fryer is quite outstanding – extremely clever, an excellent lawyer, and massively hard working. A star of the future’

‘James Lockwood is an excellent associate who drafts documents beautifully, is very bright, and a brilliant team player’

Simmons & Simmons

The 'truly outstandingSimmons & Simmons advises across the spectrum of contentious regulatory matters, particularly misconduct, market abuse, and systems and controls breaches. The firm also has experience in individual accountability cases and internal investigations. The ‘absolutely excellentRichard Sims is known for largescale regulatory investigations, enforcement action, conduct risk and internal investigations. He co-leads the practice with the ‘top qualityEmma Sutcliffe, who specialises in financial regulatory investigations, disputes and enforcement actions, as well as conduct risk, whistleblowing and regulatory reporting.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sims; Emma Sutcliffe

Other key lawyers:

Robert Turner


‘Robert Turner is recommended for when your back is up against the wall, and you need one of the biggest beasts in the forest to scare the other side or the FCA, he’s your lawyer. He oozes confidence, charm, statesmanship and ability. Someone for the biggest of cases.’

‘Richard Sims is really superb. He’s an excellent lawyer, he has an in depth knowledge of the FS market and its practices, he has a superb feel for how best to deal with the FCA when a client is facing a substantial investigation, and he produces superb documents’

‘Emma Sutcliffe is excellent. She’s got the fighting spirit of a samurai warrior, combined with the brains of a rocket-scientist’   

Slaughter and May

Known for domestic and cross-border regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, Slaughter and May acts for corporates, banks, insurers, exchanges, investment funds, asset managers and public bodies. The 'outstanding' Ewan Brown focuses on regulatory and governmental investigations, as well as a range of market abuse matters. He co-leads the practice with Deborah Finkler, who has experience in High Court litigation and foreign disputes, particularly investigations involving national and international regulatory and enforcement agencies. Also notable are disputes and investigations specialists Holly Ware and Jonathan Clark.

Practice head(s):

Ewan Brown; Deborah Finkler

Other key lawyers:

Holly Ware; Jonathan Clark


‘Strength and depth throughout the team – from partner down’

‘Quality of thought and approach’

‘Responsive, pragmatic and proactive – you want them on your side and not on the other side’

‘Ewan Brown is outstanding’

‘Holly Ware is excellent’

Key clients


Standard Chartered Bank

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

Bupa Insurance Services Limited

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USSL)

Deutsche Bank, A.G.

Work highlights

  • Conducting an independent review for the Board of TSB of the facts and circumstances leading up to issues that arose in 2018 when TSB migrated from a legacy IT platform.
  • Acting for Standard Chartered Bank in long-running investigations by the UK and US authorities into issues relating to AML and compliance with the US sanctions regime, which culminated in Standard Chartered agreeing in 2019 to pay a US$1.1 billion fine.
  • Advising JPMorgan in relation to various regulatory and governmental investigations (and related civil claims) into allegations of attempts to manipulate FX rates, including advising on the European Commission investigation, which resulted in a settlement decision issued in May 2019.

Stephenson Harwood

The 'absolutely top quality' Stephenson Harwood specialises in representing institutions and high profile individuals in regulatory investigations by UK and foreign authorities. In addition, the firm provides expertise in FSR criminal law and has an innovative cyber security team. Tony Woodcock leads the practice and is known for regulatory litigation, particularly in financial services and corporate crime. Also notable are ‘master-tacticianSean Jeffrey, who focuses on advising financial institutions and senior executives in complex investigations, litigation and insurance matters; and  Justin McClelland, whose experience includes the financial services, transport, construction, pharmaceuticals and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock

Other key lawyers:

Sean Jeffrey; Justin McClelland


‘If you’re facing an FCA investigation, you’d be mad not to have them at the top of your list’

‘One of the top contentious FS teams around’

‘Tony Woodcock is a class act. He provides excellent client service in both FCA and criminal matters. Hugely experienced, legally and strategically strong and devoted to his clients’

‘Tony Woodcock is one of the wisest and most experienced FS practitioners around. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about the FS market, and he knows FSMA and the Handbook backwards. He’s, rightly, the first port of call for many of the biggest companies, and many of the most prestigious senior managers, if and when the FCA points its guns at them. The fact that the FCA clearly has enormous respect for him is another major reason why people instruct him’

‘Sean Jeffrey is the full package. He’s extremely clever, clients love him, and he knows how to run difficult cases. He’s also outstanding when you need someone who knows the industry backwards, forwards and sideways. Deep knowledge of FCA regulatory matters – s166 & enforcement actions and ability to assist clients through challenging circumstances’

‘Sean Jeffrey has deep relevant legal expertise coupled with excellent stakeholder management’

Key clients

Affinion International Limited

Barclays Bank

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission


Insolvency Practitioners’ Association


Royal Bank of Scotland


Threadneedle Asset Management Limited

Towergate Underwriting Group Limited

Akin Gump LLP

The dedicated financial services regulatory team at Akin Gump LLP specialises in FCA and PRA matters, particularly those with a cross-border element. The group works closely with the non-contentious side to assist with regulatory compliance advice. The ‘professional and promptHelen Marshall leads the practice and is a ‘truly formidable presence who really understands how things work, in an extremely practical way’. Also notable is counsel Joe Hewton, who focuses on regulatory compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Helen Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Joe Hewton


‘I have always found and continue to find Akin Gump, by virtue of its partners, to be an absolutely excellent, legally astute and commercially aware practice’

‘Helen Marshall is a standout partner – highly intelligent, with immediate knowledge of the law applicable to her practice, as well as the practicalities of ensuring its implementation into a commercial environment, notwithstanding overarching regulatory or supervisory considerations’

‘I’ve worked with many regulatory orientated teams – across the magic circle and major US firms. I consider the team at Akin Gump to be outstanding’

‘The beauty of their approach is that it is both well-founded with the required expert technical basis, but at the same time practical and applied’

‘Their deep knowledge of the UK financial services regulatory landscape make them excellent advisers and advocates. They know how and when to push, and how hard.’

