Financial Services UK

  • March 01, 2024

    WealthTek Case Paused For FCA To Weigh Bringing Charges

    A judge on Friday delayed the Financial Conduct Authority's enforcement proceedings against a wealth manager over an £80 million ($101 million) shortfall, finding the watchdog should prioritize deciding whether to charge the company's founder over one of the "most significant frauds" it ever investigated.

  • March 01, 2024

    Wright Blames Enemies For Forged Email In Satoshi Trial

    Craig Wright hit back on Friday at accusations that he forged an email amid a trial over his claims that he is the inventor of bitcoin, telling a London court that an enemy could have doctored the message to sabotage his case.

  • March 01, 2024

    SPAC New Energy One To Wind Up Amid UK Deal Drought

    Blank-check company New Energy One said Friday it has decided to dissolve itself as it could not acquire a target business since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2022, because of "challenging U.K. public equity market conditions."

  • March 01, 2024

    Greenwashing Risk Warning As EU Plans Benchmark Change

    European asset managers warned on Friday that expected revisions to the rules on benchmarks would remove transparency, hindering the explanations about sustainability that they need to give investors to fight against greenwashing.

  • March 01, 2024

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    This past week in London has seen a legal battle between confectionary heavyweight Mars Wrigley UK and a frozen food manufacturer, a trademark infringement claim by Abbott Diabetes Care over glucose monitoring meters, Mercedes-Benz Group hit with two commercial fraud disputes, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company tackle a cargo claim by an insurance company. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

  • March 01, 2024

    Spanish Lender BBVA Progresses With €781M Share Buyback

    Spanish lender BBVA on Friday unveiled the details of its up to €781 million ($845.7 million) share repurchase program aimed at lowering its outstanding share capital after regulators gave the green light for the scheme.

  • March 01, 2024

    Simmons & Simmons Hires Banking Pro From DLA Piper

    Simmons & Simmons LLP has bolstered its Dublin office by hiring Kate Curneen as a new banking partner from DLA Piper where she worked for four years.

  • March 01, 2024

    Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier

    Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has added fresh allegations to his legal claim against financier Amanda Staveley over a £10 million ($12.6 million) loan, claiming she breached the deal by using proceeds earmarked to help fund the takeover of the club to pay a consultant.

  • February 29, 2024

    Judge Nixes Enforcement Of 'Fabricated' $88M Award

    An English judge on Thursday set aside his order enforcing a £70 million ($88.4 million) arbitral award against a Kuwaiti bank after concluding the award was a "fabrication" that included "substantial" passages lifted directly from a 2022 decision issued by the High Court.

  • February 29, 2024

    Morgan Stanley Exec Denies 'Snobbery' In Frasers Fight

    A senior Morgan Stanley banker has denied hitting Frasers with a $1 billion margin call because of "snobbery," telling a London court Thursday that he had "no personal animus" toward the former CEO of the British retailer.

  • February 29, 2024

    HMRC Uncovers Complex Offshore Tax Avoidance Scheme

    The U.K. tax authority said Thursday that it had exposed a complex tax avoidance scheme operating through a Singapore-based company.

  • February 29, 2024

    Drax May Face Group Litigation Over Greenwashing Claims

    Drax Group PLC shareholders could launch a group legal action against the energy company over claims it faked its environmental credentials to secure £6.5 billion ($8.2 billion) in U.K. government subsidies, the law firm helming the action said.

  • February 29, 2024

    Mozambique President Beats 'Tuna Bonds' Immunity Appeal

    Mozambique's president cannot be sued in England by shipbuilder Privinvest in the country's wide-ranging litigation over the $2 billion "tuna bonds" corruption scandal as a London appellate court on Thursday upheld a ruling that he has immunity as a sitting head of state.

  • February 29, 2024

    FCA Says Market For Credit Ratings Data Must Improve

    The markets for credit ratings, benchmarks and data vendor services lack competition and this is driving up the price of information, according to a report published Thursday by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • February 29, 2024

    Global Regulator Seeks Stronger Swiss Bank Safeguards

    A global standards setter recommended on Thursday that the Swiss authorities introduce tougher rules for the country's biggest banks as it learns from the crisis that led to the rushed UBS-Credit Suisse merger in 2023.

