Contact details

Tony Woodcock

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


Financial crime: Corporates, Financial crime: Individuals and Financial services: Contentious regulatory (Individuals & Corporates)

Financial crime: Corporates, Financial crime: Individuals and Financial services: Contentious regulatory (Individuals & Corporates)

Financial services - Contentious

Financial services - Contentious

Regulatory investigations, Corporate crime and Fraud: White-collar crime

Regulatory investigations, Corporate crime and Fraud: White-collar crime

Tony Woodcock Consultant

Contact details

Tony Woodcock

Tony Woodcock

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

Tony is acknowledged as a leading individual in regulatory litigation, specialising in financial services and corporate crime. He has advised clients in the highest profile regulatory cases since the 1990s. Having started professional life as a prosecutor, Tony has a unique insight into how the authorities in the UK and overseas think.
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Tony has advised institutions and individuals on national and international regulatory and criminal issues for over twenty years, earning him accolades such as "a premier league practitioner", "counsel of choice" and "an exceptional talent".

Tony's wide ranging experience in the sector has included representing those under investigation by or giving assistance to the regulatory and prosecuting authorities, including the FCA, the PRA, the SFO and the CMA in the UK; the Department of Justice, the CFTC and the SEC in the US; and in many other jurisdictions, primarily Hong Kong, Dubai, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Areas of expertise include banking and markets regulation, senior management obligations, corporate and directors' criminal liability, anti-money laundering and corruption, insider dealing, market abuse, systems audits, extradition and conducting and advising on corporate internal investigations. Recent instructions have included advising clients in the fall-out from the banking crash and the Libor and FX manipulation scandals, and piloting senior bankers through the new authorisation process established by the Banking Reform Act 2013.

Tony sits part time as a judge in criminal cases.

"Tony Woodcock is one of the wisest and most experienced FS practitioners around. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about the FS market, and he knows FSMA and the Handbook backwards. He’s, rightly, the first port of call for many of the biggest companies, and many of the most prestigious senior managers, if and when the FCA points its guns at them. The fact that the FCA clearly has enormous respect for him is another major reason why people instruct him."

The Legal 500 UK 2021

  • Regulatory litigation
  • Corporate crime and directors' criminal liability
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Professional standards and discipline
  • Banking and financial services regulation

Asset management – systems and controls

Acting for the CEO of one of the largest asset and fund management companies in the City in an investigation by the FCA into alleged systems and control failures following a fraud attempted on the company. The investigation was discontinued. 

Foreign exchange – systems and controls failures

Acted for the CEOs of two multinational banks under investigation for alleged systemic failings in the G10 FX trading desks which contributed to large scale fraudulent activity by desk traders.

LIBOR– market manipulation

Acted for several individuals under investigation for manipulation of the LIBOR and EURIBOR benchmarks, advising them through internal inquiries, and through regulatory and criminal enforcement.

HBOS – regulatory implications of risky lending

Acted for the Chief Executive of the Corporate Division of HBOS in enforcement proceedings by the FCA relating to the collapse of the bank in 2008 and in a Parliamentary inquiry into banking standards.

Prudential – relations with regulators

Advised the Prudential and its global CEO in the enforcement action brought by the FCA for failing to keep it informed of the Prudential's planned takeover of AIA. 

HSBC – conduct of business failures

Represented the bank in alleged conduct of business rule failures in enforcement proceedings by the FSA, followed by a settlement and the construction of a customer remediation programme.

Anti-money laundering

Advised a hedge fund and its money laundering reporting officer in relation to serious failings in its customer due diligence procedures and settling an FSA enforcement action.

RBS - corporate restructuring

Advised RBS and staff in regard to an internal investigation and an inquiry conducted by a skilled person under section 166 FSMA 2000 into an allegation of driving small businesses into insolvency.

Market abuse

Represented a senior member of the diplomatic service in proceedings for dealing on inside information as chairman of a company about to make a significant takeover.

More: Regulatory litigation


Represented the Barclays Libor submitter in investigations by the US Department of Justice and prosecution by the SFO in relation to allegations that his Libor submissions were dishonest.

Mabey & Johnson – international corruption in building contracts

Advised directors as to their obligations to the SFO, the UKLA and the National Crime Agency during the SFO's investigation into corruption for contracts for bridge building in Western Africa.

Petrochemicals – international corruption in the oil industry

Advised the director of a Middle Eastern petrochemical infrastructure company under investigation by the SFO into alleged corruption to secure contracts for supply of oil pipelines.

BAe – international corruption in military hardware

Advised the auditors of BAe in an investigation by the SFO into allegations of corruption to secure contracts to supply the Eurofighter to various Middle Eastern states.

Corporate investigations

Advised on and conducting corporate investigations, including conducting an investigation into corruption in the Chinese subsidiary of a UK manufacturing company and participating in investigations conducted by US firms.

Virgin Airways – price fixing

Advised the commercial director of Virgin in an internal investigation by UK and overseas prosecuting agencies in relation to price fixing on the London to New York and London to Hong Kong/Sydney routes.