‘Their approach is never theoretical, or reliant on technicality, it is grounded in real life experience’

‘I can only describe Helen Marshall as outstanding. She brings the perfect blend of technical expertise and real life knowledge of how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) works. She is utterly determined, portrays immense confidence, and is prepared to stand-up to opposition in a very well considered way’

‘Joe Hewton is a rising star. Utterly calm and professional, with a tremendous work ethic. He pores over the smallest details and constructs intricate arguments. He is a reassuring, confident and encouraging presence’


Ashurst acts for banks and major corporates in a range of matters, notably those involving the FCA, the European Commission, the CMA, the FRC, and the Payment Systems Regulator. The firm also has experience in internal investigations related to senior managers. Financial institutions disputes expert Lynn Dunne leads the practice, which also includes Tom Connor, who focuses on regulatory disputes and enforcement matters, as well as internal and regulatory investigations for financial services clients. The team was boosted in 2019 by the arrival of Ruby Hamid, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and brings experience across a broad spectrum of regulatory and criminal issues.

Practice head(s):

Lynn Dunne

Other key lawyers:

Tom Connor; Ruby Hamid


‘Traditionally very strong financial services practice.’

‘Very strong across financial services litigation/contentious work.’

‘Tom Connor is absolutely top quality: thoughtful, responsive and commercially aware in applying his analysis to the transaction under discussion.’

The practice has an excellent reputation.’

‘David Capps is extremely diligent and willing to seek innovative and practical solutions for his clients.’


Key clients

Hargreave Hale Limited

Linear Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hargreave Hale Limited in relation to the ground-breaking FCA competition law investigation into four asset management firms.
  • Represented Linear Investments Limited in respect of the first ever FCA-focused resolution agreement.

Bivonas Law LLP

The 'professional, efficient and very knowledgeable' litigation boutique Bivonas Law LLP specialises in financial services regulatory, civil, criminal and commercial disputes. The firm advises corporate sector clients on complex regulatory investigations, notably FCA investigations, market abuse allegations and cross-border matters. Cindy Dorrington leads the practice and has expertise acting for individuals and companies in a range of investigations and enforcement proceedings. Also notable are Antony Brown, who has experience in multidisciplinary matters in the financial services sector; and John Bechelet, who focuses on civil fraud and regulatory litigation.

Practice head(s):

Cindy Dorrington

Other key lawyers:

John Bechelet; Antony Brown


‘Highly experienced and professional, their attention to clients is impeccable’

‘Antony Brown and John Bechelet are great team leaders. Antony is unique in his skills developing business and client attention; John is technically brilliant and he inspires the rest of the lawyers’

‘Cindy Dorrington, now managing partner, has excelled within the field of financial crime for the last 20 years’

‘Client care is to the fore and of paramount importance’

‘Bivonas Law works on finding solutions to a company or individual’s legal problems in a pragmatic, cost efficient way, always being flexible on fees but retaining their high standards’

‘We have worked with Cindy Dorrington for over 10 years on various matters and we have never been disappointed in the service we have received; she is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, professional but still very approachable’

‘We have always referred others to Cindy Dorrington. We will continue to do so and would highly recommend her to anyone that needs a genuine, experienced and hard working lawyer in London’

Brown Rudnick LLP

Brown Rudnick LLP has ‘some of the finest legal and tactical brains in this area', advising on contentious financial services matters and the powers of the FCA and PRA. The firm specialises in individual liability and the potential impact of the senior managers regime (SMCR) on enforcement. Acting for a range of institutions and senior individuals, Peter Bibby has a ‘virtually unrivalled pedigree in this field having held key roles in the FCA enforcement division and in private practice’. He leads a team that includes Chloe Pawson-Pounds, who focuses on FCA matters and represents clients through all stages of the investigation and enforcement process.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bibby

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Pawson-Pounds


‘Peter Bibby is very knowledgeable, thorough and determined.  He fights his client’s corner’

‘Peter Bibby is, in my view, the best contentious FS solicitor in London and should be the first choice for any client where the issues are complex and the stakes are very high’

‘Chloe Pawson-Pounds has excellent judgement and client care skills’

‘The team is involved in many high profile FCA Enforcement matters’

‘The team offer the full breadth of knowledge and experience and should be considered the go to firm in this area’

‘The team at Brown Rudnick are exceptionally responsive and they provide sound practical advice’

‘Peter Bibby has exceptional experience and insight in financial services regulation’


CMS has experience in a range of contentious regulatory matters, as well as the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR). Notable in the area is Alison McHaffie, who is a partner in the financial services and products team specialising in contentious regulatory work.

Other key lawyers:

Alison McHaffie

Corker Binning

Corker Binning specialises in multijurisdictional FCA investigations, acting primarily for individuals and providing a ‘superb mixture of criminal and regulatory experience'. The 'excellent team’ is led by Claire Cross, who has expertise across the spectrum of financial services regulatory and criminal investigations, including fraud, money laundering, insider dealing and breaches of SMCR. Also notable are Peter Binning, who is a former prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service and SFO; and David Corker, who has particular experience in large criminal fraud case undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office.

Practice head(s):

Claire Cross


‘Not only are they all lovely people, really pleasant and easy to work with and get on with on a personal level, they are all exceedingly good lawyers’

‘It is rare to find a firm with such a strong base of legal experience, knowledge and intelligence’

‘Nothing is too much trouble, and they are brilliant at anticipating what you need’

‘Claire Cross is wonderful – really easy to work with, her client care is exceptional. She is knowledgeable, down-to-earth and sensible, with deep experience of the way the regulators work.’

‘Claire Cross is a stand-out practitioner who has first class experience and is a wonderful tactician and a safe pair of hands.’

‘The CB team are one of a handful of go to boutique firms who undertake this type of work. Their partners and associates are excellent, responsive and knowledgeable. 

‘Claire Cross is a maestro of all FS related matters. Cool headed and dedicated’

‘Peter Binning has seen it all and can handle the big cases like no-one else’

Key clients

Andrew Pearse

John Varley

Work highlights

  • The team secured a case dismissal and full acquittal at appeal for John Varley, former CEO of Barclays Bank, who faced one of the SFO’s most significant and high-profile prosecutions. He was the most senior banker to have been charged with any offence arising from matters at the time of the financial crisis.’

