Financial Services Investigations

"They have extremely good judgement when it comes to criminal matters. They have vast experience in crime at all levels - whether it's financial or something with a regulatory dimension or a civil dimension, they can deal with it and provide all round advice."

Chambers and Partners 2017

In recent years, the Financial Services industry has seen record levels of fines and an increase in prohibitions and restrictions against individuals and companies for regulatory misconduct and disciplinary breaches. Long custodial sentences have been imposed on individuals who have been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing. 

Individual responsibility and accountability is at the forefront of the government and regulators’ mission for cultural change in the finance industry.  The finance sector and, in particular, individuals who work within it will continue to be very much the target for regulatory, disciplinary and criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The complexities of financial services regulation and investigation can ensnare even the most cautious company or individual.  The potential consequences of an adverse regulatory finding or criminal proceedings are devastating.  We provide intelligent and tactical representation at this crucial time by defending the accusations and mitigating the risks.

We have an established and highly experienced team of lawyers representing individuals and companies from all aspects of the financial and commercial world. Our clients include senior management in banks, accountants, accountancy firms, hedge fund managers, traders, senior corporate management, independent financial advisers, mortgage brokers, investors and company advisers. We have acted in investigations for criminal or regulatory offences including market abuse, market manipulation, insider dealing, fraud and breaches of the principles for business and approved persons.

Investigations in the financial services sector may be conducted by a number of agencies. These agencies include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but also the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), City of London Police (CoLP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and a wealth of other agencies from overseas. 

We also regularly advise accountants and firms who are subject to investigation by their regulatory body, including the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

The FCA has powers to investigate companies and individuals, whether they are in the financial regulated sector or not.  It has significant investigation, prosecution and regulatory powers.

The FCA works closely with other organisations both at home and abroad to combat market misconduct and financial crime, in particular the SFO, CoLP, the US Department of Justice, the Securities Exchange Commission and the various European and international prosecutors and financial regulators.

With a proven track record in litigation and regulation, and a wealth of experience representing those accused of criminal, regulatory or disciplinary misconduct (and sometimes all three at the same time), we are uniquely placed to advise in relation to such investigations and prosecutions.

We are experienced in representing individuals who find themselves arrested and interviewed in a police station, subject to search warrants or have their funds frozen by restraint orders.  Our lawyers provide strategic and pragmatic advice in financial regulatory and criminal investigations, in circumstances where there is often a complex dynamic between dealing with the FCA and/or overseas authorities and professional regulatory or employment issues.

We are used to understanding and analysing highly complex financial transactions, working in conjunction with others where necessary, including experts, accountants and international lawyers.

Our unique combination of expertise in criminal, regulatory, professional disciplinary and employment investigations enables us to give clear and pragmatic advice in complex matters in often urgent and stressful circumstances.

"The country's premier niche white-collar firm. They're very savvy and understand how the corporate world works."

Chambers UK, 2017

"Real expertise across all levels, well led and offering practical advice with no histrionics or game playing."

Chambers UK, 2017

“Kingsley Napley LLP does an ‘excellent job representing individuals involved in financial services disputes and regulatory investigations'."

Legal 500 UK, 2014

...'Widely regarded as a go-to team for contentious financial services matters involving a criminal litigation element. Excels at representing individuals and corporates in FSA and SFO investigations'...

Chambers UK 2014, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Kingsley Napley LLP does an ‘excellent job representing individuals involved in financial services disputes and regulatory investigations'. The firm excels at handling enforcement matters where there is a potential criminal law element such as insider dealing and market abuse. Louise Hodges and Eve Giles bring ‘intelligence and first-class client skills to everything they do'.

Legal 500 UK, 2014

...'Kingsley Napley is pre-eminent at what it does: high-end, complex criminal work for high-profile individuals'...

Chambers UK 2014, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Financial Services Investigations Comment

View all


FCA’s use of private warnings under scrutiny

New amendments to FCA/PRA decision-making practice and procedure from 1 March 2017: partly contested cases and abolition of stage 2 and 3 settlement penalty discounts

Senior Managers Regime – the FCA predicts more enforcement litigation in the new regime

FCA uses criminal powers for first time against alleged unlicensed lender

Corporate Criminal Liability – Consultation opened over need for reform

Q & A – What do FCA regulated firms need to know about Financial Crime Return reporting?

UK Task Force investigating the Panama Papers: update focuses on criminal and civil investigations on HNW individuals, tax evasion and money laundering

New FCA Chief seeks to redefine mission of the organisation

How will the Financial Conduct Authority adapt to the post-Brexit landscape?

Insider trading: the new market abuse regime

FCA annual report 2015/16: overview of Enforcement, improving standards and the strategic priority to combat Financial Crime

Shining a spotlight on the culture of financial services firms

EU Benchmark Regulation

2016-17: Tackling financial crime and ensuring AML compliance a UK and FCA top priority

Senior Managers Regime: first stage now in force

‘The Senior Managers’ Regime: the end of the ‘regulate/de-regulate’ cycle?

Contracts for difference: FCA issues open letter re compliance with financial crime prevention procedures

SFO’s policy on dealing with seized material potentially subject to legal professional privilege deemed lawful

FCA is to consult over whether the head of legal role falls within the Senior Managers’ Regime

The PRA’s disapproval of a short-termist approach

Strengthening accountability in banking: FCA issues final rules for UK branches of foreign banks

FCA Consultation on MiFID II

Senior Managers and Certification Regime - FCA focuses on enforcement and DEPP

FCA seeks views on the new Market Abuse regime (MAR)

The financial industry gets a warm reception from the FCA and PRA – but individuals may still be left in the cold

Successful challenge to FCA prohibition order

Holding individuals to account in financial services - unexpected shift in burden of proof

European regulation of insider dealing and market manipulation: build up to the new market abuse regime from 2016

Regulatory references in the financial services industry – PRA & FCA consultation

HMRC proposals for tackling off-shore tax evasion seriously flawed

New whistleblowing rules from FCA

The Yates memo: will it make a difference to prosecutions in the UK?

Anti-Money Laundering: under review

FCA flexes competition muscles

FCA reviews management of financial benchmarks

Financial Reporting Council demonstrates its strong stance on dishonesty

Scorecard for the Serious Fraud Office

Annual Report for Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - international cooperation, market abuse, convictions, senior managers regime, whistleblowing and a historic year for fines

FCA issue rules and guidance on bankers remuneration and clawback obligations

Will Court of Appeal ruling force FCA to re-think its use of its name and shame powers?

Is the FCA’s use of skilled persons reports on the wane?

Deutsche Bank £227m fine highlights the risks of signing attestations - for individuals and financial institutions

FCA targets financial crime in new business plan

Banking Regulation: Senior Managers and Certification Regime – timetable announced plus extension to include UK branches of foreign institutions

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

Personal commitments: Benefits and risks of signing an attestation with the FCA

FCA’s Thematic Review: Managing bribery and corruption risk in commercial insurance broking

The FCA, PRA and HMRC’s agreement on improved sharing of information and technical assistance

HMRC increasingly takes criminal prosecution route

New offence of “Reckless management of a bank” – will it be effective? And what are the risks?

Financial services: Penalties for manipulation in five additional benchmarks – Consultation announced

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