The financial services industry is being subjected to the most significant legislative and regulatory reforms seen in decades. Commercial and investment banks, asset and wealth managers, broker-dealers, investment managers, financial sponsors, fintech enterprises, payment service providers, exchanges, alternative trading systems, clearing houses, insurance companies, settlement systems and trade repositories rely on our thoughtful and strategic advice on all aspects of their proprietary and transactional business needs.

Relevant sub-sectors of the industry in which our lawyers have a hand in collaborating with clients include:

  • Investigations, Litigation and Regulatory
  • Proprietary M&A and Capital Raising
  • Investment Banking Advisory
  • Trading and Markets 
  • Wealth Management and Private Banking
  • FinTech
  • Insurance and Reinsurance

The financial services industry has been forced to re-examine the products it offers and the markets it serves. Innovation is seen as a differentiator and technology such as blockchain may prove to be a potential game-changer in the years to come. Rapidly growing financing sources like peer-to-peer lending and crowd sourcing may radically change the financial intermediation role banks and financial sponsors play. We are constantly in the market and on the leading edge to ensure we are helping to create and seize opportunities in this rapidly changing landscape.

Our lawyers continue to assess, examine, and provide practical guidance on:

  • the implications of U.S. regulatory reform and Brexit
  • regulatory capital requirements, including Basel III, CRD IV, Solvency II and U.S. capital rules including Dodd-Frank
  • anti-money laundering and foreign corrupt practices legislation
  • disputes with regulatory bodies, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings
  • prudential issues, including capital adequacy, consolidated supervision, board / senior executive roles / actions and compensation
  • bank mergers, corporate restructuring and principal investments
  • effective global data, privacy and cyber security protection
  • capital raises in all forms of the capital markets environment, including debt and equity (inclusive of IPOs, high yield, and investment grade offerings)
  • debt and structured financings and leveraged lending
  • structural, legal and documentation considerations that arise in derivatives and structured product transactions across all major asset classes, including credit, equity, fixed-income, currency and commodity-linked instruments

As clients grapple with the uncertainties of today’s market, our globally-recognized and sought after thought leaders provide insights and analysis of key legal issues and trends impacting the industry to help you better make strategic choices. With know-how to guide and counsel on the most challenging multi-jurisdictional issues, we work with you to stay ahead while managing risk.

Understanding the key drivers of what our financial services clients demand, we often act as an extension of our client's own legal team — pragmatic, commercial, and recognizing the importance of providing comprehensive legal advice with flexibility. We know your business.


An unprecedented technology revolution is taking place within the financial services industry. FinTech is a huge and growing industry — a trajectory that looks set to continue. As technology evolves, the provision of financial services must evolve along with it. It’s time to rethink traditional approaches to regulatory and legal issues. Shearman & Sterling offers clients a combination of experienced counsel and a global footprint in key financial centers and FinTech hubs around the world.

FinTech provides opportunities for disruption and innovation. The complexity of financial products, constantly changing regulatory requirements, and the need to improve profitability and streamline processes are driving the industry to deploy a growing range of finance-related technology solutions. However, these opportunities are not without their challenges, both for established financial sector businesses and newer entrants to the industry. Getting the right support to navigate this evolving legal and regulatory environment has never been so important. Our lawyers advise clients pursuing strategic transactions, regulatory compliance and litigation matters that relate to FinTech and financial services more broadly.

Our advice covers:

  • Accelerators & innovation labs
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Blockchain technology & distributed ledger models
  • Consortiums, joint venture, M&A activities
  • Crowdfunding & peer to peer lending
  • Connectivity
  • Data services and data privacy
  • Digital banking
  • Financial regulatory implications
  • RegTech / Robo advisor applications
  • Virtual currencies

With the rise of financial technology, the financial services landscape is changing — our experienced lawyers are at the forefront of industry developments and will be with you every step of the way.

Insurance & Reinsurance 

Mirroring the changes taking place across the broader financial services industry, insurance and reinsurance companies face macroeconomic, social and regulatory changes all likely to impact the marketplace and how you do business.

Looming heightened regulatory oversight, increased threat of cyber-attacks, disruption from new technologies, increased M&A activity, new product development and tax reform challenges are the new norm requiring strategic and thoughtful counsel.

Through our global coverage in the major financial centers of the world — New York, London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong — our market-leading lawyers provide strategic and thoughtful counsel to many of the world's largest insurance and reinsurance companies and intermediaries, whether onshore or offshore, and their financial advisers.

We are agile and responsive, supporting our clients seeking opportunities arising from industry developments and legal reforms and advising them on a range of legal issues:

  • Insurance M&A, restructurings and setting up new operations
  • Insurance and Reinsurance policies
  • Intermediary, distribution, outsourcing and other commercial agreements
  • General corporate advice to insurers and reinsurers
  • Financings and insurers’ securities offerings
  • Insurance derivatives, risk securitizations, transformer vehicles and captives
  • Demutualization and mutual holding company structures
  • Regulatory investigations and litigation
  • Cyber security / risk management
  • Tax