Financial Regulatory Investigations

Our leading financial services and markets investigations and enforcement practice is recognised for the breadth and depth of its experience. Our clients include financial institutions, companies and individuals who require specialist knowledge of financial services regulation, together with experience in complex contentious regulatory matters.

Our many years of practising in this field have given us a particularly deep understanding of, and insight into, the objectives and priorities of the UK financial regulators. We also have extensive experience of handling investigations and enforcement actions involving financial regulators in most other major financial centres. This helps us to achieve strategically and commercially pragmatic conclusions for our clients while minimising the risk of unsuccessful outcomes.

In cross-border investigations, it is particularly important that a client's response to regulatory action or proceedings is consistent and well co-ordinated across all relevant jurisdictions. From experience, advice at an early stage can minimise reputational damage and the risk of an adverse regulatory finding, which may provide a springboard for civil or criminal proceedings.

We handle all aspects of UK and cross-border financial markets investigations and proceedings, including:

  • assisting in internal investigations with a view to resolving issues before enforcement action is initiated
  • responding to information requests, including on an urgent basis during unannounced visits by financial regulators
  • representing clients under investigation by UK and/or other financial market regulators
  • negotiating commercial outcomes (many of our cases result in private warnings rather than public sanction)
  • representing clients in hearings before UK financial regulators and tribunals

Partner Contacts

The team at Slaughter and May is 'excellent in every respect' The Legal 500, 2012

View all Global Investigations media comments

Our key experience includes advising:

Standard Chartered (SCB) in relation to its agreements with the US Department of Justice, the New York County District Attorney's Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Office of Foreign Assets Control, which include a total penalty of US$327 million announced on 10 December 2012, and SCB's agreement in August 2012 with the New York State Department of Financial Services, in relation to the same global sanctions investigation, pursuant to which SCB agreed to pay a civil money penalty of US$340 million.

Deutsche Bank in relation to investigations in multiple jurisdictions into the setting of various interbank benchmark rates.

Nationwide Building Society in relation to the high-profile test case commenced by the OFT against eight major current account providers to determine the validity of unarranged overdraft charges. Also advising Nationwide in relation to the parallel OFT investigation into the fairness of bank charges in relation to unarranged overdraft charges; the investigation was discontinued by the OFT in December 2009 following the Supreme Court judgment in the test case.

Norwich & Peterborough in respect of regulatory proceedings and class action litigation exposure arising out of the sale of structured products of Keydata Investment Services (in administration) to thousands of customers; the interaction of the FSA, FSCS and the FOS; and the design of a bespoke scheme to deliver ex gratia payments to investors.

a global investment fund manager on issues arising out of complex contractual arrangements relating to its investment fund management business in Asia and on parallel regulatory investigations by the SEC in the US and the FSA in the UK.

a number of listed UK insurers in relation to various FSA investigations and enforcement actions, including an investigation and enforcement action brought by the FSA in respect of alleged failings in our client's systems and controls relating to the detection of financial crime.

a criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission of alleged insider dealing by the former director of a listed company.

a major international confectionery and beverages company in relation to the discovery of financial irregularities in one of its overseas subsidiaries, including related regulatory investigations and shareholder actions.

Gartmore Investment on potential class action litigation and regulatory risks arising from Gartmore's participation in the split capital investment trust sector, the collapse of which resulted in substantial losses for investors.

JP Morgan Chase in relation to US, UK and Jersey criminal and regulatory investigations arising out of the collapse of Enron, and subsequent litigation in the UK.