Our regulatory litigation practice has been at the forefront of high profile investigations and enforcement for many years. It acts for individuals and corporates. Clients include senior executives as well as retail and investment banks, hedge funds, and professional service firms. The team includes former prosecutors and regulators.
We assist the client from the first call of the regulator, the information gathering and interview processes, making representations to the Regulatory Decisions Committee, and taking cases to the Upper Tribunal and beyond. Where appropriate, we negotiate settlements and design redress and remediation programmes. We also act on contested authorisation and approval applications.
Recent instructions have included acting for clients who have been targeted by regulators and prosecutors in the UK and overseas in the global investigations into the manipulation of LIBOR and the FX markets. These cases exhibit the team's capabilities in both the regulatory and criminal contexts of trader misconduct and in regulatory investigations into systems and senior management failures.
We work closely with colleagues in other specialist areas of the firm, notably funds, regulatory, compliance and employment.
With the increasingly global nature of regulatory litigation, we have well established links with high quality firms in other jurisdictions, as well as our own overseas offices.
"Stephenson Harwood is much stronger and much more able to handle lengthy and substantial investigations than a lot of its competitors. It has more resources and greater strength and depth."
Chambers UK 2015
Representing individuals under investigation by the FCA and various US financial regulators for involvement in the manipulation of LIBOR and for the inadequacy of systems and controls to prevent manipulation.
FX – trading misconduct
Acting in the regulatory investigations by authorities both in the UK and the US of a number of employees of major global investment banks accused of rigging in the G10 FX Spot trading desk.
FX – systems and controls failures
Representing the heads of FX at two global investment banks in an investigation by the FCA into their responsibility for systemic failings on the G10 FX Spot trading desks, leading to large scale fraudulent activity by desk traders.
Senior management – organisational failings
Defending John Pottage and Matthew Brumsen in attempts by the FSA to penalise them for failing to take reasonable care in organising and controlling the affairs of UBS, following a fraud in the bank's private wealth business.
Fraud – systems failings
Representing one of the largest asset management firms in the City of London in an investigation into the alleged inadequacy of its systems to prevent fraud.
Acting for financial institutions in relation to selling issues concerning retail products and the design of schemes of arrangement to provide redress.
Conduct of business rules
Acting for HSBC in FCA enforcement proceedings for alleged conduct of business rule breaches in its role as depositary to the Arch Cru funds, including participating in a mediation to arrange for investor compensation.
Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and the HBOS Review
Acting for Peter Cummings in enforcement proceedings brought against him by the FCA in his role as CEO of the corporate division of HBOS, and subsequently advising him in his evidence to the PCBS and the HBOS Review, including its Maxwellisation process.
Acting for a bank and a hedge fund in relation to failings in their anti-money laundering procedures, drafting new procedures, and representing the MLRO in disciplinary proceedings.
Relations with regulators
Working with two magic circle firms in defending the Prudential and its global CEO in an investigation and proceedings by the FCA into the Prudential's failure to notify the FCA of its intention to acquire AIA.
Challenging the abuse of power by regulators, including setting aside unlawful search warrants and compelled information requirements, and curbing proposed enforcement steps.
Advising RBS and staff in an internal investigation into allegations that borrowers were inappropriately placed into insolvency and an inquiry conducted under section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.