DLA Piper

The broad practice at DLA Piper specialises in multijurisdictional matters, acting for global banks and insurers. The firm has expertise in commercial litigation, financial crime and tech sector cases. The ‘careful, pragmatic and tenaciousTony Katz co-leads the team alongside white collar head Sam Millar, who has experience in contentious regulatory work for financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Tony Katz; Sam Millar

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Sher


‘I was highly impressed by the litigation team I worked with’

‘My clear impression was of an operation staffed with smart and highly capable people who were always pleasant to work with and got the job done’

‘I would have no hesitation recommending the DLA  team’

‘It is difficult to think of any other firm I have enjoyed working with more in recent years, or found more impressive’

‘Tony Katz is a pleasure to work with and very clever, with good strategic insight. He is a very experienced hand at the tiller’

‘Jeremy Sher is exceptionally intelligent, experienced and well-versed in combative litigation. He is a clever tactician and seems to get on well with all members of his team and manage clients with aplomb’

‘Commercial and sensible with sound judgement – always a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Yu Group PLC

Thomas Kalaris

Dixons Carphone Plc

Work highlights

  • Appointed by Yu Group PLC to conduct an internal investigation into the events which led to accounting irregularities, including both a forensic accounting and factual analysis, and to represent the company in respect of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA”) investigation which the FCA then discontinued.
  • Acted as defence counsel to Mr Thomas Kalaris in respect of the Serious Fraud Office’s (“SFO”) prosecution of events relating to capital raisings by Barclays in June and October 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. The case was the largest value fraud case ever brought to trial by the SFO and DLA was successful in getting Mr Kalaris’ acquitted.
  • Advising Dixons Carphone Plc in one of the highest profile and most significant matters for the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) regarding an enforcement investigation into allegations that The Carphone Warehouse missold mobile phone insurance between 2008 and 2015.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The ‘pragmatic, commercial and available' Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ‘layers its support very well' and is 'led by a strong partner team’. The firm is experienced in financial crime matters, including anti-money laundering regulations, and is appointed to the FCA/PRA Skilled Person’s panel. Notable in the team are Matthew Allen, who is international head of the financial services sector group and co-head of financial services disputes and investigations globally; ‘stand out practitionerGregory Brandman, who specialises in regulatory investigations and representing financial institutions, senior managers and approved persons in FCA and PRA enforcement proceedings; and Jake McQuitty, who provides ‘outstanding client service', particularly in corporate investigations and regulatory enforcement.


‘Their service provision indicates they have really thought about service delivery from the client’s perspective – and are always open to new ideas and ways of working.Their bench strength is superior to others and their experience is broad’

‘Greg Brandman and Jake McQuitty carry great gravitas and provide excellent insights into the workings of the regulators’

‘Jake McQuitty in particular has a relentless drive for the detail, a huge brain, and an excellent engine.  His personal involvement has been transformational for the work we have done’

‘This practice can draw upon extensive experience of dealing up close with financial services regulatory disputes and investigations’

‘Greg Brandman is a highly experienced practitioner who is well known in the contentious regulatory field as a subject matter expert. He is also pleasant to deal with and has excellent client skills’

‘Jake McQuitty is noted both for his valuable in-house experience before joining the firm, and his energetic management style’

‘The team cover a good mix of retail and wholesale work and have a depth of practice’

‘The fact they have a number of people who previously worked in the FCA enforcement team gives them additional insight’


The ‘extremely professional' Fieldfisher specialises in market abuse, anti-money laundering and peer-to-peer lending matters, with particular expertise in acting for London metal exchange clients. Money laundering and market abuse expert Duncan Black leads the team and focuses on disputes, regulatory enforcement, disciplinary actions and internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Black


‘The team is comprised of individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds. This gives the team a unique ability to develop solutions that are pragmatic and bespoke to clients’ specific needs’

‘While the members of the team are very-detail oriented, they are able to see the bigger picture and apply common sense, which is particularly important when dealing with regulatory matters’

‘The scope of knowledge and expertise Duncan Black has in his field of practice is exceptional. But it is his ability to calmly and clearly deliver this knowledge to clients in the form of succinct and logically-structured advice that really makes him unique in the market. This ability combined with his pragmatic and down-to-earth approach makes him our first point of call whenever the need arises’

Key clients

Triland Metals Ltd

Currencies Direct

Open Access Finance Ltd

INTL FCStone Ltd

Starz Mortgage Capital Ltd

Cynergy Bank Ltd

Wilmington Trust (London) Ltd

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as administrator of Lendy Ltd

Verifone Inc

Triland Metals Ltd

Work highlights

  • Carrying out routine Anti Money Laundering checks on behalf of Starz Mortgage Capital Ltd into their customers.
  • Advised RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as administrator of Lendy Ltd on various regulatory issues arising out of their work as administrators of Lendy, the well-known peer-to-peer platform.
  • Acting for Cynergy Bank in routine anti money laundering checks.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Described by one client as a  ‘powerhouse in commercial and financial services litigationMayer Brown International LLP has experience in cross-border and domestic contentious regulatory matters, including sanctions, anti-bribery, money laundering and contentious regulatory insurance coverage issues. Susan Rosser focuses on disputes involving financial institutions, asset managers and investment advisers, particularly regulatory investigations, enforcement, anti-money laundering and corporate investigations. She co-leads the practice with Alistair Graham, who is known for advising on regulatory investigations, fraud and global asset tracing. The team was boosted in 2019 by the arrival of Chris Chapman from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, who brings expertise in internal and external investigations, as well as domestic and cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Susan Rosser; Alistair Graham

Other key lawyers:

Chris Chapman


‘A well-resourced and professional team which is very well organised and extremely reliable’

‘Alistair Graham is one of the best partners I have worked with, a big beast of the commercial/FS litigation world who has huge experience. Excellent judgement, and very good at driving the case forward’

‘Very strong client and team management skills’

‘Very charming and a pleasure to work with’

‘Chris Chapman is exceptionally user-friendly and knowledgeable.  An agile thinker who integrates seamlessly with the in-house team and pro-actively thinks about managing costs to deliver the most effective value-add’

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

The broad practice of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP provides experience in regulation, financial crime, insider trading and cross-border matters, particularly involving the US. The firm can also draw on expertise in fund management, wealth management and retail banking, as well as civil, tax and employment litigation. Melanie Ryan acts for financial institutions, financial services firms, and executives in a range of matters, including regulatory investigations, enforcement, fraud, corruption and tax issues. She co-leads the team with Chris Warren-Smith, who specialises in cross-border financial services sector investigations and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Ryan; Chris Warren-Smith


‘Morgan Lewis & Bockius well deserves its top flight reputation for commercial and financial services’

‘The legal analysis is excellent, they are all over the detail and most importantly they have very good judgement’

‘Melanie Ryan is totally focused on asking the right questions, appraising the nuance of the answer and advising the client without sugar-coating it. She really tests the arguments’

‘Chris Warren-Smith is at the top of his game professionally. He has a great intellect, a great sense of what will play in court, a wealth of experience and good judgement’

Key clients

Vanguard Asset Management

Ghana International Bank

Tenaron Capital Management UK LLP

Central Markets

Mizuho Bank



Manning & Napier Fund Inc. and Exeter Trust Co.

