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.

"I find the firm very hands-on and accessible at all times" 

Chambers UK 2019

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

30 Nov 2018

From Insights

Cyber and Technology Resilience – future supervisory and enforcement focus

On 27 November 2018, the FCA published a report summarising its findings from an in-depth survey into the technology and cyber capabilities of 296 firms. The report hi..


06 Nov 2018

From Insights

Key messages from the SFC’s new regulatory framework on virtual asset management, fund distribution and trading platform operation

It was reported by the Financial Stability Board that crypto-assets, such as bitcoin and ether, reached an estimated total market capitalisation of US$830 billion on 8..


05 Nov 2018

From Insights

Large insurer joins the list of firms to fall foul of the FCA's outsourcing requirements

In recent times, outsourcing in the financial services sector has been a firm focus for the FCA.


22 Oct 2018

From Insights

Developments and trends in FCA enforcement (webcast 2018)

Ellen Gallagher takes a look at the trends emerging from FCA enforcement action against firms and individuals over the last year and looks forward to consider what the..


25 Sep 2018

From Insights

Disclosure of privileged documents ordered in regulatory investigation: ground-breaking High Court decision

In what "is believed to be the first application of its type to have reached the courts", Arnold J granted an order requiring Sports Direct International PLC to disclo..


17 Sep 2018

From Insights

Extra-territorial document requests: the long arm of the law just got longer

Amid the hubbub of the Court of Appeal's decision in Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation[1], another important judgment involving the Serious..


12 Sep 2018

From Insights

Privilege and Investigations: Court of Appeal restores ambit of litigation privilege

In Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2006, the Court of Appeal overturned an earlier ruling of Mrs Just..


22 Aug 2018

From Insights

SARs: a need for change, but in which direction? - the Law Commission consults

This alert examines the key topics raised in the Paper, and sets out the various proposals that the Paper puts forward.


10 Aug 2018

From Insights

The new Enforcement Decision Making Committee

On 3 August 2018, the Bank of England (the "Bank") published the Policy Statement "PS/EDMC2018" to establish the Enforcement Decision Making Committee (the "EDMC").


06 Aug 2018

From News

Jake Pidcock joins Stephenson Harwood as partner

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has expanded its corporate practice with the arrival of Jake Pidcock, who joins the firm as a partner in London from the UK's Financial..


26 Jul 2018

From Insights

FCA Enforcement Annual Report 2017/2018: The year in review

On 19 July 2018 the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") published its latest Enforcement Annual Performance Report (the "Enforcement Report"), providing an overview of..


03 Jul 2018

From Insights

Recent updates on the PI Rules, the Code of Conduct and the Fund Manager Code of Conduct

There have been three regulatory updates following the consultations by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on various topics.


01 Jun 2018

From Insights

New regulations for bounced cheques in Dubai

Unlike other countries worldwide, the laws of the United Arab Emirates allow for criminal penalties to be imposed on those persons drawing bounced cheques.


30 May 2018

From Insights

No duty of equal treatment or fairness owed to those under a Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") investigation

On 16 May 2018 the Supreme Court allowed an appeal by the Competition & Markets Authority against a Court of Appeal judgment that found that the Office of Fair Trading..


20 Mar 2018

From Insights

FCA takes action against Vanquis Bank

On 22 August 2017, Vanquis Bank Limited confirmed that it was co-operating with an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority into the sale of one of its credit ..


28 Feb 2018

From Insights

FCA Consultation: Extending the Financial Ombudsman Service to SMEs

On 22 January 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority published a consultation paper, proposing that more small and medium sized enterprises should be allowed to refer d..


© 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.