Financial Services Investigations

“They're one of the firms that is right at the top of the scale. They're very experienced in handling the big cases. They're extremely well resourced and I've never had anything other than a good experience with them."

Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

We are well known advisers to individuals and companies in the financial services industry who find themselves under the spotlight for regulatory or criminal matters.


Our clients have included senior management in banks, traders, hedge fund managers, brokerage houses, London branches of overseas institutions, wealth managers and administrators, mortgage brokers, investors and company advisers as well as IFAs, fintech companies, cryptocurrency providers, accountancy firms, insurers, FDs and CFOs within corporates amongst others.

The financial services sector has long been highly regulated. Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, scrutiny, regulation and intervention have increased substantially with the Government demanding greater accountability and regulators needing to be seen to take a tougher and more proactive approach.

As a result, in recent years we have seen record levels of fines and a rise in prohibitions and restrictions against individuals and companies in the industry for regulatory misconduct and disciplinary breaches.

Investigations in the financial services sector are conducted by a number of agencies, including:

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
  • The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • The Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
  • City of London Police (CoLP)
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • The Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Parties based in the UK may also find themselves subject to multi-jurisdictional investigations, involving the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and/or other international regulators and prosecutors.

We have an established and highly experienced team of defence lawyers representing individuals and companies from all parts of the financial world on regulatory and criminal issues.

We provide intelligent and tactical representation to protect and advance the interests of those under investigation and have been involved in a wide-range of matters from technical regulatory beaches to complex criminal trials. We are widely considered the go-to firm for those in the financial sector facing potential criminal action.

Please see below for more information about the specialist services we offer or contact a member of our Financial Services team:

What clients and directories say

They have an excellent reputation, they have a very broad team and they have strength in depth."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

One of the few original boutique white collar firms to truly develop an expertise in corporate contentious financial services work."

Legal 500 UK 2020

Straddles the overlap between contentious regulatory work and financial crime."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

First choice for traders and City individuals under investigation."

Legal 500, 2019

...they are one of the only firms who can represent individuals in tricky financial cases."

Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth Guide, 2019

They are excellent - really experienced, careful practitioners."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

Their strength in depth is superb, and they've got expertise at all levels"

Chambers and Partners, 2019

They have a very measured, effective way of dealing with the opposition. They are a very collaborative and cohesive team, and completely reliable."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

They are excellent - really experienced, careful practitioners."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

They pick up some fantastic work, they have some fantastic clients and they have a skill of trying to get rid of matters before they go too far."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

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

Chambers UK, 2017

...'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, 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."

Legal 500 UK

 

Good financial services practice, particularly in relation to FCA regulatory/disciplinary issues.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

A premier outfit for individuals under regulatory investigations."

Chambers UK 2021

Excellent understanding of the regulatory framework, very responsive and commercially switched on.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

Bright and dedicated lawyers."

Chambers UK 2021

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

Legal 500 UK 2021

They are undoubtedly a really major player in this sector."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020

One of the premier white collar defence teams in London."

Legal 500 UK 2020

Latest blogs & news

Regulatory compliance, trust and confidence in the financial services sector

In a case that attracted national media coverage and emphasises the crucial importance of regulatory compliance and the highest standards of professional conduct in the financial services sector, the High Court dismissed a breach of contract claim brought by an investment manager.

Keeping the crypto market on its toes? The FCA publishes latest cryptoasset consumer research and takes regulatory action against Binance Markets Limited

For the fourth year the FCA has published research on the changing relationship between consumers and cryptoassets. In spite of the pandemic, the strong upward trend in public engagement and media coverage has continued, with the FCA estimating 2.3 million adults now hold cryptoassets.

The discontinuation of LIBOR and phasing in of SONIA in the Sterling Markets, what do we know so far?

Global financial markets are preparing to transition away from the use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and adopt an appropriate alternative risk free rate (“RFR”) by the end of 2021. What are the reasons for the move away from LIBOR, the progress to date in terms of identifying the Sterling Overnight Index Average (“SONIA”) as the most appropriate alternative rate in the Sterling markets, and the steps still required to be taken to ensure such markets are ready for the phasing out of LIBOR by the end of the year

Breach of 2002 banking undertakings - the CMA writes to Danske Bank

At the end of last month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a letter written to Danske Bank concerning its breach of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Banking Behavioural Undertakings 2002, following loans it had offered under the ‘Bounce Back Loan Scheme’.

Time’s up: Deadline passes for crypto firms to register with the FCA

As of 10 January 2021, all cryptoasset firms are required to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Money Laundering Regulations.

FCA sets expectations for firms to record communications when working from home

FCA focuses on risks associated with unmonitored communications, including the use of unencrypted apps, such as WhatsApp, for sharing potentially sensitive or confidential information when working from home.

First anniversary of the extension of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime

As we near the first anniversary of the extension of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) to solo-regulated FCA firms, the first round of annual fitness and propriety assessments will be topping the to-do lists of many compliance professionals.

The Holiday is Over: Will the FCA’s efforts to support homeowners after the mortgage payment holiday be enough?

One of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is that national income has fallen dramatically. In response to concerns from homeowners unable to meet their mortgage repayment requirements due to a drop in income, the Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority announced a ‘mortgage payment holiday’. This was the result of banks agreeing to allow mortgage-holders suffering from a drop in income to pause their repayments. A ban on home repossessions was put in place at the same time

Non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple

The FCA announced on 5 November that it has banned three individuals from working in the financial services industry for non-financial misconduct.

