Gayathri Kamalanathan > Slaughter and May > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Slaughter and May

Living Wage

Work Department

Disputes, Global Investigations, Litigation, Arbitration, Financial Regulation



Gayathri has extensive experience of handling complex domestic and cross-border investigations and litigation. She has more than a decade of leading edge experience from senior in-house roles at banks as well as over 9 years in private practice advising corporates and financial institutions across a broad spectrum of contentious regulatory, litigation and arbitration matters.

Most recently, Gayathri was Head of Group Litigation and Enforcement at Danske Bank in Copenhagen where she played a lead role in managing the bank’s ongoing investigations by regulators and criminal prosecutors in multiple jurisdictions including in relation to its former Estonian branch. Prior to that, Gayathri was UK Head of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement for Deutsche Bank, managing a broad range of litigation matters and cross border regulatory investigations, including in relation to LIBOR.

Gayathri is listed in Global Investigation Review’s Top 100 Women in Investigations 2021, was nominated for Rising Star In-House Counsel of the year (2018) in the Legal 500’s Legal Business Awards and was included in the Financial News’ 40 under 40 Rising Stars in Legal Services, 2013.


Joined firm 2021. Partner since 2021.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium

The ‘highly strategic and knowledgeable‘ disputes and investigations group at Slaughter and May is known for handling a range of high value, cross-border and multiparty disputes. With the firm’s notable strength in M&A, the group frequently advises clients on transactional disputes and corporate fallout and also has ‘immense experience of financial disputes‘. The practice is increasingly developing expertise in class and group actions (for which Camilla Sanger and the ‘extremely smart and commercialEfstathios Michael are among the names to note); it also handles competition follow-on damages claims ,which are among Jonathan Clark and Holly Ware‘s areas of focus. Other names to note include financial services sector specialist Deborah Finkler, Damian Taylor (who counts contractual, competition, fraud and insurance disputes among his areas of expertise), and corporate litigator James Stacey. Following Sarah Lee’s retirement, the ‘very strategic litigatorRichard Swallow leads the team. Gayathri Kamalanathan joined from Danske Bank and Peter Wickham, who is strong for energy and natural resources disputes, was promoted to the partnership. Megan Sandler and Smriti Sriram are among the senior associates to note.

London > Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail

Slaughter and May‘s disputes and investigations team includes ‘superb litigators with vast experience of handling difficult banking cases‘. It counts litigation related to structured products and financial derivatives among its areas of expertise. Richard Swallow leads the team, Deborah Finkler (who is experienced in investigative and enforcement actions), Jonathan Clark, Camilla Sanger and Richard Jeens are other names to note; all of which have a breadth of experience acting for financial institutions. The group benefits from the arrivals of Gayathri Kamalanathan, who joined from Danske Bank and adds significant in-house experience, and senior counsel Angela Taylor from Travers Smith LLP, who has a breadth of contentious expertise. Other changes include the promotion of the ‘formidablePeter Wickham to partner and Sarah Lee’s retirement.

London > Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates)

Praised for its ‘360-degree service’, Slaughter and May’s recent track record includes acting on some of the longest-running, high-profile fraud and corruption investigations conducted by the SFO. In addition, the team is adept at handling internal investigations for multinational companies, prominent financial institutions, and government and public sector bodies. For more demanding assignments, clients also benefit from the firm’s dedicated legal tech team, which is particularly helpful for document reviews and e-disclosure; a legal project manager is also often involved in coordinating investigations. The group stands out for its cross-border work; with disputes and investigations practice head Richard Swallow singled out for being ‘extremely smart, tough-minded and strategic’ – skills he successfully utilises in multi-jurisdictional investigations conducted by the SFO, the DOJ and other authorities overseas. The practice has seen a number of significant changes over the last year.  Former practice head Sarah Lee retired from the partnership at the end of 2020, with the firm hiring senior counsel Angela Taylor from Travers Smith LLP at the same time. The global investigations group is now jointly led by Jonathan Cotton (‘hugely experienced and wise’) and Ewan Brown (‘frighteningly bright’). Tim Blanchard was promoted to partner in May 2020, while Ella Williams has been a senior counsel since November 2020. Gayathri Kamalanathan joined the firm from a bank in April 2021, but is already garnering praise for her deep understanding of the financial services sector.