Banking and Financial Services

Banking and Financial Services

One Essex Court has a long established reputation for pre-eminence in banking work, with a considerable depth of talent available at all levels of seniority.  Members regularly advise domestic and international banks (both retail and investment), financial institutions, hedge funds, corporate entities and private clients on a wide range of complex transactions, structures and regulation.

Barristers here regularly advise on the listing rules of the UK Lisitng Authority (UKLA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Master Agreement and related documentation, and the expertise of members covers a variety of financial instruments and arrangements including syndicated loans, security structures, collateralised debt obligations, debt restructuring, swaps and derivatives, contracts for difference, letters of credit, mortgages, guarantees, bonds and commodity trading.

In addition, our financial services expertise sees members regularly engaged to advise on the rules and guidance contained in the FCA and PRA Handbooks and the Financial Services and Markets Act, and to act for clients faced with enforcement proceedings, prosecutions, or investigations.  Barristers at One Essex Court also work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority, with counsel undertaking secondments at the FCA in order to gain valuable experience and insight into the important work of the regulator.

Current work for Barristers here includes:  The RBS Rights Issue Litigation; LIA v Goldman Sachs; LIA v Société Générale; Banco Santander Totta SA v Metro do Porto SA & Ors; Chesterfield United Inc. & Anr v Deutsche Bank AG; and McGraw-Hill International UK Ltd v RBS & Ors.

Members at One Essex Court represented both sides in a reference to the Upper Tribunal brought by Ian Hannam challenging a decision of the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) to impose a penalty for market abuse. The Tribunal’s decision provides the most extensive analysis to date by any judicial tribunal of the market abuse provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), including the definition of “inside information”. 

Members at One Essex Court also recently represented both sides in a reference to the Upper Tribunal brought by Ian Hannam challenging a decision of the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) to impose a penalty for market abuse. The Tribunal’s decision (available here) provides the most extensive analysis to date by any judicial tribunal of the market abuse provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), including the definition of “inside information”.

A team of barristers here is also presently engaged for Guy Hands' private equity firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners in a claim against Citigroup Global Markets Limited and others for £2.3bn in relation to the acquisition of music company EMI by Terra Firma.

Various counsel at One Essex Court have also been engaged to act for claimants and banks in relation to the LIBOR rate rigging scandal and market manipulation in the Forex markets, including in relation to an investigation into the role of Bank of England officials in relation to conduct issues in the foreign exchange market.  Barristers here appeared in both Graiseley v Barclays [2012] EWHC 3093 and Deutsche Bank v Unitech Global [2013] EWHC 471.

One Essex Court has long history of major banking litigation, which has meant significant involvements in cases flowing from the collapse of BCCI, Northern Rock, Kaupthing Bank and Lehman Brothers, as well as major engagements as a result of ‘rouge traders’ at Sumitomo Bank and Barings Bank, and complex financial work dealing with the fallout from the Madoff frauds.  Counsel here also appeared for a number of the UK retail banks in the OFT ‘bank charges’ litigation, which was concerned with whether charges levied by banks on customers could be tested for fairness.

One Essex Court ‘stands out for banking litigation’ and is ‘a good source of very technically able, hardworking and responsive counsel’.  The Legal 500