Fitness and propriety investigations: practical considerations

How should regulated firms respond when issues come to light which call into question the fitness and propriety of a member of staff? In the second part of their series of fitness and propriety blogs, Jill Lorimer and Nick Ralph consider best practice. You can read the first part of the series by clicking here.

FCA issues new guidance on fitness and propriety assessments in the financial services sector

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has recently provided information to their regulated firms as to good and bad practice relating to, amongst other things, the carrying out of fitness and propriety (“F&P”) assessments.

The new cryptoasset promotions consultation: widening the perimeter of FCA regulation

Research recently undertaken by the FCA has found that 5.35% of the UK population hold (or have previously held) cryptoassets where in 2019 this figure was 3%. For several years now the Government, the Bank of England and the FCA have been consulting on and considering how best to regulate this burgeoning market.

Inappropriate behaviour - when the past is not left in the past

The news that Stephen Jones, head of UK Finance, has quit over "thoroughly unpleasant" personal comments he made in 2008 about financier Amanda Staveley, is a stark reminder to executives that their past behaviour may one day come back to haunt them.

Who’d be a Whistle Blower?

The indications are that an increasing number of individuals are coming forward, particularly in the financial services sector, to call out wrongdoing.  

Your legal rights on returning to work during COVID-19

Whilst the prime minister's broadcast on 10 May did not open the floodgates to City employers requiring staff to "return to work" enmasse, most firms are already drawing up plans for how that should be organised and many of us will have been thinking about what will happen when employers start to update their 'work from home' advice.

Redundancy because of COVID-19 - top 10 tips for senior executives negotiating an exit

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having an undeniably serious impact on businesses and the global economy. Everyone has been affected in some way.  Sadly, the looming financial crash means that many businesses have been impacted to the extent that they will have to put cost-cutting measures in place in the near and mid-term future.  For some individuals this will result in their role being put at risk of redundancy.

Partners' future under spotlight during crisis

In a startling opening to a recent Newsnight, presenter Emily Maitlis began with the words “They tell us Coronavirus is a great leveller. It’s not. It's much harder if you’re poor."

How can partners prepare for a post COVID-19 firm cull?

Partners need to do what they would advise their own clients to do: be well prepared.

Taking a pay cut - is it the right thing to do?

The moral arguments may well still apply but where salaries are less stellar, there may be more for an individual to lose on a relative basis and thornier issues to weigh on a practical level.

Legal rights if you're made to work in the office during COVID-19

While plenty of people in all sectors are now working from home, designated key workers in the financial services industry are still being forced to go to work.

Financial Services Investigations Insights

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Blogs

Corporate criminal liability reform – the pressure is on the Law Commission as MPs express their frustration at delay

FCA sets expectations for firms to record communications when working from home

Non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple

Coronavirus business loan scheme fraud

Fitness and propriety investigations: practical considerations

FCA issues new guidance on fitness and propriety assessments in the financial services sector

The new cryptoasset promotions consultation: widening the perimeter of FCA regulation

Fraud in the time of COVID-19 - The law enforcement response

Business Plan 2020-21: FCA remains vigilant to potential misconduct

COVID-19 and the FCA - Scams, short selling and more

In-house lawyers and general counsel take note: will your communications be privileged?

SFO guidance on co-operation: more carrot than stick?

Crunching the numbers: is the National Crime Agency right to seek additional funding?

FCA Business Plan 2019-20: A reflection of recent enforcement action

FCA Business Plan 2019-20: priority to make the UK’s financial markets a difficult target for criminals

FCA’s Guidance on Cryptoassets – welcome clarity

FCA has its knuckles rapped in Upper Tribunal costs decision

FCA sharpens focus on crypto cowboys

Reform of corporate liability – renewed calls for change

Financial Crime: Analysis of firms' data – first report

FCA to regulate Claims Management Companies and caps on fees introduced

FCA publishes first Decision Notice under the partly contested cases process

Search warrants at banks in the UK: what you need to know

Corporates in the spotlight: NCA and SFO confirm tackling money laundering a strategic priority

The FCA Annual Report 2017-18: Anti-Money Laundering takes centre stage

Search Warrants: the case for reform – costs

Search Warrants: the case for reform – an introduction

FCA: Criminal prosecutions for AML systems and controls failings – a step too far?

FCA Dear CEO letter on cryptoassets – a warning to firms

How to write a reference – Hincks v Sense Network Ltd

Transforming culture in financial services – keeping up with the debate

FCA consults on adding Market Abuse to the Financial Crime Guide - might firms now face criminal prosecution?

Share scheme fraudster pleads guilty to perverting course of justice in proceeds of crime case brought by Financial Conduct Authority

Litigation privilege in internal investigations – a more “realistic” approach

MiFID II – an introduction

FCA sounds warning on retail CFD market

FCA fines experienced bond trader for negligent market abuse

FCA fine AIM-listed company for failure to disclose inside information in line with Market Abuse Regulations

FCA: New Focus on Market Manipulation and Non-Equities Market Abuse

Transaction Reporting fine highlights the importance FCA places on correct data

Financial Conduct Authority: The level of suspicious transaction reports soars, and is set to keep on rising with new EU rules

FCA Enforcement: The calm before the storm?

#Brexit: Lords examine financial regulation and supervision

FCA proposes extension of senior managers regime

The extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime

OPBAS – FCA consults on the “supervisor of supervisors”

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

PEPs and anti-money laundering: The FCA issues guidance

Highlights from the FCA Enforcement annual performance account 2016/17

FCA Annual Report 2016/17: conducting regulation with confidence

Anti-Money Laundering: new rules and regulations in play

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