Barnabas (Barney) Reynolds is one of the world’s leading financial institution practitioners. He specializes in banking and financial markets law and regulation, clearing, settlement, derivatives, asset management and insurance regulation. He advises banks and investment banks, fund managers, financial infrastructure providers (exchanges, clearing houses, settlement systems), payment agencies, FinTechs, crypto companies, insurers and reinsurers on their proprietary business in the U.K., EU and U.K.-style systems elsewhere, including Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM, which he set up) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Barney specializes in U.K. regulation and advises on and coordinates rest-of-world advice for institutions. He provides strategic advice on the implications of legal and regulatory change and opportunities for their businesses. He also advises Boards on strategic issues.

Barney is a leading thinker on legal and regulatory matters, engaging in individual and roundtable discussions with c-suites and boards of financial firms. He has played a central role in evaluating the legal and regulatory implications and opportunities arising from Brexit. He plays a key role on European structuring for numerous financial services firms.

He is Global Head of the Financial Services Industry Group and leads the global Financial Regulatory practice. He is the Practice Group Leader for Governance & Advisory. He is on the firm’s Executive Group and was previously elected to the nine-person Policy Committee that decides partner appointments and compensation.

Barney has won prizes for legal innovation and is a thought leader. He is interviewed and published widely. He regularly writes articles in national newspapers. He chairs panels and speaks at conferences, including Davos, on global developments. He speaks at fora of regulators with new ideas for the adjustment of regulation, e.g., the Quadrilateral which is the annual gathering of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan. He is often called to give evidence to Parliamentary Committees. He is a Member of CityUK Advisory Board and the Financial Markets Law Committee (which was established by the Bank of England). He is one of only two private practice lawyers who are members of the so-called Star Chamber, advising Members of Parliament on the legal implications of Brexit.

Barney Reynolds is one of the most astute lawyers I have worked with in 30 years of banking. He has a very detailed approach to issues and always creatively finds solutions” Legal 500 UK 2022, Financial Services: Non-Contentious/Regulatory.

Barney advised the U.K. Government on Brexit, writing books and papers, including on:

  • the options for financial services, adopted by the May, Johnson, Truss and Sunak administrations—most notably, conceiving and producing draft Treaty and legislative text for “Enhanced Equivalence”, a detailed proposal for U.K.-EU relations in financial services, adopted by the May administration
  • regulatory reform, to make the U.K. more competitive
  • identification and analysis of the unmanaged financial risks produced by the Eurozone and how this relates to equivalence determinations under existing EU law, and Enhanced Equivalence
  • analysis of a workable U.K.-U.S. trade deal in financial services—and subsequently working with UK Finance on that topic
  • proposals for an invisible north-south trade border in Northern Ireland, “mutual enforcement”; he co-authored two papers on the topic with Lord David Trimble, the Nobel prize-winning (Unionist) negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement
  • how to move from the EU’s code-based civil law system back to the U.K.’s common law model; aspects of his advice are now being implemented
  • proposals for regulatory accountability, restraining the regulators so that they act predictably and consistently, and in accordance with newly generated case law.

Barney led a team of over 50 lawyers drafting new laws and regulations for ADGM based on the common law method and U.K. regulation. He has also advised other governments on financial regulation, including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Georgia, Cyprus and Kuwait.