Red Tape – Banking and finance

As the regulators come down harder on banks and financial institutions, and Basel III, the Vickers reforms and Dodd-Frank are set to transform the banking and finance sector, which law firms are reaping the benefits?

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) raised £91.2m in fines from UK financial institutions during 2010/11. This marks a staggering increase from 2009/10 when it collected £33.5m. Since the start of 2011 it has fined individuals and institutions £38.4m. It also signals a backing up of the watchdog’s promise to flex its muscles, taking a more prominent position when it comes to enforcement, hoping to strike fear in the UK’s financial services community.

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A new cut

Private wealth has changed. No longer the sole reserve of the moneyed upper classes, LB finds firms cashing in on a new breed of international entrepreneur

Picture the scene. Tarquin Huntersley-Cooper, an ageing member of the landed gentry, needs some trust planning to secure the future of his dilapidated 70-acre country estate. Dressed from head to toe in Prince of Wales tweed, he pays a visit to his lawyers, Reginald Hurley & Sons, a two-partner provincial firm that has acted for his family for generations. Settling down on an antique leather Chesterfield in the dusty study, they quickly knock out a draft before retiring to a wood-panelled smoking room for a snifter of fine cognac and some Cuban cigars.

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Stepping up

With the departure of high-profile practice head Jonathan Kelly, the Simmons financial services litigation team has lost a leader in investment banking disputes work. New chief Robert Turner will have a fight on his hands if the firm is to remain a Magic Circle rival

To say that Robert Turner has big boots to fill is to underestimate the size of the task ahead of him. Turner took over as head of financial services litigation at Simmons & Simmons on 1 April, with a background of acting in disputes on behalf of hedge fund managers. But for all his strengths, he enjoys nothing like the profile and reputation of his predecessor Jonathan Kelly – nor indeed his predecessor’s predecessor, now firmwide managing partner Mark Dawkins.

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