Charles Stanley & Company

Charles Taylor plc

Hewlett Packard Enterprises




The financial regulatory offering at RPC draws together a breadth of regulatory expertise and services to provide a multidisciplinary team. The practice has particular expertise in financial crime and insurance sector work. Jonathan Cary advises financial institutions, corporates and individuals in relation to enforcement actions by English and Hong Kong regulators, as well as in related internal investigations. He co-leads the team with Parham Kouchikali, who specialises in financial dispute resolution and regulatory investigations. Also notable is senior associate Lucy Kerr, who has experience defending financial services firms and senior management in relation to FCA enforcement actions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Cary; Parham Kouchikali

Other key lawyers:

Davina Given; Lucy Kerr


‘They provide a high quality service, and the firm’s approach to conflicts means they can be hugely useful allies in complicated cases involving the banks and the FCA’

‘Jonathan Cary really merits his reputation as a heavy hitter in this space.  His extensive cross border UK/Hong Kong experience and calm collected style has made him a really useful contact’

‘Davina Given is a brilliant lawyer.  She is calm, very analytical, well read and knowledgeable, but always focused on the outcome. She’s someone who never loses sight of the commercial side’

Key clients

Sports Direct International Plc

The Financial Times Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Sports Direct International in proceedings in the Court of Appeal in relation to a dispute with the Financial Reporting Council regarding the protection of SDI’s privileged material.
  • Conducted a privileged and independent investigation for the Financial Times into allegations of collusion between its journalists and investors in the German company Wirecard AG.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Advising financial institutions, corporates and professional services firms, Shearman & Sterling LLP has experience across a range of financial services disputes work, including financial fraud and contentious regulatory matters. The firm also has expertise in white collar and serious economic crime, as well as related compliance and regulatory issues. Barney Reynolds  is global head of the firm's wider financial services industry group and has experience of investigation and enforcement matters. Also notable is the ‘determined, resilient and enthusiasticThomas Donegan.

Practice head(s):

Barney Reynolds


‘Great client service is a key differentiator and they go to great lengths to make sure the services they provide are consistent, engaging and timely’

‘Clear protocols which allow them to manage clients’ expectations, which cover, pricing, delivery and information updates as well as warnings of any potential delays’

‘Show significant compassion for their clients’ problems and authentically, genuinely, want to help resolve the problem’

‘Excellent communication skills including the ability to listen’

‘Extremely assertive but not aggressive, in that they state their opinions and make themselves heard, while remaining respectful of others’

‘Thomas Donegan has great commercial awareness. He is strategic in his planning, often combining legal strategy with wider case planning and complementary advice to solve a problem’

‘Strong technical skills’

Key clients

Certain bondholders in, and the creditors’ committee of, London Capital & Finance

ICE (Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.)

Work highlights

  • Advising certain bondholders and the creditors’ committee of London Capital & Finance plc in relation to claims for compensation and in the administration of London Capital & Finance plc. This is one of the biggest UK financial institution failures in recent history and involves a major scandal of significant public interest.
  • Representing ICE Benchmark Administration Limited and other subsidiaries (collectively, as defendants in a consolidated antitrust putative class action in the Southern District of New York.

Travers Smith LLP

The 'superb' Travers Smith LLP combines regulatory knowledge with dispute resolution expertise. The firm is particularly known for multijurisdictional matters, commercial court cases and anti-trust investigations. The practice has experience with a broad range of regulatory investigations, including those conducted by the FCA, SFO, HMRC, Department of Justice and EU Commission. Rob Fell leads the team and specialises in complex commercial cases in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division, as well as sensitive internal and regulatory investigations. Also notable is Stephanie Lee, who focuses on banking and financial services litigation and regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Rob Fell


‘Experts in the art of litigation, whether that is commercial litigation, banking litigation or competition litigation’

‘Rob Fell has an established reputation in contentious regulatory matters’

‘Stephanie Lee has done extensive work in this area’

‘Stephen Paget-Brown is a very experienced practitioner’

‘Top quality work’

‘Rob Fell is absolutely superb, and runs a team on a big case beautifully. He’s an incredibly experienced FS litigator, and has a detailed knowledge of both the market and the law in this area’

‘Ed Hardman is a terrific associate on whom one can depend entirely. He’s an excellent lawyer, he’s terrifically clever, he’s got an in-depth knowledge of FSMA and the FCA Handbook, and he’s a brilliant and invaluable team member’

Key clients


White & Case LLP

The multi-disciplinary global financial institutions practice of White & Case LLP can draw on contentious regulatory teams in Europe, the US and Asia to provide clients with a global offering. The firm has particular expertise advising on multijurisdictional market abuse cases. The team includes ‘strong and effective advocateChris Brennan, who specialises in regulatory enquiries, investigations and enforcement actions; and associate Zeena Saleh, who acts for financial institutions, other corporates and individuals in a range of contentious regulatory matters.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Brennan; Zeena Saleh


‘Chris Brennan has excellent practical knowledge. Totally responsive. Understands and addresses client concerns. Willing to undertake challenging issues’


WilmerHale specialises in FCA-related enforcement actions, with particular expertise representing senior executives facing regulatory exposure. The firm has experience handling cases involving a range of authorities and regulators, including the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Reporting Counsel, the New York Department of Financial Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Australian financial regulator. Stephen Pollard leads the team and is known for FCA matters. He can call on the expertise of counsel David Rundle, who focuses on financial crime and regulatory enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pollard

Other key lawyers:

David Rundle

Withers LLP

Withers LLP focuses on acting for senior executive and non-executive clients in the FCA and PRA regulated sector, including chief executives of public and private companies and owner managers of LLPs. The firm is also active in cases involving accountants and accountancy profession regulators, the FRC and ICAEW. Harvey Knight leads the team and has broad financial services contentious experience, with particular expertise in PRA and FCA enforcement cases involving individuals.

