For investigations involving US regulatory or criminal authorities, we work closely with our US colleagues to ensure that our clients receive tailored advice to achieve the best outcome available. Similarly in Asia, the Middle East and Europe we work with our colleagues who have relevant local expertise, and with other specialist lawyers within our international network of Preferred Firms.
Whenever appropriate to meet the objectives of our client, we adopt an approach of 'constructive engagement' with the regulators. We seek to ensure we have a close understanding of the regulators’ concerns, and then address each of those concerns using cogent evidence and first principle arguments. In the right cases, identifying the key evidence and bringing it to the attention of the investigators, with a clear articulation of what that evidence means, puts the investigators in a position where they are able to reach an early view and discontinue their investigation. We have used this approach successfully in a range of investigations against institutions and members of senior management.
Key to advising clients effectively is having a deep knowledge of how the regulators make their decisions, their current priorities and personnel, the client’s products and services that are subject to scrutiny, and the underlying legal and regulatory regime. To develop these insights, many of our Financial Regulation Group have spent time on secondment at the FCA (and previously the FSA), the PRA, and at major financial institutions. As a result we are excellently placed to design and implement a tailored strategy for our clients to achieve their objectives in relation to the investigation. We never take our client’s objectives for granted, as every investigation is unique.
In addition to handling the complex practical issues that arise from the UK's secession from the European Union, firms need to be aware of the FCA's new approach to regulatory enforcement. Senior management and other employees need to be well trained and conversed in how to ensure that they take (and are seen to be taking) appropriate actions to ensure that risks are managed effectively within the area of the business for which they have regulatory responsibility. This is an area in which we spend a lot of time working alongside our clients to help them get this right.