Regulatory litigation

Versatile, experienced and talented.  A tenacious, award winning team able to provide the whole range of expertise needed when clients are confronted by regulators.  Our reputation for advising and representing clients in the most complex investigations and enforcement actions in the financial sector, including the FCA and the PRA, is outstanding.  
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts
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. 

"If you’re facing an FCA investigation, you’d be mad not to have them at the top of your list."

The Legal 500 UK 2021


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.  

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.

Anti-money laundering

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.

Judicial review

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.

David Capps Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2463
M:  Email David | Vcard Office:  London


Justin McClelland Partner and Practice Group Leader

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


Alan Ward Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2295
M:  Email Alan | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

17 Jun 2024

From Insights

All fingers and thumbs – protections against a "fat finger" moment

On 17 May 2024, the FCA published a Final Notice against CitiGroup Global Markets Limited ("Citi") in relation to the FCA's findings in relation to Citi's control fail..


28 Mar 2024

From Insights

The FCA's 2024/25 business plan – Some key takeaways for firms

The FCA's latest Business Plan for 2024-25 had just been published. They make a number of forward- looking "Commitments". We touch upon some of those plans and express..


26 Feb 2024

From Insights

Significant expansions to corporate criminal liability: the new offence of failure to prevent fraud and extended identification principle

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 ("ECCTA") introduces a landmark new corporate offence of failure to prevent fraud (the "FTP fraud offence").


15 Feb 2024

From Insights

FCA update on their work towards reducing and preventing financial crime

The FCA has provided a progress update on their work in their recent publication, "Reducing and preventing financial crime", and they look ahead to identify four areas..


17 Jan 2024

From Insights

Venice swaps decision sunk by Court of Appeal (Banca Intesa v Venezia)

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and Dexia Crediop SpA and dismissed a cross-appeal by the Comune di Venezia


14 Dec 2023

From Insights

New FCA rules on greenwashing and sustainability disclosures and product labelling

The FCA has just published its Policy Statement PS23/16 - Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) and investment labels.


01 Dec 2023

From Insights

Big data - the Financial Conduct Authority proposes individual borrower disclosures in relation to consumer credit firms

The Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") is consulting on plans to require consumer credit firms to hand over a vast swathe of data on their individual customer transac..


05 Oct 2023

From Insights

The new Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 provides for the revocation of swathes of EU-retained law relating to financial services and markets

In this article, we highlight the proposed approach of the FCA in relation to this monumental task of replacing those EU rules with new, UK-focussed domestic requireme..


28 Sep 2023

From Insights

Non-financial misconduct – FCA proposals on conduct impacting individuals' fitness and propriety and breach of conduct rules

A new FCA and PRA Joint Consultation Paper concerning "Diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change" ("the CP") was published on ..


08 Sep 2023

From Insights

The FCA's PEP talk…..

This week, we have seen the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") publish the terms of reference in relation to its Review of the treatment of UK-domestic politically ex..


16 Aug 2023

From Insights

When may an individual be liable to make restitution for regulatory breaches by their firm? The meaning of "knowingly concerned" revisited

The Financial Conduct Authority has the power to seek court-ordered restitution orders against firms, and individual "knowingly concerned" defendants in respect of reg..


11 Aug 2023

From News

New FCA "Dear CEO letter" sets out wide-ranging expectations and requirements in relation to Principal Trading Firms

On 4 August 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") sent a "Dear CEO letter" setting out their supervisory strategy for "Principal Trading Firms" ("PTFs"). The ..


10 Jul 2023

From Insights

FCA launches consultation on a proposed framework for establishing a consolidated tape in the UK

As part of a series of measures announced on 5 July 2023, the FCA published a Consultation Paper in relation to their proposed framework for establishing a "Consolidat..


26 Jun 2023

From Insights

The Bank of England/PRA’s consultation on its approach to enforcement

On 21 June 2023, the BoE/PRA)'s Head of Enforcement and Litigation, Oliver Dearie, gave a speech the Financial Services Lawyers Association explaining the rationale be..


13 Jun 2023

From Insights

The UK Financial Conduct Authority's new rules in relation to the regulation of financial promotions in respect of cryptoassets

The UK Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") has published its near-final rules in relation to the regulation of financial promotions in respect of cryptoassets.


08 Jun 2023

From Insights

First speech by new FCA Head of Enforcement – key takeaways

Last week, Therese Chambers made her first speech as newly appointed Joint Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA.


© 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.