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Businesses face an increasing burden of regulation, which is being more extensively monitored and aggressively enforced than ever before. Non-compliance has serious consequences both for the businesses and those who work in them. Our specialist teams are adept at providing prompt, focused and commercial advice and support to avoid the pitfalls.
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Our regulatory practice has many facets, and is able to advise on regulation in all its manifestations. We have a strong banking and financial services capability, experienced in providing advice in areas including regulatory reporting, authorisation and approval applications, and the implications of the new senior managers regime.

Our regulatory compliance team advises on all aspects of the PRA and FCA conduct of business rulebooks, with particular experience in matters relating to client assets and custody, giving support to our diverse corporate teams. We advise on FCA and PRA supervisory visits.

Our renowned regulatory litigation team, which includes former prosecutors and regulators, has been at the forefront of the highest profile FCA investigations and enforcement actions over many years. It acts for individuals and corporates, and undertakes advocacy when appropriate.

The team also advises on business crime and corporate criminal liability over a wide spectrum. It has had significant involvement in all the high profile SFO investigations since that office was established in 1987 and the CMA, and increasingly finds itself dealing with cases having an international element, particularly with the US Department of Justice.

We advise in other areas of corporate liability, including consumer protection and health and safety. We act in professional standards and disciplinary matters.

"They give excellent strategic advice and are a formidably bright group. They are assertive without being aggressive."

Chambers UK 2018

Regulatory reporting

Advising institutions on compliance with obligation to make reports regarding capital adequacy, suspected rule breaches, money laundering and corruption.

Supervisory visits and section 166 FSMA 2000

Piloting clients through a regulatory inspection and their response to thematic reviews.

Conduct of business

Advising on financial service regulatory aspects of corporate transactions, and business issues arising out of the FCA and PRA Handbooks, including best execution, dealing commissions, conflicts of interest and client assets.

Authorisations and applications

Assisting in difficult applications for authorisation and approval to undertake business, including authorisation under the financial services legislation.

Senior manager responsibilities

Advising on the implications of the Senior Managers Regime established by the Banking Reform Act 2013.

Systems and controls failures

Representing senior executives in relation to allegations of systems and controls failures in the LIBOR and FX businesses, and following the crash in the UK banking sector in 2008.


Advising on the implications for transactions of the sanctions legislation; litigating the legality of sanctions legislation; obtaining relevant government licences.

Financial crime

Representing individuals under investigation by the FCA and the SFO, including several individuals involved in proceedings relating to the manipulation of LIBOR and collusion in the G10 FX Spot market.


Acting for financial institutions in relation to selling issues concerning retail products and the design of schemes of arrangement to provide redress.

Policies and procedures

Advising on and drafting policies and procedures to secure compliance with regulatory and corporate governance requirements, including those required under the banking legislation, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, the Bribery Act 2010, and similar legislation.


Tony Woodcock Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2349
M:  +44 7825 625 903 Email Tony | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

17 Jan 2018

From Insights

Investigation and enforcement: the FRC and FCA enter into a Memorandum of Understanding

On 20 December 2017, the FRC and the FCA entered into an MoU. The purpose of the MoU, although not legally binding, is to "assist co-operation and co-ordination" betwe..


16 Jan 2018

From Insights

FCA consults on transition to SM&CR

The FCA notes that "individuals at Limited Scope Firms and Core Firms will be automatically converted wherever possible, with no action required by firms".


30 Nov 2017

From Insights

FCA puts compliance functions on notice

On 23 November 2017, the FCA published the results of its research into compliance functions in wholesale banks.


09 Nov 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood achieves successful stay in Tom Hayes FCA ban proceedings

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised former trader Tom Hayes in successfully halting a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ban.


02 Aug 2017

From Insights

Regime change: FCA consults on extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all FCA firms

The way in which the FCA regulates individuals in financial services is changing. On 26 July 2017 the FCA published a consultation on extending the Senior Managers and..


01 Aug 2017

From Insights

Iran imposes reciprocal sanctions on US entities

On 26 March 2017, the Islamic Republic of Iran ("Iran") imposed sanctions on 14 US entities and individuals in response to the US Government's imposition of additional..


26 Jul 2017

From Insights

US LIBOR case deals a blow to cross-border assistance and clarifies the use of compelled evidence

A US Appeals court has reversed the convictions of two ex-Rabobank employees in connection with their alleged roles in the manipulation of LIBOR.


28 Jun 2017

From Insights

PSC register: What's changing?

New regulations have been passed implementing immediate changes to the UK's PSC regime to ensure compliance with the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive.


19 Jun 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood named 'Law firm of the Year' by Operational Risk

Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named 'Law firm of the Year' at the Operational Risk Awards 2017, for the second year running.


24 May 2017

From Insights

High Court limits ambit of privilege in internal investigations

In Director of the Serious Fraud Office v ENRC [2017] EWHC 1017 (QB) the High Court granted the SFO a declaration that certain documents, created by lawyers and forens..


05 May 2017

From Insights

Regulatory enforcement newsletter - Issue 1

This publication aims to provide insights into legal issues, practical recommendations based on matters we have handled, and recent developments in the sector.


02 May 2017

From Insights

What is this PSC register everyone's talking about?

What is this PSC register everyone's talking about? The register of people with significant control (the PSC register) is a register of individuals or legal entities t..


29 Mar 2017

From Insights

FCA v Macris – Supreme Court gives judgment on "third party rights"

On Wednesday 22 March the Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in Financial Conduct Authority v Macris [2017] UKSC 19.


17 Jan 2017

From Insights

2017 - Preparing for the extension of the New Accountability Regime

The SM&CR introduced for banks, building societies, PRA-designated investment firms and credit unions in March last year – is due to be extended to the whole financial..


21 Dec 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Vistra on its acquisition of Jordans

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised Vistra on its acquisition of the Jordans Group from its current shareholder, The West of England Trust Limited.


14 Oct 2016

From Insights

FCA cracks down again on AML systems and controls

On 12 October 2016 the FCA issued a Final Notice against Sonali Bank (UK) Limited. The Notice is a timely reminder for authorised firms that weak financial crime contr..


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