Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Financial Services & Regulatory

Introduction Print

In an ever-changing, increasingly challenging and complex regulatory environment, the value of clear strategic guidance from seasoned experts cannot be overstated. The repercussions of an adverse regulatory finding or sanction can often prove to be immensely costlyboth in economic and reputational terms, with terminal consequences for some.

Quinn Emanuel has extensive experience of providing trusted advice to financial institutions and corporates on ‘high-stakes’ regulatory / compliance issues of strategic significance. We have an outstanding track-record of assisting our clients in keeping the regulatory authorities at bay; and ensuring the optimal route to successful ‘closure’. Several past assignments have involved our appointment onto internal steering committees, charged with overseeing and directing containment and remediation programs. 


Quinn Emanuel advises a broad spectrum of financial and other institutions on key regulatory / compliance matters. Clients include: institutional investment managers; international integrated investment banks; hedge funds; private equity houses; stockbroking firms; corporate finance boutiques; inter-dealer brokers; credit funds; sovereign wealth funds; consumer credit firms; clearing banks; and corporates. Our Financial Services and Regulatory group works closely alongside (and often in conjunction with) the White Collar and Corporate Investigations practice.

Typical assignments

Much of our advice is provided at board and senior management level. Our practice specialises in tactical and strategic issue prevention, containment, and resolution (including internal reviews and investigations) - with a view to optimise the client’s position vis-a-vis the regulatory authorities. Typical assignments include:

  • Independent reviews and investigations
  • Strategic containment (including positioning and strategy)
  • Supervisory / thematic visit preparation and response
  • Regulatory enforcement cases
  • Compliance / risk framework assessments
  • Systems and controls reviews / assurance
  • Governance framework reviews
  • Culture change programs and reviews
  • Mis-selling reviews
  • Remedial projects (including detriment assessments)
  • Market conduct advice and reviews
  • Impact assessments and implementation assistance, in preparation for impending regulatory change(s)
  • Gap analyses and benchmarking
  • Board / senior management counselling - regulatory risk identification and mitigation
  • Devising and delivering training programs
  • Policy and procedure reviews

We are accustomed to managing very substantial assignments; and possess extensive project management expertise and know-how.

Our approach

Our unique and complementary blend of private practice, in-house and regulator-side experience and insight ensures that our advice is always underpinned by practical and commercial realities.

We maintain a concerted focus on our client’s needs and objectives, together with a keen sense of perspective and proportionalityWe will play ‘Devil’s advocate’ and challenge, where appropriate - to ensure that all necessary angles have been considered. We think pragmatically and are not afraid to push boundaries. We will provide an opinion when requested to do so - and will not frustrate our clients by sitting on the fence. We deliver clear no-nonsense advice.

As a matter of course, we adopt a proactive mindset and approach to each assignment; ensuring that our client remains on the ‘front foot’ and at least one step ahead.

Specialist areas

Areas of expertise include:

  • Market conduct / insider dealing
  • Governance
  • Senior individual accountability
  • Culture
  • Conduct risk
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Conduct of business regime
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Anti-bribery and corruption
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Systems and controls
  • Risk management frameworks
  • Fitness and propriety
  • Perimeter guidance
  • Regulatory interpretation

The practice

Our practice is led by David Berman. David spent several of his formative years working as a managing director at an international investment bank, where he held a number of complementary senior level roles in legal, compliance, and front office functions. David is one of very few senior financial services practitioners to have spent a significant proportion of his career working ‘client-side’ within a large financial institution. David is widely renowned for his ability to empathise and view matters through a client lens. Amongst many strategically critical regulatory assignments (whether of a preventative, containment, or remedial nature), David acted as a ‘skilled person’ (pursuant to section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) in relation to the largest and most complex independent mis-selling review ever mandated in the UK.

David is regarded as “incredibly knowledgeable and well respected in the area, thanks to his wealth of experience, excellent judgement and the way he brings a real energy to a team on large cases. He is very much in demand for his incisive, pragmatic and friendly approach.” (Chambers 2017) 

David has recently authored widely-acclaimed books (published by Thomson Reuters) covering the topical subjects of senior individual accountability, risk mitigation, and culture.


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Recent Representations Print

Our partners have recently:

  • Acted for a ‘blue-chip’ financial institution in response to a series of significant (and potentially very serious) regulatory compliance issues; and successfully (against all odds) navigated a course to a ‘no further action’ confirmation from the Regulator.
  • Advised several banking institutions (including their respective boards and senior management teams) on their approach to, and implementation of, the Senior Managers & Certification Regime.
  • Counselled a leading hedge fund on an investigation into potentially significant compliance breaches.
  • Undertaken a firm-wide risk culture review and assessment on behalf of a prominent investment manager; culminating in a well-received report and recommendations addressed to the board.
  • Advised several financial institutions on their approach to, and implementation of, the Market Abuse Regulation.
  • At the request of the regulatory authorities, led a comprehensive review into a series of potentially serious regulatory compliance issues within an investment bank.
  • Led an independent systems and controls review for a prominent inter-dealer broker - in support of a mandated regulatory attestation by the CEO.
  • Advised the board of a high-profile consumer credit firm on its (successful and well-received) response to serious (and potentially terminal) regulatory compliance issues and regulatory developments. 
  • Led a comprehensive review of a leading financial institution’s entire suite of compliance and AML policies and procedures.
  • Acted as a ‘skilled person’ (pursuant to section 166 of the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000) at the behest of the UK Financial Conduct Authority - in relation to the alleged widespread mis-sale of interest rate hedging products by two major clearing banks.
  • Advised a financial institution on its formulation of a sophisticated detriment assessment methodology; which was well-received by the Regulator and implemented to successful effect.
  • Undertaken an in-depth systems and controls investigation on behalf of a leading financial institution, following the identification of several compliance issues.
  • Conducted an independent investigation into potential market misconduct within a high-profile investment manager.
  • Acted as a ‘shadow skilled person’ for a prominent financial institution; providing strategic advice on optimising the firm’s position vis-a-vis the skilled person and Regulator (ultimately resulting in a ‘no further action’ confirmation from the Regulator).
  • Conducted a comprehensive governance framework review on behalf of a leading broker dealer.
  • Advised an international investment bank on complex client money / assets issues, culminating in a report to the board and successful ‘closure’ with the Regulator.
  • Led a comprehensive conflicts of interest review on behalf of a listed ‘blue-chip’ institution; culminating in a well-received report addressed to the board.
  • Provided strategic advice to, and led a wide-ranging remediation program on behalf of, a troubled financial institution facing a series of high-profile regulatory issues; ultimately resulting in successful ‘closure’ with the Regulator.
  • Undertaken an independent investigation into potential market abuse issues within a large investment bank. 
  • Advised a very large and prominent sovereign wealth fund on market conduct-related issues and ‘ring-fencing’ proposals; culminating in a report to the board. 
  • Provided strategic advice (on tactics, positioning and technical issues) in relation to various formal regulatory enforcement proceedings brought against financial institutions.
  • Assisted numerous institutions in responding to (and successfully containing) potentially significant regulatory enquiries. 
  • Counselled various financial institutions in relation to the positioning of regulatory compliance issues with the regulatory authorities.
  • Led a review and assessment of the adequacy of the policies and procedures of a division of a large international institution.
  • Advised numerous institutions on their preparation for, and response to feedback following, regulatory visits.
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