Financial Services UK

  • February 20, 2024

    Banking Oligarch's Wife Loses Russian Sanctions Challenge

    A Ukrainian-Russian tycoon's wife lost a bid on Tuesday to lift sanctions imposed on her after Russia invaded Ukraine, with a London court finding they strike a fair balance between the U.K.'s foreign policy objectives and her individual rights.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ransomware Group LockBit Hit By Coordinated Crackdown

    Two suspects linked to LockBit have been arrested and dozens of servers taken down as part of a global operation to disrupt the Russia-based ransomware group's activities, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Drops 4 Jurisdictions From Tax Haven Blacklist

    The European Union removed four jurisdictions Tuesday from its list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, the Council of the EU announced, saying the jurisdictions had either resolved their deficiencies or were waiting for a review of improvements made.

  • February 20, 2024

    Addleshaw Goddard Hires ESG Expert From Clifford Chance

    Addleshaw Goddard LLP has recruited an environmental, social and governance specialist from Clifford Chance LLP as a partner in its London office, bolstering the law firm's ability to advise on sustainability issues.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Negotiators Adopt Rules To Widen Market Data Access

    The European Union adopted rules on Tuesday that give investors across the bloc equal access to updated share and bond prices, as well as trading data, in the final step before these changes enter legislation.

  • February 20, 2024

    Liquidators, Claiming Fraud, Blast Tycoon's Bid To Keep $1B

    Liquidators of U.K. companies that allege a diamond and jewelry tycoon swindled over $1 billion from banks have denied forming trumped-up fraud accusations to destroy his business, telling a London court the businessman has suffered as a "consequence of his own orchestration."

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Transfers Could Cost Savers £70K In Retirement

    Pensioners-to-be in the U.K. could lose about £70,000 ($88,500) in retirement when transferring their pension pot due to a lack of understanding of key information such as financial charges, according to recent research.

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Numbers Shrink As Funding Grows, Watchdog Says

    The number of defined benefit pension schemes in the U.K. has decreased by 2% since 2022, according to a report published Tuesday by The Pensions Regulator that shows that funding levels for retirement savings plans are continuing to improve.

  • February 20, 2024

    Barclays Plans £1B Share Buyback In Boost For Shareholders

    Barclays PLC said on Tuesday it will launch a new share buyback program worth up to £1 billion ($1.26 billion) in the first quarter of 2024 as the lender looks to return excess cash to shareholders.

  • February 20, 2024

    Israeli Fintech Plans $175M Share Buyback, Dividend Payout

    Plus500 said on Tuesday that it will roll out a new share buyback program worth up to $100 million, as it looks to reward investors despite a sharp drop in revenue.

  • February 20, 2024

    Alleged Putin Ally To Face UK Sanctions Breach Trial In 2025

    A former Russian politician and alleged ally of Vladimir Putin will face a criminal trial in London in 2025 over allegations he breached the U.K.'s Russian sanctions regime, a judge said Tuesday.

  • February 19, 2024

    Insurers Detail Plans To Free £100B Amid Solvency Changes

    Developing more consistent long-term decarbonization plans will help accelerate infrastructure investment of £100 billion ($126 billion) after the U.K. overhauls the capital adequacy rules for insurers, a report said on Monday.

  • February 19, 2024

    No Room For Doubt Over Madagascan Aide Bribery, Jury Told

    The way a former top aide of the Madagascan president asked about payments "removes any room for doubt" that she knew she was soliciting bribes to secure mining rights for a U.K. gem company, prosecutors told a jury Monday.

  • February 19, 2024

    Lawyers For LC&F Chief Quit 'Ponzi Scheme' Trial Over Pay

    Lawyers representing a former chief at London Capital & Finance walked out on the first day of a trial at a London court over the £237 million ($298 million) investment scandal, saying that one of the directors of the alleged Ponzi scheme was unable to pay him. 

