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.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

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.

"Responsive and highly effective in their handling of a range of complex issues." 

The Legal 500 UK 2020

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 2017, the Bribery Act 2010, and similar legislation.


Sean Jeffrey Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2034
M:  +44 7584 235 262 Email Sean | Vcard Office:  London


Justin McClelland Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2127
M:  Email Justin | Vcard Office:  London


William Robertson Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2808
M:  Email William | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

11 Nov 2021

From Insights

The "Stay Rules" – what this means for authorized institutions and their affiliated companies in Hong Kong

On 27 August 2021, the Financial Institutions (Resolution) (Contractual Recognition of Suspension of Termination Rights — Banking Sector) Rules (Cap. 628C, Laws of Hon..


28 Sep 2021

From Insights

Getting the Deal Through's edition of 'Asset Recovery' UK chapter by Ros Prince, Justin McClelland, Alan Ward and Harriet Campbell

Ros Prince, Justin McClelland and Alan Ward have written a chapter on asset recovery in the UK for Getting the Deal Through's 10th edition of 'Asset Recovery 2022'.


06 Sep 2021

From Insights

Hong Kong's new anti-doxxing regime

In Hong Kong in recent times, numerous people but in the main, high profile Police Officers, Judges, Government Officials and their family members have had their priva..


18 Aug 2021

From Insights

SFC's consultation conclusions on new investor ID and OTC securities transactions reporting regimes

SFC issues consultation conclusions on proposals to implement investor identification regime at the trading level for the securities market and an OTC securities trans..


21 Jul 2021

From Insights

Consultation conclusions: competency framework for intermediaries and individual practitioners

On 18 June 2021, the SFC published the conclusions to its consultations on the proposed enhancements to the competency framework for intermediaries and individual prac..


12 Jul 2021

From Insights

Can you write a cheque on the side of a cow?

And why the answer to this is relevant to online transactions


23 Jun 2021

From Insights

咨询总结: 规管虚拟资产交易所和贵重金属及宝石交易商的监管制度

在2021 年 5 月 21 日,财经事务及库务局(简称“财库局”)就《打击洗钱及恐怖分子资金筹集条例》(第 615 章) (简称“《打击洗钱条例》”)的新规管架构发出咨询总结(简称“总结”),以规管虚拟资产服务提供商和贵重金属及宝石交易商。总结采纳了财库局于 2020 年 11 月发布的咨询文件中提出的大部分建议。


18 Jun 2021

From Insights

Consultation conclusions: regulatory regimes for virtual asset exchanges and dealers in precious metals and stones

On 21 May, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau issued its consultation conclusions on the legislative proposals to enhance anti-money laundering and counter..


19 Mar 2021

From Insights

Money lending regime: more stringent regulatory measures

As we have discussed in our article "Money lending in Hong Kong – pitfalls for lenders and protections for borrowers", the Consumer Council published a report in Septe..


16 Feb 2021

From Insights

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

In R (on the application of KBR, Inc) (Appellant) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Respondent) [2021] UKSC 2 the Supreme Court held that the Serious Fraud Offic..


15 Feb 2021

From Insights

Post-Brexit UK / EU extradition arrangements: business as usual?

On 24 December 2020, the UK and the EU agreed the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”).


11 Feb 2021

From Insights

Money laundering risks in the gambling sector

Recent developments and enforcement action taken within the gambling sector have highlighted the need for operators to carry out a robust assessment of their money lau..


23 Dec 2020

From Insights

SFC consults on proposed enhancements to competency framework for intermediaries and individual practitioners

We have summarised the proposed changes to the Competence Guidelines and the CPT Guidelines in our latest article.


03 Sep 2020

From Insights

When a search of a mobile phone or device by the Hong Kong Police is lawful

This update is about the recent important Court of Appeal decision in SHAM WING KAN v COMMISSIONER OF POLICE [2020] HKCA 186.


10 Aug 2020

From Insights

The Boohoo scandal: A reminder of Modern Slavery Act 2015 obligations

The recent undercover investigation by The Sunday Times into poor pay and working conditions at a supplier of the fast-fashion retail brand Boohoo is a timely reminder..


21 Jul 2020

From Insights

Disclosure of risk/compliance documents and minutes: involvement of lawyer not enough for privilege

In A v B and the FRC [2020] EWHC 1492 , a company which believed that internal governance and compliance documents (including a risk register and board minutes) had be..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.