Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?

Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?

Our second one-day summit dedicated to banking disputes and regulatory actions returned in February with a host of sponsors, speakers and more than 150 guests in central London. Backed by a string of top names in contentious banking work, including headline sponsor White & Case, as well as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Boies Schiller Flexner, One Essex Court and Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), the event was guaranteed a heavyweight line-up.

There was no mistaking the core theme for the day, which White & Case banking disputes chief John Reynolds set out in his opening remarks. Arguing that cultural issues sat at the heart of the global financial crisis over a decade ago, Reynolds gave a jaded assessment of the progress since, despite the string of post-crisis reforms, like the Senior Managers Regime, ringfencing and legislation on bonuses. Continue reading “Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?”

Freshfields under financial and reputational fire in Germany as cum-ex tax scandal rolls on

Freshfields under financial and reputational fire in Germany as cum-ex tax scandal rolls on

Marco Cillario and Nathalie Tidman report on Freshfields’ role in the tax scandal rocking Germany

It is not often that a law firm makes headlines outside the legal media, yet the name Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is rapidly becoming a regular feature of German newspapers. That is bad news for the City giant. How bad, many are currently trying to assess. Continue reading “Freshfields under financial and reputational fire in Germany as cum-ex tax scandal rolls on”

The 500 View: Restructuring hires are in vogue but is there enough work for everyone?

The 500 View: Restructuring hires are in vogue but is there enough work for everyone?

Georgina Stanley assesses a City restructuring scene offering rewards for some but a lack of clear direction

‘You can only grow this business when people aren’t busy – when everyone’s flat-out, you can’t hire for love nor money,’ reflects Paul Hastings restructuring veteran David Ereira of his chosen trade. Continue reading “The 500 View: Restructuring hires are in vogue but is there enough work for everyone?”

Deal View: A niche within a finance niche gives Simmons that much-needed edge after years of drift

Deal View: A niche within a finance niche gives Simmons that much-needed edge after years of drift

While some law firms claim to be all things to all clients, for almost a decade Simmons & Simmons has focused its efforts with increasing rigour on a select number of sectors. Given its unhappy period of drift as a generalist corporate finance player, recent years have delivered far better results. And nowhere is that more in evidence than in its particular take on financial services.

Its importance is reflected in the numbers. Currently the firm has 117 partners across its financial markets practice, 63 of which are in the UK, while 40% (around £150m) of firm-wide revenue comes from finance. Even here the firm has often avoided too much business-as-usual work for banking clients – a certain route to poor margins – to zero in on funds, asset managers and more esoteric areas of regulation. Continue reading “Deal View: A niche within a finance niche gives Simmons that much-needed edge after years of drift”

The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England

The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England

Bank of England (BoE) general counsel (GC) Sonya Branch puffs her cheeks as she ponders how much work Brexit has created for her team. ‘It has been absolutely vast,’ she says.

About 65% of the UK central bank’s legal team, which has grown from 90 to more than 150 since she joined four years ago, has been involved since the mid-2016 referendum in reviewing about 10,000 pages of legislation and tracking 39 statutory instruments, to which it has contributed drafting. ‘The total count was 6,000 pages of binding technical standards, 6,000 rules that had to be changed, as well as 4,000 pages of secondary legislation,’ she comments. ‘That’s just having a regulatory framework for the UK financial services sector that’s fit for purpose on the point of exit.’ Continue reading “The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England”