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.


Philip Clarke Partner

T:  +971 4407 3907
M:  +971 50 707 3750 Email Philip | Vcard Office:  Dubai


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

07 Jun 2023

From Insights

Conclusion to the regulatory requirements for the virtual asset trading platform operators licences

Following the Consultation Paper on the Proposed Regulatory Requirements for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators Licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission..


24 May 2023

From Insights

The Financial Services and Markets Bill – a "bonfire" of retained EU financial services law, or something less?

The Government has recently announced that it had dropped plans to get rid of European laws by the end of 2023.


15 May 2023

From Insights

Blowing the whistle to the FCA – the regulator's assessment of its processes for handling reports yields "disappointing" results

On 4 May 2023, the FCA published a report setting out the findings of its own qualitative assessment in relation to its handling whistleblowers who directly report to ..


05 May 2023

From Insights

Summary of the Consultation Conclusions of the SFC proposal to implement a regulatory regime for depositaries of SFC-authorised CIS

To understand more about the comments made by the SFC in response to the public consultation as well as how this may affect you please read the article.


19 Apr 2023

From Insights

First SMCR enforcement decision for failure to take "reasonable steps"

On 13 April 2023, the Prudential Regulation Authority published a Final Notice in relation to Mr. Carlos Abarca imposing a financial penalty of £81,620


13 Apr 2023

From Insights

New UK "failure to prevent fraud" offence

On 11 April 2023, the UK Government announced that it intends to create a new and broad corporate offence of failing to prevent fraud.


11 Apr 2023

From Insights

Reform of SMCR: UK Government and regulators commence Review

In December 2022, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Edinburgh Reforms, "to drive growth and competitiveness in the financial services sector."


27 Mar 2023

From News

David Capps joins Stephenson Harwood as partner

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its contentious regulatory, economic crime, and investigations practice with the arrival of David Capps.


02 Mar 2023

From Insights

HKMA's conclusion of discussion paper on crypto-assets and stablecoins

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently issued the "Conclusion of Discussion paper on Crypto-assets and Stablecoins" to set out the approach that they intend to take..


30 Jan 2023

From Insights

Aviation regulatory update 2022/2023

Developments in aviation regulation


04 Jan 2023

From Insights

2022 end-of-year update on the upcoming regulatory regimes for virtual asset service providers and dealers in precious metals and stones

The Legislative Council recently passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022.


22 Nov 2022

From Insights

Hong Kong SFC furthers the greenlight for retail investors to trade in Virtual Asset Futures ETFs

As virtual asset-related investment products are becoming increasingly popular, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is prepared to accept applications for ..


17 Nov 2022

From Insights

Large penalties imposed in the US for record keeping failures: A reminder of recording obligations

On 27 September 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposed fines totalling more than $1.1 billion on 15 broker-dealers and one affiliated investment adv..


24 Aug 2022

From Insights

Practical regulatory steps for challenger banks

This note looks at practical points which challenger banks should be looking at to manage their financial crime challenges.


26 Jul 2022

From Insights

New virtual asset service provider regime to take effect on 1 March 2023

The Hong Kong Government has gazetted the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 (the "Bill") on 24 June 2022.


19 Jan 2022

From Insights

Volume 18 of The DFSA in Action – What does it tell us about the outlook for the year ahead?

In what has become a familiar theme as we enter a new year and look to what the next 12 months will hold, uncertainties caused by a new variant abound.


© 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.