Tesco – alleged false accounting

Advised a senior Tesco executive following allegations of manipulation of company accounts to make a misleading profit statement.

Insider dealing

Represented a former partner in Cazenove on his prosecution by the FSA for offences of insider dealing, including proceedings for confiscation for the benefits of crime.

Money laundering

Advised a substantial US law firm based in London in relation to alleged tax evasion schemes devised by one of its partners including its obligations to make reports under the proceeds of crime legislation.

More: Corporate crime and directors' criminal liability

Bribery Act

Drafted and audited anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures to found an "adequate procedures" defence under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

Money laundering

Drafted and audited anti-money laundering policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, including establishing client due diligence processes and providing training to clients.

Capital reporting

Advised a bank in relation to FCA concerns that it Common Reporting (COREP) obligations under the Article 99 of the EU's Capital Requirements Directive and Regulations had not been complied with.


Advised a building society and a major international financial institution in drafting schemes of redress for investors following PPI mis-selling.

Regulatory rule drafting

Drafted the rules of a financial services regulator in relation to its authorisation and enforcement processes.

Regulatory authorisations

Managed difficult authorisation applications for institutions and companies, most recently in relation to individuals who have been implicated in some of the behaviour surrounding the LIBOR and FX scandals.

Senior Managers Regime

Advised and providing training on the scope of the senior managers' regime established by the Banking Reform Act 2013, including the review of proposed arrangements for the appointment of senior managers.


Advised in relation to the applications of the sanctions legislation to certain types of transaction, and change of control issues where a sanctioned entity has a majority in holding another entity.

Conduct of business

Advised a global retail bank in relation to its role as a depositary of funds under investment and the creation of a compensations scheme following a collapse in the value of the investments.


Advised in transactions to ensure that regulatory issues relating to conflicts of interest, market abuse and confidentiality are properly managed.

More: Regulatory compliance

Financial services

Advised individuals on authorisation applications to regulators, with specific reference to ethical issues, standards of competency and fitness to practise.


Advised and representing financial and professional service providers in investigations and proceedings brought by the FCA and follow on proceedings brought by professional associations.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Appointment as a legal assessor to the Disciplinary and Appeals Panels of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and enforcing the ethical and professional code of the institution under its Royal Charter.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Advised individual accountants and firms on their obligations under professional rules and representing them in proceedings in the investigation and disciplinary committees of the ICAEW.

Financial Reporting Council

Advised in relation to public interest cases and investigations brought by the FRC and its predecessor, the Joint Disciplinary Scheme.


Advised a large state grammar school on issues relating to teachers' standards and competence, including the management of competency, remediation frameworks, and chairing disciplinary hearings.

Reporting obligations

Advised a substantial US law firm based in London of its obligations to its UK regulators following its discovery that tax schemes devised by one of its partners might amount to tax evasion.


Acted as advocate for the Insolvency Practitioners Association in disciplinary proceedings brought against its members.

Rule drafting

Drafted the disciplinary and enforcement rules of several regulatory agencies.

More: Professional standards and discipline

Capital requirements

Advised a private bank and successfully managing its dialogue with the FSA following a Court of Appeal decision which rendered all of its consumer credit contracts unenforceable, thus threatening the capital position of the bank.

Capital reporting

Advised a bank in relation to its capital reporting (COREP) obligations under the EU's Capital Requirements Directive and Regulations 2006.

Conduct of business

Represented a global retail bank under investigation by the FSA following a crash in the value of investments over which it was depositary, negotiating a conclusion to the investigation and devising a remediation programme.

Relations with financial regulators

Advised the Prudential and its global CEO in relation to an investigation into whether the FSA had been kept fully informed by the Prudential about its planned takeover of AIA.


Advised a mortgages administrator in an FSA investigation into alleged impropriety in the collection of overdue mortgage repayments, including devising a remediation programme for borrowers who had been disadvantaged.

Systems and controls

Examined systems and controls issues and senior management responsibilities in the context of their alleged failure to identify and prevent fraudulent activity on the FX trading desks of a number of multinational banks.

Senior manager responsibilities

Advised generally in relation to the onerous responsibilities now placed on bankers following the banking collapse, and in specific instances the extent of the obligations, including the role of in-house lawyers.

Compliance policies

Drafted policies and procedures required under regulatory rules in relation to money laundering, bribery and corruption, fraud, sanctions, personal account dealing and the management of risk.

Regulatory enforcement against banks

Advised a number of retail banks under enforcement by the FCA, usually for systems and control failures.

Regulatory enforcement against individuals

Included the CEO of HBOS in his investigation by the FSA for failing to conduct his regulatory obligations with due skill.

More: Banking and financial services regulation

  • Banks and banking
  • Accountancy firms
  • Art and cultural property

Senior management obligations

Advised senior managers at retail and investment banks in regard to their obligations under the UK's regulatory regime and the Banking Reform Act 2013, including representing them in regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Systems and controls

Advised in relation to policies and procedures to avoid breaches of legislation relating to money laundering, bribery, sanctions, fraud and personal account dealing.