  • February 29, 2024

    FCA Plan To Name Suspect Firms Early Alarms Finance Sector

    Plans put forward by the Financial Conduct Authority to name companies under investigation early might unfairly cause "catastrophic" damage to reputations, even if the regulator later drops the case, according to lawyers.

  • February 29, 2024

    £1.84B Of Gov't-Backed COVID Loans Suspected Fraudulent

    Some £1.84 billion ($2.32 billion) of U.K. government-backed COVID-19 loans granted to help businesses through the pandemic are suspected to be fraudulent, the Department for Business and Trade said Thursday.

  • February 29, 2024

    Car Leasing Execs To Face 2026 Trial In £88M SFO Fraud Case

    Two directors of a failing car leasing company accused by the Serious Fraud Office of carrying out an £88 million ($111 million) investment fraud are set to face trial in September 2026, a judge confirmed on Thursday. 

  • February 28, 2024

    MPs Launch Inquiry Into Effectiveness Of Russia Sanctions

    Parliament's Treasury Select Committee on Thursday said it is launching a parliamentary inquiry into whether Britain's sanctions against Russia have been effective in hampering the Kremlin's ability to finance its war with Ukraine.

  • February 28, 2024

    Staveley 'Feared For Life' When Signing £36M Loan Demand

    Amanda Staveley "feared for her life" when she signed new repayment demands that allegedly make her personally liable for a £36 million ($45.5 million) demand from a Greek shipping magnate, her lawyers told a London court on Wednesday.

  • February 28, 2024

    DLA Piper Hires Trio Of Energy And Infrastructure Partners

    DLA Piper announced Wednesday that it has recruited the former head of energy, natural resources and infrastructure at Paul Hastings and two other partners to boost its corporate and finance offerings in London.

  • February 28, 2024

    Gov't Minister Sees Need For Simpler SME Access To Funding

    The economic secretary to HM Treasury, Bim Afolami, told members of Parliament on Wednesday that regulations need to be "simpler, easier and less onerous" to give small and midsize businesses better access to funding.

  • February 28, 2024

    Sanctions Ruling Affords Gov't Leeway In Foreign Affairs

    The failed attempt by two wealthy businessmen to overturn U.K. sanctions on appeal has underscored the court's limited role in questioning matters of foreign policy, even though the judiciary has carved out a larger role in weighing the proportionality of individual sanctions, lawyers say.

  • February 28, 2024

    Profit Warnings Rise For Pension Scheme Sponsors

    One in five U.K.-listed companies with a defined benefit pension scheme issued a profit warning in 2023, according to research published by EY-Parthenon, marking a year that "exceeded levels" seen at the peak of the financial crisis.

  • February 28, 2024

    Director Banned Over Unlawful £57M Investment Scheme

    The man behind an unlawful care home funding scheme that lost investors more than £57 million ($72 million) has been banned from being a company director for 14 years, according to the U.K.'s Insolvency Service.

Expert Analysis

  • Key Points From EC Economic Security Screening Initiatives

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    Lawyers at Herbert Smith analyze the European Commission's five recently announced initiatives aimed at de-risking the EU's trade and investment links with third countries, including the implementation of mandatory screening mechanisms and extending coverage to investments made by EU companies that are controlled subsidiaries of non-EU investors.

  • Following The Road Map Toward Quantum Security

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    With the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent publication of a white paper on a quantum-secure financial sector, firms should begin to consider the quantum transition early — before the process is driven by regulatory obligations — with the goal of developing a cybersecurity architecture that is agile while also allowing for quantum security, say lawyers at Cleary.

  • Why EU Ruling On Beneficial Ownership May Affect The UK

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    Following the EU judgment in Sovim v. Luxembourg that public access to beneficial ownership information conflicts with data protection rights, several British overseas territories and dependencies have recently reversed their commitment to introduce unrestricted access, and challenges to the U.K.’s liberal stance may be on the cards, says Rupert Cullen at Allectus Law.

