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Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory

Shearman & Sterling’s long-standing regulatory compliance practice serves our clients’ retail and institutional businesses in the US, UK, EU and globally. This focus on regulatory activity across geographies and the excellence of our US, UK and European practices make us the international counsel of choice for clients with difficult compliance challenges in their home jurisdictions that are also seeking to meet global best practices. We offer integrated solutions to increasingly complex regulatory issues backed by clear technical advice and strong relationships with regulators.

Our Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group provides a full global service to banks, investment firms, brokers, insurance and reinsurance companies, exchanges, SEFs/MTFs, clearing and settlement providers, fund firms, payment service providers and corporations on the laws and regulations of the world’s key financial and commercial centers. Our lawyers advise all types of market participants on business structure, day-to-day regulatory/compliance issues and regulatory relationships. Capitalizing on our regulatory knowledge and insight, we provide innovative solutions on a cross-border and local basis and assist clients in cultivating their relationships with regulators.

Intensive regulation continues to gain momentum. We counsel financial institutions on global legal risk management, including recovery and resolution planning and corporate governance, through our understanding of interrelated regulations and insolvency regimes. Our insight into how markets work and how they are developing puts our clients ahead of the regulatory curve on regulatory standards, inquiries and investigations.

We regularly advise clients on:

  • Commercial arrangements
  • Conduct of business, including sales and trading
  • Consumer credit and retail financial services
  • Customer-related agreements
  • Disputes with regulatory bodies, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings
  • The Dodd-Frank Act, related rulemaking (such as the Volcker Rule) and corresponding EU legislation (such as EMIR, AIFMD and CRD IV) and international initiatives
  • Exchange, MTF, SEF, clearing house and settlement system rules
  • Impact of new laws and regulations
  • Insolvency
  • Insurance
  • Internet products and services
  • Legal risk management, including recovery and resolution planning
  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Money laundering and foreign corrupt practices legislation
  • New financial services, systems and products
  • Organizational structuring
  • Prudential issues, including capital adequacy, consolidated supervision, board/senior executive roles/actions and compensation
  • Regulation of transactions, including securities offerings, M&A and derivatives

Several lawyers in the group have previously held prominent positions in key regulatory authorities worldwide, including the UK’s FSA (now the FCA and PRA), the SEC, the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Stability Oversight Counsel (FSOC) and various European and Asian regulatory agencies.

Featured Matters

  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on its establishment as an international financial centre in the United Arab Emirates and helping develop its world-class legal and regulatory regime.
  • Fairfax in its portfolio investment in the Bank of Ireland
  • Galleon Management in connection with all matters arising from the major insider trading case filed against its founder, including representing the company in all regulatory investigations and SEC litigation arising from the trading, as well as corporate and fund wind-down matters
  • ICE on the European regulatory and antitrust aspects of its approximately $11 billion purchase of NYSE Euronext, its acquisition of a 79.12% interest in the derivative and spot natural gas business of APX-Endex and its purchase of ECX, an exchange group for environmental contracts such as carbon credits
  • Several major banks in CFTC, SEC, DOJ, FCA and European Commission investigations concerning LIBOR
  • UAE government on reforming its financial regulatory framework and drafting the underlying legislation
  • UniCredit on its €7.5 billion rights offering
  • Various financial institutions on issues arising from the Lehman insolvency and on investments with Bernard Madoff
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