Practice head(s):

Harvey Knight


‘Hugely committed to the client’ 

‘Will go the extra mile’

‘Harvey Knight has extensive experience representing clients before the Upper Tribunal, an area in which many firms are lacking’

‘Harvey Knight is tenacious in the defence of individual clients and gets results’

Key clients

Andrew Tinney, former Chief Operating Officer of Barclays Wealth

Work highlights

  • Acting for Andrew Tinney, former Chief Operating Officer of Barclays Wealth, successfully clearing him of any serious wrongdoing  that would have prevented him from taking on future roles in the sector.

Addleshaw Goddard

Primarily acting for corporates, Addleshaw Goddard provides an ‘excellent breadth and depth of experience’. The firm has particular expertise in internal investigations and whistleblowing matters, as well as banking litigation, financial regulation and asset management. Nichola Peters is head of the global investigations team and specialises in financial crime and civil/regulatory/controls breaches. She co-leads the practice with the ‘excellentDavid Pygott, who advises across the spectrum of FCA investigations, including regulatory disciplinary matters, alleged market abuse, insider dealing and twin track cases. Also notable is Sarah Thomas, who was promoted to partner in 2020 and advises on whistleblowing and the senior managers and certification regime.

Practice head(s):

Nichola Peters; David Pygott

Other key lawyers:

Ben Koehne; Sarah Thomas


‘Complete and seamless joined-upness between specialist teams’

‘The ability to produce concise advice notes in short timescales is extremely helpful’

‘David Pygott has a very obvious enthusiasm for dispute resolution law, and is able to combine this with a wealth of experience in the area to solve complex problems’

‘Ben Koehne is a pragmatic and solution focused individual who demonstrates excellent collaboration skills to find the best outcome for his clients’

‘David Pygott has phenomenal knowledge of financial services regulation; close attention to detail; is devoted to client service; and determined to get as good a result as possible’ 

‘The team understands that advice needs to be clear and translatable for non-lawyers’

‘David Pygott and Sarah Thomas are bright, personable and give succinct advice’

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s integrated contentious and non-contentious financial services practice covers a range of compliance and investigation matters, with particular experience in money laundering and cross-border cases. Jonathan Peddie focuses on the banking and financial services sector, in relation to corporate investigations, regulatory enforcement, financial crime and criminal litigation. He co-leads the practice with Mark Simpson, who is known for financial regulation, financial crime and regulatory investigations. Also notable are Philip Annett, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP in 2019 and brings knowledge of working with UK regulators, having been a senior lawyer in the enforcement division at the FCA; and Caitlin McErlane, who joined from Sidley Austin LLP in 2019 and specialises in advising alternative fund managers on the regulations affecting their trading strategies.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Peddie; Mark Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Philip Annett; Caitlin McErlane


‘Thorough and commercial – the range of experience across the team is impressive’

‘Their insights into this sphere of the law are valued and of great assistance when engaging with the Board’

‘Jonathan Peddie sets the tone from the top, and is an exceptional leader. He’s the epitome of a trusted adviser: great strategic thinking combined with deep industry as well as domain expertise. You always know Jonathan has your back, and each interaction with him and the team inspires trust and confidence in equal measure. I would recommend him on any financial services matter without reservation’

‘Philip Annett is a consummate professional and his strategic knowledge in complex matters is a tremendous asset’

‘They work as a really cohesive unit, and have a great blend of skills and experience that enables them to support clients through issues in a holistic way – not just focusing on narrow legal points’

‘They have done this stuff for real and apply that experience thoughtfully to deliver optimal outcome for clients, and always in a way that inspires confidence’

‘They’re not just really smart people, with outstanding legal skills – this is a team with exceptional EQ and empathy for the client. In my experience, this makes them stand out head and shoulders above other firms in this area’


Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP

The 'really excellent and unique' Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP is a 'fantastic litigation firm' specialising in acting for institutional and retail clients in payments services issues and contentious broker work. Notable in the area is the 'dynamic and experienced' Stephen Elam, who has a particular focus on financial services and banking disputes, as well as contentious regulatory matters.


‘The team are very clever and efficient – things get done and done in a thoughtful way. They inspire trust and the individuals are bright, thoughtful and very easy to work with’

‘CYK act fiercely in our best interests as a payments firm and we were very happy with the outcome’

‘Stephen Elam is a standout partner and our primary contact at CYK. Not only is he incredibly intelligent and produces excellent work, but he is also very personable, has great humility and willingness and ability to listen to his client’

‘Technically and strategically, CYK have the presence and profile to command attention. They are nuanced and clever, cost-effective compared to their peers’

‘More of a powerhouse than a boutique these days. Everybody invests themselves personally in their cases, and the client receives a great service’

‘Rosie Wild is clever, dynamic and ambitious. Lydia Danon is charming, no nonsense and cuts to the quick’

‘Sam Roberts is very bright and creative and works hard to extract the best points for his clients’

‘Liam McNeely is a true brain and highly practical’ 

Fox Williams LLP

Fox Williams LLP acts in a range of complex FCA supervisory and enforcement enquiries and interventions. The firm has experience advising on FCA skilled persons appointments in the pensions transfer sector, anti-money laundering matters and internal misconduct investigations, as well as providing expertise in compliance with the Remuneration Code and corporate governance issues. Peter Wright focuses on financial services regulatory work and co-leads the practice with James Carlton, who is known for acting on financial crime, regulation and disciplinary investigations. Also notable are Sona Ganatra, who has a particular specialism in advising on systems and controls failures and financial crime; and senior associate Sebastian Sayer, who joined from the FCA in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wright; James Carlton

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Sayer; Sona Ganatra


‘The firm is a strong team of professionals’

‘We always receive the best outcome delivered in a way that we know is suitable for our business’