Conduct of business

Represented a global retail bank under investigation by the FSA following a fall in the value of investments over which it was depositary.

Remediation programmes

Advised on and drafting remediation programmes following breach of regulatory rules having an impact on customers, including programmes for PPI mis-selling, mortgage administration misconduct, and breach of conduct of business rules.

Relations with regulators

Advised on the need for and timing of reports to the regulators under Principle 11 of FCA and PRA rules, including advising the Prudential and its global CEO on its failure to notify the regulators about its proposed take-over of AIA.

More: Banks and banking

Regulatory investigations

Advised a global accountancy firm in investigation carried out by the FSA into an audit client alleged to have breached rules relating to client assets.

Investigations by prosecuting authorities

Acted for accountancy firms assisting prosecuting authorities, including acting for the auditors of BAe in its investigation by the SFO into allegations of corruption by BAe.


Advised a firm on its obligations to comply with statutory notices to disclose information in relation to an investigation by the tax authorities into the legality of a tax scheme alleged to facilitate tax evasion.

More: Accountancy firms

Exports – Iranian Korans

Advised in relation to the export of two Iranian Korans with the requisite licence, including negotiating its release following seizure by HMRC.

Alleged breach of Cites Regulations

Advised on licensing requirements under EU legislation relating to the alleged offering for sale of a mounted carved elephant tusk.

Breach of overseas export licence rules

Advised in relation to Italian paintings imported into the UK for sale without the necessary licence from the Italian authorities, including issues in relation to prosecution of the UK company and return of the paintings.

Importation of rare species of wood

Advised in regard to the importation and seizure by HMRC of a rare species of timber and securing its release.

Mutual legal assistance

Advised and representing art dealers in proceedings instituted in the UK courts for the collection of evidence for use in criminal proceedings overseas for the theft of art works.

Liaison with the Police fine art squad

Represented dealers and auctioneers assisting investigations into the provenance of art works, including acting for the manager of a gallery arrested on suspicion of the theft of model Arabian Dhow from a royal art collection.

Anti-money laundering

Advised on issues relating to the potential use of art as a means of laundering the proceeds of crime, on customer due diligence, on the provenance of funds used to purchase art, and drafting warranties in dealer contracts as to the customer's anti-money laundering steps.

More: ​Art and cultural property
  • North America

Anti-trust and cartels

Representing the whistle-blower in the investigations by the US DoJ Anti-trust Division and the UK anti-competition authorities into fuel surcharge and cargo price-fixing between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.  Co-defending with US lawyers and attending “Queen for a day” and proffer interviews with the US DoJ and advising on the implications in the UK of an immunity agreement.

Banks involved in the manipulation of Libor scandal

Assisted a number of the banks involved in the manipulation of Libor scandal.  Together with US Counsel, representing the Barclays Libor submitter in several interviews, including interviews conducted as part of an internal investigation; interviews by the FBI, the US DoJ Fraud Division, the SEC, the CFTC, the Financial Services Authority and the Serious Fraud Office.  Dealing with the US DoJ in ceasing its investigation into the “low balling” aspect of Libor.


Representing a senior manager in an investigation against Deutsche Bank by the German, the US and the UK regulatory authorities, and a trader identified as a conspirator in the proceedings against Tom Hayes which was also the subject of US DoJ proceedings. 


Representing individuals under investigation in the US and the UK in relation to the alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange markets, including extradition issues arising.

Licence to engage in financial services business

Advising US corporates and their employees on the regulatory requirements in the UK for approval to conduct financial services activity in the UK. 


Advising various US corporates and attorneys on the UK’s anti-bribery legislation and vetting policies and procedures for compliance with the UK’s legislation.

Anti-money laundering

Advising two leading NYC law firms on UK AML issues surrounding transactions in which they had been involved and which were alleged to be attempts at tax fraud.

Modern Slavery Act

Advising two US corporations with business in the UK as to their compliance with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.

National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers

Tony is a speaker at the NACDL annual conference.

More: North America


Financial crime: Corporates, Financial crime: Individuals and Financial services: Contentious regulatory (Individuals & Corporates)

Financial crime: Corporates, Financial crime: Individuals and Financial services: Contentious regulatory (Individuals & Corporates)

Financial services - Contentious

Financial services - Contentious

Regulatory investigations, Corporate crime and Fraud: White-collar crime

Regulatory investigations, Corporate crime and Fraud: White-collar crime

Latest news & insights

16 Feb 2021

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The SFO and KBR: UK Supreme Court limits extraterritorial effect of SFO powers

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The suspension of open-ended investment funds

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07 Apr 2020

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Tony Woodcock features in Lexology Learn Hub’s latest video series on anti-money laundering

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FCA publishes final rules confirming amendments to the SMCR

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09 May 2019

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SM&CR Extension: issues for solo-regulated firms to consider as implementation date approaches

From 9 December 2019 47,000 FCA solo-regulated firms will become subject to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime ("SM&CR").


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On 4 December 2018 the FCA published a Decision Notice in respect of Mohammed Ataur Rahman Prodhan, imposing a fine of £76,400 on the former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK) Lt..


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