  • Key Changes In FRC Code Aim To Promote Good Governance

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    The focus of the recently published Financial Reporting Council Corporate Governance Code on risk management and internal controls is to ensure the competitiveness of the U.K. listing regime while not compromising on governance standards, and issuers may wish to consider updating their policies in order to follow best practice, say lawyers at Debevoise.

  • Ruling In FCA Case Offers Tips On Flexible Work Requests

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    In Wilson v. Financial Conduct Authority, the Employment Tribunal recently found that the regulator's rejection of a remote work request was justified, highlighting for employers factors that affect flexible work request outcomes, while emphasizing that individual inquiries should be considered on the specific facts, say Frances Rollin, Ella Tunnell and Kerry Garcia at Stevens & Bolton.

  • Breaking Down The New UK Pension Funding Regs

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    Recently published U.K. pension regulations, proposing major changes to funding and investing in defined benefit pension schemes, raise implementation considerations for trustees, including the importance of the employer covenant, say Charles Magoffin and Elizabeth Bullock at Freshfields.

  • Predicting DeFi Regulations At Home And Abroad In 2024

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    Though decentralized finance has advocates on both sides of the Atlantic in figures like U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, DeFi in 2024 seems likely to be folded into existing regulatory frameworks in the U.K. and EU, while anti-crypto scrutiny may discourage DeFi’s growth in the U.S., say Daniel Csefalvay and Eric Martin at BCLP.

  • Consultation Docs Can Help EU Firms Prep For Crypto Regs

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    Firms providing crypto services should note two recent papers from the European Securities and Markets Authority defining proposals on reverse solicitation and financial instrument classification that will be critical to clarifying the scope of the regulatory framework under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, say lawyers at Hogan Lovells.

  • A Closer Look At Novel Jury Instruction In Forex Rigging Case

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    After the recent commodities fraud conviction of a U.K.-based hedge fund executive in U.S. v. Phillips, post-trial briefing has focused on whether the New York federal court’s jury instruction incorrectly defined the requisite level of intent, which should inform defense counsel in future open market manipulation cases, say attorneys at Lankler Siffert.

  • Investors' Call For Voting Changes Faces Practical Challenges

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    A recent investor coalition call on fund managers to offer pass-through voting on pooled funds highlights a renewed concern for clients’ interests, but legal, regulatory and technological issues need to be overcome to ensure that risks related to the product are effectively mitigated, says Angeli Arora at Allectus.

  • Litigation Funding Implications Amid Post-PACCAR Disputes

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    An English tribunal's recent decision in Neill v. Sony, allowing an appeal on the enforceability of a litigation funding agreement, highlights how the legislative developments on funding limits following the U.K. Supreme Court's 2023 decision in Paccar v. Competition Appeal Tribunal may affect practitioners, say Andrew Leitch and Anoma Rekhi at BCLP.

  • What Extension Of French FDI Control Means For Investors

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    The recently published French order on foreign investment control expands the regime's application to more sectors and at a lower threshold of share ownership, illustrating France's determination to maintain sovereignty over its supply chains in sensitive sectors, and adding new considerations for potential investors in these areas, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • What To Expect For Private Capital Investment Funds In 2024

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    As 2024 gets underway, market sentiment in the private fundraising sphere seems more optimistic, with a greater focus on deal sourcing and operational optimizations, and an increased emphasis on impact and sustainability strategies, say lawyers at Ropes & Gray.

  • Cayman Islands Off AML Risk Lists, Signaling Robust Controls

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    As a world-leading jurisdiction for securitization special purpose entities, the removal of the Cayman Islands from increased anti-money laundering monitoring lists is a significant milestone that will benefit new and existing financial services customers conducting business in the territory, say lawyers at Walkers Global.

  • Cos. Should Plan Now For Extensive EU Data Act Obligations

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    The recently enacted EU Data Act imposes wide-ranging requirements across industries and enterprises of all sizes, and with less than 20 months until the provisions begin to apply, businesses planning compliance will need to incorporate significant product changes and revision of contract terms, say Nick Banasevic, Robert Spano and Ciara O'Gara at Gibson Dunn. 

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