Legal advice for the Financial Services sector
Our multi-disciplinary team provides a wide range of advice and assistance to the Financial Services sector. We act for banks that cover both domestic and international business, at head office and branch level. We are able to provide advice on a broad range of lending transactions and security, spanning both the corporate business.
International and cross border banking
We also frequently advise in relation to cross border transactions, utilising our extensive network of international associate law firms, comprising our Interleges network and our other trusted contacts.
In addition to transactional work, our team also provide a specialist recovery, litigation and arbitration service. This covers Court action in both domestic and international arbitration, often with a cross border element.
Our range of specialist areas
The advice and assistance we provide to the Financial Services sector also encompasses a number of other specialist areas. These include advice from our specialist team in Commercial Property in relation to the taking of security over commercial and residential premises, and on lease liabilities such as dilapidations. Further, we are often called upon to provide guidance on the full range of employment, HR and business immigration issues.
In addition, our team is well versed in insolvency issues, both in relation to corporate entities and individuals. We are frequently called on to advise on insolvency procedures and steps to be taken to protect or realise assets and securities.
We understand the challenges the Financial Services sector face
The British economy relies heavily on the financial sector and the outcome of negotiations with the EU could dramatically change the face of the industry. Have you considered:
- British banks potentially will lose their ‘passporting rights’, which allow them to serve clients across the EU without the need for licences in individual countries.
- Immigration and work visas.
Banking and finance institutions store and process huge amounts of personal data and will be one of the industries likely to be hardest hit by the GDPR. Are you ready for:
- Interpretation and implementation of the regulation
- Full data audit will be required and changes to point of sale data capture
- Dealing with freedom of information requests
- Supplier agreements will need to be checked and updated
- Customer data collection terms and conditions e.g. for loyalty cards
- Employee data implications and issues
- Risk of litigation and disputes.
Innovative payment systems
Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly mainstream in UK transactions. However, transparency, traceability and regulation are all in sharp focus, particular for currencies trading off blockchain. Have you thought about:
- Regulation – is more required and at what cost to the concept?
- Value – how do traditional lenders and those who accept them as a currency regard cryptocurrencies?
- Risk – is there more gain or pain in investing in cryptocurrencies?
- Transparency – a means for ‘ahead of the curve’ transactions or corruption on the dark web?
Banks and credit providers are coming under closer scrutiny from regulators and are suffering substantially increased regulatory burdens, for example arising from:
- MIFID II
- 4th Money Laundering Directive.
Providing transactional and contentious expertise
We offer proactive and practical secured lending advice to international financial institutions and high street, international, private, commercial and investment banks.
A recent example of our work includes acting for a bank in connection with a USD50 million facility to a large multi-activity Tanzanian business which holds interest in various international oil and gas concessions in respect their re-financing of their existing indebtedness and financing the business’s working capital.
We worked with the bank’s in-house legal team to draft the facility and security documents and negotiated these with the borrower’s solicitor and the banks overseas legal advisors. This reflects the key relationship the team has with the bank as their key advisors and the cross-border transactional work we carry out.
We also regularly act for banks in assisting them to recover their non-performing assets and loan accounts. Examples include:-
- Obtaining Judgment against borrowers in India in respect of a commercial loan of circa USD $13M facility given for the purpose of constructing a toll road.
- Recovering monies advanced in respect of several facilities granted to a borrower in India secured against ships, in respect of which actions have been commenced in India with a potential claim in the UK also. The eventual action could be the sale of the ships.
- Acting for banks in recovering monies lent to corporate borrowers and guaranteed by controlling individuals behind the corporate borrower, in sums ranging from USD $2M to USD $20M.
Most of the cases involve cross border legal implications and complicated international service hurdles which the firm has expertise in. In the cases dealt with, each have their unique features with varying challenges and which are often resolved in High Court litigation.