‘Peter Wright is outstanding at what he does. He is a great lawyer as he is careful and considerate with genuinely excellent interpersonal skills. His knowledge of Financial Services is built on his vast experience particularly working with the regulator’

‘The Fox Williams team has strength and depth acting for executives and other individuals is some of the most complex regulatory cases in the field’

‘Peter Wright is one of the best FS lawyers I work with.  He is a rare combination of being technically strong and tactically astute and this makes him the obvious choice for a client where the issues are complex and the stakes are high’

‘Great to work with, very knowledgeable and user friendly’

‘Good personal service, I was able to contact the partners to speak to them in person’

Gowling WLG

The ‘approachable and helpfulGowling WLG has experience across a range of contentious regulatory matters, including those relating to LIBOR and FX. The firm also provides expertise in FCA and PRA authorisation, supervision, enforcement and the regulatory aspects of Fintech. Practice head James Sidwell acts in corporate and financial services litigation, as well as fraud and asset tracing, contentious trusts and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

James Sidwell

Other key lawyers:

Verity Barker; Sophia Khan


‘From partners to junior solicitors, everyone is keen to work constructively and to find ways of making their clients’ lives easier’

‘James Sidwell has a practical, straightforward, no-nonsense attitude to litigation, combined with an easy and charming manner’

‘Verity Barker is very clever, completely on top of detail, and meticulously organised, but wears it all very lightly: she’s a pleasure to work with’

‘Their preparation for carrying out interviews was meticulous and they took great care to ensure that the witness statements were clear and accurate’

‘Their performance was first class’

‘James Sidwell is calm, level-headed and highly experienced in commercial and regulatory matters’

‘Verity Barker has an excellent eye for detail and is hard-working, careful and thorough’

‘Sophia Khan was highly efficient’

Key clients

First Peninsula Trustees Limited and Port of Hercules Trustees Limited

Grant Thornton LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for two corporate trustees in high-value, multi-jurisdictional litigation arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme fraud.
  • Instructed to advise certain individuals at Grant Thornton LLP, the liquidators of Stanford Bank, following the collapse of Stanford Bank which led to the second biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP acts in the spectrum of financial services contentious cases, including criminal, civil and regulatory matters. The firm has ‘expertise in criminal law', particularly in defending individuals. The practice also has a focus on early intervention work and advising corporates and individuals on SMCR. Louise Hodges specialises in FCA regulatory investigations, financial crime and fraud. She co-leads the team with Jill Lorimer, who is known for advising individuals facing investigation and prosecution for insider dealing and market abuse.

Practice head(s):

Louise Hodges; Jill Lorimer

Other key lawyers:

Philip Salvesen; Sandra Paul


‘Good financial services practice, particularly in relation to FCA regulatory/disciplinary issues’

‘Louise Hodges is a star. Knowledgeable, feisty and compassionate and leads a good team’

‘Sandra Paul is experienced in dealing with stressful situations’

‘Louise Hodges and Jill Lorimer are both experts at FS investigations’

‘Philip Salvesen is an excellent associate who completely masters the detail of complex cases’

‘Excellent understanding of the regulatory framework, very responsive and commercially switched on’

‘Jill Lorimer has huge experience in the cross-over between financial crime and financial services regulatory work’

‘A highly competent and experienced team, who can turn their hands to anything in this sector’


Osborne Clarke LLP

Acting for financial institutions, consumer credit and alternative lender clients, Osborne Clarke LLP has experience in a range of regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, with particular expertise in claims arising from data breaches and allegations of mis-selling of financial products. Rachel Couter leads the team and specialises in financial services regulatory investigations and banking and financial markets litigation. Also notable is Tom Ellis, who focuses on fraud, financial services regulatory work and investigations for individuals and corporate clients.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Couter

Other key lawyers:

Tom Ellis


‘This firm is making real inroads into the contentious FS space’

‘This firm should be on everyone’s watch list’

Key clients

HSBC plc / Financial Conduct Authority

Gain Credit LLC

Wirecard Solutions AG

Business Banking Resolution Service

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act with the approval of the FCA as the Independent Skilled Person under s166 FSMA 2000 in the HSBC customer redress review relating to the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products (IRHPs).
  • Appointed by the Business Banking Resolution Service to consider and provide assurance and / or raise comment, from the perspective of the SME Representatives (a key group of stakeholders involved in the establishment of the SME Dispute Resolution Service), on the design and establishment of the SME Dispute Resolution Service, following the recommendations of the Walker Review.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP has experience advising corporates and individuals on internal and regulator led investigations. The firm acts for traders, brokers and submitters at international financial institutions, in matters relating to insider dealing and market abuse. Practice head Michael O’Kane leads a team that includes regulatory head Hannah Laming, who is a former FSA prosecutor and has expertise in FCA matters, particularly cross-border issues; and Neil Swift, who is known for financial crime and regulatory work.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Kane


‘They are market leaders in this area, and we work with them very regularly on financial services sector regulatory and discipline issues’

‘They are incredibly knowledgeable, down-to-earth and accessible’

‘They are very pragmatic in their approach’

‘They have a very deep bench strength in this area, with consistently excellent lawyers in the team’

‘It’s their strength in depth, their collective intellect, and their expertise in cross-border issues that makes them particularly stand out’

‘In particular Neil Swift, Hannah Laming, Nick Vamos and Jonathan Tickner are standout members of the team’

Key clients

Walid Choucair

Work highlights

  • Peters & Peters acts for Walid Choucair, a trader who was prosecuted for insider dealing by the FCA in the only such prosecution since 2016. This prosecution was a result of a joint investigation by the FCA with the NCA.  A key feature of the case was the FCA’s compliance with their duty to disclose material in support of Mr Choucair’s defence.