  • February 19, 2024

    Bank Of Georgia Offers $303.6M For Armenian Lender

    Bank of Georgia said Monday that it has agreed to buy an Armenian bank for around $303.6 million in a deal guided by Baker McKenzie and Travers Smith LLP as it seeks to grow beyond the national Georgian market.

  • February 19, 2024

    AmTrust Hikes Counterclaim To £14M In Legal-Funding Fight

    Insurer AmTrust has boosted its counterclaim against Novitas to £14.4 million ($18.1 million), alleging it paid out to the legal loans company under after-the-event litigation policies that were unenforceable and did not comply with regulations.

  • February 19, 2024

    Santander Launches €1.5B Share Buyback After Profit Gains

    Banco Santander SA said on Monday it will reward investors with a new program to repurchase shares of up to €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion).

  • February 19, 2024

    ECB Imposes Stricter Bank Asset Rules For Climate Risk

    The European Central Bank updated its guidance Monday on models used by banks to gauge risks to assets, adding new requirements on climate and environmental exposures.

  • February 19, 2024

    NatWest Begins £300M Share Buyback As Profits Soar

    NatWest Group PLC said on Monday that it has launched a share buyback program worth up to £300 million ($380 million) as the financial services group looks to reduce its shareholder equity after posting a surge in profits.

  • February 19, 2024

    Investment Scheme Manager Admits £19M Fraud

    The manager of an investment scheme admitted defrauding investors out of £19 million ($24 million) over the course of five years when he appeared at a London criminal court on Monday.

  • February 16, 2024

    Ex-SFO Prosecutor, Disputes Chief Join Paul Hastings

    Paul Hastings LLP has hired former senior Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Stuart Alford KC from Latham & Watkins LLP along with the co-chair of Latham's London litigation practice, a person with knowledge of the move said Friday.

  • February 16, 2024

    Rusal Drags Abramovich Into Potanin Mining Dispute

    Aluminum giant Rusal has successfully dragged Roman Abramovich into its legal action against another oligarch over alleged breaches of an agreement setting out the governance of a Russian mining company, with a London judge ruling Friday that the claims should be heard together.

  • February 16, 2024

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    This past week in London has seen a legal battle erupt between JPMorgan and the founder of a Greek payments company following a dispute over the valuation of their jointly owned fintech business, the children of late Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov face a claim by Fieldfisher LLP, the Director of Education and Training at the Solicitors Regulation Authority tackle a claim by two solicitors, and train operator First MTR South Western Trains file a claim against a security company. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

  • February 16, 2024

    Lawyers Advising PE On Alternative Exits Amid Market Slump

    Private equity firms have turned to their lawyers to find creative solutions for realizing cash for investors as deals activity in the IPO market in London remains sluggish — such as setting up continuation funds, making partial sales or working creatively with debt.

  • February 16, 2024

    Illegal Lender Imprisoned For Refusing To Pay Back Victims

    An illegal moneylender has been sentenced to almost eight years in prison for failing to pay a £5.1 million ($6.4 million) confiscation order to compensate victims he charged exorbitant interest rates for small loans, the finance watchdog said on Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • Consultation Docs Can Help EU Firms Prep For Crypto Regs

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    Firms providing crypto services should note two recent papers from the European Securities and Markets Authority defining proposals on reverse solicitation and financial instrument classification that will be critical to clarifying the scope of the regulatory framework under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, say lawyers at Hogan Lovells.

  • A Closer Look At Novel Jury Instruction In Forex Rigging Case

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    After the recent commodities fraud conviction of a U.K.-based hedge fund executive in U.S. v. Phillips, post-trial briefing has focused on whether the New York federal court’s jury instruction incorrectly defined the requisite level of intent, which should inform defense counsel in future open market manipulation cases, say attorneys at Lankler Siffert.

  • Investors' Call For Voting Changes Faces Practical Challenges

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    A recent investor coalition call on fund managers to offer pass-through voting on pooled funds highlights a renewed concern for clients’ interests, but legal, regulatory and technological issues need to be overcome to ensure that risks related to the product are effectively mitigated, says Angeli Arora at Allectus.

