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Financial services and markets

Across the world, financial services markets are adapting to the aftermath of the financial crisis. Businesses are facing a raft of new regulation affecting the UK and global financial services sector, as well as an increased focus on cost control and risk management. Our dedicated financial services and markets group helps clients to structure their business and operations in the most efficient and commercial way, minimising regulatory burdens while complying with relevant regulations.

“The team at Norton Rose Fulbright has cultivated a ‘tremendously strong’ advisory practice, advising a broad range of clients” Legal 500 UK, 2013

We are widely recognised for providing commercially astute, high-quality and seemless advice in respect of non-contentious and contentious financial services matters, drawing where necessary on local experience from our sizable international network.

We are closely involved with global regulatory reform, and our partners have direct experience of working within bodies such as the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) and HM Treasury. We have a leading reputation in the global market for undertaking some of the most complex regulatory matters, drawing on the strength of our financial services lawyers throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Our market-leading non-contentious financial services and markets group is “full service” across the wholesale and retail financial services spread of work with a focus on its core regulatory strengths: asset management/hedge funds regulation, banking regulation and markets infrastructure/commodities:

  • Asset management/hedge funds regulation: We advise long only institutional asset managers on a variety of documentation and regulatory issues. We also undertake regulatory work in the hedge and other specialist fund sectors with clients including hedge fund managers, CDO managers and specialist debt managers on a number of areas such as restructuring UK and overseas operations, setting up brokerage arms and a number of detailed regulatory pieces of analysis on areas such as market abuse, conflicts rules and on distribution. The work for asset managers is complemented by work in the custody area.
  • Banking: Broadly, the work in this area breaks down into regulatory advice, legal risk management, documentation reviews and transactions. We have advised clients on regulatory issues such as market abuse and systems and controls reviews and to banks specialising in the retail space on wealth management matters including financial promotion issues. We have also advised clients on payment services regulation. We also advise Islamic banks. We have worked on new authorisations and expansions of the operations of a variety of clients. Corporate governance issues are a key part of this work for both new authorisations and existing banks. We have worked on a variety of transactional documentation, particularly in the financial promotion, white label, security and collateral areas for banks.
  • Markets infrastructure/commodities: We have successfully completed work on the recognition of a UK recognised clearing house and work with clients on high profile new market trading platforms. We also act for one of the major repositories. We have also carried out a significant amount of brokerage documentation and regulatory work in this area. We draft, review and negotiate contractual terms at all stages of the trading chain from advice and discretionary management, through brokerage (whether as principal or agent and whether involved just receipt and transmission or true execution) to custody and post-trade arrangements. We frequently advise clients on the concepts underlying prime brokerage including custody, client money and the difference between title transfer and security interest structures, and how clients can best protect their assets within the confines of market practice. The group also has considerable expertise in carbon trading documentation and regulatory issues.

The non-contentious group also works closely with the practice's contentious regulatory specialists who act for a wide variety of clients at all stages of investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

We deliver

  • An unrivalled combination of inside experience at the key regulators, allowing us to provide a commercial approach to the sensitive issues involved in our client’s work. Before joining the practice, Jonathan Herbst was head of European Law at the FSA and Peter Snowdon was a barrister employed in the FSA’s General Counsel’s Division
  • Active participation in industry groups such as the BBA and the FOA; our lawyers have also contributed to leading texts with an example being the commodities derivatives chapter in A Practitioner’s Guide to MiFID

Our areas of work include

  • Financial services regulatory advice on asset management/hedge funds regulation, banking regulation and markets infrastructure/commodities
  • Financial services advisory and transactional matters including new product launches and contractual documentation
  • Contentious legal issues such as regulatory investigations and enforcement actions and court proceedings in the financial services sector

Financial services technical resources

AIFMD insight
AIFMD insight is our online technical resource designed to assist those conducting AIFMD projects. It sets out the latest developments and timing of the AIFMD plus the key resource papers from the Commission, ESMA and the FSA. Our latest briefing notes, videos and webcasts are also available. View AIFMD insight

MiFID II: Pegasus
Pegasus is our online technical resource designed to assist those working on MiFID II projects. It sets out the latest developments and timing of MiFID II, plus the key papers from the Commission, ESMA and the FSA. Our latest briefing notes, videos and webcasts are also available. View Pegasus

OTC Oracle
OTC Oracle is our online technical resource created to track the implementation of the G20 commitment to have all standardised OTC derivatives traded on exchanges or electronic trading platforms, where appropriate, and cleared through central counterparties by the end of 2012 at the latest. OTC Oracle sets out the latest developments and timings plus the key resource papers from each of the European Union, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. Our latest briefing notes, videos and webcasts are also available. View OTC Oracle

UK regulatory reform: Phoenix
Phoenix is our online technical resource designed to help those conducting UK regulatory reform projects. It sets out the latest developments and timing of the Government's reform programme, plus the key papers from the Treasury, Bank of England and FSA. Our latest briefing notes, videos and webcasts are also available. View Phoenix

Financial Services 40 minute briefings

Our 40-minute briefings look at some of the current hot topics in the financial services sector and start at 8:45am. They stick to a 40-minute format so you only need to take a small amount of time out of your schedule.

In 2014, there are two key themes running through the regulatory landscape: UK domestic reform and the changing European agenda. The challenge for firms will be to keep up with the practical implications of what is going on. To help, we continue to focus our 40-minute briefing series on these twin themes. View Current invite

Financial Services: Regulation tomorrow

Our blog tracks UK and European financial services regulatory developments and provides timely insight and commentary. With blog postings from our team of financial services lawyers covering everything from asset management and banking regulation to clearing and settlement, money laundering, retail, wholesale conduct and securities regulation, we ensure that you are on top of the latest developments. View our blog.

  • Events

    Brexit and beyond

    Without doubt 2018 will be an important regulatory year. At the international level the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision expects its members to apply on 1...

    January 10, 2018

    Last minute MiFID II issues | MiFID II academy

    The academy comprises a series of webinars exploring MiFID II and MiFIR and the impact the new regime will have on firms operating in Europe. We continue in 2017...

    November 16, 2017

    Wealth management roundup

    The European machine has been working on reforms in the wealth management industry.

    December 6, 2017

  • Videos

    Brexit update - Financial services

    October 2017

    FCA MiFID II policy statement

    July 2017

  • Publications
  • News

    Peter Snowdon - The Times

    Peter Snowdon comments on whether brass plating is a possible regulatory option for banks post-Brexit.

    May 2017