Reed Smith LLP

The ‘professional and responsiveReed Smith LLP’s experience covers FCA, HMRC and Financial Reporting Council investigations, as well as money laundering allegations, PPI mis-selling and market abuse matters. The firm also has expertise in the energy and commodities area. Robert Falkner specialises in regulatory enforcement, general regulatory and compliance advice. He co-leads the practice with Charles Hewetson, who focuses on regulatory financial services disputes, professional negligence claims and general commercial litigation. Notable in the team is ‘super starDouglas Cherry, who has particular strength in responding to FCA and PRA enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Falkner; Charles Hewetson

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Cherry


‘A strong practice, particularly at partner level’

‘Douglas Cherry is a formidable regulatory lawyer and excels at client service. He is a delight to work with’

‘Practical advice given expeditiously and most important always accessible’

‘They are my most trusted advisers and I seek their opinions on a wide range of subjects even outside their disciplines. I trust them’

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP has particular experience advising where data protection and London Stock Exchange and FCA regulation meet. The firm acts for financial services companies in relation to data security, ICO and FCA regulatory matters. The practice has particular expertise advising the private banking and wealth management sectors on regulatory reporting requirements. Andrew Howell advises on commercial and corporate disputes, notably in the financial services and professional services sectors. He co-leads the team with Charlotte Hill, who specialises in the PRA and FCA, as well as advising on EU directives and regulations; and Laurence Lieberman, who acts for banks, asset managers, wealth managers and senior executives in the financial services industry.

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Broom; Julian Randall; Tim Strong


‘Julian Randall has unrivalled experience of dealing with the Financial Reporting Council, and also has real gravitas and objectivity – a great person to have in your corner in a hard fight.’

‘Stuart Broom has a mastery of the detail and extreme dedication and commitment.’

‘The team delivers a truly outstanding service.’

Stuart Broom is an up-and-coming of counsel who will go very far. Never afraid of addressing the details of any case.’

Key clients


Professor Russel Griggs

Work highlights

  • Act for Deloitte in relation to FRC proceedings into audits of Autonomy Corporation plc and in relation to related litigation taking place between Hewlett Packard and former Autonomy management.
  • Act for Professor Griggs in his role as the Independent Reviewer of a redress scheme set up by Lloyds Banking Group in relation to SME customers impacted by the criminal fraud that took place in the Impaired Assets Office of the Reading branch of Halifax Bank of Scotland.


The ‘highly respectedTLT acts for banks, building societies and financial services providers on regulatory issues and matters involving the FCA, PRA, CMA and the ICO. The firm has particular experience handling payment fraud, remediation projects, allegations of irresponsible lending and a range of enforcement proceedings. Practice head Russell Kelsall has contentious and non-contentious financial services expertise, with a particular focus on consumer credit, regulated mortgages, regulated products and payment services. His team was boosted in 2019 by the arrivals of Angela Hayes from King & Spalding LLP and Robin Penfold from Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Russell Kelsall


‘The team always goes out of their way to assist and also to think outside the box’

‘Russell Kelsall is pragmatic even in complicated scenarios’

‘James Chadwick is very knowledgeable and a very good litigator’

‘Paula Twist is especially good with balancing the many cases we throw her way’

‘Roisin McGlinn has had to deal with a fair few unsavoury matters and always handles them well’

‘Excellent experience and expertise in financial services regulation – particularly consumer credit and mortgage regulation’

‘Russell Kelsall is one of the leading experts on consumer credit regulation and very much the go to person for practical advice in a highly complex legal area’

‘Robin Penfold and Emily Morton have extensive experience on mortgage regulation and are firmly establishing themselves as experts in this sector, providing insights at both an industry and client-level’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

UK Asset Resolution (including Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley & Mortgage Express)

Coutts & Co

Vanquis Bank Limited

Together Money


Ulster Bank Group

FCE Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Advising on a significant potential remediation of customers who did not receive notices of sums in arrears under Section 86C of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Involved in advising high-cost short-term credit providers and home credit providers on approach to complaints, drafting responses to the FOS on test cases, successfully defending claims alleging irresponsible lending and advising firms on their approach to these issues with the FCA.


The regulatory disputes practice at Dentons has ‘real strength in depth' and is 'able to find the right individual for the right job'. The firm acts for foreign-owned banks operating in the UK, banking clients facing cross-border regulatory and compliance issues, asset management and foreign exchange clients. In addition, the department is instructed by the FCA, Financial Services Compensation Scheme and various financial institutions, particularly in relation to multijurisdictional matters. Practice head Celyn Armstrong advises on a range of contentious regulatory issues, including FCA and PRA enforcement investigations, section 166 skilled person reviews, internal investigations and remediation exercises.

Practice head(s):

Celyn Armstrong


‘The team has an extraordinary wealth of contentious financial regulatory experience, with a real understanding of both the in-house and regulators’ points of view, which makes them extremely well placed to give top quality advice to firms and regulators alike’

‘Richard Caird is one of the most skilled and experienced litigators in the City, whose judgement is to be trusted implicitly’

‘Katherine Harle is incredibly bright and fearlessly tenacious’

‘A very strong team of associates whose great technical ability means the team can be trusted to deal with the most complex legal issues, with the benefit of sound strategic management from the partners’

‘They have a can-do attitude and are focused on solutions driven outcomes’

‘Stand out partners and associates are Eleanor Hart for her expertise on regulatory issues and Faye Garvey for her commercial expertise and sheer hard work’

‘The team has a broad range of experience and strong partnerships with colleagues around the world’

‘Natalie Fludra has good experience in internal financial services investigations, attention to detail and an approachable manner’

Key clients

Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”)

Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited (“FSCS”)

Société Générale

UK Government – Finance and Complex Legal Services Panel

Interactive Brokers

Hickman & Rose

Combining white collar criminal and professional regulatory law expertise, Hickman & Rose specialises in representing company directors and senior executives in financial services investigations. The firm gets ‘superb results for its clients'. The ‘formidable’ regulatory law expert Andrew Katzen leads the team and is ‘incredibly technically and tactically astute’. Also notable is Ben Rose, who focuses on criminal and regulatory matters, as well as handling multijurisdictional investigations.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Katzen

Other key lawyers:

Ben Rose; Ross Dixon


‘This firm are making serious inroads into the FS contentious space’

‘They bring strength and depth of experience in the business and regulatory crime arena which combines well with their increasing presence in high profile FCA investigations’

‘They are a firm to watch out for’

‘Andrew Katzen is an exceptional lawyer. Not only does he possess encyclopaedic knowledge of his field, but he has an empathy which is vitally important given the stresses which clients are typically under when subject to criminal or regulatory investigations’

‘Andrew Katzen is warm-hearted and has a wry sense of humour, and is generous with his time’

