Matthew Shanahan

Norton Rose Fulbright (Middle East) LLP

United Arab Emirates
T:+971 (4) 3696343
United Arab Emirates
T:+971 (4) 3696343
Matthew Shanahan

Matthew Shanahan



Matthew Shanahan is a Financial Services and Regulations lawyer based in Dubai.

Matthew specialises in advisory and contentious financial services regulation, regularly advising banks, securities firms, other financial institutions, and public sector bodies on all aspects of financial services regulation, including conduct issues, market abuse, fintech, anti-money laundering, financial crime and legislative drafting. He also advises clients on managing regulatory relationships, navigating complex regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, handling client mis-selling complaints, and crisis management.

Matthew has two decades of direct experience of financial services regulation, including at regulators, where he worked for the UK's Financial Services Authority (now re-named the Financial Conduct Authority) for three years, and for the DIFC's Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) for seven years.

Matthew is recognised in the Chambers Global Directory 2022, which states that "He's got a fantastic knowledge and understanding of regulations. He's extremely bright, super practical and pragmatic. He gives really good insight." And "His advice is succinct and practical. He's one of the best in the DIFC for regulatory matters." Matthew is also recognised by the Legal 500 as a leading individual for Dispute Resolution: Compliance and Investigations.

Professional experience

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  • International Diploma (Graduate), Anti Money Laundering - ICA / Manchester Business School, 2012
  • The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation - 2010
  • Called to the Bar: 2006 (Inner Temple)
  • Bar Vocational Course – BPP School of Law, 2006
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law – University of Westminster, 2004
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies – London School of Economics, 1994


  • Barrister, qualified in England & Wales
  • A leading fund manager - on a DFSA investigation into certain valuation and corporate governance matters.*
  • ABN AMRO - on the DIFC's first major Part 9 transfer of business scheme in the DIFC Court. Advising and acting for Ahli United Bank on its Part 9 transfer of business application in the DIFC Court.*
  • Numerous clients - on regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, including successfully defending clients in the DFSA's first major market abuse investigation, and acting for a client on the ADGM FSRA's first major enforcement investigation.*
  • A confidential client - on obtaining a licence in the ADGM to operate a multilateral trading facility for the trading of crypto assets.*
  • A European money services firm - on obtaining a licence for the DFSA's Innovation Testing Lab programme to operate a multi-asset DEFI app.*
  • DFSA laws - Part of the team that drafted significant number of DFSA laws including DFSA AML module, the recognition regime, markets law and rules, listing rules, DFSA market abuse regime, financial promotions regime, representative office rules and amendments to client assets rules.*
  • A key Middle East regulator - on policy issues and drafting the resultant financial services legislation.*

*Denotes experience gained prior to joining the firm.

  • English
  • French