  • Litigation Funding Implications Amid Post-PACCAR Disputes

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    An English tribunal's recent decision in Neill v. Sony, allowing an appeal on the enforceability of a litigation funding agreement, highlights how the legislative developments on funding limits following the U.K. Supreme Court's 2023 decision in Paccar v. Competition Appeal Tribunal may affect practitioners, say Andrew Leitch and Anoma Rekhi at BCLP.

  • What Extension Of French FDI Control Means For Investors

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    The recently published French order on foreign investment control expands the regime's application to more sectors and at a lower threshold of share ownership, illustrating France's determination to maintain sovereignty over its supply chains in sensitive sectors, and adding new considerations for potential investors in these areas, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • What To Expect For Private Capital Investment Funds In 2024

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    As 2024 gets underway, market sentiment in the private fundraising sphere seems more optimistic, with a greater focus on deal sourcing and operational optimizations, and an increased emphasis on impact and sustainability strategies, say lawyers at Ropes & Gray.

  • Cayman Islands Off AML Risk Lists, Signaling Robust Controls

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    As a world-leading jurisdiction for securitization special purpose entities, the removal of the Cayman Islands from increased anti-money laundering monitoring lists is a significant milestone that will benefit new and existing financial services customers conducting business in the territory, say lawyers at Walkers Global.

  • Cos. Should Plan Now For Extensive EU Data Act Obligations

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    The recently enacted EU Data Act imposes wide-ranging requirements across industries and enterprises of all sizes, and with less than 20 months until the provisions begin to apply, businesses planning compliance will need to incorporate significant product changes and revision of contract terms, say Nick Banasevic, Robert Spano and Ciara O'Gara at Gibson Dunn. 

  • How Decision On A Key Definition Affects SMEs

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's decision not to extend the definition of small and midsized enterprises may benefit banks and finance providers in the current high interest rate environment and where SMEs in certain sectors may be under financial pressure in light of the cost-of-living crisis in order to streamline it, says Rachael Healey at RPC.

  • What New Digital Sandbox Regs Hold In Store For UK Markets

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    The recently enacted Digital Sandbox Regulations will be key to incorporating distributed ledger technology into the activities of a central securities depository, but despite being a potentially transformative innovation, a number of considerations may need to be addressed to accommodate the trading, settlement and maintenance of shares, say Tom Bacon and Andrew Tsang at BCLP.

  • Why Investment In Battery Supply Chain Is Important For UK

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    The recently published U.K. battery strategy sets out the government’s vision for a globally competitive battery supply chain, and it is critical that the U.K. secures investment to maximize opportunities for economic prosperity and net-zero transition, say lawyers at Watson Farley & Williams.

  • What Extending Corporate Liability Will Mean For Foreign Cos.

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    Certain sections of the Economic Crime Act enacted in December 2023 make it easier to prosecute companies for economic crimes committed abroad, and organizations need to consider their exposure and the new ways they can be held liable for the actions of their personnel, say Dan Hudson at Seladore Legal and Christopher Coltart at 2 Hare Court.

  • A Consequential Moment For Sanctions Activity

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    It is clear from the U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's review of the 2022-2023 financial year that the unprecedented scale of designated persons and the value of assets frozen as a result has placed enormous pressure on OFSI and its partners, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

  • ECJ Ruling Triggers Reconsiderations Of Using AI In Hiring

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    A recent European Court of Justice ruling, clarifying that the General Data Protection Regulation could apply to decisions made by artificial intelligence, serves as a warning to employers, as the use of AI in recruitment may lead to more discrimination claims, say Dino Wilkinson and James Major at Clyde & Co.

  • Economic Crime Act Offers Welcome Reform To AML Regime

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    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act exemption for mixed-property transactions that came into force on Jan. 15 as part of the U.K.'s anti-money laundering regime is long overdue, and should end economic harm to businesses, giving banks confidence to adopt a more pragmatic approach, say Matthew Getz and Joseph Fox-Davies at Pallas Partners.

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