‘Market leaders for representation of individuals in a white-collar and corporate crime context’

‘Ben Rose is tactically brilliant, superb with the clients’

‘Ross Dixon is passionate and committed, an excellent solicitor’

Key clients

Stephen Chamberlain

Work highlights

  • Acting for Stephen Chamberlain in relation to FRC action stemming from a $8.8billion deal.. This is an extremely large, serious and challenging case before the FRC involving a vast amount of data and complex accounting issues.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP acts across a range of investigations by regulators, with particular expertise in the UK and US . Aaron Stephens represents financial services clients in contentious regulatory cases involving  the FCA, PRA and SFO, including investigations, enforcement and cross border matters. He co-leads the team with Robert Dedman, who is a former head of enforcement at the Bank of England and PRA. Angela Hayes left for TLT in 2019 and Gareth Rees departed for Morrison & Foerster LLP in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Stephens; Robert Dedman


‘A major player in the UK and US for financial services.’

‘Aaron Stephens is the guru on spoofing and other highly topical FS matters. Exceptional on cross-border matters.’


Key clients

Deutsche Bank


Work highlights

  • Representing Deutsche Bank on a transatlantic basis to defend it against multibillion-dollar follow-on damages actions over alleged manipulation of FX rates.
  • Representing Halkbank in ongoing parallel DOJ and OFAC sanctions investigations concerning allegations of violations of Iranian sanctions.


Acting for individuals and institutions, Milbank provides transatlantic contentious regulatory expertise, particularly in relation to FCA investigations. The ‘technically strong, very practical and strategic’ team is led by Julian Stait, who specialises in the resolution of business and regulatory disputes. Also notable are Charles Evans, who has experience in investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings; and William Charles, who was promoted to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Julian Stait

Other key lawyers:

Charles Evans; William Charles


‘Fantastic reputation for handling adeptly the most complex and sensitive financial services investigations and disputes’

‘Charles Evans is deservingly considered one of the leading contentious financial services lawyers in the market. He has tremendous knowledge of the way regulators think, will fight his client’s corner hard when needed but is practical and a delight to deal with’

‘Julian Stait, Charles Evans and Will Charles are all outstanding’

‘A Rolls Royce service, intimate knowledge of the organisation and impressive availability’

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP advises banks and financial services providers on high-stakes investigations and corporate compliance, including cases involving the FCA, PRA and foreign regulatory authorities, particularly the US. Arun Srivastava leads the team and assists regulated firms comply with evolving regulatory obligations, particularly in relation to innovation in the Fintech space and cross-border matters. Also notable is senior associate Nina Moffatt, who joined in 2019 and focuses on advising a range of clients on regulatory requirements across Europe.

Practice head(s):

Arun Srivastava

Other key lawyers:

Nina Moffatt


‘The firm has one of the best financial services teams in the sector and Arun Srivastava has encyclopaedic knowledge of financial services regulation. He is capable of dealing with regulators to sort of clients issues. He is very hands on and good with clients.’


Key clients

QuickQuid (CashEuroNet)

Park First

Landesbank Baden Württemberg (LBBW)

American Express


Work highlights

  • Represent Park First in an FCA enforcement case in matters relating to allegations that it had carried out FCA regulated activities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 without appropriate licences.  Also defending a £230 million claim brought by the FCA in the High Court for breach of FSMA seeking orders for compensation for investors.
  • Advised LBBW in the legal dispute between LBBW and UBS over a Single Tranche Collateralised Debt Obligation / Swaps Contract in legal proceedings involving claims of £300 million.
  • Advised QuickQuid, a leading payday lender, on FCA liabilities and issues relating to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  Involved in advising our client on FCA issues raised in connection with mass customer complaints and allegations around breaches of the FCA affordability rules.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The 'experienced, personable and innovative' Pinsent Masons LLP is a 'go to firm for this specialist area', providing expertise in a range of contentious regulatory matters. The firm also has strength advising on remediation schemes work. Colin Read leads the practice and has a particular focus on issues related to the insurance and wealth management sectors. Also notable in the team is the ‘outstanding’ senior associate Jonathan Cavill, who ‘goes the extra mile for his clients, and more’.

Practice head(s):

Colin Read

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Cavill


‘This team has a strong ability to deliver in financial services litigation but with a good eye on regulatory compliance’

‘Great understanding of the market and regulators and what is on the horizon’

‘Good breadth in the team to ensure the right level role deals with the work’

‘Colin Read is an excellent relationship partner with impressive knowledge and skills’

‘Jonathan Cavill is a superb lawyer who has his finger on the pulse of the market and the regulators’

‘Great understanding of the business to ensure tailored and appropriate advice’

‘Innovative, careful, knowledgeable, good to work with’

‘Jonathan Cavill is absolutely exceptional in the area of FS disputes. His knowledge of the industry is extremely impressive, as is the depth of his knowledge of the FCA Handbook – he’s a true expert. He is also an excellent communicator, he produces first-rate documents, and is monumentally hard-working’

Key clients



Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP applies ‘multijurisdictional strength and effective management of litigation’ to representing organisations and individuals, as well as conducting internal investigations. The firm also provides international regulatory expertise, particularly in the US. Practice head Ben Bruton joined the London team in 2019 from the firm’s Middle East dispute resolution and investigations practice. He brings public and private sector litigation experience. Also notable is senior associate Bibi Sarraf-Yazdi, who focuses on contentious regulatory matters, white collar crime and complex litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Ben Bruton

Other key lawyers:

Bibi Sarraf-Yazdi


‘A team that remains extremely focused and is quite compact compared to peers’

‘The standout feature for me is that this is a firm who ensure that their matter teams remain of a size where you do not have the feeling of emailing a large community forum. Part of the secret of that lies in lawyers who make themselves available at short notice and guide matters effectively even when tied up elsewhere’

‘Ben Bruton is without question a premier international litigator and should be ranked in this field. He has outstanding judgement and works to achieve strong results through outstanding attention to detail and strategy’

‘Bibi Sarraf-Yazdi will be a star of the future. Exceptional ability to understand and analyse the breadth and depth of a case on both a technical and human level’

‘The team have been personable, great at communicating, supportive and a pleasure to work with’